The Encyclopedia Americana (1920)/Drake, Francis Marion

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DRAKE, Francis Marion, American capitalist and lawyer: b. Rushville, Ill., 30 Dec. 1830; d. Centreville, Ia., 20 Nov. 1903. In 1837 his family moved to Iowa, where he was educated. In 1852 he crossed the plains to California with ox-teams, encountering and defeating a band of Pawnee Indians on the route, and in 1854 crossed again with a drove of cattle. In 1855 he engaged in mercantile business in Drakeville, Ia., and in 1861 entered the army as a private. He served through the Civil War, attaining the rank of brigadier-general of volunteers. After the war he studied and practised law, and engaged in the railroad business, particularly the building of new roads. He was the first president of the Missouri, Iowa and Nebraska Railroad, and was later president of the Albia and Centreville Railroad. In 1880 he founded Drake University (q.v.) which he liberally endowed, and was president of the board of trustees till the time of his death. He was one term (1896-98) governor of the State of Iowa, being elected on the Republican ticket.