Monday, April 21, 2014

Two Silver Pistols and a Blacksnake Whip: Daniel Newell Drake, Part one

There's a bit of glamour that attaches itself forever to a lawman. 

I don't know that my great-great-grandpa, Daniel Newell Drake (1853-1931) would have considered himself a romantic figure, but he really was!  He was an iconic Westerner, right in the thick of history.  He was a farmer.  A miner.  A Mormon (who chewed tobacco).  A politician. A pretty fair singer.  A bodyguard.  A ditch-rider.  Son of pioneers.  A cannery field man.  Railroad builder.  Would be Indian-fighter.  A horseman.  Rock-hauler.  Road supervisor.  Father of 12 children.  Carried peppermints.  Played the harmonica.  He always put on his hat first thing, and it was the last thing he took off at night.

He was one tough hombre.
Daniel Newell Drake (1853-1931)

Because writing about Grandpa Drake is so fun, and also because I'd like to do a little more research, I'm going to split this story into two parts, his private and then his public life.  Here is my connection.  Me, Dad, Jack Drake Haynes, Pearl Drake Haynes, Daniel Newell Drake.

First of all, I'm a little hazy on how to refer to him.  His Dad was also named Daniel Newell Drake.  His Grandfather was Daniel Newell Drake also, and from the pioneer accounts, it sounds as if at least one of these fellas went by "Newell", not sure which one, probably his Dad as he shows up as "Newell" in the 1860 census.  He also had a son Daniel Newell Drake, (brother to my Gr. Grandma Pearl) but on FamilySearch, this one is referred to as "the third" instead of the fourth, (by my calculations).  In the newspapers sometimes this son is referred to as Daniel Drake, Jr., as is his father.  So, since he is the first Drake patriarch of my line, for the purpose of this article I'm just going to call him Daniel, Grandpa Drake, or even Sheriff Drake, which is a little more fun and will not leave any room for confusion.  Where were we?

He was one tough hombre.
And he was definitely not alone.  Grandpa Drake was the eldest son, 2nd of his mother Hannah's 12 children, his father also had two daughters by first wife, Cynthia.  (Cynthia died before crossing the plains, near Winter Quarters, Nebraska.  Hannah married Daniel's father two years later--it was not a polygamous marriage.)  Daniel's parents divorced in 1875 after about 25 years of marriage.  His mother Hannah took the younger boys to Oregon.  His father remained in Ogden, eventually coming under the care of his household until he died four years later in 1879. Some of Daniel's brothers remained in the Ogden area, inheriting the Drake homestead together, but Daniel eventually bought out their portion as they didn't want to farm.  It's unclear how advanced of an education he would have had, probably a normal amount for someone of his time and station before he settled down.

"The Endowment House was used primarily for performing 
temple ordinances. From 1857 to 1876 the baptismal font was
 used to perform 134,053 baptisms for the dead. Between 1855
 and 1884 54,170 persons received their washings and anointings 
and endowments. Between 1855 and 1889 68,767 couples were
 sealed in marriage—31,052 for the living and 37,715 for the dead.
Mormons did not consider the Endowment House a temple
so they did not perform all temple ordinances in it. Brigham 
Young explained, “We can, at the present time [1874], go
 into the Endowment House and be baptized for our dead,
 receive our washings and anointings, etc. ... We also have the
 privilege of sealing women to men without a Temple ... 
but when we come to other sealing ordinances, ordinances
 pertaining to the holy Priesthood, to connect the chain
 of the Priesthood from father Adam until now, by sealing
 children to their parents, being sealed for our forefathers,
 etc., they cannot be done without a temple”.[1] Hence,
 there were no sealing of children nor endowments
 for the dead performed in the Endowment House. These
 ordinances were first administered in Utah’s first 
temple, in St. George, in 1877.  The Endowment House was 
also used for other purposes, including prayer circles,  
settings apart, and instructing missionaries before their 
departure, as well as meetings of the various church leaders,
 such as the First Presidency and
 Quorum of the Twelve Apostles." from Wikipedia "Endowment
Daniel Newell Drake married Mary Jane Cheney (who must have been pretty tough, herself, 12 kids again!!) They met and then married in Weber County (FamilySearch says in Hooper, UT) in 1874.  Daniel was 21, Mary Jane was 17.  The two were sealed in the Salt Lake Endowment House seven years later in 1881.  (It appears that their first four boys, born before this, were later sealed to their parents in 1940, see explanation in sidebar.)  Their daughter Pearl said, "When my dad and Mother were married they used boxes to sit on.  I have the rolling pin that my mother had when she was first married that my Dad had made out of a piece of oak wood.  I still have it and use it, it is quite old.  [Who has this now?]  They were real poor when they first got married.  They were both raised in North Ogden and I don't know where they met." 

