July 1, 2006
Eben Sumner Draper, Jr.
During the last week, I’ve added a section on the Parklands to the Hopedale history website. It
includes fifteen pictures on four pages, plus a couple of “side trips.” To see it, go to “A Walk Through
Many of you have noticed that the Hopedale High Alumni website hasn’t been updated recently. A new
webmaster is now working on it, updating old material, and you should be seeing new items added in
the near future..
Chenot Associates, the architectural firm working on plans for restoration of the Little Red Shop, is
nearing completion of their first draft of the scope of work. The Historical Commission hopes to
accomplish some preliminary steps for the project in the next few weeks.
Vandalism at South Hopedale Cemetery.
Draper names can be confusing. They had too many Williams, Georges and Ebens. First, (first in
Hopedale, anyway) there was Ebenezer Draper. Then there was Governor Eben Sumner Draper. He
had a son named Eben Sumner Draper, Jr. The governor’s brother, Bristow, evidently wanted to honor
his father’s memory, and named one of his sons Eben Sumner Draper. At some point in his life this
one dropped the Sumner. Perhaps to avoid confusion with his cousin. I hope it worked. Anyway, what
do you suppose life was like for a Draper in the first half of the twentieth century? Here’s a bit about
one of them; Eben, Jr. Eben, the governor’s son, that is.
Eben Sumner Draper, Jr.
Eben Sumner Draper, Jr., son of Governor Eben Sumner and Nannie (Bristow) Draper, was born
August 30, 1893. After completing his prepatory education at the Noble and Greenough private school
in Boston, he entered Harvard University, receiving the degree of A.B. in 1915.
At the end of his sophomore term in college the young man took an extended trip to Alaska in which
were combined exploration and hunting. He and four other hunters chartered a boat in Seattle. Two
museum men accompanied them, a crew of twelve and Eskimos for whaling completed the
compliment. The ship sailed to Nome through the Aleutian Islands to the Siberian coast and then to
Point Barrow. When the ice pack broke, she ship rounded the Point and went eastward and was finally
frozen in at a point forty miles west of the mouth of the Mackenzie. Winter quarters were built on the
shore. The ship came out with its crew and men in October of 1913. Draper and three companions left
the Arctic in November of 1913 and with the assistance of dog teams crossed the uncharted Endicott
Range and arrived on the Yukon River, returning to Boston for Christmas.
Having obtained his degree, Mr. Draper became associated with the Draper Company, but after a
period of a year, in 1916, he became a student of aviation. As a preparedness measure he presented
a plane to the state of Massachusetts, affording it the distinction of being the first state to own its own
plane. For three months during the summer, he was in charge of the Harvard Flying School in Buffalo,
New York. Out of the group of twenty-five students, eight were killed fighting in France during World
Entering the first Plattsburg training camp at the outbreak of World War I, Draper was commissioned
provisional second lieutenant coast artillery corps of the regular army at Fortress Monroe, Virginia,
August 15, 1917. Two weeks later he sailed for France where he attended the French artillery school
at Abbeville, France. He was attached to the fifty-third artillery regiment of the United States army, and
on June 15, 1918 was assigned to the intelligence section of the third army corps as first lieutenant of
the regular army. Soon after he saw active service in the offensive at Soissons, took part in the famous
battle of the Marne, and was in the engagements at Aisne River and at Argonne. Finally Lieutenant
Draper served with the Army of Occupation. In October 1918, he received his captain’s commission,
and on May 24, 1919 he was honorably discharged.
Captain Draper had his initial military experience as a member of the First Corps Cadets of
Massachusetts, where he served at first as a private and then as corporal from 1911 to 1913. During
this period, he served at the Lawrence strike in Lawrence, Massachusetts. After World War I, he
attained the rank of lieutenant-colonel in the National Guard, and was assistant chief of staff of the
twenty-sixth division of that body from 1923 to 1927. In 1940 he became attached to the
Massachusetts Intelligence Service at the State House and was a colonel during World War II.
In 1921 and 1922 Mr. Draper was honored by election as representative in the General Court of
Massachusetts. He was sent to the State Senate from 1923 to 1926. In Republican circles Mr. Draper
was popular and prominent, and for four years he filled the position of treasurer in the Republican
Club of Massachusetts. He was president of the club in 1925 and served in that capacity until 1928. In
1928 he was a candidate for the Republican nomination of United States Senator and was defeated
in a hard contest. In 1930 he advocated the repeal of Prohibition and made that his principal issue in
his campaign for the Republican nomination to the United States Senate and was defeated by less
than 5,000 votes. Since then he has not been a candidate for public office himself but has assisted
and managed various state-wide campaigns.
Eben Sumner Draper is interested in many philanthropic enterprises, chief among them being the
Milford Hospital, of which he is president. It was in connection with this institution that, in 1916, Mr.
Draper, together with his brother, Benjamin Helm Bristow Draper, and his sister, Dorothy Draper
Gannett, erected a nurses’ home as a memorial to their parents. This hospital has grown greatly in
size and he has been its president for many years. He also served as a trustee of the Massachusetts
General Hospital for six years, being appointed by Governor Leverett Saltonstall.
Mr. Draper has been director of the Milford National Bank since 1914, and president since 1936. He
has served as a trustee of the Suffolk Savings Bank of Boston for twenty years and as a director of the
Draper Corporation since 1934.
Mr. Draper seeks relaxation in social life. He is a devotee of outdoor sports. He is a member of the
Horticultural Society, being deeply interested in all phases of horticulture. His father’s estate, The
Ledges, has been his property since 1914 and he is greatly interested in the development of the land
and gardens and the care of the gorgeous trees. He has traveled widely.
He is a member of the Sons of the Revolution, the Somerset Club of Boston, the Country Club of
Brookline, Massachusetts, Harvard clubs of Boston and New York, and the Brook Club of New York.
Married first at Paul Smith’s, New York, August 30, 1920, Ruth Lawrence Carroll.
Married second, November 12, 1926, Hazel Marjory Archibald of Seattle, Washington.
Issue by first wife:
Nancy Carroll Draper, born August 28, 1922, at Boston, Massachusetts.
The Drapers, Prestons and Allied Families, 1954.
Draper died April 17, 1959 and is buried in Hopedale Village Cemetery.
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