George Otis Draper
George Otis Draper, son of General William Franklin and Lydia Warren (Joy) Draper, was born July
14, 1867, at Hopedale, Massachusetts. He attended the West Newton English and Classical School
and after four years at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, he left in 1887, to secure a practical
machine shop experience which would supplement his amassed knowledge of mechanical theory.
His entire advanced education was dedicated to the premise that he would enter the Draper
industrial enterprises, then headed by his father, and it was indeed fortunate that he possessed a
mechanical bent and inventive talent of superior quality.
In January, 1889, he acquired a partnership interest in the firm of George Draper & Sons, the largest
manufacturers of cotton machinery in the United States, and by the year 1904, he became one of the
principal stockholders. His activity within the family concern was not limited to inherited executive
capacity. He was a development engineer and an inventor of rare talent. He held at one time patents
in excess of one hundred, the outstanding of which were applications and developments of the
Northrop looms, called the greatest advance in textile manufacture since the cotton gin. From these
alone, he drew royalties from nine foreign countries. His interests were not exclusively confined to the
Draper companies, however, for he was an executive in more than twenty-five corporations in 1914;
including machine shops, textile plants, quarries and mines.
He had been the principal party in the consolidation of the quarry activities that centered in and about
Milford, Massachusetts, and he was president and largest proprietor of the Milford Pink Granite
Company. Among the numerous industrial institutions he served in a managerial capacity, he was
president of these in 1914: The Draper Realty Company, the Draper-Hansen Company, the Michener
Stowage Company, the Sapphire Record and Talking Machine Company, the Draper-Latham
Magneto Company, the Scholz Fireproofing Company, the Farrington Company, the Phillips
Manufacturing Company, and the Hilton Manufacturing Company.
Mr. Draper was an extensive and authoritative writer of technical expositions on the design,
construction and application of cotton machinery. As well, he was the author of a series of unique
contributions to religious commentary, entitled "Searching for Truth" (1902), "Still on the Search"
(1904), and "More" (1908). His professional and other affiliations indicated a man of wide interests
and culture. He was a member and director of the American Civic Association. He was a member of
the National Association of Cotton Manufacturers, of the National Civic Federation, of Theta Xi
fraternity, of the Engineers Club, of the Technology Club, of the Graduate Club, New York, of the
Home Market Club, Boston, of the Metropolitan Club, Washington, D.C., and of the Oakland Country
George Otis Draper was of that rare type of human, the true cosmopolitan. He was at home in many
lands and in many spheres of interest and endeavor. His talents ran a glittering gamut from the
technical to the literary; from the intensely practical to the ardently idealistic.
Died, in California, February 7, 1923. [The Milford Daily News obituary gives a date of October 20,
1938. Since he was born in 1867 and the obituary below says he was 71 at the time of his death, the
1938 date must be the correct one.]
Married, April 28, 1892 at Lexington, Kentucky, Lily, daughter of Henry T. Duncan.
1. Elise Draper; [I've seen other spellings of this name.] died, unmarried, in Kentucky.
2. George Otis Draper; in regular United States army.
3. Henry Duncan Draper.
Ruth Lawrence, Draper, Preston and Allied Family Histories, pp. 54 - 55, National Americana
Publications, New York, 1954. (Thanks to Giancarlo BonTempo for this source.)
George Otis Draper Dies in California;
Ill Two Months
George Otis Draper, 71, Hopedale native, mill official, author, inventor, World tourist and former
resident of this town, died of heart disease last night at the home of his son, George Otis Draper, Jr.,
with whom he lived, in San Pedro, Cal. He had been ill about two months. Word reached local
relatives of the death this morning.
Mr. Draper resided in this town many years. A few years ago he sold his home on Chestnut street
and went to California to make his home. He retired many years ago and had since toured
extensively, making four complete trips around the world.
Mr. Draper was born July 14, 1867, a son of the last Gen. William F. Draper, who was ambassador
in Italy under President McKinley in 1897, and Lydia D.W. Joy Warren Draper. He was educated in the
Hopedale schools and later was graduated from Massachusetts Tech.
He served as secretary of the old Draper Co., which later became the Draper Corp. and at that time
he had charge of patents and experimental departments. Mr. Draper also supervised the advertising
for the Hopedale concern and edited "Cotton Chats," a monthly publication. He invented numerous
loom parts which proved of exceptional value to the loom manufactured by the Drapers.
Mr. Draper wrote many books, among them being "Searching For Truth," and "Still on the Search."
During his travels Mr. Draper wrote interesting articles concerning his experiences and the countries
he visited. Scores of them appeared in the Milford Daily News and were eagerly read by hundreds of
In the year 1912 Mr. Draper left Hopedale and resided in New York, with headquarters at the
Engineers Club. It was during this period that he devoted much of his time to writing. In 1916 he
became vice president of the old Hopedale Mfg. Co., which was afterward taken over by the Draper
Corp. For about 10 years he was connected with that mill. Mr. Draper had also been an official in
several mills in the South.
In the early days of the balloon and automobile Mr. Draper was a great enthusiast for both. He was
one of the first automobile owners in this section and for years was a daily figure in a speedy car, with
his colored chauffeur, on the highways.
When the Nipmuc Canoe Club was first formed, Mr. Draper was prominent in its activities. He had
the honor of serving as its first commodore. In addition to his affiliation with clubs in New York, Mr.
Draper was a member of the Milford lodge of Elks.
He saw service in the World war and also served previously at the Mexican border. He served
several months in France, during which time he was a captain in ground aviation. He gave
instructions in compass and airplane navigation, and wrote pamphlets on this work, which were
adopted by the Allied armies.
At Mexico he saw service with the 7th New York regiment. When the United States became engaged
in the World war Mr. Draper tried to join the New York regiment, which he had been with in Mexico, but
was turned down, being classed not physically fit. [He would have been 50 at the time.]
He then took up a six months course at Mass Tech and was accepted for aviation work overseas.
Mr. Draper was a member of Milford post, V.F.W.
He leaves another son, Henry, of New York, two sisters, Mrs. Edith Blair of Washington, and
Princess Margaret Boncompagni, a brother, Clare H. Draper, of Boston, and several cousins. Milford
Daily News, October 21, 1938. (Thanks to Paul Curran for sending this.)
Now and Then at The Larches Textrin Themes
Kentucky Spouses Draper Menu HOME
not Chad Jackson. Also, on that strange "positive note" about the death of the princess, she died in 1974,
not 1874. In the last paragraph, Hackett mentions the "positive note" of the death of the princess. The
positive thing must have been that he found where she's buried.
and the establishment of the Hopedale Manufacturing Company, he did similar work for that firm. He went
from being editor of Cotton Chats for the Draper Company, to being editor of the somewhat similar Textrin
Themes for HFC.In the August 1919 issue below, you can find some family feud and company rivalry lines.
New York Times - April 29, 1892
Draper, Preston and Allied Family Histories, Ruth Lawrence - (Can be seen at the Bancroft
Memorial Library, Hopedale, Massachusetts.)
The above is from Draper's diary. It continues into 1905,
but this is probably more than enough for here.
The Larches. This was Draper's home before it was destroyed
by a fire in 1909. Click here for Now and Then - The Larches.