I don't know if having 12 children kept him tender or made him even tougher, although it probably did both.  He had nine sons and 3 daughters. He lost one son, Lawrence, at the age of three in 1883, and two more children in 1888, Lucy age six and William age eleven months.  He also outlived his youngest son Ernest Emery, who died at age 18. 
Here is a picture of most of the Drake family by the time Mary Ann was done having children.  Grandpa Drake is in the middle with the great mustache.   The labels for Ira and Emery need to be switched.   (Thanks to cousin Glenna for the photograph.)

Sheriff Drake's daughter Pearl had plenty to share about her father.  He showed his romantic side the first moment he laid eyes on her, naming her "Pearl" because she was "pretty as a pearl!"
Let's let her tell us all about Sheriff Drake as a husband and a father.

(From "My Parents--Daniel Newel and Mary Jane Cheney Drake" by Pearl Drake Haynes, recorded by Ortell Drake Wilson, Sept. 1982).
"My Dad never pulled my hair. [I wonder what kind of question elicited that response!] He was kind of rough talking, he'd scare you.  One night Ira and I wanted to go up by the old store in Wilson Lane.  Mother said, 'yes, you can go,' so we went.  We were up there playing with some friends and all at once, here come dad.  He had a rope and he tried to lasso us but I out-run him.  He caught Ira and tied him around the neck and led him home.  I ran home and
my sis [Rose] was having a boyfriend in the parlor.  I ran in there and got behind what they called a folding bed.  I stayed in there until about eleven o'clock and my Dad was sitting out in the living room waiting for me.  I could see his legs through a crack in the door.  He had about four or five big switches lined up against the house.  I saw them as I ran in and I though, 'Oh, poor Ira's going to get it' because he caught him but he didn't spank him.  He sent Ira to bed and sat there until eleven o'clock and then he said, 'Well, you can come out and go to bed'.  He didn't whip me.  But my sister would have whipped me pretty good.  She tried to get me out from behind that folding bed because she had her boyfriend with her.
 "My Dad used to chew tobacco which I didn't like very much but he was clean about it.  Mother would make him take the cuspidor out and clean it every day or two.  She wouldn't allow him to keep it in the house very long....
 "I remember when he got his patriarchal blessing when the oldest boys were young.  One of them, when Mother was out doing chores and father wasn't home, got the scissors and cut his blessing all up.  So they went to the church and got a copy.  I have a copy of his and Mother's.  I remember going to church with my Dad when I was a child.  He always went to sacrament meeting and the women sat on one side of the room and the men sat on the other.  I'd always go and sit with him because he had peppermints in his pocket.  The rest of the children sat with Mother.  I think I heard him pray once in church when I was a kid.  Mother said he used to go to church real good and never used tobacco but he worked in the mines, the Bingham Mines, and he used tobacco because the coal dust was so bad.  Their lungs would fill up and they were told to keep something in their mouths so he used tobacco.  That's how he got started using it. 

