Nelle Stake and sons

Nellie (Coffin) Stake and her sons Bob and Don, 1937 or 1939..

Nelle (Coffin) Stake and her sons Robert Benjamin (right) and birthday boy Donald Dale, 1937 (or 1939?).

This is a photograph that my Aunt Miriam has in her collection of her Aunt Nelle (Coffin) Stake, my great aunt, and her two sons Bob and Don on the occasion of Don’s birthday. Nelle, born in Nebraska in 1891, was the younger sister of my grandmother Jennie V. (Coffin) Fleagle. They and their sister Luella and brother Horace grew up in Genoa.

I believe I only met Aunt Nellie once. She married Earl Stake, a pharmacist, and they were both still alive when my dad drove us across the country in the early 1970s. Uncle Earl (my great uncle, technically) and Aunt Nellie lived in Lincoln if I recall correctly, and Earl had a drug store in Adams with a counter and soda fountain. Uncle Earl made sure we kids got a soda.

They were in their early eighties and Aunt Nellie had had a stroke by then; we visited her at their house but she was not able to engage with us much, and the drapes were drawn against the bright summer daylight outside. She died only a couple of years later. It makes me smile to see this image of her in earlier years when she was in her strength. – mdf

Image archive ID:

About the physical photograph:
Written on back:
Older handwriting: “return.”[in corner, maybe a request?]
“On Dons birthday
Dale C took this one”
Different ink: “Sept 12 1937” [It may say 1939]
Mim supplied info, Mardi wrote:
“Nell Stake & her 2 sons Bob & Don”


9 thoughts on “Nelle Stake and sons

  1. I recall we also made off with our first Indian head wooden nickels, and I distinctly remember a small plastic envelope for documents (like insurance policies use to come in ) that had Earl Stakes name and drug store printed on the flap.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Ben,
    I don’t remember the envelopes, but you were younger and probably still at that stage of fascination with “things to put other things in”. 🙂 I vaguely recall the wooden nickels; I think they were large like a silver dollar, no? I’ve “driven” down the main streets in Adams via Google Street View several times and can’t find the building that I remember as the drug store. I thought it was two stories tall with a false front, but I see only single story brick and stone edifices. I may be conflating my memory of the house in Lincoln with the store in Adams. If you have a recollection, Ben, please add some more notes. I had it on the south side of the street in the main part of town but I could be all wrong. Maybe one of the Stakes will visit the page someday and set the record straight for us.


  3. Hi Matt,
    Thank you for this little story! I am a great-granddaughter of Nelle and Earl, and a granddaughter of the little boy on the right. I was searching the internet tonight for more information or photos of my great-grandfather’s drug store, and found your article. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but sadly the drug store actually burned down sometime in the 90’s, after my Grandpa Earl died in 1989. I will ask my Grandpa Bob for more information soon. My dad told me that Nelle and Earl’s house was actually in Adams, as well. It was only a couple of blocks away from the drug store. In fact, my dad said that Grandpa Earl would park his car at the drug store because he had a garage there. The house should still be there, as far as we know. I hope to take a trip sometime to see it. I’ll try to find some pictures of the drugstore when I visit my grandparents. If I find any, I’ll let you know. 🙂

    Thanks again,
    Alison Stake

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Alison,
      I’m so glad you visited and commented. This is nothing short of amazing. Just one month ago I made the above comment to my brother, thinking that someday long years in the future one of you Stakes might see this and leave a comment, and presto! Here is a relative I have never met nor heard of signing in to fill in some of the missing pieces. Well, I’m very pleased to meet you, cousin Alison. In fact I’ve just recently written to Bob (he’d be my father’s first cousin, so my first cousin once removed, and if he’s your grandfather I guess that means you’re my second cousin once removed) because his name kept turning up in everything I’ve seen written about the Stake side of the family. He immediately wrote back a quick line saying he’d write soon. I sent him several of questions about your great great grandfather (my great grandfather) Joseph Russell “Pawnee Joe” Coffin and I think he knows the answers. Anyway, thanks for this wonderfully useful comment you’ve left, and please do check back with any other info you can share. If you have some photos scanned that you want to share of our common ancestors departed, please send them!
      All the best,


  4. Pingback: Postcard of Stake Drug Store, Adams, Nebraska | Fleagle Family History in Photos

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