George Albert Draper

     George Albert Draper, son of George and Hannah Brown (Thwing) Draper, was born November 4,
    1855, at Hopedale, Massachusetts. His early schooling was attained in private schools, and was
    effectively supplemented by his father's instructions in preparation for the part he was destined to play
    in the noted Draper firm. At the age of seventeen years he entered the Massachusetts Institute of
    Technology where he studied for two years. When he was twenty he entered the office of the Draper
    Company, remaining as a member of the office force for one year. Young Mr. Draper then assumed
    the difficult role of selling agent for the firm, continuing on the road for two years. He augmented this
    experience and training by giving his attention to the financial side of the business, and at the age of
    thirty-two, in 1887, he became treasurer of the Hopedale Machine Company. Nine years later he was
    made treasurer of the Draper Company, and he held this post until death, having been elected
    treasurer of the Draper Corporation when the reorganization took place in November 1916.

     To the great Draper firm, George Albert Draper brought one of the keenest intellects in the textile
    world. With painstaking accuracy he had familiarized himself with all the details of the business, and
    much of its success may in a large measure be attributed to his knowledge of the industry, and his
    exceptional executive gifts. The Draper firm is a leader in the manufacturing of textile machines, and to
    its growth and success Mr. Draper was deeply devoted, his interest centering in the supervision of the
    manufacturing department.

     Besides his office of treasurer in the Draper Corporation, Mr. George A. Draper held many other
    positions of executive responsibility He was president of the Grafton and Upton Railroad, and of the
    Harmony Mills; director in the Milford National Bank, First National Bank of Boston, Brogon Cotton
    Mills Company, of Anderson, North Carolina, and of the Calhoun Cotton Mills of Calhoun, North
    Carolina. These last two connections indicate his active interest in the textile development of the
    South, in which he made substantial investments.

     Mr. Draper was for many years a member of the Republican State Central Committee of
    Massachusetts. For two years he served as president of the Home Market Club, founded by his father,
    one of the strongest and most influential protective associations in New England.

     George Albert Draper was known as a generous and charitable man, a contributor to many public
    enterprises. Together with his brother, the late Governor Eben S. Draper, he gave to Hopedale the
    present Unitarian Church in memory of their parents. He sustained the generous policies of his
    house in regard to their employees, He was one of the trustees of the Children's Hospital which
    benefited by his executive ability and by his generosity. The imposing Community House was
    constructed at Mr. Draper's expense as a memorial to Mrs. Draper and given to the people of
    Hopedale. He was very fond of art and poetry, familiar with the classics, and possessed an esthetic

     Mr. Draper was affiliated with many Boston social clubs, and was a patron and a guarantor of the
    Boston Opera Company, and the Chicago Opera Company.

     It was Mr. Draper's custom to spend his winters at his Boston residence, at 297 Commonwealth
    Avenue. At such times he kept in close touch with the affairs of the Draper Corporation by his daily
    visits to Hopedale. Although in somewhat delicate health after an operation in 1922, he felt strong
    enough to make plans, a few weeks preceding his death, for a trip abroad with his daughter, Helen, a
    journey which was to take four months. His sudden end at the Phillips House, private wing of the
    Massachusetts General Hospital, was a great shock to his family, and to the people of his beloved
    town, Hopedale, where no man was held in more grateful esteem.

     Died at Boston, Massachusetts, February 7, 1923.

     Married at Wickliffe Place, Lexington, Kentucky, November 6, 1 890, Jessie Fremont Preston, who
    was born December 12, 1855, died at Boston, Massachusetts, February 11, 1917, daughter of Major
    General William and Margaret Howard (Wickliffe) Preston.


     1. Wickliffe Preston Draper, born at Hopedale, August 9, 1891; was graduated from Harvard, B.A., in
    1913; at outbreak of World War I volunteered in British Army September, 1914; became first lieutenant,
    1st Brigade, Royal Field Artillery; served at Salonica in 1916, Messines and Ypres in 1917; wounded
    July 4, 1917; resigned from British Army and returning to the United States became captain in the
    United States Field Artillery; was honorably discharged in December 1918; served as a lieutenant
    colonel in the United States Army during World War II.

     2.   Jessie Preston Draper, born December 25, 1892; died at Narragansett Pier, Rhode Island,
    August 12, 1894.

     3.   Helen Howard Draper, born August 12, 1895; died at Dover, Massachusetts, July 27, 1933;
    married, first, February 10, 1917, Wallbridge Taft [a nephew of President William Howard Taft ];
    married, second, May 24, 1924, Nathaniel F. Ayer, who died July 24, 1948.
    Draper, Preston and Allied Family Histories, pp. 30 - 41

                 Draper Tombs, Hopedale Village Cemetery                      Draper Menu                        HOME   

    Mrs. Helen Draper Ayer of Massachusetts and later of California created a trust fund, The Draper
    Foundation, in memory of her Kentucky-born mother, Mrs. Jessie Preston Draper. She gave Berea
    $200,000 from this fund with the stipulation the money should be used to aid in educating students
    from Appalachia. Other gifts, including $50,000 given in memory of Henry C. Munger by his sister,
    brought the total to $340,000, with which this colonial-style structure was built in 1938 (modeled after
    Independence Hall in Philadelphia).

    It contains 24 classrooms and offices for teachers, reading rooms, campus ministry and the audio-
    visual aids department. A large projection room and a complete, electronically equipped language
    laboratory also are located at Draper.

    In June 2000, renovation began on the Draper Building tower for the installation of a 56-bell Carillon.
    The carillon is an instrument consisting of bells that can be played like a piano or organ. The musical
    instrument weighs 11 tons. The Berea College Carillon is the largest in Kentucky. http://www.berea.

    This paragraph below on George and Jessie's two children,
    Wickliffe and Helen, is from a book about Wickliffe, The
    Funding of Scientific Racism by William H. Tucker.

Schenectady Gazette - June 3, 1930

Nashua (NH) Telegraph

September 9, 1930

    By the early twentieth century, and possibly a bit before that, the Drapers spent much of
    each year living in Boston. Summers were spent in Hopedale and in various resorts.

    The above is from the 1886 Assessors' report. Mr. Draper was 31 at the time. By
    the time he died in 1923, the list of his assets would have been much longer.

    Below - The interior of the George Albert and
    Jessie Preston Draper home in Hopedale.