Milford, Hopedale 1880 - 1930
Page 1, 1880 - 1899
In 1930, Milford held what appears to have been a very large celebration of its 150th anniversary. As
part of that occasion, a book titled "Milford 1880 - 1930" was published. Tootsie Deletti made me
aware of the book and loaned me a copy from which I took the items below. Since this is a Hopedale
website, I've concentrated on Hopedale items, but there were so many things that tell a bit about the
times and/or affected the entire area, much of what I have below is from Milford. DM
January 5 -Gen. William F. Draper appointed to staff of Gov. John D. Long
June 1 - Agitation for Memorial Hall. George Draper offered $2500 toward it.
March 9 - Milford Water Co. organized with Moses Joy, jr., president.
June 2 - Seats for formal opening of Milford Opera House were sold at public auction at the house.
George Draper paid the highest price, $55, Gen. William Draper the second highest, $47.50
June 3 - The play, "The Guv'nor" opened the Opera House with Reeve's orchestra of ten pieces of
September 6 - Unusual and curious atmospheric conditions, remembered as the "yellow day."
lower part of the state resembles a thumb on a map). Drought and high speed winds swept over four
counties in Michigan, and burned more than one million acres. About 20 villages were destroyed at
least 282 people were killed. Smoke, soot, and ash were sent high up into the atmosphere and
obscured sunlight on the east coast of the United States as far as south as Virginia. From
October 3 - Citizens at special town meeting voted to sell the town's 500 shares of stock in the Milford
& Woonsocket Railroad Corporation to George Draper and James P. Ray for $30,000.
September 18 - Milford Water Co. commenced extending its water mains to Hopedale.
December 26 - Milford Board of Trade organized. Hopedale members of the board included Gen.
William F. Draper, F. J. Dutcher and J. B. Bancroft.
January 6 - Five Milford cigar namufacturers made 1.251,300 cigars during 1882. Cigars were first
made in Milford in 1866.
March 6 - George Draper leased the Hopkinton railroad until the auction sale to be held
July 23. The road is to be run in connection with the new line to Franklin with through trains from
Ashland to Boston and Providence via Milford.
December 30 - Death of Hannah (Brown) Draper, wife of George Draper.
May 16 - George Draper sold the railroad from Milford to Ashland to the Milford & Woonsocket Railroad
Co., through legislative act.
October 16 - Rev. and Mrs. George Stacy observed golden wedding anniversary. [Stacy was a
prominent member of the Hopedale Community , a Utopian commune, for several years.]
November 21 - The new railroad is selling round trip tickets to Boston by way of Franklin for $1.00.
March 2 - Milford selectmen elected at town meeting include J. B. Bancroft.
June 22 - George Draper writes an open letter, published in the Journal, stating that he is to petition
the Legislature to have Hopedale set off as a separate town. (For more on this subject, continue down
to October 17, and then to 1886. Click here for more on another page.)
August 17 - George A. Draper, Z.C. Field and A. J. Sumner were chosen as a committee to interview
Norcross Bros. concerning the report of leaving Milford. The principal reason was the indiscriminate
sale of liquor in the vicinity of the quarry. If this trouble was remedied they would consider remaining
September 9 - A move was made toward establishing a local company for electric lighting.
October 17 - At a public meeting of Hopedale voters in Social Hall, on the question of dividing
Hopedale from Milford, the sentiment was in favor of the division. George Draper was chairman and
Frank J. Dutcher, secretary. Delano Patrick of Hopedale opposed the division.
October 21 - Milford Electric Light Co., formed and Milford is now to have electric lighting. Poles and
wires have arrived, a new boiler bought and carpenters are at work on the building on Central street.
November 11 - Lighting by electricity for the first time in Milford tonight. Five street lights erected and
seven business men also began the use of electric lighting.
December 1 - George Draper, chairman of Memorial Hall committee, officially notified the Selectmen
of the completion of the building.
January 8 - Severe snowstorm and gale continuing for two days, tied up railroads for several hours.
Only one stage, the one to Hopedale, succeeded in getting through the snowdrifts.
January 27-27 - Hearing on the division of Hopedale and Milford at the State House. The entire days
were taken up by the petitioners and adjourned until February 1. On that day the petitioners closed
their case and previous to it the remonstrants were heard.
March 24 - The House ordered the Hopedale separation bill to a third reading, 118 to 92 and then
engrossed it 116 to 78. Fully 300 from Milford were at the State House when the voting took place. On
April 3 the Senate enacted the bill, 18 to 16. When the separation became complete the Milford school
committee decided to charge the Hopedale pupils in the Milford High Schol $1 per week for tuition.
December 11 - Meeting of Selectmen of Milford and Hopedale in Milford Town Hall to divide the assets
and liabilities of Milford, as of April 6, 1886. The matter will be referred for settlement to three
commissioners appointed by the Superior Court of Worcester County. Chairman E. D. Bancroft of
Hopedale Selectmen, demanded this procedure.
February 26 - Judge Staples of Superior Court appointed William N. Clark of Worcester, Simon
Borden of Fall River and Augustus B. Endicott of Dedham, commissioners in the Milford-Hopedale
June 7 - George Draper died at the United States Hotel in Boston, aged 70 years.
