Death of Albert Ake and some Ake family rememberances
T Hfi fetiATli 5«« ALBERT AKfi, a, native &t wsbdbufy tdwnship, has been ehWhieled ;lft the hews columns columns of thl* ftewspapef. While ft child he Attended the public schools of Wllilamsbur/jr, but lived In this city many years preceding; hi* death. His father, Simon Ake, WAS a very familiar familiar figure in Wllllamsbufg In the last half of the nineteenth. century. T have already mentioned some of the elder gentleman's peculiarities, in spite of those peculiarities—perhaps because of them—t was fond of frequenting frequenting his store Ih my boyhood, especially If 1 had a spare penny. Albert Ake, who ha*. Just passed away, was younger than the Saunterer, who wan much better acquainted with his elder brother* CSeorge. Although he resided in this city for/ many years yet for some reason he a'nd the Saun- terer seldom came Into contact with each other. One of his sons, who Inherited Inherited certain bf his"- grandfather's peculiarities, entered the ministry but passed a.way while still Comparatively young. The Sauntefef was but'sllght- y acquainted with the young minister, their paths seldom crossing' the same orbit. One reason why I haunted Simon Ake's store In my boyhood must be ascribed to my relish for ft. certain irand of horehound candy which he pt concealed under his .counter and only revealed to favored customers. Dnu day when I went there for candy he suddenly revealed this particular brand and thenceforward all my spare pennies Went into his money drawer in exchange for that peculiar brand of horehound. I never could Imagine why he made me one of his favored patrons, for my purchases seldom Involved the expenditure of more than a penny or two. Tn spile of. his severe language toward toward some would-be patrons and his general plainness of speech, there was something about this singular man which attracted me and won my regard. regard. That fact, materially, assisted, by the virtue of that special brand of horehound horehound tie sold me, tied me to him and I visited his store as frequently-as I- thought I might without making my presence obnoxious. In course of time we became great friends and he condescended to chat with me about various matters and thing whenever whenever he wasn't busy. • The generation of Akes concerned In world affairs during the boyhood of the Saunterer vanished long ago. Across the river lived William H. Ake, a very reticent man, so far afl my boyhood experience recalls him. J. Sny'der Ake, his brother, a very lively' citizen, lived on his farm, . a short distance west of town. He was a. v.ery active politician' of the Democratic Democratic party and often presided at Democratic mass meetings. He was also an uct'lve Methodist and for many, years taught the adults Bible class in the Methodist Sundy -school. The third brother, Henry L. Ake, was a merchant living in the town of Willlamsburg. The Saunterer cher- i ishes the most grateful memories of this member of the Ake family. He. was one of the-J-few residents of the town who subscribed to a da.ily paper.' During the period of good weather he had the habit of sitting in front of his store reading to whatever auditors chose to listen. A bench had been provided for their convenience and the embryo Saunterer was a rather constant constant member of the party. The Philadelphia Age, successor to the Pennsylvanian, predecessor of the Times, was the Journal from which' he, read. There was another and -younger member of this branch of the Ake family with whom the boy, who became became the Sa.unterer, was never acquainted, acquainted, although he knew him by sight. He bore the name of Martin Van Buren. A few years older than the Saunterer, he spent several years away from home, completing his education. education. Soon after his graduation he returned to his home town, married Miss Kate Neff, daughter of John K. Neff, one of the town's leading citizens, and forthwith went west, to Iowa, I think. These brothers have ii.ll gone, although a few of their children children still survive, I never knew whether Simon Ake was related to the four Ake brothers of whom I have Just been speaking. Or if I ever did I have forgotten it completely. At all events he did not resemble them in any respect. They w.ere all active members of the Methodist church and quite regular in their attendance. He may have been a Presbyterian. Or he may have been an outsider. And I am quite certain that he never belonged to the Democratic Democratic party. He was an original genius, going his own wa.y, and cherishing cherishing no regard for the views of others others if they disagreed with him. I think I have told of the rage Into which I fell while still a young man and acting as a court reporter when I heard twelve citizens of Woodberry to-wnship—o( which the town of Wil- llamsburg was then a part—swear in presence of the court and a Jury that they would not believe Henry L. Ake under oath in a case in which he had a personal interest. He has always been one of the great men of my life for he was kind and helpful to me When I needed Just such friends as he proved to be. W, H, S.