Gov. Eben S. Draper

Nannie Bristow Draper

Construction of Milford Hospital, 1902

    Hopedale History
    November 1, 2016
    No. 311
    Milford Hospital - The Beginning

    Hopedale in October   

    Notes on Draper Corporation by John Callery, 1950 - 1980. These 39 pages from a small notebook might be
    considered a work diary. Much of it might not mean anything to those who weren't there in those years, but it includes
    many names, layoffs, deaths, department changes and closings, and some insight into the changes in the Rockwell
    years and the closing of the plant.

    Additions have been made during the past two weeks to the following pages on hope1842.com: Nello Ripanti
    (Information on several of Ripanti's bombing missions over Germany in 1944. Thanks to Jack Ghiringhelli for sending
    it.)      Ammdon Inn, Mendon (Articles by Dick Grady and Peter Hackett about how President Washington almost, but
    didn't quite, sleep in Mendon.)     Fanny Osgood (Photo of a Tiffany stained glass window at Arlington Street Church,
    Boston donated in memory of Fanny and her mother, Hannah Thwing Draper Osgood. Thanks to Wayne Boucher of
    Cambridge, England for sending links to it.)     Unitarian Church Stained Glass Windows (Design drawing for eight of the
    windows, also sent by Wayne Boucher. Thanks also to Fred Oldfield for information on the windows and the donors.)   
    Revolutionary War British Prisoners in Mendon (Ten pages on the matter from the Annals of Mendon added. Thanks to
    Dick Grady.)     Grace Calfee McMullen (Obituary. Thanks to Kathi Wright for sending it.)      Deaths   

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    Twenty-five years ago - November 1991 - Senate Judiciary Committee interviews both Supreme Court candidate
    Clarence Thomas and former aide Anita Hill, who alleges that Thomas sexually harassed her while she worked for him.
    He is confirmed by a vote of 52 to 48.

    The 1991 Perfect Storm strikes the northeastern United States and Atlantic Canada, causing over $200 million of
    damage and resulting in 12 direct fatalities.

    Fifty years ago - November 1966 - Former Massachusetts Attorney General Edward Brooke becomes the first African
    American elected to the United States Senate since Reconstruction.

    Ronald Reagan is elected Governor of California.

    Gemini 12 (James A. Lovell, Buzz Aldrin), splashes down safely in the Atlantic Ocean.

    The Beatles begin recording sessions for their Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band L.P.

    The news above is from Wikipedia. For Hopedale news from 25, 50 and 100 years ago, from the Milford Daily News
    and the Milford Gazette, see below this text box.

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    Today's story is composed of excerpts from a pamphlet published in 1953 in celebration of the fifty years since the
    opening of Milford Hospital. It was written by Charles F. Merrill. Click here if you'd like to read the entire history.

                                                                           Milford Hospital - The Beginning

    The movement for a hospital in Milford does not appear to have been a sudden inspiration. It must have been talked
    about quite a bit before it received public mention, as may be inferred from the following item in the Milford Gazette of
    March 16, 1900:

    "Sentiment in favor of a cottage hospital in Milford is surely increasing among all classes, not only here but in adjoining
    towns as well. The interest already manifested shows that when determined efforts are put forth in its behalf, the
    movement will be a veritable boom."

    In following weeks references to the matter became more frequent. Hope was expressed that the Village Improvement
    Association would take up the work and follow it through to a successful termination. This society enlisted the help of the
    Board of Trade, some of whose members were appointed to promote the project. They first met in the office of Williams
    & Williams and organized a committee. The Thurber Medical Society was invited to participate in future meetings and
    accepted. On May 11, a joint committee of the Board of Trade and the Thurber Medical Society met to consider the
    establishment of a "cottage hospital." Dr. McIntosh of Medway and Dr. French of Milford were enthusiastically in favor of
    the proposal, and after long discussion it was decided to go ahead with the incorporation of an Association. The
    signatures of fifty Milford, Hopedale and Mendon people were secured to an agreement for this purpose. The general
    agreement was that it would be best to start with a few beds in leased quarters providing for four or five patients and
    soliciting not more than six or eight thousand dollars.