July 22 - An agreement of settlement of all differences arising between Milford and Hopedale because
of the incorporation of the latter, April 7, 1886, was presented to the special commissioners.
September 1 - Milford Daily News established.
January 4 - In 1887, there were 2,216,525 cigars made in Milford.
September 1 - Homecoming reception tendered to Gen. W. F. Draper by the citizens of Milford and
Hopedale in Milford Town Hall.
October 17 - The new Grafton & Upton railway to be run from the present railroad grounds in Milford,
through Hopedale to North Grafton.
June 3 - The Milford Pink Granite Co. received the contract for the completion of the Boston Public
Library, for $873,500. (Quarry pictures)
September 9 - There were 2,118 tons of stone shipped over the B & A during August.
August 5 - Rev. Adin Ballou, aged 87 years, 3 months and 13 days, died in his home at Hopedale. He
was historian for Milford, founder of the Hopedale Community and a noted writer and authority on
August 27 - President E.P Usher of the Milford & Hopedale Street Railway Co., ordered six cars, each
to cost $6,000 for the railway. Electric storage battery system is to be used.
February 18 - Milford Overseers of the Poor report that $3,400 was realized from sale of produce at the
April 13 - The first street car by electric-storage battery power, was run over the Milford & Hopedale
system on Central and Main streets with newspaper men and others as guests.
May 18 - Gen. W.F. Draper subscribed $1,000 toward the $10,000 necessary toward starting a new
shoe manufactory in Milford.
April 14 - Milford Electric Light & Power Co. votes to extend the incandescent lamp street lighting to
November 8 - Gen W. F. Draper elected congressman.
April 28 - Milford & Hopedale Street Railway Co. erects a new building for the manufacture of storage
March 17 - Milford granite cutters, after a prolonged strike, reached agreement for a sliding scale of 27
to 34 cents an hour.
May 14 - The will of Nancy Bartlett left her home on Chestnut Street for an "Old Ladies Home," to be
named after her.
September 13 - Tracks, franchise and rights belonging to the Milford & Hopedale Street Railway Co.
were taken over by the Milford, Holliston & Framingham Street Railway Co.
December 21 - Mendon Horse Thief Detecting Society celebrated it 100th anniversary.
January 1 - During 1895 there were 71,377 cases of boots and 13, 947 tons of cut granite shipped
form Milford. J
June 19 - William Lapworth of Hopedale, manufacturer of elastic web goods, met Milford business
men and arrangements made for his commencing business in Milford at the old battery factory on
Depot street. Mr. Lapworth having secured a five year lease.
June 2 - The Milford & Upton Street Railway Co., granted a franchise by the Milford Selectmen, were
refused one by the Hopedale Selectmen.
December 7 - The first basketball game ever played in Milford was tonight in Town Hall between two
January 31 - The worst blizzard since 1867 visited Milford, tying up all traffic and completely isolated
the Town for two days.
May 4 - George A., Eben S. and George Otis Draper, all of Hopedale, generously offered to equip Co.M
members with such personal effects as they desired, not furnished by the government.
May 4 - Milford's patriotism is around. Hundreds of flags adorn business blocks, factories and
residences and the motto "Remember the Maine" is much in evidence.
May 4 - Milford citizens honored Co. M with a big public recognition in Town Hall. The company was
escorted from the Armory by Milford brass band and ablaze of red fire. Patriotic speeches made by
prominent Milford and Hopedale residents.
May 6 - Co. M given a rousing farewell on its departure for Framingham muster field preparatory for
service in the Spanish-American war.
May 20 - On departure of Co. M to Washington from Framingham, hundreds of Milford's citizens went
to Framingham to cheer them off. The Milford High School Cadets assisted in the ceremonies.
June 20 - Co. M, through Corp A.B. Edmunds, recruiting officer, filled its quota. The men in charge of A.
J. Draper, one of their number and son of Gen. W.F. Draper, left Milford June 21 for Albany, N.Y. They
were given a stirring farewell on their departure.
July 1 - Arthur J. Draper has been commissioned Lieutenant.
October 27 - Milford gives rousing welcome to Capt. John F. Barrett of Co. M and his command on
their return from the Spanish-American war. Big street parade and reception in Armory Hall followed.
November 1 - Paul T. French of Hopedale, a member of Co. M died October 24 on the relief ship, "Bay
State," of fever. He was buried at sea.
January 9 - Selectmen request the war department to forward to Milford the bodies of Sergt. Asa B.
Trask and Private A. L. Wilkinson, who died in the war, from Porto Rico.
June 8 - Misses Annie and Carrie Wheeler, daughters of Gen. Joseph Wheeler, a Confederate
general, of Alabama, are being entertained by Milford and Hopedale residents.
July 19 - State Board of Health warns the local Board about drinking water through lead pipes.
Page 2, Milford, Hopedale 1900 - 1912 Page 3, Draper Strike of 1913
Page 4, Milford, Hopedale 1914 - 1930 Milford in 1780 Milford Menu Hopedale