By 1855, William and Mary had moved to Griffithsville, West Virginia, which at that time was in Cabell County, Virginia. The move to the westernmost edge of Virginia territory can be explained in part. During the mid 1850s several of Polly’s sisters began moving to Cabell County, and William and Polly appear to have joined them.
On 29 October 1854, William surveyed 100 acres of Commonwealth property on the waters of the Sycamore Fork, near the Sugar Tree Fork of the Mud River. What was then Cabell County, Virginia, near what would become Griffithsville. On 7 December 1855, William surveyed 200 acres of Commonwealth property at the mouth of the Sycamore Fork at the Sugar Tree Fork. This land was not adjacent to the first 100 acres, but it became the main home place.
On 3 June 1856, Henry A. Wise, governor of Virginia, granted the first 100 acres to William F. Draper. And on 1 July 1856, he granted William the 200 acre parcel. That year William surveyed two additional parcels. On 20 September 1856, he surveyed 37 acres adjacent to the 100 acre parcel, and a separate 33 acres in the general area of Sycamore Fork. On 1 August 1859, the governor granted these properties to William, amounting to a total of 370 acres.
In 1863, this part of Virginia became West Virginia, and in 1867 the portion of Cabell County containing Griffithsville became Lincoln County. By 1870 Polly’s parents and almost all of their children lived in the general area of Lincoln County, West Virginia, but William and most of his family had already moved to Texas.
William’s Civil War allegiance and activity is not yet confirmed. A William F. Draper was a sergeant in company C of the 10th Virginia Calvary, but there were also two William F. Drapers in the Illinois Infantry. Cabell County was the only Virginia county to abstain from joining the Confederacy, much like Winston County, AL. Whether or not William participated, his family stayed in the county throughout the war. Benjamin was born in 1860, and Susan was born in 1864.
In 1860 William claimed to own $500 in Cabell County real estate, and $140 in personal estate. In 1869 William sold his land in Griffithsville and moved his family to Cooke County, Texas, where he appears in the 1870 census in Precinct 2 as a farmer. It is not known why a farmer would choose to move to the southern state after the war. It doesn’t appear that other Goodes or Drapers ever moved to Texas. Samuel, William’s oldest son, appears to have stayed in West Virginia, or returned there early. Cooke County, Texas, sat on the Red River, bordering the Indian Territory of Oklahoma. The county is directly north of Fort Worth, and not far from Arkansas.
William stayed in Texas for ten years, and then moved his family in 1879 to Washington County, Arkansas, except for his second son, John Harrison, who moved home to West Virginia. The family’s activities over the next 20 years are sketchy, because the 1890 Federal Census no longer exists. The 1885 Arkansas State census does not list Drapers as residents of Arkansas, but on 16 Feb 1888, a William F. Draper purchased 40 acres in the land office at Harrison, AR. They simply may not have appeared in the state census. A Thomas Draper (the same name as the son who stayed in Arkansas) purchased 40 acres on 18 Aug 1891 from the same land office in Harrison). The family remaining in Arkansas would end up settling in the county of Benton, just north of Washington in the northwestern tip of the state.
William Franklin Draper died on 30 August 1896 and was buried in the Friendship Cemetery in Springdale, Washington County, Arkansas, but most of his family moved on to California, where his wife was located by 1900. William’s widow, Polly, is living with her youngest son, Robert, in Orange County, California. For the first time Polly says in the census she was born in West Virginia, but Robert still says Virginia. In 1910, Robert cannot be identified in the Federal Census, but Polly is found living with her oldest son, Samuel, in Los Angeles County, California. It is the last census in which Mary “Polly” Goode Draper appears before her death on 31 May 1916. Polly was buried in Springdale, Arkansas with her only husband.
By 1900, at least four of William Franklin’s children lived in California. The whereabouts of three others are unknown. Thomas remained in Arkansas, and John Harrison remained in West Virginia. Beyond the 1930 census, the movements of these related families and their descendants have not been traced.
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