June 15, 2005
The Hopedale Historic Commission has received another grant that will help in the restoration of the
Little Red Shop. This one is for $40,000. Sufficient money is now available and the project should be
starting soon. A request for proposals for the project will be going out in the next few weeks.
Mike Cyr became rather interested in last time’s story of Gilbert Thompson and has been looking for
more information on him. He found a topographical map of Mount Shasta drawn by Gilbert and
emailed a copy to me. Many of you will remember Mike’s mother, Virginia, who was the Hopedale
reporter for the Milford Daily News for many years.
The Massachusetts Foundation for the Humanities has a website called Mass Moments, which gives
a story from Massachusetts history each day. They’re planning to do the Draper strike of 1913 on July
5. The site is at massmoments.org
Last time, I sent the story of Famous Gilbert. This time it’s Famous Fanny. Fanny Osgood was well
known in the teens and twenties as a golfer. Her picture and some of her medals can be seen in the
trustees’ room at the Bancroft Memorial Library.
Greatest Loss to Women’s Golf
Women’s golf suffered the most serious loss in the history of the sport in this country when Miss
Fanny C. Osgood died suddenly in Hopedale yesterday morning. She was president of the Women’s
Golf Association of Boston, and the part that she played in the handling of its destinies, as well as in
the general conduct of women’s golf in this country for many years, was well summarized in the
remark made by Miss Frances Stebbins, the association secretary:
“I don’t know what we shall do. She simply had everything at her fingertips. The rest of us only had to
do what she said.”
Time was when Miss Osgood was best known to her golfing public from her playing ability, but even
in the early days of her identification with the sport she was known to her associates in the executive
end of the game as one who thought clearly and farsightedly, whose judgment was sound, whose
ideas on the development of women’s golf were ever based upon logic, progressiveness and the
maintenance of highest standards. When it came to efficiency of management, decisiveness in
action and capabilities in grasping and looking after every detail, no matter how small, Miss Osgood
in her eighteen years of service as secretary of the Boston Association and her subsequent service
as president, was a marvel. She had a rare tutor in the person of Miss Louisa A. Wells, the first
secretary of the Boston Association, which was organized in 1900 with The Country Club, Oakley,
Brae-Burn and Concord Country Clubs as its entire membership.
Thinking back over the years, I can still see the picture of Miss Osgood at championships or other
events run under the auspices of the association, seated at a table handling all of the details of the
tournament; giving instructions here, answering questions there, making decisions on rules and
doing a dozen and one things. How in the world she ever played the golf she did in some of those
events, while looking after so many details, is something to still cause wonderment, in retrospect.
Nor were her interest limited to the affairs of the Boston District. The Country Club, of which she was
a member for many years, was even more closely identified with the national affairs of golf in those
earlier days than is the case today, even though Herbert Jaques of that club is now a member of the
Executive Committee of the U.S.G.A. In the days when Miss Osgood began to become an important
factor in woman’s golf, The Country Club was one of the comparatively few active, or voting clubs in
the national organization and it was a power not only for that reason, but because from the members
there had been chosen now fewer than three presidents of the national body between the years 1898
and 1909, each serving two years. It was through her acquaintance with two of those presidents, G.
Herbert Windeler and the late Herbert Jaques that Miss Osgood had so much a part in helping the
national organization solve many of the national problems of women’s golf.
The name of the newspaper this article was printed in was not on the clipping. The date was missing
also, but the year 1929 was written on it. According to the town report for that year, Fanny died of
peritonitis on May 3 at the age of 46. Her mother had died in February of the same year. You can find
a lot of things in those old town reports that aren’t in the more recent ones.
Fanny was the granddaughter of George and Hannah (Thwing) Draper and the daughter of Hannah
Thwing Draper and Edward Louis Osgood. The Osgood house (originally the home of Hannah’s
parents, George and Hannah Draper) was on the corner of Hopedale and Draper streets, part of the
block where the Community House is now. Sometime before 1920, the Osgoods moved to the only
house at the time on William Street. (Before 1930, it was always William Street. I haven’t been able to
pin down just when the s was added.) The house had originally belonged to George Otis Draper, son
of General William F. Draper and cousin of Fanny.
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