I found these old pictures in a book at my mom's house - and all I could do was take photos of them. But I'm a part of their legacy and their amazing stories, which accompany each photo.
"We're pilgrims on the journey of the narrow road and those who've gone before us line the way. Cheering on the faithful, encouraging the weary,... their lives a stirring testament to God's sustaining grace. Oh, may all who come behind us, FIND US FAITHFUL."
The Drakes of Drake's Creek, Arkansas all began with Wilson Eubanks Drake (1847-1917). He came to the area as a Baptist preacher and returned by horseback to Philadelphia with funds to receive the Drake's Creek Church’s charter. He believed in dreams and signs, and they saved his life! On the church charter trip, he was invited to spend the night at a family farm on the way East. During ...the night, a “small light” kept enticing him to leave the house, so he followed its urging. When he told the local authorities the next day about the odd feeling that had overcome him, they found out that those people on the farm had been housing travelers, killing and burying them, and keeping their money! So, “Brother Wilson’s” money and charter were saved by a sign from God!
The daughter of Wilson Drake, Hannah Esther Drake (bottom right - 1880-1981) lost the sight in her left eye when she was 8 years old. Since her preacher father was opposed to dancing, she sneaked out with an older married sister to attend a community dance while her father was away on a preaching trip! There she met a tall red-headed, ice-blue-eyed Scot named Burl McDougal (bottom left - 1873-19...49). (Burl was the son of William Alexander McDougal who had immigrated from Scotland and settled in the Arkansas Ozarks because he thought the land would grow apples, the seeds of which he’d carried through Ellis Island in the late 1800’s.) Three days after the dance, Burl rode his horse up to Preacher Drake’s home, asked if he could “court” Esther – and they married after 4 dates! Together they had 10 children – Ralph (who died at 3), Beulah, Sinia, Everett, Bertha (my grandmother), Reba, Opal (who died in her teens), Lorraine, and Hubert – all of whom I knew my entire life!
Granny Esther was one of my favorite people. She was quiet and reserved, but was always singing some old hymn in a high quavering voice. While I was in college, a professor heard me telling about her and took a tape recorder to her home at Drake’s Creek and put those recordings in the University of Arkansas’ heritage library. She bought a new blue hat and dress just to wear to my wedding! Larry and I took our baby daughter Amy to Granny Esther’s 101 birthday party, when this picture was taken. She held Amy and we took an all-female, fifth-generation photo!
Have a peaceful and restful Sunday.