"Too bad I can't get into an old ladies home." ; So wrote Ida Decker Drake in 1934 to her "dear little children." ; Ida had lived in many homes and flats in many places in the almost 60 years since she left the home of her widowed father, L.R. Decker in Mansfield, Tioga County, PA. ; On her wedding day in 1875. ; Ida married Emery G. Drake, M.D. on January 6th in Mansfield Borough, Richmond Township, Tioga Co., PA. ; Emery was a young surgeon who had attended The Mansfield Normal School and had worked at Dr. Elliott's Drug and Book Store in Mansfield. ; Rev. John D. Rockwell, Rector of St. Luke Church in Blossburg, Tioga Co., PA. ; officiated. ; The Mansfield Advertiser of Jan. 13, 1875 had these two clippings: ; "As will be seen under the proper heading, another of Mansfield's fair maids has entered in to a life partnership with a rising young physician of Blossburg,. ; We wish them a long life of peaceand happiness."
"Drake-Decker-In Mansfield, PA., Jan. 6, 1875 at the residence of the bride's father..."
Ida and her family were active in the Trinity EpiscopalChurch in the coal mining town of Antrim, Duncan Township, Tioga Co, PA. ; In the 1880's. ; The Trinity Church history records that Rev. Percy C. Webber of Tioga, Tioga Co. conducted a mission service for one week commencing on April 6, 1885. ; "The services aroused great interest among our people." ; Ida's husband, Emery, would be baptized during that week on April 10th. ; Later he would be a vestryman of the church. ; Flush times would follow for Ida as they moved on to Elmira and Utica, New York. ; Emery would send jewelers to their home with trays of diamonds for Ida to select from. ; But during his last years, Emery would be hard pressed for cash, leaving his widow with enough money to bury him but not to provide a headstone for his grave in Forest Hill Cemetery in Utica, N.Y. ; This would be a difficult life for her as well as herfamily as can be seen in the remarks of her son John in a 1917 letter:
"I"m not kicking with the fact that I will probably have to support her, but you people can do your share by keeping her cheered up."
; ; ; Ida would live with her daughter in Spokane, Washington in the early 1920's. ; She wrote: ; "We went to a wonderful movie house and saw 'The Old Homestead'. ; An orchestra of fifty pieces came and played. ; It was fine and we enjoyed it. ; After a train visit to her son Ambrose in Cleveland, she would write: ; "It seemed good to have someone look after my comfort and make it easier for me as I usually have to paddle my own canoe." ; Later: ; "You dear people have spoiled me. ; I never had anyone as good to me as Lillie (Ambrose's wife) was. ; It was the first time since my mother died that a woman has waited on me except a nurse."
; ; ; After the break-up of Maude's marriage, they moved to Elmira, N.Y. ; Between her illness and her granddaugher's she would write that her son never wrote her anymore but sends money nearly every month. ; "He missed May and September which made it somewhat hard for me. ; Maude cannot help me but I can do it-just so long as he remembers me. ; He has been good to me and I must not complain.
; ; ; Ida kept in touch with her family in Mansfield over the years. ; Several times she mentions the illness of her brother Ambrose and her visits to see him. ; His widow invited her to make her home with her in Mansfield but she did not accept.
; ; ; Her visits to Cleveland would increase as she moved on to Elmhurst, Long Island with her daughter and granddaughter. ; She would protest that she would come at Xmas "if your neighbor will let you take her cot-bed again. ; I want to sleep on it. ; I will pay for what I eat so as not to make any expense for you." ; Then later-"I wish to go to you dear people for a little time if only you would let mesleep on the davenport."
; ; In 1927 Ida would write that she, her daughter and granddaughter had pooled thier money to send $15 to her son's 'dear little family'. ; "I want to think ; of you all enjoying a dinner I have helped to pay for and children like to say they have had turkey too when they hear others speak of it." ; There would be boxes exchanged by mail over the years. ; In 1924, she said: ; "the bloomers are perfectly lovely and just what I needed-the ones I had were really worn out." ; The depression years were coming-stock markets breaking up and also marriages. ; Her granddaughter's husband "resents her (dranddaughter)staying with us and makes it very unpleasant for us all when he comes home."
; ; ; 1933-"Prosperity is still hiding aroundher-Long Isand City. ; The banks have not opened yet. ; Mrs. Saterlee has not been able to keep Maude's salary paid up. ; If we can keepour rooms and have enough to eat we ought not to complain."
; ; ; 1933-"Today I sent a box in its wayto you-a coat and some dresses. ; I might have hung them on me and gone on the street and sold them from house to house as I saw a man doing. ; I know I could have done quite a business. ; We are hoping every day we will hear the bank with Maude's money is going to open. ; John said they lost everything they had. ; Maude wants to get away from here but feels she cannot do it while I'm here."
; ; ; 1934-"Jackie-grandson in Cleveland-began looking for any loose boards laying around to fix my litte house." ;(There was a storage shed behind my grandfather's house).
; ; Ida would spend her last years living in my grandfather's small house in Cleveland. ; She would keep her hands and mind busy sewing, doing crosswords, and always writing letters with "a heart full of love to each dear one. Mother Ami."
; ; ; Ida's father, a furniture make, would take a different path form
his daughter. ; He would live many years away from his first family in
Titusville, Florida until his death in 1913. ; Ida would live with her
daughter, Maude (1880-197-) and son Ambrose (1889-1981)after the death
of her husband in 1916 until her death in 1945.
Note from JMT - Ida also was a graduate of Mansfield State Normal School in 1873