"He was in the hospital before he died and my sister-in-law told me this.  (I hadn't seen my father for three years.)  He begged for just a little piece of tobacco and she wouldn't give it to him.  He said, "They won't even give me a drink of water and I've got to have something to wet my throat down."  She said, "Well, Dad, I'll go out and get you a tiny rock and you can suck on that."  And she did.  They took him home in a day or two.  My brother, Lewis, said it took three of them to hold him down in bed before he died.  He was out of his head.  They said before he went to the hospital, they found him down on the canal bank trying to turn the water in.  He was a Ditch-Rider at one time.  They got there just in time or he would have flooded the whole place out.  He had kidney trouble and was 79 years old when he died.
"I was sick a lot.  I had ear trouble from three to fourteen, a gathered ear.  My dad would sit up nights with me, with my earache.  Sometimes he'd heat up a little bit of pinch of tobacco and put it in and I'd keep it warm and that would ease it.  He was awful good to help with the children.  He'd hold me on his lap and put me in bed with them at the foot of the bed.
"We had a lot of fun.  Every summer we went camping.  We'd go and stay all night or maybe two or three days up in Ogden Canyon.  We had a covered wagon and cooked outside.  The boys made a tent over the wagon tongue and Mother and Dad, I , and the two younger boys slept in the wagon.  Rose stayed home
part of the time to tend the house.  One particular time we were up Sheep Creek.  A big storm came up.  It thundered and lightninged and just poured.  Mother was so frightened; she had Ira and Emery and I just like this, just a-choking us.  My brother, Jack, was with us at that time.  The horses got loose and went down the canyon.  There we were, stranded with no horses.  A man camped up above us said lighting had struck that place twice and when we pulled in there, he worried about us when the storm came up.  He took the men down the canyon and caught the horses.  It rained so hard, even the older boys had to get in the wagon.  Water was running all over the camp.  It was awful!
"My Father loved to fish and he loved horse races.  He always had nice horses and saddles.  We did a lot of riding.  I loved horses from the time I could stick on one.  My father taught me how to ride and drive and how to hitch up my own horse.  In the mornings we would catch the fish and go fry them.  We'd have hotcakes and fish, eggs, and bacon.  When we were up in the mountains Dad took me fishing.  One day we went out on a big rock in the river.  'Now you sit right still or you'll fall off'.  I fell off all right!  So, I had to go back to camp so he could catch some more fish for us.  He was good to me.
"He used to sing 'Old Dan Tucker'.  Every morning when he'd get up, he'd get up with his hat on and come out singing, 'Old Dan Tucker, came too late for his supper.
[Check out this audio clip by Jim Smoak, found on Wikipedia, pretty fun to imagine.  I'm sure Grandpa Drake loved that his name was also "Dan", haha.]
 "I said to Mother, 'Does he always sleep with his hat on?'  She said, 'No, he puts it under the bed and that's the first thing he puts on when he gets up.'  Oh, dear, such stories.  Mother and Dad always loved to read the newspaper around the table at night.  She'd be sitting knitting and all at once, they'd break out into a song.  They'd sing together.  I used to sit and listen, it was beautiful.  Dad and Mother could sing "A Poor Wayfaring Man of Grief" straight through, all the verses.  Dad loved to sing, just for himself and Mother.  We had an old organ but nobody knew how to play it.  They got it when I was about ten but I never learned.  My Dad played pretty tunes on the mouth organ.  He always saw that every boy had a mouth organ for Christmas.  My brothers had a band in Wilson Lane, drums.  Lewis played the bass drum.  Jack and Clarence played the snare drum in a drum corp and they played for different occasions.  Some of the boys in the ward played horns and one played a fiddle.  I remember Mother telling about that.  In fact, I knew about the drum corp because I must have been about eight or nine when they had it.  [Daniel's uncle, Horace Drake, also a Utah pioneer, made drums and musical instruments, had been a drum major in the Nauvoo legion, and it would be interesting to know if he influenced these boys since he didn't pass away until 1918 in Davis county, Utah.]
"Dad was never mean to me.  He used to put on a big front.  My kids were scared to death of him but he would never hurt one of his grandchildren.  He loved them all.  When Glen and Irene [Pearl's eldest son, and a niece]  were little, they would go in the separator room and turn the separator.  He'd just yell at them and they'd go out the window.  You'd think my Dad was rough but he wasn't.
"I think we only had seventeen acres when I was a child.  My grandfather, as I understand, homesteaded where the sugar factory was.  He divided that land with his boys, was the story I got.  My Dad and Uncle Nate were the only ones who stayed there, on the Wilson Lane homestead.  Uncle Nate got tired of farming so he sold out to my father.  My parents raised 12 children at that home.  They never moved from Wilson Lane.  We raised sugar beets, tomatoes, and had a large orchard.  I had to pick lots of apples, prunes, and everything.  Watermelons, canteloupes.  My Dad pedaled watermelons to Coleville, Utah, you know.

