Jonathan Fairbanks and Clyde Edwin Tuck

Past and Present of Greene County, Missouri

Early and Recent History and Genealogical Records
of Many of the Representative Citizens


JOSEPH NEWBERRY DRAPER. The life of a gardener is in many respects an enviable one, and as a rule the men engaged in this vocation are peaceable, helpful, pleasant citizens, not given to worry and many of the ills of the flesh of their fellow-men who are engaged in other lines of business. To the contemplative mind the reason is apparent. The closer to Nature one lives, the healthier and happier one will be. This statement can not be successfully refuted and is held by the world's best philosophers, physicians and thinkers in all lines, from the days of Aristotle and Homer to the present time. The gardener has little to antagonize him, to chafe and annoy him in growing his products. He takes a delight in seeing his plants develop, likes to smell the fresh mould and feel the heat of the sun, to breathe the fresh air. He thinks broader thoughts, purer thoughts. He can not well think any other kind.

One of the best known and most successful gardeners in Greene county is Joseph Newberry Draper, whose, splendid greenhouses are located in the southern part of Springfield. He hails from an old English home, having been born on the "merry isle" on July 13, 1866. He is a son of John Draper and wife, natives of England, where they grew up, were educated and married. Joseph N., of this sketch, came to the United States when he was a child, with Charles and Elizabeth Draper, his uncle and aunt, locating in Greene county, Missouri, about thirty-one years ago, and here our subject grew to manhood and received his education in the public schools under Prof. J. Fairbanks. However, his opportunities along this line were not as adequate as he would have liked.

Mr. Draper was married, November 23, 1892, to Bertha Bemiss, who was born in Macon county, Missouri, June 22, 1868, and she grew to womanhood in her native state and received a common school education.

Two children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Draper, namely: Harold, born October 8, 1893, is living at home, and Ruth Inez, born June 15, 1907, is attending school.

Mr. Draper turned his attention to the gardening business when a young man and this he has continued to follow to the present time and has been very successful and is now one of the best known and most extensive vegetable growers in this section of the state and owns the largest greenhouses in the county, which are located on South Evans street and are modern in every respect, steam heated from his own large heating plant, and all other equipment found in the best greenhouses; the ones he operates cover about an acre of ground. He makes a specialty of raising lettuce and other vegetables, and also operates about twelve acres besides his greenhouses. He uses an auto-truck with which he delivers his fresh vegetables to market over the city every morning. He has been very successful from a financial standpoint and owns a good home near his greenhouses.

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