Hopedale History
    March 1, 2019
    No. 367
    Brilliant Man, Tragic Life

    Hopedale in February   

    Additions to existing hope1842.com pages: Aerosmith (Milford News clippings from late 1970 and early
    1971 about dance permits for the Hopedale Town Hall.)     Deaths   

    In January 2004, not too long after I had started doing a website on Hopedale history, I began emailng some
    of the stories I was finding to about 35 people who had shown an interest in the subject. Before long I got
    into the routine of sending two of these a month to an increasing number of people. In January 2008 I started
    adding what I refer to as the "month pages," (Hopedale in March, etc.) with pictures of various sites around
    Hopedale, to my Hopedale history site. Over these years I've tried to make improvements on both of them.
    However, I'm starting to find it a bit difficult to keep up with all this, so beginning in April, I'll just be doing one
    "ezine" per month. I'll send that out (by email and on Facebook) in the middle of the month and the "month
    page" at the end of the month.

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    Twenty-five years ago - March 1994 - U.S. troops are withdrawn from Somalia.

    Schindler's List, wins seven Oscars including Best Picture and Best Director (Spielberg).

    Fifty years ago - March 1969 - In Toulouse, France the first Concorde test flight is conducted.

    In a Los Angeles court, Sirhan Sirhan admits that he killed presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy.

    In Memphis, Tennessee, James Earl Ray pleads guilty to assassinating Martin Luther King Jr. (he later
    retracts his guilty plea).

    The novel The Godfather by Mario Puzo is first distributed to booksellers.

    Operation Breakfast, the covert bombing of Cambodia by U.S. planes, begins.

    The body of former United States General and President Dwight D. Eisenhower is brought by caisson to the
    United States Capitol to lie in state in the Capitol Rotunda; Eisenhower had died two days earlier.

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

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                                                         George Draper Osgood
                                                        Brilliant Man,  Tragic Life

    George Draper Osgood is a bit of a mystery. He was a Harvard honor student and graduate, but it appears
    that he never worked. In the street listing books, he was always given as "at home." When his mother and
    his sister Fannie were living at The Larches in the summer and in Boston in the winter, he was there also.
    Later, he was at his brother Dana's home, off of Greene Street, which by the mid-twentieth century was well
    known in town as The Harel House. It seems that he may have been living there alone for many years. His
    name is in the street listing books through 1952, and then disappears.

    I couldn't find any more about Osgood until the obituary above turned up. Recently, I ran across his picture in
    an album done by Dorothy Draper Gannett, mother of Bill Gannett. You'll see (photo with note below this text
    box) that it says "deaf and dumb from birth."  Consider that, along with the obituary above, and there must be
    quite a story about his life, but all I've ever found is what you see here. According to the obituary, ",,,he had
    been a patient for a prolonged period at the Wiswall Hospital in Wellesley." I haven't been able to learn much
    about Wiswall in an online search, other than that it was a psychiatric hospital where lobotomies were
    performed and electric shock was used.

    George's mother, Hannah Draper Osgood, sister of General William F. Draper,  Governor Eben S. Draper,
    George Albert Draper and Frances Draper Colburn, lived with her husband and children in the house that
    had been her parents' home at the corner of Draper and Hopedale streets. In 1909, she purchased The
    Larches on Williams Street from her nephew, George Otis Draper. The home burned down about a month
    after the purchase, and the house that's there now is what she had built after the fire. Her son, George
    Draper Osgood and her daughter, Fannie Osgood, resided there also. In 1929, both Hannah and Fannie
    died.

    The Dana and Laird Osgood house was built in the woods off of Greene Street in 1911. They lived there until
    they moved south in 1929. By 1933, and possibly earlier (books for 1931 and 1932 not available), Austin
    Osgood, 21, student, (son of Dana and Laird Osgood) and George Draper Osgood, 45, at home, were both
    living at 50 Greene Street, the former Dana Osgood home and the future Harel House. By 1940, George was
    still at that address according to the street listing book; the only Osgood in Hopedale by that time. As
    mentioned above, the last year his name was in the street listing book was 1952.

    The story became even more puzzling when I looked again at some Milford News clippings I had copied at
    the Bancroft Library a few years ago. In December 1938, the Osgood home was sold to a company
    described as a real estate promoter. Two months later it was sold   to Mr. and Mrs. Louis McVitty.. Their plan,
    according to the article, was to use it as a rest home. That may have happened, although I've never run
    across anything else about it being used for that purpose. The McVitty couple never moved into the Osgood
    house. They lived nearby at 36 Greene Street.

    The next complication in the story is that in 1946 the McVitty couple sold the home to Mr. and Mrs. Harry Lacy.
    They named it the Harel House and used it as their home and their business; mainly a furniture store.
    George Osgood's name continued to be at that address until 1952. Was he really there, or was the only part
    of him in Hopedale by that time his name in the street listing book?

    With that question in mind, I called Harel Lacey, daughter of the couple who established the Harel House.
    She was totally unfamiliar with the name, George Draper Osgood. Somehow his name remained in the
    street listing books at 50 Greene Street for six years after Harel and her parents were living there.

    Louis McVitty developed  the land that had been part of the Dana and Laird Osgood estate - McVitty Road,
    Dana Park, and Catherine Street, as well as selling house lots on Greene Street. George was out of there at
    least by 1946, and probably sooner. He was at Wiswall for "...a prolonged period..." according to his obituary.
    Does that mean that he was there for the two decades from the time he left Hopedale until his death in
    1972? We'll probably never know.

                                                                           
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Hopedale News - March 1994

Hopedale News - March 1969

Hopedale News - March 1919

George Draper Osgood
George Draper Osgood  

Dana Osgood                  Fannie Osgood                   Hannah Osgood  

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