Draper Feud Carried on in Business War
Son of Late General Erects Plant to Compete with Late Governor's Son
The feud between the late Governor Eben S. Draper and his brother, the late General William
F. Draper, former congressman and ambassador to the court of Italy, has been revived and
carried on by the second generation.
By the latest development of the case, the town of Milford enjoys a retaliation for the separation
of the town of Hopedale some two score years ago.
The present war is being waged between Clare, the son of General Draper, and B. H. Bristow
Draper, son of the late chief executive, the latter being identified with his remaining uncle,
George Albert, in the original plant of the Draper company, regarded as the largest manufacturer
of cotton mill machinery in the country.
After competing in a small way through the operation of the Hopedale Manufacturing Company
for several years, Clare has finally decided to wage active war and is erecting a large plant in
Milford, just across the line from Hopedale where products directly competing with the Draper
company's output will be manufactured.
Milford business men, spurred on by the opportunity to equalize matters with their smaller rival
town as well as by the increased industry made possible by the acquisition of a factory
employing 200 skilled workmen, raised about $32,000 for the purchase of the lot on which the
factory will be erected.
This lot is situated at the end of Mechanic street in Milford and is convenient to freight and
express facilities. Construction work has already started, and it is expected that occupancy will
be effected early in September.
The Hopedale Manufacturing Company, of which Clare Draper is treasurer, and two former
employees of the Draper Company, Jonas Northrop and F. C. Norcross are president and
secretary, respectively, has manufactured automatic attachments for looms since its
organization several years ago by General Draper, after he had been ousted from active control
of the company while in Europe.
Recently, several important patents have been granted to the Hopedale Company, while other
patents formerly controlled by the Draper Company have expired and machinery based on their
specifications will also be manufactured by the Hopedale Company. The new plant will
specialize particularly on automatic attachments converting present types to the automatic
variety, while appliances built on similar specifications to the product of the Draper Company will
be offered in the market side by side with those of the parent firm.
Political matters were the original cause of the rupture between the two brothers, which
became so acrid that when General Draper died at Washington and was buried in Hopedale,
his brother, then Governor of Massachusetts, was refused admission to either the beautiful
Washington home or the funeral services of the dead veteran and diplomat.
While the general was representing his government at the Italian Court, where it was said that
the jewels worn by his wife outshone those of the Queen, he was voted out of the presidency of
the Draper Company by the directors, although retaining his stock in the company. Upon his
return, he formed the Hopedale Manufacturing Company, manufacturing products upon which
he personally controlled the patent rights.
Later his brother sought political preferment and was elected Lieutenant-Governor, and later
Governor, of the Commonwealth. Despite their high standing in Republican party circles, the
brothers never consulted each other and remained aloof. This acrimony was carried to the
death of the elder brother.
Neither the name of the paper nor the date were on the clipping this article was taken from.
Ads on the opposite side suggest it was probably a Boston paper. The second paragraph
mentions the separation from Milford " two score years ago." That would make it 1926, although
it evidently meant roughly, not exactly, two score, because the article indicates that George
Albert Draper was still living and he died in 1923.
This article was copied as written in the paper. Capitalization rules have changed over the
years, as seen with "Republican party" and "Mechanic street."
Hopedale Manufacturing Company End of the feud
Eben Draper's lengthy account of the feud
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