Lee County Biography

WILL D. DREW
Dixon Township


WILL D. DREW is a fine representative of the young farmers, native to the soil, who within the last decade have put new life into the agricultural industries of Lee County. He is well equipped for his work as a general farmer, stock-raiser and dairyman, as he has inherited from his father’s estate a finely improved farm of one hundred and forty-seven acres in Dixon Township, nearly all of which is under the plow. A fine set of buildings adorns the place and it is well stocked with cattle and other domestic animals, the cows being of the best breed for dairy use, our subject paying much attention to that branch of business.

Mr. Drew was born in the city of Dixon, July 6, 1862, and received an excellent training from the hands of his fattier and mother, besides being very well educated in the public schools, he entered upon bin independent career as a farmer at an early period, and from the start has evinced a decided capability of managing his farming interests in a practical and skillful manner, so as to make every step count and to derive a good profit from his operations. He is farming on the old homestead that formerly belonged to his father in 1884, and maintains it at the same high standard for which it was formerly noted. He bears a high reputation for morality and rectitude of character among the people who have known him and watched his course from childhood. In him the Republican party has a true follower. Religiously he and his wife adhere to the faith to which his father clung.

Our subject was married in Dixon Township to Miss Mabel Prescott. She was a native of this place, born September 19, 1872, but was mostly reared and educated in Mason, Iowa, whither her parents, Itohlis and Nancy (Williams) Prescott, removed when she was young. They subsequently returned to Illinois, and are now residents of Dixon Township.

Our subject is the son of the late Alvah. Drew, who was a man of prominence, and in his death the county met with a serious lose. He was born in Maine, as was his father, John Drew, who was of American parentage and Scotch-Irish ancestry. John Drew was drowned when in the prime of life by falling, in the darkness of night, through a bridge that was undergoing repairs. His wife bore the maiden name of Jemima Eaton, and was likewise born in Maine, coming of a family that dates its history back to the pilgrims that came over in the "Mayflower.” She came to Illinois after the death of her husband and died in Dixon, when past eighty years old. She was religiously inclined and was a member of the Baptist Church.

Alvah D. Drew was only three years of age when his father was drowned and he was reared and educated by his mother. He was eighteen years of age when he turned his back on his old New England home to try his life in the West. He came to Illinois, and from here went to Missouri, whence he soon returned to this State, and for a time resided in Chang. Meeting with his brother Henry unexpectedly, they came together to this county.

Mr. Drew was of an inventive nature, and, with his brothers, Henry and Seth, patented several valuable inventions, including a one-seamed boot and a gaiter, the latter belonging entirely to himself. He decided to travel around the country to sell his useful invention, He had spent all his money, with the exception of the trivial sum of forty cents which he gave to his wife, in the perfecting of his invention, and had to start out on his travels in a shabby state. He made the best of the situation, repairing his tattered garments, and coloring the light bad worn spots, and entered upon his new work with energy. He deservedly met with success in introducing his gaiter to the public, securing a comfortable fortune during the six years that he was on the road.

With the money thus made, Mr. Drew purchased a good property in this county, in Dixon Township, and settled down to the life of a farmer, he prosecuted his calling with the same vigor and pernacity that had always characterized his work in whatever he was engaged, developed his land into a fine farm upon which he placed substantial improvements, and showed himself to be an enlightened farmer. His homestead, which is now in possession of his son, of whom we write, was the scene of his death, August 15, 1884, when he was only forty-nine years of age, his birth having taken place March 29, 1835. His township was thus deprived of the services of one who had been potent in its upbuilding and influential in all that pertained to its social and moral well-being. He was of an earnest, religious nature. In politics, he was a Republican.

Mr. Drew was married at Dixon, to Miss Augusta Andrews, who survives him and is a resident of that city. She is fifty-one years of age, having been born in Connecticut, May 27, 1840. Her early years were passed in her New England home, whence she came, after attaining womanhood, to Dixon, where an older married sister was living. Her parents were Ives and Silva (Bartholomew) Andrews, who were natives of Connecticut, where they spent the most of their lives, coming here when old people and dying at Dixon, aged respectively seventy-two and sixty-five years. Mrs. Drew is the mother of six children, of whom our subject is the eldest, and all are living, but Omar, who died when twenty-six years of age. He married Miss Mary Murphy, but their wedded life was very brief, as he died in less than five mouths after the date of their marriage. The other children, besides our subject are: Emma C.. wife of John Kelley, a resident of Chicago and foreman of a shoe factory at DeKalb; Bertha A.; E. Fred, who works in the plow shops at Dixon, and Mercy E., the three later at home with their mother.

Portraits and Biographical Lee County IL

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