Elkanah Brammer Draper

Death of One of Henry's Prominent Citizens

     Mr. Elkanah B. Draper, one of Henry's best known citizens, died at the home of his son-in-law R. A. Prunty, on last Monday morning at 2 o'clock of paralysis, from which he had suffered for the past three years. He was in his 76th year and few men in this section were better known for their sterling qualities of integrity, kindness of heart and hospitality. Mr. Draper was a consistent member of the Primitive Baptist church and died strong in the faith. His remains were interred at the old family burying ground on Leatherwood. The funeral services were conducted by Elders Z. T. Turner and William Minter.
Mr. Draper is survived by four children. One son, Mr. M. E. Draper, of Dyer's Store, and three daughters, Mrs. R. A. Prunty, of Martinsville, and Mesdames Peter Prilliman and Robert McMillen, of Dyer's Store.

(from a newsclipping kept in the family bible of Eliza Draper Prillaman)

A memoriam for E. B. Draper by Z. T. Turner

    With sadness I attempt to chronicle the death of our beloved brother, who was born in Henry County, Virginia, May 20, 1827, and died November 10, 1902, making his stay on earth 75 years, 10 months and 20 days.
     Brother Draper was reared by pious Christian parents, who were members of the Primitive Baptist church. He was united in marraige to Miss Polly Eggleton the 11th of September, 1855. Of this union were born four children, three daughters and one son, who yet survive him. Brother Draper was considered a model man from youth up; he was looked upon as being strictly an honest, sober and industrious man, a faithful husband and kind father, a good neighbor and citizen. He was stricken with paralysis May 13, 1902, and from then until his death he was not able to even sit up any more. Brother Draper did not profess a hope in Christ until a short time before his death he became deeply concerned in regard to his soul's salvation. On June 26 Bro. W. S. Minter and myself were specially invited to hold services for his benefit at the home of his son-in-law, Mr. Robert McMillon, and after preaching, a door was opened for the reception of members, and he related a gospel experience, dating his deliverance from sin back about two months. He was heartily received into the fellowship of the many brethren and sisters present. He had the greatest desire to be baptized, and immediately after services were over he was carried to the water on a bed, then placed in a chair, and by the assistance of Brethren M. E. Minter and W. S. Minter, Jr., was baptized by the humble writer. Then we all repaired to the house and I asked the dear old brother if he felt much worried. He answered, "Oh! no, Brother Turner; this is the happiest day I ever saw," and also said to me if I could only know how he felt I would rejoice with him. He bore his afflictions with great patience and fortitude, and said that God was just and all He did was right. He said he hoped that all his sufferings would be on earth, and after death to be at rest. About three weeks previous to his death he seemed quite anxious to be carried to Martinsville to spend a while with his son-in-law and daughter, Mr. and Mrs. Robert Prunty, which request was complied with by tender and loving children. He reached there safely and the trip seemed not to worry him very much, but soon after he had another stroke of paralysis and grew worse until the end.
     If loving hearts and willing hands and a kind physician could have turned aside the shaft of death, Brother Draper would yet be in our midst, but his time had come and the will of the Lord must be done. Let me say to his children, remember his good example; let not his worthy counsel and advice fade from your memory. Dear wife and children, may the God of all grace work in you and us a spirit of resignation and enable us to trust Him, for He has promised to be a husband to the widow and a father to the fatherless. You all nursed him so faithfully and tenderly! My prayer is you may reap your reward and be saved with an everlasting salvation in the Lord.
     Brother Draper's funeral was preached at his home by Elder W. S. Minter and myself, in the presence of a large concourse of sorrowing relatives and friends after which the body was laid to rest in the family burying ground. May beams of light shine on our dark and sorrowful way, and guide us all to that heavenly home, is my humble prayer.

(from a clipping kept in the family bible of Eliza Draper Prillaman)