MANNING E. DRAKE, of the Sullivan Monument Company, workers in marble and stone for monumental purposes, was born October 19, 1854, in Fairbanks township, Sullivan county, Indiana, a son of Manning and Margaret (Armstrong) Drake. The father was born in Butler county, Ohio, June 17, 1813, and the mother was a native of Kentucky; she died October 24, 1860. Manning Drake, Sr., was of English descent, while his wife descended from the Scotch lines of Great Britain. The grandfather, James Drake, came to Sullivan county in 1817, locating in Fairbanks township, where he followed farm life until his death. He claimed a large tract of land and was highly respected and prosperous. Politically, he was an avowed Democrat.

Manning Drake, the father of Manning E., lived in Fairbanks township from the age of four years. He possessed a remarkable memory and his mind was clear and active up to the time of his death, which occurred June 6, 1908. At one time he owned about twelve hundred acres of land in Fairbanks township. He became forehanded and loaned much money out to those about him. In his political views he was a Democrat. Both he and his good wife were members of the Baptist church. To them were born twelve children: Elizabeth, deceased; Mary J.; Amanda; Malinda; James; Benjamin, deceased; Sarah, deceased; Ira; Manning E.; Margaret; William; and one who died in infancy.

Manning E. Drake was reared on the farm and obtained a good common-school education in the district schools of his neighborhood. When he became twenty-one years of age, he commenced to farm independently, in Curry township, Sullivan county. He continued there until April 12, 1898, when he removed to Sullivan and engaged in the livery business and in the shipment of horses of all kinds. In 1900, he sold out this business and embarked in the marble and monument business, under the firm name of Cummins & Drake. This co-partnership continued until 1906, when W. F. Wagner bought Mr. Cummins out, and the firm was changed to Drake & Wagner. This enterprising and thoroughly reliable firm sell the product of their works in Sullivan, Vigo, Parke, Greene, Clay, and other territory within Indiana and also in Illinois. It is among the most extensive works for fitting up monuments within this portion of the state of Indiana. Either one member or the other of this firm remains on the road selling, while the other superintends the work at home.

While Mr. Drake was yet on the farm, he made a reputation as a specialist in raising Poland-China swine, all registered. He shipped about one hundred and fifty head annually to all parts of the United States. He also handled registered Holstein cattle, though not on so extensive a scale as he did the hogs mentioned. He still owns land of much value-eighty acres within Curry township and two hundred and twenty acres one mile west of Sullivan. Politically. Mr. Drake affiliates with the Democrats. He is a member of the Odd Fellows order at Sullivan.

One of the important events of Mr. Drake's life was his marriage, May 4, 1878, to Elma Gaskins, who was born in Curry township, and died April 4, 1882. Two children were the result of this union; Perry, born March 14, 1879, married and resides on a farm; Olive, born August 3, 1881, is unmarried and at home. Both attended the schools in Sullivan. For his second wife, Mr. Drake married, March 1, 1883, Julia Denney, born in Curry township, Sullivan county, a daughter of William Denney, now of Sullivan. The date of her birth was July 29, 1863. Her mother died when the daughter was but a mere child. By Mr. Drake's second marriage, four children were born; LeRoy, born May 14, 1885, a graduate of the Bennett Medical College in Chicago, with the class of 1906; he also attended one of the medical colleges at Indianapolis, and then began practicing medicine at Middletown, Vigo county, Indiana, but removed to Palatine, Illinois, in January, 1908; Goldie, born November 30, 1887, unmarried, a graduate of the high school in 1905; she is now attending Franklin College, from which she expects to graduate in 1909; Claudie, born in September, 1891, attending high school; Lola, born August 22, 1894, also in the high school. Mr. Drake and his family are members of the Baptist church.