Also see [Railway Officials in America 1906]
In the history of the medical profession of Barry County no one occupies a more deservedly popular position
than the subject of this biography. A residence of over a quarter of a century, during which time he has been in
the active practice of his profession has fully demonstrated his general worth and assigned him a conspicuous place
in the history of the city of Hastings. He was born in Macedon, Wayne Co., N. Y., July 31, 1828. At the age of
ten the family emigrated to Michigan and settled near Saline, Washtenaw Co., where the elder Drake purchased a
farm. The doctor obtained a common-school education, and in 1846 commenced the study of medicine with Dr. A. G.
Crittenden, of Saline. In 1848 he entered the Cleveland Medical College, where he was graduated in 1850. Soon after
his graduation he went to Wisconsin for the purpose of establishing himself in the practice of his profession,
but failing to find a desirable location he returned to Michigan, and in July, 1851, came to Hastings, where he
has since resided, with the exception of a few years spent in Nebraska. In 1864 he received the appointment of
assistant surgeon of the 3d Michigan Infantry; he accompanied the regiment to the field, but by reason of ill health
was compelled to resign his position. He returned to Hastings, and upon the recovery of his health resumed the
practice of his profession. In 1860 he married Marion C. Palmer, of Hastings, a lady of culture and refinement.
She died in 1878.
Among his medical brethren Dr. Drake is known as a suecessful practitioner and a gentleman. He is president of
the County Medical Society, and a member of the State Medical Society and the Western Michigan District Medical
Society. The doctor has taken an active interest in the development of Hastings, and has identified himself with
all measures tending to the advancement of the interests of education or society. He has been a prominent member
of the board of education, and has been president of the village. He is a believer in the precepts and teachings
of Freemasonry, and has held prominent positions in that order, notably among the number that of Master and High
Priest. Dr. Drake is well and favorably known, and one who is highly respected and esteemed. He possesses the necessary
qualifications of the successful physician other than knowledge,—geniaiity of disposition and firmness, coupled
with kindness and eompassion,—and his valuable services as a physician, and the public spirit he has evinced as
a citizen, entitle him to a foremost position among the representative men of Barry County.
The doctor is a radical Republican, having been bred a Whig, and the New York Tribune having been his political
Testament. His residence in Kansas and Nebraska from 1855 to 1858 gave him an insight into the means resorted to
by the pro-slavery party to fasten the peculiar institution upon Kansas. He claims to have been the only Whig in
the territory of Kansas in the employ of the government during the period of the forming of its State Constitution.
History of Allegan and Berry Counties, Michigan
With Illistrations and Biographical Sketches
of Their Men and Pioneers.
D. W. Ensign & Co., Philadelphia 1880
Press of J. B. Lippincoff & Co., Philadelphia.