Milford 1880 - 1930
Page 3, The Draper Strike of 1913
(and other events of that year)
March 11 - Strike at Archer Rubber Co. for three weeks ended today. An appeal for
recognition of I.W.W. [Industrial Workers of the World] failed.
March 17 - I.W.W. employees of Archer Rubber Co. again struck this morning for
recognition of that organization.
March 19 - Town Hall is refused I.W.W. for a meeting.
March 20 - Oliveri Hall, scene of I.W.W. meeting. Chief O'Neil and Capt. Wm. Proctor of
the State Police present.
March 22 - Threats of I.W.W. strikes in Hopedale and at Milford Iron Foundry, since the
visit of Joe Ettor and Arturo Giovanniti, leaders of Lawrence strike.
March 28 - I.W.W. meeting in Driving Park Hall, which Chief O'Neil and State Officers
April 1 - I.W.W. strike at Draper Co. plant started. The Milford men assembled in Lincoln
square, marched to Hopedale and made a noisy demonstration. They tried to dissuade by
force employees from entering the works but were unsuccessful as Chief Samuel Kellogg
had a large force of officers, armed with baseball bats, guarding the entrance to the plant.
The men returned to Milford to Driving Park Hall for a meeting, about 600 being in the
crowd. Draper Co. stated that no demands were made by the strikers, that many in the
parade were not their employees and that the I.W.W. was responsible for the outbreak.
Worcester, Boston, Clinton and South Framingham policemen with State Police, under
command of Capt. Proctor, and Worcester County Deputy Sheriffs, came upon the scene.
Hopedale swore in several special policemen. Milford is in the most uncomfortable
situation in its history.
April 2 - The first clash of strikers and police occurred this morning when strikers resisted
efforts of police to take baseball bats from them. Joseph M. Coldwell returned here
yesterday and assumed leadership of the strikers, who asked for increased wages, etc.,
which were presented to Draper Co. officials today and were refused.
April 8 - Twenty-three members of Metropolitan Police arrived in Milford for duty during
I.W.W. strike. Women and children paraded through the streets of Milford to Hopedale,
carrying many placards. Milford and Hopedale were heavily guarded by police.
April 10 - Thirty-five iron moulders employed in Milford Iron Foundry discharged this
morning when they reported for work. Leader Coldwell threatens general strike of all
"foreigners" employed in Milford factories in retaliation
April 10 - Milford Board of Trade adopts resolution asking selectmen to refuse use of
Town Hall to strikers because of labor unrest.
Four unknown men fired several shots into a Hopkinton-bound car of the M. & U. Street
Railway Co. The car contained employees of Draper Co. The only person wounded was
George Davis, of Hopedale, hit in fleshy portion of hip by 32-caliber bullet.
April 14 - After the parade to Hopedale this morning strikers marched to Greene Bros,
heel manufactory, and urged the employees to leave their work. There were 50 girls from
Greene Bros. and 25 at Lapworth's who quit work. There were 428 men in the morning
April 14 - Ex-Gov. Draper announces the company's willingness to discuss wage
conditions with former employees.
April 15 - Girl pickets and loyal workers at the fabric mill [Lapworth's, probably], battled,
many of the girls being scratched and bruised. Arrival of officers quelled the outbreak.
The iron foundry of Draper Co. received 55 new employees today.
April 16 - Rioting in front of Lapworth mills today, resulted in two officers being injured
and many persons clubbed. Men, women and girls numbering 150 participated.
Conference to end the strike fails, Draper Co. refusing to deal with I.W.W. Motor trucks
used to transport Lapworth's girl employees to and from work, Metropolitan Police
April 18 - Town of Hopedale adopted stringent by-laws against parading, etc., at a special
April 19 - Mass meeting held in Lincoln square by strikers at which 4,000 people gathered.
April 22 - Draper Co. strikers again attempt by force to prevent employees going to work.
Strike pickets and police clash.
April 24 - Emidio Bacchiocci, 32 years old, of Milford, a Draper Co. striker, shot and killed
in the Spindleville section of Hopedale, while picketing. Great excitement prevailed.
Leader Coldwell arrested for infraction of the Hopedale by-laws; with being a dangerous
and disorderly person and with uttering threats and menacing speeches. Colwell
arraigned in District Court and his case continued. Joseph Bianco, attached to the Italian
Consulate at Boston was at the trial, On Coldwell's promise not to again lead the strikers
to Hopedale the charge against him for violating by-laws was not pressed.
April 26 - Funeral of Emidio Bacchiocchi, slain striker. About 2,000 were in funeral
procession, business places of Italian speaking residents were closed - many of them for
the last two days and some having crepe on the doors. Services were in the afternoon in
Sacred Heart of Jesus Church, after which the procession marched through the streets
and to St. Mary's cemetery, where services were again held at the grave.
April 29 - Strike Leader Coldwell was convicted in District Court today and sentenced to
three months in jail for threatening and fined $5 for breaking the by-laws of Hopedale. He
appealed and furnished sureties in $800 for trial in Superior Court.
April 30 - Coldwell, Howard and Albizotti, leaders of the strike, also twenty strikers, were
summoned into court today to answer to the charge of violating Hopedale's by-laws.
