| Hopedale Selectmen Grateful
George Draper Bust Recovered
HOPEDALE - Selectmen last night voted an award of $25 each to be given to Keith Jordan of Holliston and Cliff McKeage of Blackstone for the safe return of the marble bust of George Draper which was taken from its pedestal on a landing in Town Hall on Jan. 21 of this year.
It was noted by the board that a reward of $100 had been posted for the arrest and conviction of person or persons responsible for the theft. The reward expired on June 1 however, and because the bust was discovered in woods off Cedar Street in Milford, and because no arrest and conviction followed, the board voted to extend its appreciation to the pair with a small monetary reward.
In a prepared statement on the matter, Selectmen said,
"The Hopedale Board of Selectmen wishes to extend its appreciation to Keith Jordan of Holliston and Cliff McKeage of Blackstone for the safe return of the marble bust of George Draper.
"It is most rewarding to us and to the townspeople of Hopedale to know that these two young men realized that they had found something of value, and made the moral and physical effort to bring the bust to the Milford Police Department to try and seek the rightful owner.
"We want to also commend the Milford Police Department for identifying the bust and contacting our Police Department for verification.
"George Draper gave to the Town of Hopedale the present Town Hall Building in 1886. The marble bust is the Town's remembrance of him for his generosity. To reproduce a bust of marble at today's prices would certainly be in excess of $1,000; but it would be impossible to place a monetary value on the original. Within the next few weeks, we will again install Mr. Draper's bust in a more secure but very prominent location in our Town Hall.
"The Hopedale Board of Selectmen, on behalf of the people of Hopedale, publicly commend Mr. Jordan and Mr. KcKeage and simply, but most sincerely say, 'Thank you.'" Milford Daily News, August 19, 1975.
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