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Vintage Lima Ohio Postcard: FW Drake Coal Dealer / Tuttle's Elixir Family Connection

A vintage 1910s postcard picturing the Lima, Ohio location of ''F.W. Drake, Dealer in Coal, Wood and Feed; Jobber of Flour''

Frank W. Drake: A man of many interests, led a life as a serial entrepreneur, with business concerns such as a fruit farm in Michigan, horse breeding in Kansas, and eventually ending up as flour and coal merchant in Lima, Ohio, circa 1910s.

Bio [from Biographies of Allen County, Ohio Residents]:

F.  W.  DRAKE, a prominent merchant of Lima, engaged in the feed and fuel lines, was born at Boston, Massachusetts, from which city his parents migrated to Illinois when he was about three years old.

After securing an excellent education, Mr. Drake returned to Massachusetts, entered the employ of the Boston & Providence Railroad, remained with that corporation for two years and then purchased a fruit farm in the vicinity of St. Joseph, Michigan.

He continued in the fruit-raising business for some three years, and then became interested in Kansas live-stock.

He remained at Emporia, Kansas, for some 14 years, becoming a leading citizen and member of the City Council.  During this period he was largely interested buying raising and selling fine
horses. Those informed on such matters will remember when "British Splendor" was regarded as the finest coach horse in America; this noble animal was the property of Mr. Drake.

From Kansas Mr. Drake removed to Chicago and for three years was located at the Stock Yards engaged in buying and selling horses.

In 1895 he settled at Lima, being connected with the Standard Oil
interests, but in 1902 he discontinued this association and established a coal, coke and general feed business. In this he still continues, being one of the leading dealers of these commodities in Lima.

In 1876 Mr. Drake was married to Ella Merwin, of St. Joseph,
Michigan. He is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church.  In
political sentiment he is a stanch Republican.


Bio from HeritagePursuit.com's HISTORY OF ALLEN COUNTY:

F. W. DRAKE. A retired business man, F. W. Drake has had a long and active career and one that has brought him permanent connections in many localities. He was until he retired actively identified with an important business at Lima.

He was born in Boston, Massachusetts, November 22, 1852, a son of Charles W. .and Sarah J. (Tuttle) Drake, the former a native of Dover, New Hampshire, and the latter of Effingham, New Hampshire.

F. W. Drake was educated in the grammar and high school and at the age of fifteen returned to Boston, Massachusetts, and lived with an uncle [Samuel Tuttle], who conducted a livery stable and was also the patentee of Tuttle's Elixir, a proprietary preparation from which he realized a fortune.

[Tuttle's Elixir/Elexer is still being made today, 125 years strong -- see tuttles.com]

After the death of his father F. W. Drake returned to St. Joseph, Michigan, and took charge of the [family] fruit farm. At his mother's, death the farm was sold.

February 19, 1876, in Michigan, Mr. Drake married Miss Ella Merwin, who was born at Mokena, Illinois, daughter of William Merwin.

After his marriage he.continued to live at St. Joseph, Michigan, until 1898, when he bought a farm near Emporia, Kansas, and employed his capital at stock raising on an extensive scale.

He was also an importer of thoroughbred English trotting horses. He continued his ranch and stock raising enterprise in Kansas for fourteen years, and then for three years was a stock dealer at the Union Stock Yards in Chicago.

From Chicago Mr. Drake moved to Lima, where for seven years he was foreman for the Standard Oil Company.

He then engaged in business for himself, handling business supplies, coal, flour and feed, and so continued until the fall of 1917, when he sold the business to Minor Evans and has since lived retired in his fine modern home at 1424 Lakewood Avenue. He still owns the plant in which his business was conducted and has other financial interests at Lima.

Mr. and Mrs. Drake have no children. He served several years as a trustee of the Trinity Methodist Episcopal Church. In politics he casts his vote as a republican and is a member of the Lima Club.

[Note - the above is excerpted from

A Standard History of Allen County, Ohio: An Authentic Narrative ..., Volume 2

 edited by William Rusler which is available as a free ebook from google.]


Note: These items are part of my ''Collecting Lima Virtual Museum''. They are not for sale.

If/when I find more information on these items, I will add it to the post.

Read the Introduction to Collecting Lima Virtual Museum Project ~ My Lima Ohio Bottles, Advertising, Antiques

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