Thanks to Paul Butcher for sending the Hopper article, and Laurel Moriarty for the photo of
    converting the G&U from steam to electricity.

    Was the Hopedale Electric Company located in Hopedale? I don't think it was. I've never seen
    anything on it here, and I have heard that the company that made batteries for the trolleys was
    located in Milford. The battery manufacturing building later housed the Lapworth Elastic Fabric
    Company (which was originally in Hopedale) and is now the home of Grandma's Attic Moving &

    Here's a bit on this from Bob Heglund's history of trolleys in Hopedale.

                                           Milford and Hopedale Street Railway Co.

    This line received a franchise in Milford on June 19, 1890 to operated a storage battery system.
    The line would run out W. Main Street entering Hopedale on Mendon Street to Hopedale Street and
    ending at the intersection of Hopedale and Freedom streets. This would provide service to the
    Draper plant. Six single truck storage battery passenger cars were ordered from the Ellis Car Co.,
    Amesbury, MA.

    The company began service on the 6 ½ mile long line on April 13, 1891. On April 28, 1893 the
    company constructed a building in Milford for the manufacture of storage batteries. This ultimately
    led to the end of operations. Another storage battery manufacturer brought suit against the railway
    for patent infringement. The resulting litigation resulted in the line ceasing operation on October 1,

    The information on Usher below is from an Usher genealogy site.

    EDWARD PRESTON USHER was born Nov. 19, 1851, at Lynn. He graduated from Harvard College
    in 1873, received the Degree of Master of Arts in 1875, and that of Bachelor of Laws in 1880. He
    practised law in Boston, and published, in 1886, a treatise on the " Law of Sales of Personal
    Property," having special reference to the law as it existed in Massachusetts.

    On the occasion of the dedication of the Soldiers' Monument in Lynn, Sept. 17, 1873, he delivered
    an original poem. He was a member of the Lynn School Committee for several years. He projected
    and built the Grafton and Upton Railroad, running from North Grafton to Milford, a distance of
    sixteen miles. He became President of this company in

    1887, and has held that position up to the present time. He was also President of the Milford and
    Hopedale Street Railway Company, and General Manager of the Hopedale Electric Company, which
    companies were organized to exploit the use of storage batteries for traction purposes. He devised
    a new type of cell, by which the cars were run successfully, and secured twelve patents there-on.
    This led to protracted litigation, which is still pending. From 1873 to ^78, he was Deputy United
    States Marshal. He moved to Grafton, Mass., in 1888, where he has since resided, retaining,
    however, his office in Boston.

    He married, June 25, 1879, Adela Louise Payson. She was born March 31, 1852, and was the
    daughter of Edwin Payson.  

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