JOSEPH DRAPER. In the eighty-fifth year of his life, Joseph Draper, whose home is in what is known as Scotts addition, and who is the owner of a section of land in Monroe Township, is one of the venerable old men of Madison County, has been a farmer, has grown many thousands of bushels of corn and wheat and other grain crops during his career, and his record is one of which his family and fellow citizens may well be proud, Joseph Draper was born December 18, 1828, in South Hampton, Virginia, the old Dominion state, a son of Thomas and Mary (Turner) Draper, Thomas Draper was also born in that section of Virginia, but his father, Ephraim Draper, came from England in colonial days, and located in Virginia, Thomas Draper, after all his children had been born in Virginia, moved out to Ohio, settling near Canton, and later moved to Rush County, Indiana, which was his home until his death, His ten children are mentioned as follows: Loren E., Ephraim W., John E., Thomas J., deceased; Joseph; Martha, Edna, Mary and Marcella, deceased; and Margaret, who lives in Hancock County, Indiana.
Joseph Draper when a boy came to Indiana, and had his education in the common schools during the days before the modern free school system was adopted in Indiana, He worked on the farm and remained with his father up to the age of thirty-one, He then farmed his father’s place for a while, was a renter and worked at wages, beginning at the lowest rung of the ladder of life, and finally got the start which enabled him in later years to acquire a generous prosperity.
In 1855 he married Nancy Ewing, now deceased and buried in Knightstown, Indiana, He came from Kentucky and lived in Rush County up to the time of his marriage. In 1858 Mr. Draper married Elizabeth Stephens, who was born in Rush County and is buried in the Baptist cemetery of that vicinity. She was the mother of one child, Isaac S. Draper, who died at the age of fourteen, On June 15, 1862, Joseph Draper married for his third wife Annie Siler, daughter Jacob and Elizabeth (Reddick) Siler, and her parents were among tie early settlers of Indiana, The four children of Joseph Draper and his third wife, are as follows: Mary E., who married Grant Stephenson, and has four children whose names are Effie, the wife of Roy Ladd; Lela, wife of Walter Jackson; Edith; and Mattie. Mrs. Effie Ladd has a child, Anna Kathlene, who is a great-grandchild of Joseph Draper, Martha, the second of the children, married William Blake, and is the mother of six children, Estel, Earl, Ernest, Anna, Minnie and “Little Joe,” Peter T. married Elizabeth Thurston, and their two children are Arthur and Joe, John Wesley married Minnie Fuller, and they have one child, Zoe, Mr. Draper and family worship in the Christian church, “Uncle Joe” and his dear old wife live in a comfortable residence in East Alexandria, enjoying the association of legions of friends. They are a peaceful and happy couple and are honored by all who know them.