A painter of landscapes and a minister, George Burton Drake was born August 3, 1870, in Eagle, New York. An only child after the death of his brother, he was enlisted early on to assist his father, whose injury during fighting the Civil War left him without the use of his right arm. He took up painting while a student at Pike Academy, and learned working in oil, watercolor, as well as pencil sketching. Drake was also a gifted carpenter and tinsmith. He attended Ridgeville College in Indiana, where he met his future wife. They married in 1891, and Drake pursued a career as a minister. His wife died in 1893, and in 1894 he moved to South Wardsboro, Vermont, to work as a congregational aide. Here he met his second wife to be, and together they moved to New York State to take care of his ailing father, and then to Kansas and Western Grove, Illinois, where he served as minister of the Old Orchard Church.
He typically signed his art work as GB Drake, often using accentuated vertical strokes in the signature. His landscapes usually depict an individual in a serene setting.
Wikipedia biography by Don Navaro based on a phone interview with grandson, Professor Richard Drake, on Wednesday, July 26th, 2006.
Drake family tree and 14 pages of genealogical information provided by Grinnell College Libraries, Special Collections and Archives