Coldwell went to Hopedale today on the electric cars.
May 1 - Residences in Milford stoned. One Hopedale worker assaulted, receiving a
May 2 - About 150 boys and girls marched to Hopedale from Milford this morning and
were sent back by the police. Leader Coldwell was again in Hopedale and less than 50 of
the strikers were with him.
May 3 - Arturo Giovannitti, a leader of the Lawrence strike and strike leaders Coldwell and
Howard led a crowd of 400 men and women from Milford towards Hopedale this morning.
At the Hopedale line, a big squad of officers blocked their way. Giovannitti, Coldwell and
Howard were allowed to pass, only to be arrested on their arrival in front of the Draper
works. Giovannitti was found guilty in District Court, fine $10, as were the other
defendants, and appealed.
May 6 - Draper Co. to build 60 houses in Milford and Hopedale.
May 7 - Efforts of State Board of Arbitration to settle the Draper strike fruitless. Pupils of
Plains school started a miniature strike. They armed themselves with clubs and forbid
other children to attend school. Police were called to round up the "strikers."
May 16 - Edgar A. Sherman of Hopedale, a special policeman, arraigned in District Court
before Judge C.A. Cook, charged with manslaughter in causing the death of Emidio
Bacchiocchi in Hopedale, April 24. He waived the reading of the complaint and furnished
sureties in $5,000 for his appearance in Superior Court.
The first break in the ranks of the strikers was today when twelve Polish-speaking former
employees resumed work.
May 23 - A crowd of 200 strike pickets stood in front of an electric car at Braggville this
morning, refused to move and compelled employees of Draper Co. to get out of the car.
Picketing was renewed, street cars were stoned and women and children were active in
the trouble. Many employees of Draper Co. were forced to return to their homes as they
attempted to go to Hopedale to work.
This evening rioting occurred at Depot square. Strikers stoned the police, who freely used
their clubs. Three men arrested charged with rioting.
May 29 - Riot at Lincoln Square tonight when strikers refused to obey police not to
parade or conduct a meeting. The riot act was read and the crowd of 2,000 soon
scattered in all directions by fully 100 officers. Atty. T.G. Connolly and Morrison Swift, as
well as five others, arrested.
June 5 - Joseph M. Coldwell, strike leader, was today found guilty of uttering, threatening
and menacing speeches in Milford, April 24. He was sentenced to three months in
The strikers conducted a meeting in Town Hall tonight at which 1,200 attended, a majority
of the selectmen granting them the use of it.
June 7 - The backbone of the strike is broken. Many of the men are returning to work, the
police are being withdrawn and there is less activity by pickets.
June 8 - Two carloads of children of strikers were taken by the M. A. & W. Street Railway
Co. cars today to Providence to remain until the strike is over.
June 17 - Strike at Green Bros. Factory in force since April 12, settled amicably today
and 49 girl strikers resumed work.
June 18 - Selectmen refuse use of Town Hall to strikers when it became known Carlo
Tresca and Elizabeth Gurley Flynn, I.W.W. agitators, were to speak.
June 20 - Carlo Tresca and Elizabeth Gurley Flynn of I.W.W. speak in Driving Park hall to
300 strikers and others.
July 5 - Over 150 strikers applied for work at Hopedale today and the strike is now said to
July 20 - Temple of Solomon, Milford's first Jewish synagogue, dedicated.
July 15 - "Votes for Women" pilgrimage reaches Milford, and Mrs. Glendower Evens, Miss
Margaret Foley and Miss Caroline I. Foley addressed outdoor meetings.
July 21 - By a vote of 765 in favor and 241 against, Milford voters, at special town
meeting, voted to retain the so-called "musical" by-law. The result was a distinct rebuke to
the I.W.W. and sympathizers.
August 27 - Draper Co. reimbursed Milford $4,500 for expense incurred during I.W.W.
October 7 - Milford Hosptial receives a check for $5,000 in the will of Mrs. E.S. Draper. It
is to be known as the Nannie Bristow Draper Fund, income to be used for the
maintenance of a free bed.
October 28 - John Phillip Sousa and his band give a concert in Milford Opera House.
Milford News article on Bacchiocchi's Death
Milford News 55th Anniversary of Strike Article
The Hopedale Strike of 1913: The Unmaking of an Industrial Utopia
Milford History, 1880 - 1930 Page 1, Milford, Hopedale, 1880 -1899 Page 2, Milford,
The picture above is a copy of a postcard that
sold for $271 on ebay in the fall of 2005. See
below for more on Bacchiocci and the strike.
One of many newspaper articles about the
strike. It was sent by Peter Metzke, who
said, "A little item out of the Lewiston Daily
Sun ( Maine ) Saturday May 24, 1913."
In various accounts of the killing of Bacchiocchi, his first name is
given as Emilio, Emelio and Emidio. In view of what you see
below, I've changed the spelling on these pages to Emidio,
My great-grandfather is listed as “Emidio” on his birth certificate
and since that’s the same spelling as the two Milford censuses
and the immigration manifest that is likely what he went by and
what I think would be best to use going forward. Donna
Bacchiocchi, May 2013
Boston Herald, April 14, 1913.
Bacchiocci stone, St. Mary's Cemetery, Milford