Since Oakledge, the Frank and Malinda Dutcher house, is being proposed as a possible future town
    hall for Hopedale, I thought some might be interested in this history of the home.

    "After a long fight in which considerable hard feeling has been engendered..." That's how one
    newspaper article begins on the selection of a postmaster in Hopedale in 1914-15. It was a very
    political process in those days. Here's a page with more of the story.

    Are you an experienced writer? If not, maybe you should meet author Marcia Matthews on Wednesday,
    April 2 at 1 o'clock for a reading of her book, Hippieville and a reception at the Bancroft Library, courtesy
    of the Helen Symonds Book Group. Open to the public free of charge.

    Mendon's Victorian Queen - the Queen Anne of Providence Road.

    During the past two weeks I've made additions to pages on  William Lapworth (obituary, Frances
    Lapworth)     Now and Then - Depot Street (Newspaper article - Home given to American Legion)     
    Now and Then, The Larches (Articles on stable fire.)     Now and Then, the Unitarian Church (pictures
    added)     Eben Draper (Clipping sent by Kathi Wright - Draper praised by Theodore Roosevelt. Also
    added - Nannie Draper's will. I checked. You're not in it.)    Sacred Heart First Communion, 1979 (A few
    more names added)     World War I Victory Celebration in Hopedale (more Milford News articles
    added)     Recent deaths     


    Twenty-five years ago - April 1989 - The U.S. government seizes the Irvine, California, Lincoln Savings
    and Loan Association; Charles Keating (for whom the Keating Five were named) eventually goes to jail,
    as part of the massive 1980s Savings and Loan Crisis.

    The death of Hu Yaobang sparks the beginning of the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989.

    A gun turret explodes on the U.S. battleship Iowa, killing 47 crew members.

    Motorola introduces the Motorola MicroTAC Personal Cellular Telephone, then the world's smallest
    mobile phone.

    An architect has been chosen for a $25,000 ramp at Town Hall.

    About 30 residents worked from 9 am to 4 pm on April 9 to repair damage caused by vandals at Draper

    Hopedale Realty Trust and W.C. McLay Associates agree to comply with the Board of Heath directive to
    board up the first floor windows of the Draper building. (That's the story according to the Milford News. If
    anyone has a different recollection of how that came about, I'm interested in hearing it.)

    Fifty years ago - April 1964 - The 1964 New York World's Fair opens to celebrate the 300th anniversary
    of New Amsterdam being taken over by British forces under the Duke of York (later King James II) and
    being renamed New York in 1664.

    The Beatles hold the top 5 positions in the Billboard Top 40 singles in America, an unprecedented

    U.S. President Lyndon Johnson in New York, and Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev in Moscow,
    simultaneously announce plans to cut back production of materials for making nuclear weapons.

    Nelson Mandela makes his "I Am Prepared to Die" speech at the opening of the Rivonia Trial, a key
    event for the anti-apartheid movement.

    Plans for a new 50' x 36' clubhouse at the Hopedale Country Club to be presented.

    A portrait of Gov. Eben Sumner Draper is now on display at the State House. It was restored after being
    discovered in the State House attic by Mrs. Endicott Peabody, wife of the governor.


                                       Governor Eben Sumner Draper

    Since it was a century ago this month that Governor Eben Sumner Draper died, I thought this is the
    time for a few paragraphs about him.

    Eben was born in the Milford village of Hopedale on June 17, 1858 to George and Hannah Brown
    (Thwing) Draper. His name, as shown on his birth certificate, was Eben Sumner Draper from the start,
    and not Ebenezer as I've seen on a couple of websites. His siblings included brothers William Franklin
    Draper, George Albert Draper, and sisters Frances Eudora (Draper) Colburn and Hannah Thwing
    (Draper) Osgood.

    The name Bristow was a very familiar one in Hopedale through much of the twentieth century. That
    came from Eben's marriage to Nannie Bristow. They named their first son Benjamin Helm Bristow
    Draper, after Nannies father. He generally went by Bristow, or B.H. Bristow Draper. Bristow and his wife
    Queena named their first son Benjamin Helm Bristow Draper, Jr. Eben's sister Dorothy named one of
    her sons William Bristow Gannett. Bill and Nancy Gannett named one of their sons W. Bristow Gannett.

    Probably the most lasting effect Eben had on this area was the establishment of Milford Hospital. It
    was built through his donation and opened in 1903. Over the years many more donations to the
    hospital were made by Eben and Nannie, their children, and other members of the Draper family.

    Here's a piece written about the Eben Drapers at the time when he was lieutenant governor.

    Eben S. Draper of Hopedale is Lieutenant Governor of the old Bay State and understudy for Gov. Curtis
    Guild and all the other Drapers.  He is the burden-bearer of his family, and the sins of all the stand-
    patters are visited on his head.  When he runs for office, he is supposed to be the wicked partner, and
    everything comes his way except the great big majorities.  Inasmuch as Eben is no spell-binder and
    this is his first offense some political clairvoyants have advertised him as an easy mark.  Nevertheless
    he manages to land on his feet every time.  In spite of the handicaps of his family and political running
    mate, the Lieutenant Governor is a corking good fellow, who is well worth cultivating and who is
    popular with everybody who knows him.  He wants to be Governor; so do a lot of other fellows who
    measure more around the head than around the chest, and the latter are of opinion that Eben would be
    a weak candidate.  There is a suspicious smell about this opinion, but the strength of a candidate must
    not be measured by the odor of the other fellow's opinion.  If a Republican must be elected to warm the
    Governor's chair, we would rather see Eben get it than the other, for he is a modest, kindly, generous
    gentleman who is democratic without being demagogic and who does not want any place bad enough
    to sacrifice his self-respect for it.  His brothers keep the tariff chained up in a cellar out in Hopedale,
    and they are worried for fear it will break loose and bite Eben, while his rivals are afraid it won't break
    loose.  No man need imagine that because the Lieutenant Governor is not an orator he is weak-
    chested and inclined to tuberculosis; he is kind and sound, can stand without hitching and you need
    not watch your jewelry when he's around. The Boston Traveler, March 28, 1907.

    Here's a paragraph from the state website on Draper's term as governor.

    Eben Draper was elected Lieutenant Governor in 1906 and served in the post until his election as
    Governor in 1908. Governor Draper depoliticized a variety of harbor development issues by creating a
    commission of experts to manage and recommend its policies. However the dominant issues of the
    times involved labor. As Governor, Draper vetoed a bill restricting public employees to eight-hour days.
    Though labor fiercely opposed Draper because he was the owner and manager of a large non-union
    factory, he won a second term of office. Governor Draper was defeated in his second re-election bid.
    He retired to a life a private business and philanthropy. Draper's company enjoyed remarkably good
    labor relations, surviving one of the most tumultuous eras with only a brief strike in 1913. -

    That last sentence makes light of a strike that was actually a very big deal at the time.

Eben Sumner Draper                Strike at the Draper Company, 1913   

Ezine Menu                                                           HOME  

Eben Sumner Draper

    This mansion was razed and replaced by the governor's son, Eben
    Sumner Draper, Jr. It appears that he didn't generally use Jr after
    his name, but sometimes it can help to avoid confusion. Click here
    to see the house junior built.