Paper on Dutcher Family Given at Hopedale Meeting
Society last night. There was a large attendance of members and guests. Mrs. Roy Cutter was
named director three years.
The speaker of the evening was Mrs. Fred B. Sweet. Her topic was, The Dutcher Family.
Mrs. Sweet traced the history of the family from 1742 when three Dutcher brothers migrated from
Holland to this country. Warren W. Dutcher, Sr. settled in Shaftsbury, Vt. with his brother Eli. Eli was a
Baptist minister and with his brother Warren W., perfected the famous Dutcher temple. Warren W.
settled in Hopedale in 1856 and continued the manufacture of temples in connection with Ebenezer
D. and George Draper as managing agent at home and they as selling agents abroad. His son,
Frank J. Dutcher, also possessed of unusual inventive ability and served as treasurer, secretary and
president of the Draper Company.
He [Frank] was decorated by the Belgian government for his contribution to foreign trade, He married
Miss Martha M. Grimwood of Pawtucket in 1877 and they built their home on Adin Street, which is the
present site of the Oakledge Manor. Their children were Warren W., now deceased, Mrs. E. Carlton
Hammond of Auburndale and Mrs. William Walker of Wellesley.
Mr. Dutcher served as school committee member many years and was instrumental in the
development of the town parklands. He also served as superintendent of the Unitarian Sunday
school and was a member of the Republican town committee.
Mrs. Sweet's paper was the last to be presented on the general theme of the year, that of families and
individuals who had an important part in the development and early history of the town. The speaker
at the May 23 meeting will be school superintendent Donald S. Dow, whose topic will be Hopedale
Schools of Yesteryear. Milford Daily News, April 26 (year not given)
This is a comparatively new and rare name in Milford, but one clustered with interesting biographical
associations. Warren Whitney Dutcher, with his wife and two children, removed from North
Bennington, Vt. to Hopedale in the spring of 1856. How this came about, and the results, may be
briefly told. He was endowed with a strong mechanical genius. He had a brother with a similar
endowment, whose name was Elihu C. Dutcher. This brother was an ordained Baptist minister, who,
nevertheless, worked much at the wagon-making business, as a means of greater independence
and pecuniary competence. He preached several years in Pownal, Vt., and afterwards in
Williamstown, Mass., besides some incidental itinerary ministrations. In 1847 he closed his ministry,
removed to North Bennington, and attended chiefly to mechanical pursuits. In 1850 the two brothers,
together invented and patented the somewhat famous "Dutcher Temple." They jointly engaged in the
manufacture of their valuable temples, and prosecuted the same with promising success till 1854.
Then E.D. and G. Draper of Hopedale purchased Rev. Elihu's interest in the business. They
subsequently arranged with Warren to remove hither with his family and manufacturing machinery.
Elihu at once bought himself a valuable farm in Waukesha, Wis., and removed thither, but, sad to say,
died of Asiatic cholera the second day after his arrival there.
Here Warren [and his wife, Malinda] took up his residence, May 20, 1856, and prosecuted the
manufacture of temples in connection with the Drapers, -- he as managing agent at home, and they
as selling agents abroad. The business proved eminently successful, and has continued to augment
in importance down to the present time, taking on, stage after stage, most valuable improvements. In
1867 the present Dutcher Temple Company became a regular legal corporation. In 1868 George
Draper and Son succeeded E.D. and G. Draper in the selling department, the manufacturing agency
remaining as before. The result of this, that W.W. Dutcher arose to wealth and distinction among us;
and it is not too much to say that he and his family richly deserve the high respect accorded them
where-ever known. In every good cause and work he and his excellent wife have been generous
contributers to the relief and elevation of humanity. Adin Ballou, History of Milford, pp. 723 - 724.
Ballou continues with a genealogy of the Dutcher family. Rather than including it here, I suggest that
anyone looking for such details can find copies of History of Milford at the Bancroft Library in
Hopedale and at the Milford Public Library.
