The Works Progress Administration

Biography of Alfred C. Drake of El Monte California

Coming to El Monte in 1893 when twenty years of age, Afred C. Drake, has been an active worker in the development and growth of the walnut industry in El Monte. Born March 10, 1873, in New York State, he was an only son of James and Martha (Vincent) Drake, the former of whom was a native of New York and the latter of Ontario, Canada.

On his arrival in California, Mr. Drake worked with his father on the latter’s ranch near El Monte, on Santa Anita Road, for a year or so, later buying a ranch for himself near Puente. Thus in 1896, he started farming for himself, and in the same year, was married to Miss Myra Maxson, a native of Colusa, California, and daughter of B.F. Maxson whose name is well known in Southern California. Mrs. Drake traces her ancestry on the maternal side to Priscilla Alden. She is a woman of sterling qualities, well educated and highly cultured, and has a wide circle of friends in El Monte and vicinity. Mr. and Mrs. Drake are the parents of five children, namely: James Merwin, Elizabeth Fay, Frederick Arthur, Frances Maxson and Olive, all except James Merwin and Olive, of whom are living at this time. (1936)

Mr. Drake improved his ranch in 1904 by the erection of a new residence and other buildings. He served for a number of years as walnut inspector, and was an active member of the Mountain View Association all during its existence.

In educational affairs, both Mr. and Mrs. Drake have taken a prominent part, Mr. Drake for six years, having served as trustee on the Mountain View School district. Mrs. Drake also was among those who, in 19000, assisted in organizing the Shakespeare Club, serving as its president in 1913.

Politically Mr. Drake is a Republican, and actively supports his party principles.

He is active and prominent in his fraternal affiliations, being a Past Master of the Masonic Lodge, and past Worth Patron of the Order of Eastern Star. He is also a member of the A.O.U.W., and served that organization as Recorder for seven years, and was a member of the Independent Order of Good Templars.

Both Mr. and Mrs. Drake are members of the Mountain View Presbyterian Church, of which for a number of years, Mr. Drake officiated as Chairman of the Board of Trustees.

They live in the home east of El Monte, where they have engaged for many years in farming and walnut raising.

Source: C. D. Mayon, F. Brow, L. Stoddard, and C. Mudd; El Monte from the Pioneer Days. WPA Project No. N-5740, 1936. In record 19-187072. (California Historical Landmark No. 765: El Monte). On file at the SCCIC, CSU Fullerton.

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