    On June 28, 1900 a dozen or more signers of the agreement met and legally organized the Milford Hospital Corporation.
    The Hospital Association was formally instituted on Sunday, July 1, 1900, by Albert Neal of Boston at a public meeting in
    Columbus Hall. About three weeks later, on July 23, a charter was granted by the Commissioner of Corporations of the
    Commonwealth of Massachusetts. For the next two years the campaign for money was in full swing. Gifts came in and
    subscriptions were pledged. Entertainments and Field Days were held. The first money came as a result of an
    entertainment held at the Mendon Town Hall by the young ladies on vacation at Miss Seabury's Resthaven in Mendon.
    Later, after the hospital was established, Resthaven contributed liberally for several years.

    Two big events occurred in 1901. The first was the presentation of the opera "Zephra" by local talent under the direction
    of Professor E.B. Stowe of Caryville, with a cast of 200. It was described as a "brilliant spectacle." In September a
    monster Field Day was held at Charles River Driving Park, which was on land east of Purchase Street in Milford. Draper
    Company voted to give employees a half-holiday, and Milford merchants agreed to close their shops at noon. Some four
    thousand persons attended the event, which brought in about $1500 to the Hospital Fund. Field Days were to be a
    means for raising funds for some years to come.

    In December 1901, the hospital fund had reached a little over $2500, with pledged contributions not included. $220 was
    added to this by the people of Upton in April 1902. In that same month it was rumored that a very substantial gift would
    soon be forthcoming. The news came out on June 20 that Mr. and Mrs. Eben S. Draper had offered to purchase the
    Barrett estate at the corner of Main and Prospect streets, and to erect thereon a fully equipped hospital, if the people of
    the towns to be benefitted would agree to support it afterward. Mr. Draper wished it to be understood that it was not to be
    a "Draper hospital," owned, controlled, managed or sustained by any one person or family, but by the Hospital
    Corporation representing Milford, Hopedale and vicinity towns. He desired it to be and considered to be a hospital for the
    people themselves. The offer was gratefully accepted by the officers of the Hospital Corporation.

    Plans were drawn by Robert Allen Cook, after visiting several of the best hospitals in search of ideas which would make
    the new institution their equal in all essentials. On the first floor was to be a four-bed ward, dining room, pantry, bath,
    sterilizing, etherizing and operating rooms, doctors' room, pharmacy, and a hydraulic elevator to the upper floors. On the
    second floor there was a ward for four or five beds, three private rooms, bath, sewing room, diet kitchen and linen
    closets.  The third floor had seven bedrooms for the matron, nurses and household employees.

    Of special importance was the presentation by the Rev. Frank A. Warfield to the Hospital Corporation of Mrs. Frances D.
    Colburn's gift of $10,000 to be set aside as a permanent fund in memory of her husband, Charles H. Colburn, and her
    daughter Helen. Income from this fund was to be used in maintaining the hospital. This gift was the first of many which
    now constitute the invested funds whose income is so necessary in balancing the yearly budget.

    On Tuesday morning, September 1, 1903, the hospital opened for business. Matron Hannah Seavey and her two nurses
    in crisp new uniforms awaited their first caller. Two Milford physicians, not yet out of their twenties, were the House Staff
    for September and October. They were Dr. J. J. Duggan and Dr. P.E. Joslin. Mark Tiernan of Milford, a Civil War veteran,
    was admitted on the opening morning, the first patient in a line which will be 80,000 long sometime this year. Dr. Joslin
    operated on the first surgical patient, a little girl named Greeley from Hopkinton. Not until October did the first new citizen
    arrive, when on the 17th a child was born to Mr. and Mrs. Martin Fleming. The hospital was now, as noted in the weekly
    newspaper, "doing the noble work for which it is so amply fitted."

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Hopedale News - November 1991

Hopedale News - November 1916

Hopedale News - November 1966

    A question turned up recently on Facebook about what the route
    of the Halloween parade was years ago. As you can see in this
    article, it began near the town park (along Dutcher Street as I
    recall) and went to the Community House.
Click here for more on Charles Roper.