February 15, 2014
The Drapers in Uxbridge
Hopedale in February
Hopedale Pond and Parklands, 2013 - another slideshow on YouTube. My pictures this time.
The Draper apprentice school.
mine, Bill, lived first on Freedom Street and later on Norhrop Street. Arthur joined the Marines during
the war, and while on Okinawa was attacked with a saber by a Japanese officer. Here's the story.
Still more on bobbins - The Draper facility at Tupper Lake, New York, by Bill Wright. Cotton Chats,
February 1940 on Beebe River, New Hampshire. More on Beebe River - Thanks to George
Bushnell for this 50-page booklet
During the past two weeks, additions have been made to: Draper Homes in Boston ( clipping -
Beacon Street estate sold by Isabella Stewart Gardner to Eben S. Draper.) The General Draper
Library at Hopedale High School (Gordon Hopper article) Recent deaths
Ebenezer and George Draper ran the family business in Hopedale and in 1854 they bought an
interest in the Dutcher temple, made in North Bennington, Vermont. Two years later, Warren Dutcher
joined the Draper brothers in Hopedale, bringing the Dutcher trademark, a diamond shaped design,
superimposed by a D. This same trademark, the Diamond D, is used by Draper Division today and is
recognized the world over as the mark of the Draper loom, pioneer of the textile machinery industry.
Elizabeth T. Cox, Worcester Telegram
Deputy Sheriff S.E. Kellogg conducted a raid Monday night at a Hopedale Street home near the
railroad viaduct, and seized nine barrels of wine, 60 bottles of home brew beer, and a half pint of what
appeared to be whiskey. Samples have been sent to the state chemist and arrests will follow his
report. Milford Gazette, January 8, 1926.
No. 87, sent back in 2007, was a Peter Hackett article on the early connection between Hopedale and
Uxbridge. That one was mainly on Joseph and Sylvia Bancroft. Today's story, also by Hackett, is about
the other connection between the two towns at that time - Ebenezer and George Draper, and their
wives, the Thwing sisters of Uxbridge.
Drapers of Hopedale Once Lived in Uxbridge
By Peter Hackett
Did you know that the Drapers of Hopedale were residents of North Uxbridge before they came to
Hopedale? It is one of the sidelights of the Crown and Eagle Mills story that two of the Draper brothers
lived with their parents in North Uxbridge before moving to Hopedale.
Their father, Ira, was the inventor of the self-acting loom temple in 1816 and this date has long been
recognized as the beginning of the Draper Corporation.
In these bicentennial years it is of more than passing interest to know something of the origin of the
name Draper. It traces back to the 11th century in Brittany where the name was known as LeDrapour,
which at the time meant, " the weaver and fuller of cloth." One such LeDrapour went with William the
Conqueror to England, there to become the first of many generations of Drapers.
At the beginning of the17th century, Thomas Draper of Hepinstall, England, owned a fulling mill run by
water power and also several hand looms. According to the late William H. Chase, Thomas "may be
rightly classed as a textile manufacturer in the days before the beginning of the factory system."
"James Draper the weaver," son of Thomas, married Miriam Stansfield, belle of Stansfield Hall, in
1647 and came from England to America. He settled in Roxbury and was the first man in the American
Colonies to engage in the business of weaving and selling cloth.
Ira Draper, great, great grandson of "James the weaver," was a prosperous farmer in Weston, Mass.
He was married twice, the second time to his first wife's sister. He had a large family, and the two
brothers who eventually became founders of the Draper Company, Ebenezer Daggett Draper and
George Draper, were brothers by the second marriage, Abigail Richards being the mother.
According to Rev. Adin Ballou, Ira Draper was "a man of large natural intelligence, mechanical
ingenuity and progressive thought.
In the Lewis Publishing Company 1907 History of Worcester County, it says of Ebenezer Daggett
Draper, "that he was born at Weston, Mass., June 13, 1813. He settled in Uxbridge and attended the
First Church (Unitarian) of Mendon, Mass., of which Rev. Adin Ballou was the pastor." It then goes on
to tell about Ballou founding the Hopedale Community and being joined in the experiment by
Ebenezer and his wife, Anna.
