Abram J. Drake
Morris Co. Up

Biographical and Genealogical History of Morris County New Jersey. Illustrated. Vol. I., Lewis Publishing Company, New York and Chicago, 1899

Abram Johnson DRAKE, of Netcong, has by nature and training been eminently fitted for what we may term business citizenship; he belongs to that class of men who by their judicious management have been enables to build up enterprises that not only add to the prosperity of the individual stockholders, but also promote the general welfare by the reason of the employment given to large numbers, and the commercial activity which is thereby advanced. Mr. DRAKE, as the head of the DRAKE-BASTEDO Company, is one of the leading merchants in his section of Morris county, and his worth to the community with which he is associated is immeasurable.

Mr. DRAKE is descended from two of the oldest families of Morris County. His paternal grandfather, Abram Johnson DRAKE, was born in 1792 and his death occurred Aug 31 1861. He married Mary APPLEGATE, who was born in 1781 and died April 21, 1853. She was the daughter of Moses APPLEGATE, who had a large landed interests in this locality and was very prominent as a citizen. William DRAKE, the father of our subject, was a farmer, in moderate circumstances. He was born in Morris County on the 2d of May 1814, and his death occurred on the 24th of April, 1893. He affiliated with the Democratic party, but took no active part in politics. His wife, whose maiden name was Sarah M HAGGERTY, was born Apr 1, 1826, and is still living. Her father, Christopher HAGGERTY, whose family was one well known in Morris County, was descended from stanch Irish ancestors. Mr. HAGGERTY was a leader in both business and political circles, was a large land-owner and in his political connections was a Whig. He was twice married, his first union being with Miss Van KIRK, his second with Miss DUSENBURY. To Mr. and Mrs. DRAKE were born the following children: Abram J., the immediate subject of this review, Charlotte, who married James DRAKE, of Phillipsburg New Jersey; Henrietta, wife of Theodore HILTA, of Roxbury township; Bernice M., wife of John W. SHARP, of Netcong; George., deceased; William, who is living in Netcong; Ida, wife of James DILL; and Augustus, a resident of Netcong.

Born on the 30th of November 1846, in Mount Olive township, Abram J. DRAKE spent the first twenty years of his life on his father's farm, working in the fields and learning from nature many of her valuable lessons. He pursed his education in the common schools of the neighborhood, and on leaving the parental roof he took up the sterner duties of life as a carpenter, learning the trade under the direction of the firm MEEKER & HEDDEN, of Newark. He spent five years in that city, and in 1871 took up his residence in Netcong, where he engaged in business as a general contractor. He soon secured a very extensive patronage, and in the town and surrounding county he has erected many of the fine structures which add their charm to the landscape and tell of an advanced civilization. By their homes more than by any other thing can a people be judged. It will be permissible in this connection to note some of the buildings, which are the handiwork of Mr. DRAKE. These include the residences of Rev. J.J. CRANE, Warren E. BOSTEDO, I.P.MILLER and his own pleasant commodious and modern home, while the residence and the store of LAWRENCE & KING, of Stanhope, also give evidence of his ability in the industrial art. In 1896, however, he withdrew from that line of undertaking, having in the previous years been instrumental in the organization of the DRAKE-BOSTEDO Company, which was incorporated, with a capital of fifteen thousand dollars, for the purpose of conducting a department store, carrying dry goods, groceries, paints, hardware, lumber and coal. Its officers are A.J. DRAKE, president; Warren E BASTEDO, secretary; and D.S. DRAKE, treasurer. The concern is the largest of the kind in the county outside of Dover and Morristown and would be a credit to a city of much greater size than Netcong.

Mr. DRAKE is too broad-minded a man to confine his attention solely to business interests and to the exclusion of the development of the other sides of nature. Fully appreciating the duties of citizenship, he has made a close study of the political situation of the country and gives an intelligent and loyal support to the Republican party, whose principles he believes are most conductive to the public good. For some years he has been prominent as a leader in political affairs, being one of the guiding spirits in the management of Republican interest in Morris county. He served for eleven years as committeeman of his township and for a similar period was township treasurer. He was one of the chief movers in securing the separation of the borough of Netcong from the township and for two terms filled the office of mayor, in a most creditable manner. He also served on the Republican county committee for ten years, and his counsel and labors proved an effective agency in securing the successes of the party. He was one of the organizers of the Mascanetcong Land Company and the Stanhope Union Cemetery Association, and is treasurer of both. Socially Mr. DRAKE is a Knight Templar Mason, has passed all the chairs in the Odd Fellows' lodge, and was the first regent of Netcong Council, Royal Arcanum.

Mr. DRAKE has been twice married. He wedded Nancy E HAGGERTY, a daughter of Alfred HAGGERTY, and Jun 15 1877, she was called to the home beyond, leaving two children, Dorson S., who married Lizzie SCARLET; and Nellie J., wife of Warren E BOSTEDO, of the DRAKE-BOSTEDO Company. May 1 1879, Mr. DRAKE was again married, his second union being with Miss Martha KING. Two children grace this marriage, Sarah and Clarence C. The parents hold a very prominent position in social circles, and it is their worth that has won them a most extensive circle of acquaintances and friends. Thus it is that Mr. DRAKE has won a conspicuous place in business, political and social circles, - a position to which his ability and merit justly entitle him, - but he wears his honors with becoming modesty and his life is entirely free from ostentation or display.

Transcribed by Ida King.

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