Draper Feud Carried on in Business War
The feud between the late Governor Eben S. Draper and his brother, the late
General William F. Draper, former congressman and ambassador to the court of
Italy, has been revived and carried on by the second generation.
By the latest development of the case, the town of Milford enjoys a retaliation for
the separation of the town of Hopedale some two score years ago.
The present war is being waged between Clare, the son of General Draper, and
B. H. Bristow Draper, son of the late chief executive, the latter being identified with
his remaining uncle, George Albert, in the original plant of the Draper company,
regarded as the largest manufacturer of cotton mill machinery in the country.
After competing in a small way through the operation of the Hopedale
Manufacturing Company for several years, Clare has finally decided to wage active
war and is erecting a large plant in Milford, just across the line from Hopedale
where products directly competing with the Draper company's output will be
Milford business men, spurred on by the opportunity to equalize matters with their
smaller rival town as well as by the increased industry made possible by the
acquisition of a factory employing 200 skilled workmen, raised about $32,000 for
the purchase of the lot on which the factory will be erected.
This lot is situated at the end of Mechanic street in Milford and is convenient to
freight and express facilities. Construction work has already started, and it is
expected that occupancy will be effected early in September.
The Hopedale Manufacturing Company, of which Clare Draper is treasurer, and
two former employees of the Draper Company, Jonas Northrop and F. C. Norcross
are president and secretary, respectively, has manufactured automatic
attachments for looms since its organization several years ago by General Draper,
after he had been ousted from active control of the company while in Europe.
Recently, several important patents have been granted to the Hopedale
Company, while other patents formerly controlled by the Draper Company have
expired and machinery based on their specifications will also be manufactured by
the Hopedale Company. The new plant will specialize particularly on automatic
attachments converting present types to the automatic variety, while appliances
built on similar specifications to the product of the Draper Company will be offered
in the market side by side with those of the parent firm.
Political matters were the original cause of the rupture between the two brothers,
which became so acrid that when General Draper died at Washington and was
buried in Hopedale, his brother, then Governor of Massachusetts, was refused
admission to either the beautiful Washington home or the funeral services of the
dead veteran and diplomat.
While the general was representing his government at the Italian Court, where it
was said that the jewels worn by his wife outshone those of the Queen, he was
voted out of the presidency of the Draper Company by the directors, although
retaining his stock in the company. Upon his return, he formed the Hopedale
Manufacturing Company, manufacturing products upon which he personally
controlled the patent rights.
Later his brother sought political preferment and was elected Lieutenant-
Governor, and later Governor, of the Commonwealth. Despite their high standing
in Republican party circles, the brothers never consulted each other and remained
aloof. This acrimony was carried to the death of the elder brother.
Neither the name of the paper nor the date were on the clipping this article was
taken from. Ads on the opposite side suggest it was probably a Boston paper.
The second paragraph mentions the separation from Milford " two score years
ago." That would make it 1926, although it evidently meant roughly, not exactly,
two score, because the article indicates that George Albert Draper was still living
and he died in 1923.
This article was copied as written in the paper. Capitalization rules have changed
over the years, as seen with "Republican party" and "Mechanic street."
Hopedale Manufacturing Company End of the feud
Eben Draper's lengthy account of the feud
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