Hopedale History
    October 1, 2006
    No. 69
    Draper Strike

    Day in the Park this year (September 23) was a great success, in spite of threatening weather. The
    rain never amounted to much, and all of the vendors, booths and activities seemed to be busy. The
    Troop 1 Boy Scouts camped overnight in the park again, and Help! was excellent as in the past.

    Those of us on the Historical Commission and the Friends of Historic Hopedale are grateful to Tom
    McGovern (TWM Systems) for all he has been doing for the Red Shop restoration fund. All profits from
    Tom’s sales at Day in the Park, including the great Little Red Shop tee shirts he ordered and sold,
    went to the fund. Tom has My Kind of Town DVDs also to benefit the Shop

    Chenot Associates, architects for the Little Red Shop renovation project, are working on the "Scope of
    Work" and as soon as that is completed, the Town Administrator will be developing the RFP to go out
    to bid.  The expectation is to go out to bid before the end of the year.

    In 1918 you could have a pair of shoes “made to measure” at a place on the corner of Social and
    Dutcher streets, or have a tooth pulled at the Town Hall. Click here to see Hopedale business ads for
    1918 and 1927.


    Recently, Tootsie Deletti loaned me a book titled Milford, 1880 – 1930. It was published in 1930 as
    part of Milford’s celebration of its 150th anniversary. I copied most of the material relating to Hopedale
    and some other items as well. I’ve added it to the Hopedale history website, along with over thirty
    pictures of Milford (from old postcards, mainly from about 1900 to 1916). You can get to the first of four
    pages of this here. I didn’t have much on the website about the Draper strike in 1913, so I was happy
    to find what I did in the book. Here’s a shortened version of it. If you’d like to read the whole thing,
    (about 1,600 words) click here.

                                                The Draper Strike of 1913

    March 22 – Threats of I.W.W. (Industrial Workers of the World) strikes in Hopedale and at Milford Iron
    Foundry, since the visit of Joe Ettor and Arturo Giovanniti, leaders of Lawrence strike.

    April 1 – I.W.W. strike at Draper Co. plant started. The Milford men assembled in Lincoln Square,
    marched to Hopedale and made a noisy demonstration. They tried to dissuade by force employees
    from entering the works but were unsuccessful as Hopedale Chief Samuel E. Kellogg had a large
    force of officers, armed with baseball bats, guarding the entrance to the plant.

    The men returned to Milford to Driving Park Hall for a meeting, about 600 being in the crowd.

    Worcester, Boston, Clinton and South Framingham policemen with State Police, under command of
    Capt. Proctor, and Worcester County Deputy Sheriffs, came upon the scene. Hopedale swore in
    several special policemen. Milford is in the most uncomfortable situation in its history.

    April 2 – The first clash of strikers and police occurred this morning when strikers resisted efforts of
    police to take baseball bats from them.

    April 8 – Twenty-three members of Metropolitan Police arrived in Milford for duty during I.W.W. strike.
    Women and children paraded through the streets of Milford to Hopedale, carrying many placards.
    Milford and Hopedale were heavily guarded by police.

    April 10 – Milford Board of Trade adopts resolution asking selectmen to refuse use of Town Hall to
    strikers because of labor unrest.

    April 10 – Four unknown men fired several shots into a Hopkinton-bound car of the M. & U. Street
    Railway Co. The car contained employees of Draper Co. The only person wounded was George
    Davis, of Hopedale, hit in fleshy portion of hip by 32-caliber bullet.

    April 14 – After the parade to Hopedale this morning strikers marched to Greene Bros, heel
    manufactory, [in Milford] and urged the employees to leave their work. There were 50 girls from Greene
    Bros. and 25 at Lapworth’s [Milford, also] who quit work. There were 428 men in the morning parade.

    April 15 – Girl pickets and loyal workers at the fabric mill [Lapworth’s probably], battled, many of the
    girls being scratched and bruised. Arrival of officers quelled the outbreak. The iron foundry of Draper
    Co. received 55 new employees today.

