Deceased Brethren

Samuel Drake (1838-1912) was Worshipful Master of Ashlar Lodge, No.3 in 1877, 1878 and 1884.

Here is some basic information about him from Ashlar Lodge, No.3 records:

W.B. Samuel Drake (1838-1912), circa 1880
W.B. Samuel Drake (1838-1912), circa 1880 (Photo copyright Ashlar Lodge, No.3)

Here is a brief biography of W.Bro. Samuel Drake (1838-1912) taken from his obituary in the Nanaimo Free Press and notes in the Nanaimo Community Archives files:

“Samuel Drake – Sheriff and jailer 1838-1912

Obituary – Nanaimo Free Press – April, 1912

Samuel Drake for the last twenty years associated with the responsible role of Sheriff and jailer of Nanaimo. One of British Columbia’s pioneers and the forty years spent in this province have been varied in activity and results but have culminated in universal respect and esteem among his fellow men and a gratifying degree of prosperity. During the early years he was connected with a half dozen different enterprises in the Northwest country and his energy & resolution never flagged and his career as a whole has been unusually successful & useful.

Born in Devonshire, England, June 18, 1838, his parents Samuel & Maria (Richards). His first occupation was working a copper mine in Devon.

He emigrated to Michigan U.S.A. at the age of twenty to the copper mines.

1861 to California – quicksilver mining.

1862 departed for the Fraser Valley Gold Rush. he landed in the struggling town of Victoria and worked in the Sooke copper mines. In the Cariboo he worked on the Trutch contract from Chapman’s bar to Boston Bar on the Fraser River and in the summer was foreman of road construction.

1864 bought in the Watson Claim on William’s Creek but after four years became involved in a lawsuit with unfortunate financial results……

1872 returned to Nanaimo and worked in the Douglas pit mining coal.

1878 became guard of convicts in Nanaimo jail.

1885 – Advanced to position of assistant jailer and assistant sheriff and somewhat later appointed jailer and sheriff and held the office until 1910 always serving with marked efficiency and giving an administration of unusual satisfaction in this difficult and responsible office.

1873 was united in marriage with Rhoda Malpass, daughter of Mr. John Malpass. They had eleven children, eight daughters and two sons. (Note: that’s only ten; we’ll look for clarification on this point) Resided at Needham Street, Nanaimo.

The deceased was a trustee of Ashlar Lodge A.F. & A.M.

The late Samuel Drake esteemed and respected in every phase of his career, was a man of many parts and a singular sociable disposition. A delightful companion, his conversation befitting one who experienced earlier in life the whips of fortune was intersperced (sic) with flashes of rugged philosophy enlivened with gleams of good sound humour. A man of fine and commanding presence, he was a familiar and striking figure in the Supreme and Provincial County Courts, his personality being such as to readily command attention.

He was a passionate exponent of music, few instruments he had not mastered. In brass, he excelled in the cornet, being a member of the first brass band formed in 1873. Also a bassoon player with the Nanaimo Symphony Orchestra.”

Source:  Nanaimo Free Press and Nanaimo Community Archives files.

Samuel Drake and family, circa 1910
Samuel Drake and family, circa 1910 (Courtesy of Nanaimo Community Archives)

Samuel Drake is buried with his wife Rhoda (nee Malpass) in Bowen Road Cemetery, Nanaimo, B.C.

Samuel Drake grave, Bowen Road Cemetery, Nanaimo, B.C.
Samuel Drake grave, Bowen Road Cemetery, Nanaimo, B.C. (photo by Ashlar Lodge No. 3 Historian)
Samuel Drake grave marker, Bowen Road Cemetery, Nanaimo, B.C.
Samuel Drake grave marker, Bowen Road Cemetery, Nanaimo, B.C. (photo by Ashlar Lodge No. 3 Historian)

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