April 1, 2010
The “Other Drapers”
Hopedale in March
Flood - March 30
Now and Then at Hopedale Pond
Now and Then at Spindleville
Now and Then at Hopedale Coal & Ice (Not new, but with additions.)
Softball team, 196?
After Ebenezer Draper’s departure from Hopedale in 1868, the Drapers who owned the companies
that eventually became Draper Corporation consisted of George Draper and his descendants.
Eventually there were two other Draper families in town, unrelated to each other or to the “company
Drapers.” Virginia Cyr’s Milford News article below helps to clear up some of the resulting confusion,
with information on one of the “other Draper families.”
Draper Name Fading From Hopedale
All But One Have Moved From Town
By Virginia Cyr
HOPEDALE – The two names, Draper and Hopedale, for many years were synonymous in this area.
Many families were to be found residing in town who bore the family name of Draper.
One family of Drapers, Mr. and Mrs. George E. Draper and their sons and daughters, which numbered
12, lived here for many years. All of the children of the late Mr. and Mrs. George E. Draper have moved
from town, with the exception of Earl Draper, who resides at 165 Dutcher Street.
Mr. and Mrs. George E. Draper of South Royalston chose the year 1902 to move to Hopedale. The
couple, who became the parents of 12 children, were prominent in town and civic affairs. Although the
family name was the same, George E. Draper’s only connection with the local Draper families was
that he became an employee of the textile manufacturing plant. He worked in the shop that was
founded by a family with the same family name as his.
Mr. Draper retired from the Draper Corporation, where he was millwright foreman after many years of
service. Upon his retirement, he and his wife moved to Largo, Florida. Mr. and Mrs. Draper died within
a few days of each other in their Florida retirement spot. (See obituary below.)
Last year, Charles G. Draper, who had served as adjutant of the Walter H. Tillotson Post, American
Legion for many years, moved from Hopedale to Orlando, Florida, where he makes his home with his
William Draper, another son, retired from the Draper plant last year also and moved to Seattle,
Washington. Other members of the family who have left Hopedale are Mrs. Esther Taylor, who now
lives in Hyde Park, Mrs. Ellen Fitzgerald of Dundedin, Florida, George A. of Essex, Mrs. Kara Roberts of
Largo, Florida, and Mrs. Estelle Coffin of California. At last count there were 16 grandchildren among
the sons and daughters.
In addition to the George E. Draper family residing here, at one time George E. Draper’s father,
Gardner came here to live with his son, as did Mrs. Draper’s mother, Mrs. Clara Pope and her
grandfather who died here at the age of 94. Milford Daily News, July 17, 1971.
In addition to having the same last name, the Drapers of Draper Corporation fame and the other
Drapers shared some first names. Over the generations, two had one or two Williams and all three had
at least one George. The Draper Corporation family included a George A. Draper, the George E.
Draper family had a George A. Draper, and there was another George A. Draper who wasn’t related to
either of those families. The William Draper known for the newspaper store on Hope Street was from
the George E. Draper clan. Bill Gannett, grandson of Gov. Eben Draper, is the only member of the
company Drapers living in Hopedale at this time.
I can recall three of the “other Drapers.” Lyman was my scoutmaster when I was a kid. His brother Earl
would help out with the troop now and then, especially if an additional driver was needed for a trip.
Charlie lived at the Legion Home and I’d see him when there was an occasional scout meeting there.
Another occasion for kids to go to the Legion Home was after the Memorial Day parade to get a drink
of “bug juice” that was served from the porch.
I’m sure there are a few of you reading this who were much more familiar with the various Drapers than
I am. Perhaps you could send me some memories that I could add to the website version of this piece.
Esther L ( Carroll) DeVita, 94, Hampton Beach, NH, March 20, 2010.
Matthew J. Antonellis, 31, March 22, 2010, HHS 1996.
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