September 15, 2012
The First Draper Statue
Hopedale in September
The Adin Ballou family – Hopedale Village Cemetery
Ex-Maine Central Railroad track cars ride the rails from Hopedale to Grafton, 1991. YouTube, 16
For those of you interested in recent developments on the G&U Railroad, here’s a link to the G&U
discussion forum on Railroad.net.
Twenty-five years ago – September 1987 – Mathias Rust on trial in Moscow for flying his plane into
Fifty years ago – September 1962 - 58-Bed Nursing Home to be Built on Route 140 Near Warfield
James Meredith becomes the first African-American to enroll in the University of Mississippi.
Soviet Union announces agreement to provide Cuba with military and industrial assistance.
On September 23, the Milford Historical Commission will host a celebration of 100th anniversary of the
unveiling of the General William F. Draper statue in Milford. In 1910, just months after the general’s
death, there had been a dedication of another statue of him.
Bronze Gen. Draper Statue Was Unveiled 76 Years Ago
By Gordon E. Hopper
HOPEDALE - A memorable occasion took place on May 30, 1910, when a bronze statue of the late
Gen. William Franklin Draper was erected, unveiled and dedicated at the Adin Street home of the
former soldier, statesman and diplomat.
The bronze image was created by a 32-year old English sculptor, Courtenay Pollock, R.B.A. Sculptor
Pollock was in Hopedale for the event on his first visit to the United States.
Prior to the arrival of the bronze figure, a huge rough pink granite block to serve as its base was gotten
out of the Massachusetts Pink Granite Company quarry on Cedar Street at the Hopkinton-Milford town
line by Superintendent Ralph W. Boyer for the purpose.
George M. Sherman of Holliston may have been associated with the cutting of the large base as he
was employed by the Massachusetts Pink Granite Company at the time.
The large block of granite is one of the most beautiful specimens of the Milford pink granite quarries. It
measures five and one-half feet high and four feet square. It weighs ten tons. The statue itself stands
seven feet high and weighs less than 1,000 pounds. The monument was set in place on May 27,
The site chosen for the monument is on a slight rise of land from the sloping lawn to the east of Gen.
Draper’s old home, about opposite the side entrance to the handsome residence.
Gen Draper is shown in the uniform of a Brigadier General of the U.S. Army, standing erect, with one
hand resting on the hilt of his sword and the other by his side.
All four sides of the base of the Draper statue are inscribed. In front is the inscription, “Gen. Draper,
1842 – 1910.” On the right and left are the names of the battles in which he fought during the Civil War,
and at the rear are the lines, “Member of Congress 1893 – 1897. Ambassador to Italy 1897 – 1900.”
The battles enumerated on the tablets include: “Defense of Knoxville, Blaine’s Cross-Roads,
Strawberry Plains, The Wilderness, Weldon Railroad, Pegrow’s Farm, Petersburg, Roanoke Island,
New Berne, Fredericksburg, Siege of Vicksburg, Jackson, Blue Spring and Campbell’s Station.”
The event was of great significance to residents of Milford and Hopedale, and in particular to
members of the Major E. F. Fletcher Post 22, G.A.R. and the family and friends of the late general.
The Draper grounds were opened to the public and scores of carriages and automobiles were
scattered along the adjacent streets. A squad of Milford police assisted the Hopedale officers in
handling the large throng.
Ceremonies followed the return of the Grand Army post members from the Hopedale cemetery where
a wreath was placed on the Tomb of Gen. Draper along with the flag and marker of Post 22, the same
as the other deceased war veterans.
After refreshments had been served at the Draper home, the general’s daughter, Margaret Preston
Draper, drew back the folds of a flag which covered the statue, it forming an impressive background.
Chairs for members of the family and many guests were placed in front of a platform which had been
erected for the unveiling and for the speakers, with the post members to the right and members of the
Major Fletcher Women’s Relief Corps at the left.
Capt. W.G. Pond, commander of Co. M, had his men stand in front of the monument just behind the
veterans, presenting arms. As the statue came into view, the Hopedale Brass Band was playing the
“Star Spangled Banner.”
The family party was made up on Mrs. Draper and daughters Margaret and Edith, three sons, George
Otis Draper, Capt. Arthur Joy Draper and Clare Hill Draper, Mrs. C.H. Colburn, Sculptor Pollock and
others. The Draper servants occupied seats immediately behind the family.
Rev. James A. Alvord, pastor of the Union Church invoked the Divine blessing and Congressman
John W. Weeks of Newton gave an eloquent tribute to the late Gen. Draper.
Fully 2,000 people witnessed the unveiling and listened to Congressman Weeks’ oration.
His concluding words were, “Those nearest to him have, in tender memory, erected this monument.
May the bronze serve to remind not only the present generation, but all future generations, that there
lived and built in this town a man whose career should be studied and as far as possible, followed by
all men who love Massachusetts, and wish to perpetuated those conditions which have made her
great.” Milford Daily News, January 26, 1987.
So the statue stood on the land that later became the site of General Draper High School, now named
Hopedale Junior-Senior High School. But where is the statue now? Here’s the story.
Here’s another little bit of info connected to the story. When I did a search for more on the sculptor,
Courtenay Pollock, some sites turned up with articles on him, but I found more on a present-day
Courtenay Pollock. This one seems to be regarded as the world's top tie-dye guy, and his major claim
to fame is his work in designing for the Grateful Dead. Seems likely that he’s a descendant of the
sculptor, but I haven’t been able to get an answer on that. Here’s a site for anyone interested in
reading about him. Here's a page on the Pollock who created the Draper statue. Thanks to Deirdre
Stam for sending it.
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This photo was probably taken on the day of
the dedication. Thanks to Laurel Moriarty for
picture was taken. Thanks to Ellen Alves for sending it.