One Christmas I'll never forget.  Dad put our stockings up behind the stove.  In the morning, there was coal in the bottoms and a stick of wood in the tops.  Of course, we all cried...Santa Claus passed us by.  Dad came out singing "Old Dan Tucker" and said, "Santa Claus thought you were too mean.  He left a stick to whip you with."  So after he got the fire going and all this, he said, "Go on in the parlor and see if he happened to go in there."  We went in and heavens!  There was a saddle for Charlie and I had a new doll buggy and a doll and I can't remember what Ira got.  He had something nice but our santa Claus was all in there.  He was quite a joker when he wanted to be but he was stern, when he told you anything to do, you had to go.  We'd be working in the field and he would send I and Ira after water.  He'd say, 'Now I want you to get that water from the bottom of the well and I don't want it warm when it gets here!'  Of course, you know kids.  We just poked along.  When we got to him, he took a sip and just dumped it all on our heads.  'Go back and get some cold water.'
"I rode the horse to cultivate and my Dad carried little rocks in his pocket.  When he said, 'Gee,', he meant 'Gee' and if you didn't go 'Gee' you got a rock.  If he said 'Haw' and that horse didn't go to the left, you got another little rock.  I hoed beets, I picked tomatoes, I helped haul lots of peas to the factory.  I mixed bread when I had to stand on a stool to do it.  I did housework from the time I was a little kid.  I was in a play one time and my Dad took the little stool the cookie jar was on.  I was to mix bread in the play; I was just a little bit of a thing, and I stood on the stool and made my bread right there on the program, a nice, little roll of bread."
My Grandpa Jack Drake Haynes only saw Grandpa Drake once--in his coffin.  Nevertheless, I think he held him in high regard and I suspect that his love of all things John Wayne has a little bit to do with his Grandpa's legacy.  He related two of his favorite stories about Grandpa Drake.

First of all, he said that although Grandpa Drake was a lawman, etc., his biggest difficulty was his son Charlie.  Charlie would go off to do his chores but instead of coming home when he was finished, he would go into town and hang out at the pool halls and other places he shouldn't have been.  Finally, Grandpa Drake had had it.  He stripped Charlie naked, put him on the horse, and sent him off to bring in the cows.  "He'll come home this time!"  My family also has a video of Pearl retelling this story on her 95th birthday, and I can just see the shame and sympathy on her face, "Oh, Dad, he doesn't have any clothes!"  (I think she considered it a pretty harsh measure.)  Anyway, the plan didn't work.  Charlie brought back the cows, snuck into the house, retrieved his clothes, and was off again.

Although there might have been some tough love for his sons, Daniel had a tender place for his daughters.  This is Jack's favorite story about his Grandpa Drake, and it has to do with Pearl herself.  (She didn't include this particular story in her memoir--I don't know how she felt about it.)
Blacksnake whip.  Typically 6-12 feet in length.  Has a heavy
 shot load in the handle to facilitate its use as a club.

There was a one-armed schoolmaster who was rather cruel and beat the kids regularly, including Ira, maybe some of the other Drake boys.  One day this teacher beat Pearl--Jack thinks she might have been around 7th grade.  Jack says Grandpa Drake was the Weber County Sheriff at the time.  Well, when Sheriff Drake heard about this latest beating, he got on his horse and waited out in front of the store because he knew that the teacher always picked up his mail at a certain time.  (Let's say noon!)  Sure enough, when the teacher came along, Sheriff Drake "tuned him up with his blacksnake whip right there in the street."  He declared that the teacher might whip the boys once in a while--they might need it--but if he ever touched his daughter again he'd kill him. "And he never got off his horse!"  

1 comment:

  1. This Daniel Newell Drake is my great grandfather too. I have some other stories about him if you are interested.