Hopedale History
    October 1, 2010
    No. 165
    District Nursing Association

    Hopedale in September   

    Who’s buried in Draper’s tomb? Click here to find out.   

    Lucy Day –  I’m sure there are a few of you who remember her.

    A few weeks ago, Robert Whitman called the Bancroft Library to mention that the 50th
    anniversary of a tragic event with a Hopedale connection was near. He was referring to the
    1960 crash that occurred after a plane that had taken off from Logan Airport hit a flock of
    birds. Among the 62 passengers killed was Frederick FitzGerald, who was the research
    director at Draper Corporation. Mr. Whitman, who had moved out of Hopedale in 1960, was
    certainly right about the 50th coming up soon. It happened on October 4, 1960. Click here
    for more.   

    Another tragedy was also recalled in the past few days. Tom Ragonese emailed me, asking
    if I knew anything about Charles Dillon, Jr., who, at the age of six, drowned in Spindleville
    Pond. With assistance from John and Betty Butcher, I was able to find the Milford News story
    on it. Click here for the article and some memories of Charles’s parents.

    John Butcher has done quite a search to learn about Charles Johnson, a member of the
    Massachusetts 54th Infantry, killed in South Carolina in 1863. Click here to see what he

    Recent deaths.   

           The Milford, Hopedale, Mendon District Nursing Association has become so much a
    part of this community that it is difficult to visualize the problems which would exist if there
    were no such organization upon with we could call for assistance.

           The beginning of the Association goes back to a group on interested women who
    realized, after the severe outbreak of influenza in the Milford area in 1918, that there was a
    need for supplementing the hospital services that were available and of bringing nursing
    care directly into the homes.

           Under the leadership of the late Miss Fanny C. Osgood, who became the first
    president, the Association was formed and by-laws were drawn by the late Judge Lynch.

           In addition to Miss Osgood, the other officers first elected were: Mrs. B.H. Bristow
    Draper, treasurer, Miss Mildred Nutting, assistant treasurer, and Mrs. F. H. Lally, secretary.
    Miss Nora Rowel was the first nurse, by the end of the first year 2468 calls were made. By
    the end of the first year the Association had also opened its headquarters in the Thayer
    Building where it is still located

           In 1920, the school committees of Milford, Mendon and Hopedale engaged one of the
    Association nurses as part-time school nurse. The School Nursing work has continued
    through the years to be an important part of the work of the Association, although Milford
    and Mendon now have their own full-time school nurses.

           The first Open Market, which had become an annual custom in Milford, was held
    October 3, 1924, at the Park Street side of the Mansion House with Mrs. J.J. Duggan as
    general chairman. It is interesting to note that at about this time a “pencil drive” was held as
    a means of raising money. The pencils, 10,000 of which were sold, bore the inscription,
    “District Nursing Association.”

           In 1928, due to the increase in work, an office secretary was found to be necessary.
    During the next decade, home nursing classes were organized, and tuberculosis clinics
    were held in Mendon, Hopedale and Bellingham. Lectures in child psychology were given in
    Hopedale and dental clinics were held in Mendon and Bellingham.

           During the years health clinics have been an important part of the work of the
    Association. Regular yearly antigen vaccination clinics were held. In 1956 the clinic work
    consumed many more hours than ever before, due to the state’s free Salk polio inoculation
    program. During that year the Association prepared and assisted at 36 clinics in the three
    towns which it serves

           The many ramifications of the District Nursing program could not be carried on without
    a solid financial backing. Local people have been generous in the past and the association
    is hopeful that they will assist in making the present 1961 drive successful. Milford Daily
    News, May 8, 1961.

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    A group from Mendon visited the Hopedale Village Cemetery this month.
    Cemetery superintendent, John Foley (at the door) gave them a tour.

Milford-Hopedale-Mendon District
Nursing Assn. Organized in 1918

By Helen Symonds