Under George, in the same history, it says, "When he was 15 years old he entered the weaving room
of the cotton mill of North Uxbridge, where his parents went to live and for two years he was a weaver."
Theonly cotton mill at the time in North Uxbridge was the so-called Crown and Eagle Mills. From this it
is clear that Ira Draper and his family lived in North Uxbridge for several years, long enough for the
boys to become acquainted with the Thwing sisters, Ebenezer marrying Anna on Sept. 11, 1834, and
George marrying Hannah B. on March6, 1839. At this time George was an overseer of weaving in the
large cotton mill, Three Rivers, at Palmer, Mass.
We know more about George's employment than we do of Ebenezer. Beside the Palmer mill, George
was also an overseer at the mill in Walpole, Mass. During a depression he was forced to take a job
as an ordinary millhand at the Mass. Cotton Mill at Lowell for five dollars a week. In 1843, he was a
designer at the Harris Mills of Woonsocket, R.I., and in 1845 the superintendent of one of the Otis Co.
mills at Ware, Mass. Soon thereafter he became the general superintendent of all the Otis Company
During 1816 the year of Ira Draper's invention of the self-acting temple, cloth was being sold from the
first American power loom set up in 1815 at Waltham. This promised a good field for the new temple.
Ira Draper arranged to have his temples made by the Waltham Company. He took out a new patent for
improvements on his temple in 1829 and next year sold both patents to his eldest son, James of
Wayland, who in turn sold them to his brother, Ebenezer.
It is not clear as to just where Ira and his son Ebenezer worked while in Uxbridge. We have a feeling
they probably made their loom temples in a shed on the farm where they lived. We do know Ebenezer
and his wife, Anna, attended the Unitarian Church in Mendon, while they lived in Uxbridge, at which
time they became closely acquainted with Rev. Adin Ballou. Meanwhile, they moved to Saugus where
Ira and his family had lived previously. Maybe Ira moved also at that time.
When the Hopedale Community was being established, Ebenezer and his wife became original
members and joined Ballou and his family "about the first of April, 1842, in the 'Old House.'" Although
Ebenezer supported the Community in every way, he made temples in a small shop independent of
the Community. George joined the Community in 1853. At the same time he joined his brother in the
firm of E.D. & George Draper. The Community dissolved in 1856 and was taken over by the Drapers.
The Little Red Shop was the first Draper shop in Hopedale.
Ebenezer retired in 1868, a comparatively wealthy man. His wife died of breast cancer Jan. 30, 1870.
Ebenezer then moved to Boston where he lost practically all his wealth in the American Steam Fire-
proof Safe Co.
George Draper continued in Hopedale until his death in 1887. In every category of accomplishment he
achieved overwhelming success, and it is interesting to realize that the beginning of it all was the day
he started to work when only 15 as a weaver in the Crown and Eagle Mills of North Uxbridge. Milford
Daily News, August 26, 1976.
The statement in the first paragraph that the Draper brothers lived with their parents in North Uxbridge
seems quite doubtful. Other sources on this agree that Ebenezer and George lived there, but there's
no mention of Ira. In General Draper's autobiography, he says that Ira was a native of Dedham, later
living in Weston and eventually Saugus, where he died at the age of 83. He also says of his father, "At
the age of fifteen he left home to take a position in the weaving department of the cotton mills of North
Uxbridge. There he boarded in the house of Benjamin Thwing and made the acquaintance of his
daughter, Hannah Brown Thwing, my mother." There's not a word about George and Ebenezer's
parents living in Uxbridge.
Ezine Menu HOME
MC Machine - Spindleville
Draper plant - February 10, 2014
The subject of Draper's Cotton Chats for May 1951 was the possibility of an
atomic attack. It included these handy hints on the back page .So remain calm
and don't start rumors, Guess they didn't want anyone saying things like, "Hey
folks, nuclear war could be hazardous to your health."