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 Des Moines Register
Des Moines, Polk County, Iowa
February 11, 1958

An Iowa Family Tree in Full Bloom

The eight great-grandparents, four grand parents and two parents of 19-month-old Douglas (left) and 7-month-old Gregory Drake attended a family reunion last Sunday at Kellerton. Lloyd Drake, 22 is holding Douglas; his wife, Kay, 20, holds Gregory.

In the second row are the children's grandparents (at left): Velma Drake, 47, and husband Loren, 49; Cecil Allen, 47, and wife Lois, 44.

In third row are the children's great-grandparents (at left): H. E. Hailey, 72; his wife, Etta, 67; Henry Drake, 73, his wife Gertrude, 71; George Allen, 73, his wife, Ella, 73; and Willard Baker, 64, and his wife, Nora, 63.

2 Little Kellerton Boys See 8 Great-Grandparents
By Nick Lamberto (Register Writer)

KELLERTON, IA. -- Douglas and Gregory Drake have eight great-grandparents and four grandparents -- all living. Douglas, 19 months, and Gregory, 7 months, are sons of Lloyd, 22, and Kay Drake, 20.

The parents were hosts last Sunday for a gathering of the clan.

Four generations, in one family is not too unusual, but the odds of having all eight great-grandparents living, as well as all four grandparents and the parents, are thought to be so great that there would be few such cases in the entire United States.

The grandparents of Douglas and Gregory Drake are Loren Drake, 49, and his wife, Velma, 47, of near Kellerton, and Cecil Allen, 47, and his wife, Lois, 44, of near Shannon City.

Great-grandparents are H. E. Hailey, 72, and his wife, Etta, 67, of near Shannon City; Henry Drake, 73, and his wife, Gertrude, 71, of near Kellerton; George Allen, 73, and his wife, Ella, 73, of near Hatfield, Mo., and Willard Baker, 64, and his wife, Nora, 63, of near Diagonal.

All Farmers

All of the grandparents and great-grandparents are farmers. All are Iowa-born except Mrs. George Allen, who was born in Ohio, and Mrs. Willard Baker and Mrs. Cecil Allen, who were born in Missouri.

The Drake grandparents have been married 29 years; the Allen grandparents, 25 years. The Hailey great-grandparents have been married 48 years, the Drakes 51 years, the Allens 50 years and the Bakers 45 years.

The combined years of marriage for parents, grandparents and great-grandparents are 250. Those 250 years have produced 49 grandchildren and 28 great-grandchildren.

Only the youngest couple, the Lloyd Drakes, are not connected with farming. They lived in Kellerton and Drake drives an oil tank truck.

"It's a miracle to me that they're all so active," said Lloyd Drake. "I never saw Granddad Allen before. He's spry as a 40-year-old."

"Corn Bread and Beans"

Allen, 73, said his father died at 104. He attributes the longevity of the whole clan to "corn bread and beans."

The eldest Drake, Henry, 73, said an uncle of his was the first white child born in Monroe county. H. E. Hailey, 73, used horses on his farm until just recently.

"We all remember when there were no tractors," he said.

Transcriber's Notes: Willis "Henry" Drake was born February 15, 1885, Ringgold County, Iowa, and died October 10, 1964, Kellerton, Iowa. He was the son of Thomas Andrew Drake (1858 - 1945) and Dora Caroline (Landreth) Drake (1865 - 1942), both interred at Johnston Cemetery, Kellerton, Iowa. Henry married Mary "Gertrude" (Burns) Drake, who was born September 15, 1887, Ohio, and died August 9, 1975, Kellerton, Iowa. Henry and Gertrude were interred at Maple Row Cemetery, Kellerton, Iowa.

George E. Allen was born in 1885, and died in 1972. Ella M. Allen was born in 1884, and died in 1978. They were interred at Weaver Chapel Cemetery, Hatfield, Missouri.

H.E[rman]. Hailey was born in 1886, and died in 1980. H. B. married December 31, 1909 Etta B. (Shields) Hailey, the daughter of Westley Nolan Shields (1856 - 1927) and Catherine Prudence (Miller) Shields (1863 - 1928). Etta was born in 1890, and died in 1975. They were interred at Rose Hill Cemetery, Mount Ayr, Iowa.

Loren Russell Drake was born on July 8, 1909, Ringgold County, Iowa, and died August 29, 2011, Tingley, Iowa. Loren married August 15, 1929 Velma Juanita (Hailey) Drake, born November 1, 1910, Ringgold County, Iowa, and died in June of 1976, Mount Ayr, Iowa. They were interred at Rose Hill Cemetery, Mount Ayr, Iowa.

Cecil D. Allen was born in 1911, and died in 2002. Lois (Baker) Allen was born in 1914, and died in 2004. They were interred at Centenary Cemetery, Knowlton, Iowa.

Transcription by Sharon R. Becker, June of 2017


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