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Bob Lind, Published December 01 2013

Neighbors: Hiram Drache traces family tree back through seven generations

Being 89 doesn’t slow Hiram Drache down.

He walks 45 minutes every morning and another 45 minutes every evening. He continues to crank out books.

Now, on top of that, he’s found time to compile his family tree through seven generations.

Hi Drache is well-known as a history teacher and writer. He was professor of history at Concordia College starting in 1952, then became Concordia’s historian-in-residence in 1991.

He’s long been in demand as a speaker, having spoken more than a thousand times to groups around the United States, Canada and the world.

He’s written 14 books. The two most recently published were the biography of R.D. “Ron” Offutt, prominent local businessman, and the story of Hi’s hometown of Meriden, Minn.

Now, out of his plaque-and-award-lined office in his and his wife Ada’s home in Fargo, he’s working on No. 15, which he describes as being “national in scope.”

With all that, when he got leads on who his ancestors were, he went to work and came up with family information dating from 1821 to the present.

For the record, here is the Drache family, past and present:

• Christopher Wilker, born in Germany in 1821.

• His daughter, Anna, born in 1857, was the first white child born in Meriden Township.

• Her daughter was Ida, born in 1877.

That’s one side of the family. Now to the other:

• Carl Drache was born in 1840 in Prussia.

• His son was Max Drache, born in Prussia in 1871. He married Ida, listed above.

• Max and Ida’s son was Paul Drache, born in 1899.

• Paul became the father of Hiram, who was born in 1924.

• One of Hiram and Ada’s sons is David, born in 1957.

• And David’s daughter (marking generation No. 7) is Anne, born in 1989.

David now lives in Roseville, Minn., while Anne lives in Duluth, Minn. Hiram and Ada have two other children, Kay of St. Louis Park, Minn., and Paul, Greeley, Colo., and seven grandchildren.

So there you have the Drache family through seven generations.

And Hi, No. 5 on this limb of the family tree, is still going strong, in all ways.

“My doctor told me, ‘I don’t know what you’re doing, but keep on doing it,’ ” Hi says. “I guess it’s because my wife feeds me so good.”

Whatever you’re feeding him, Ada, keep it up.


If you have an item of interest for this column, mail it to Neighbors, The Forum, Box 2020, Fargo, ND 58107; fax it to (701) 241-5487; or email blind@forumcomm.com