I don't know who painted the portraits above, but here's a bit that I found about Willard on the Old
Sturbridge Village website
:A letter from one of Willard's subjects, Frank Dutcher, to Willard's executor shortly after the artist's
death provides additional evidence of the financial difficulties Willard experienced:
Mr. Willard having painted a portrait of my father and mother,and made personal acquaintance,
called here about ten or twelve years ago and was, as I imagine had been the case with him
sometimes, extremely hard up. He had a note for $100 coming due within a day or two without the
slightest idea of where to raise the money and begged me to give him a commission to do some
work and to advance him the amount needed to get him out of the difficulty. I always had
considerable sympathy for him as he seemed to have just failed of success many times in at least a
business way, and I know had family troubles that must have been very disheartening. I let him have
the $100, and he said that if I would give him commission to paint a portrait, I could name my own
price; also a portrait of my wife on the same basis.
However, the transaction did not end well. Dutcher found the resulting portraits "extremely
unsatisfactory" and said they "did not suit [his wife] at all, and in communicating with [Willard] about it,
he told me to return them if we did not like them, which we did." Willard tried to deliver the promised
portraits again—a few months before his death in 1904—but Dutcher was unable to make the trip to
Sturbridge to see them before Willard died.
Although Willard had his share of dissatisfied customers, he was a skilled artist and found favor with
many others. His portrait of Daniel Webster, now in the collection of the American Antiquarian Society
in Worcester, was undoubtedly his finest achievement. A 1902 testimonial from Senator George F.
Hoar (1826-1904) demonstrates the power of this portrait: "I hope Mr. Willard's picture of Daniel
Webster may be preserved where all future generations may behold it. I think it is one of the best
paintings of Daniel Webster as he was the last time I saw him, some two or three years before his
death. I do not know any other picture of him so good, after he had much passed middle life."
Dutcher article by Peter Hackett The Frank Dutcher house
Oakledge Nursing Home
They didn't just make temples. They also made??? HOME
Dorothy Dutcher Horne
The Warren Dutcher family plot, Pine Grove Cemetery, Milford. The
Frank Dutcher family is buried at Hopedale Village Cemetery.
To be clear on this, what the obituary headline was referring to is that Warren
Dutcher was the first president after the Draper Company became Draper
Corporation in 1916. George Draper, Gen. William F. Draper and Joseph
Bancroft had been presidents of various Draper companies in earlier years.
Warren W. Dutcher
The genealogical information on the Dutcher family
below is from Adin Ballou's History of Milford.
With the captions for the photo of the Bancroft women, my take on the family group photo would appear to be mistaken,
though possibly not.
The photo appears to be taken on the same day given the identical dresses. Perhaps the caption was written later, as
the caption labels Lilla as Mrs. Lilla Bancroft Pratt. If this is the 1897 photo of Lura's wedding, Lilla was just married to
Howard the previous year. The other reason I place the photo in 1897 is that Sylvia died in 1898.
But if correct, the caption would then identify Lilla in the family photo as in the first row seated on the left. That would
make sense, as she is holding a Maid of Honor bouquet in her lap.
The bride, Lura, seated on the right in the family photo, would be correct.
If the caption is correct, Mary would be third from left in the family photo, standing in the back row, Anna in black at
center, and Leila Bancroft (Eben's wife) would be standing third from right in back row.
Which still leaves a question about the family photo--which man is Howard? Is Howard the man seated second from
left, or is he the man standing in back fourth from left? The man is back looks more like he is 28, which would have
been Howard's age in 1897, than the man who is seated looks like he is 49, which would have been Eben's age.
Could it be that the person who wrote the caption was not correct, especially if the caption may have been written later--
after Howard's death in 1919, when Lilla had married Frank Pratt?
The issue is the description of Lilla's dress in the Herald article which matches the dress of the woman standing third
from left in the back, and seated on the right of the Bancroft women's photo (below) --this as opposed to the fur trimmed
shoulders of the dress of the woman labeled as Lilla--she looks older and more matronly.
Perhaps the original print of the family photo is captioned with the men's names. Does anyone know where the original
photo is kept?
Another note: The Herald article of the year before mentions that Lura was maid of honor for Lilla, and both carried
roses, and that Walter Winsor and Joseph Bancroft 2nd were ushers. And, the article mentions "two little nephews of
the bride, Masters Bancroft Winsor and Allen Winsor, acted as train-bearers. The children in the family photo are most
Let me know what you think.
looking into the story behind Howard Bracken. At Woodstock Academy there was a library named for Bracken, but
nothing was known about him there until Bob started looking into the story. Bracken had grown up in Woodstock and
had been a student at the Acacemy. After his death, his widow Lilla had the library built and named in his honor.