    April 16 – Rioting in front of Lapworth Mills today, resulted in two officers being injured and many
    persons clubbed. Men, women and girls numbering 150 participated.

    April 19 – Mass meeting held in Lincoln Square by strikers at which 4,000 people gathered.

    April 22 – Draper Co. strikers again attempt by force to prevent employees going to work. Strike
    pickets and police clash.

    April 24 – Emilio Bacchiocchi, 32 years old, of Milford, a Draper Co. striker, shot and killed in the
    Spindleville section of Hopedale, while picketing. Great excitement prevailed. Leader Coldwell
    arrested for infraction of the Hopedale by-laws; with being a dangerous and disorderly person and
    with uttering threats and menacing speeches. Colwell arraigned in District Court and his case
    continued. Joseph Bianco, attached to the Italian Consulate at Boston was at the trial. On Coldwell’s
    promise not to again lead the strikers to Hopedale, the charge against him for violating by-laws was
    not pressed.

    April 26 – Funeral of Emilio Bacchiocchi, slain striker. About 2,000 were in funeral procession,
    business places of Italian speaking residents were closed – many of them for the last two days and
    some having crepe on the doors. Services were in the afternoon in Sacred Heart of Jesus Church,
    after which the procession marched through the streets and to St. Mary’s cemetery, where services
    were again held at the grave.

    April 29 – Strike Leader Coldwell was convicted in District Court today and sentenced to three months
    in jail for threatening and fined $5 for breaking the by-laws of Hopedale.

    April 30 – Coldwell, Howard and Albizotti, leaders of the strike, also twenty strikers, were summoned
    into court today to answer to the charge of violating Hopedale’s by-laws. Coldwell went to Hopedale
    today on the electric cars.

    May 1 – Residences in Milford stoned. One Hopedale worker assaulted, receiving a fractured skull.

    May 2 – About 150 boys and girls marched to Hopedale from Milford this morning and were sent back
    by the police.

    May 3 – Arturo Giovannitti, a leader of the Lawrence strike and strike leaders Coldwell and Howard led
    a crowd of 400 men and women from Milford towards Hopedale this morning. At the Hopedale line, a
    big squad of officers blocked their way.

    May 7 – Pupils of Plains school started a miniature strike. They armed themselves with clubs and
    forbid other children to attend school. Police were called to round up the “strikers.”

    May 16 – Edgar A. Sherman of Hopedale, a special policeman, arraigned in District Court before
    Judge C.A. Cook, charged with manslaughter in causing the death of Emilio Bacchiocchi in Hopedale,
    April 24.

    May 23 – A crowd of 200 strike pickets stood in front of an electric car at Braggville this morning,
    refused to move and compelled employees of Draper Co. to get out of the car. Picketing was renewed,
    streetcars were stoned and women and children were active in the trouble. This evening rioting
    occurred at Depot square. Strikers stoned the police, who freely used their clubs.

    May 29 – Riot at Lincoln Square tonight when strikers refused to obey police not to parade or conduct
    a meeting. The riot act was read and the crowd of 2,000 soon scattered in all directions by fully 100

    June 5 – Joseph M. Coldwell, strike leader, was today found guilty of uttering, threatening and
    menacing speeches in Milford, April 24. He was sentenced to three months in Worcester jail. The
    strikers conducted a meeting in Town Hall tonight at which 1,200 attended, a majority of the selectmen
    granting them the use of it.

    June 7 – The backbone of the strike is broken. Many of the men are returning to work, the police are
    being withdrawn and there is less activity by pickets.

    June 8 – Two carloads of children of strikers were taken by the M., A. & W. Street Railway Co. cars
    today to Providence to remain until the strike is over.

    June 18 – Selectmen refuse use of Town Hall to strikers when it became known Carlo Tresca and
    Elizabeth Gurley Flynn, I.W.W. agitators, were to speak.

    July 5 – Over 150 strikers applied for work at Hopedale today and the strike is now said to be over.

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Scene from the 1913 IWW?Draper strike.