Duncan Suzuki

Widgetized Section

Go to Admin » Appearance » Widgets » and move Gabfire Widget: Social into that MastheadOverlay zone

Draper knew his history

Judge John S. Draper was born in Draper’s Valley at the old Draper family homestead on the south side of Draper’s Mountain, a few miles south of the Pulaski County line.
The Draper farm had been in the family since the late 1700s, when an earlier John Draper brought his wife Bettie there after her return from seven or eight years in Indian captivity, following the Draper’s Meadow Indian Massacre in 1755.
In the massacre, Shawnee Indians moved into the small settlement of Draper’s Meadows near what is now a part of the Virginia Tech campus.
They killed Col. James Patton, Mrs. George Draper (Eleanor), Bettie Draper’s baby, and others.
Bettie and her sister-in-law were taken captive by the Indians and had to accompany the Shawnee Indians back to their home in Ohio, where Bettie and Mary were made to work for their captors.
Mary escaped after a few months, but Bettie had been sold as a slave to a family and remained a captive for many years until her husband finally found her and ransomed her and brought her back to the New River Valley.
John and Bettie built a home on the south side of the mountain and raised a family.
John remained a family name for the Drapers until the subject of this story was born.
John S. Draper studied law and became a successful lawyer in Pulaski County.
He hung his first shingle on a small building he bought on Valley Street in Pulaski.
It read, “John S. Draper Law Office.”
John never changed his course, and, finally, in 1938, he was made a judge and served in that capacity until 1954.
John Draper, perhaps because of his interesting background, became quite a knowledgeable historian, especially history of the Civil War.
When The Southwest Times published a large centennial edition of that paper in 1939, the year of Pulaski County’s 100th birthday as a county, John Draper wrote a large part of the county history that was used in the paper.
The historical stories he wrote at that time have proven very accurate, and many historians have used his material in their writings.
For his part in producing that newspaper, Judge Draper deserved more praise than he ever received.
He was an officer in many clubs and organizations in Pulaski and was just an outstanding citizen in every way.
In his stories about Civil War military outfits, he listed thousands of area men and the outfits in which they served.
Besides his work in the legal profession, he played a big part in the development of the early Pulaski town and county.
The prominence of the Draper name in the area brought about the naming of the area of his family home being called Draper’s Valley, from the south side of Draper Mountain, westward into, and including much of Wythe County.
Also, the little village of Draper was finally given that name after they had tried a couple of other names that did not fit at all, one being Lucretia.
Judge Draper had a big part in the establishment of Claytor Dam and Lake by the Appalachian Power Company, and he was a principal speaker at the dedication of the dam.
In his younger days, Judge Draper was a lover of horses, horseshoes and anything having to do with the animals.
For many years, he showed horses in all of the local shows, and he helped organize several.
He was an excellent rider and took part in events at the shows that required great skill.
One that he was particularly good at was jousting, and he really liked that sport.
In reporting about Judge Draper’s great riding, Mr. E. P. Whitman, who was quite horseman himself, said the rider winning in jousting received a very special prize because he received the honor of crowning the Queen of the Fair.
Loyd Mathews is a retired land surveyor and a historian who lives in Pulaski.

Comments

comments

Draper knew his history

Judge John S. Draper was born in Draper’s Valley at the old Draper family homestead on the south side of Draper’s Mountain, a few miles south of the Pulaski County line.
The Draper farm had been in the family since the late 1700s, when an earlier John Draper brought his wife Bettie there after her return from seven or eight years in Indian captivity, following the Draper’s Meadow Indian Massacre in 1755.
In the massacre, Shawnee Indians moved into the small settlement of Draper’s Meadows near what is now a part of the Virginia Tech campus.
They killed Col. James Patton, Mrs. George Draper (Eleanor), Bettie Draper’s baby, and others.
Bettie and her sister-in-law were taken captive by the Indians and had to accompany the Shawnee Indians back to their home in Ohio, where Bettie and Mary were made to work for their captors.
Mary escaped after a few months, but Bettie had been sold as a slave to a family and remained a captive for many years until her husband finally found her and ransomed her and brought her back to the New River Valley.
John and Bettie built a home on the south side of the mountain and raised a family.
John remained a family name for the Drapers until the subject of this story was born.
John S. Draper studied law and became a successful lawyer in Pulaski County.
He hung his first shingle on a small building he bought on Valley Street in Pulaski.
It read, “John S. Draper Law Office.”
John never changed his course, and, finally, in 1938, he was made a judge and served in that capacity until 1954.
John Draper, perhaps because of his interesting background, became quite a knowledgeable historian, especially history of the Civil War.
When The Southwest Times published a large centennial edition of that paper in 1939, the year of Pulaski County’s 100th birthday as a county, John Draper wrote a large part of the county history that was used in the paper.
The historical stories he wrote at that time have proven very accurate, and many historians have used his material in their writings.
For his part in producing that newspaper, Judge Draper deserved more praise than he ever received.
He was an officer in many clubs and organizations in Pulaski and was just an outstanding citizen in every way.
In his stories about Civil War military outfits, he listed thousands of area men and the outfits in which they served.
Besides his work in the legal profession, he played a big part in the development of the early Pulaski town and county.
The prominence of the Draper name in the area brought about the naming of the area of his family home being called Draper’s Valley, from the south side of Draper Mountain, westward into, and including much of Wythe County.
Also, the little village of Draper was finally given that name after they had tried a couple of other names that did not fit at all, one being Lucretia.
Judge Draper had a big part in the establishment of Claytor Dam and Lake by the Appalachian Power Company, and he was a principal speaker at the dedication of the dam.
In his younger days, Judge Draper was a lover of horses, horseshoes and anything having to do with the animals.
For many years, he showed horses in all of the local shows, and he helped organize several.
He was an excellent rider and took part in events at the shows that required great skill.
One that he was particularly good at was jousting, and he really liked that sport.
In reporting about Judge Draper’s great riding, Mr. E. P. Whitman, who was quite horseman himself, said the rider winning in jousting received a very special prize because he received the honor of crowning the Queen of the Fair.
Loyd Mathews is a retired land surveyor and a historian who lives in Pulaski.

Comments

comments

You must be logged in to post a comment Login