George Draper Osgood
                                                      
   Brilliant Man,  Tragic Life

    George Draper Osgood is a bit of a mystery. He was a Harvard honor student and graduate, but it
    appears  that he never worked. In the street listing books, he was always given as "at home." When
    his mother and  his sister Fannie were living at The Larches in the summer and in Boston in the
    winter, he was there also.  Later, he was at his brother Dana's home, off of Greene Street, which by
    the mid-twentieth century was well  known in town as The Harel House. It seems that he may have
    been living there alone for many years. His  name is in the street listing books through 1952, and
    then disappears.

    I couldn't find any more about Osgood until the obituary above turned up. Recently, I ran across his
    picture in an album done by Dorothy Draper Gannett, mother of Bill Gannett. You can see it above
    this text box with a note that  says "deaf and dumb from birth."  Consider that, along with the obituary
    above, and there must be quite a story about his life, but all I've ever found is what you see here.
    According to the obituary, ",,,he had been a patient for a prolonged period at the Wiswall Hospital in
    Wellesley." I haven't been able to learn much about Wiswall in an online search, other than that it was
    a psychiatric hospital where lobotomies were performed and electric shock was used.

    George's mother, Hannah Draper Osgood, sister of General William F. Draper, Governor Eben S.
    Draper, George Albert Draper and Frances Draper Colburn, lived with her husband and children in
    the house that had been her parents' home at the corner of Draper and Hopedale streets. In 1909,
    she purchased The Larches on Williams Street from her nephew, George Otis Draper. The home
    burned down about a month after the purchase, and the house that's there now is what she had built
    after the fire. Her son, George Draper Osgood and her daughter, Fannie Osgood, resided there also.
    In 1929, both Hannah and Fannie died.

    The Dana and Laird Osgood house was built in the woods off of Greene Street in 1911. They lived
    there until they moved south in 1929. By 1933, and possibly earlier (books for 1931 and 1932 not
    available), Austin Osgood, 21, student, (son of Dana and Laird Osgood) and George Draper
    Osgood, 45, at home, were both living at 50 Greene Street, the former Dana Osgood home and the
    future Harel House. By 1940, George was still at that address according to the street listing book; the
    only Osgood in Hopedale by that time. As mentioned above, the last year his name was in the street
    listing book was 1952.

    The story became even more puzzling when I looked again at some Milford News clippings I had
    copied at the Bancroft Library a few years ago. In December 1938, the Osgood home was sold to a
    company described as a real estate promoter. Two months later it was sold   to Mr. and Mrs. Louis
    McVitty.. Their plan, according to the article, was to use it as a rest home. That may have happened,
    although I've never run across anything else about it being used for that purpose. The McVitty couple
    never moved into the Osgood house. They lived nearby at 36 Greene Street.

    The next complication in the story is that in 1946 the McVitty couple sold the home to Mr. and Mrs.
    Harry Lacy. They named it the Harel House and used it as their home and their business; mainly a
    furniture store. George Osgood's name continued to be at that address until 1952. Was he really
    there, or was the only part of him in Hopedale by that time his name in the street listing book?

    With that question in mind, I called Harel Lacey, daughter of the couple who established the Harel
    House. She was totally unfamiliar with the name, George Draper Osgood. Somehow his name
    remained in the street listing books at 50 Greene Street for six years after Harel and her parents
    were living there.

    Louis McVitty developed  the land that had been part of the Dana and Laird Osgood estate - McVitty
    Road, Dana Park, and Catherine Street, as well as selling house lots on Greene Street. George was
    out of there at least by 1946, and probably sooner. He was at Wiswall for "...a prolonged period..."
    according to his obituary. Does that mean that he was there for the two decades from the time he left
    Hopedale until his death in 1972? We'll probably never know.



                   
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Dana Osgood                   Fannie Osgood                   Hannah Osgood  

Draper Menu                           HOME  

    The following was sent by Lisa Lepore of Mendon, who became interested in the
    story of George Draper Osgood when reading about him in ezine No.367.

    Can’t resist a good mystery -

    According to the 1940 census, there is a George D. Osgood at the Wiswall Sanitarium.  
    That census asks where the person was living as of April 1, 1935, and for George that was
    at Wiswall.  https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-L9M1-QF3C?cc=2000219

    Wiswall Sanitarium was located at 203 Grove Street, and then became Charles River
    Hospital.  Charles River filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2000, and even though it comes
    up in current searches, it does not exist. According to Wikipedia it was closed in 2002.  
    There are gigantic residential properties all around that address now. https://www.
    bizjournals.com/boston/stories/2000/06/05/story1.html

    George D Osgood
    United States Census, 1940
    Wellesley Town, Norfolk, Massachusetts, United States
    Age - 51
    Marital Status - Single
    Inmate
    Birth Year (Estimated) - 1889

    In the 1930 census, there is a George D. Osgood at McLean Hospital in Belmont.
    https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:33S7-9R4Y-HPN?i=3&cc=1810731

    George was also at McLean in 1920   https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:33S7-
    9RNZ-XWC?i=7&cc=1488411

    In 1914 he applied for a passport.  It says his occupation is Mathematics/Physics. He says
    he will return to the US in two years. His signature was notarized by Herbert Boyer, and he
    asked that the passport be mailed to Herbert Boyer.   This goes along with the information
    from the obituary that says he went to Germany after Harvard, and returned before the
    war.

    There is a WWI draft registration for him here, dated June 5, 1917.  https://www.
    familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:33S7-8BRJ-733?i=228&cc=1968530

    It states he is mentally incompetent and under treatment at Bournewood Hospital in
    Brookline MA which still exists. According to their website, they were established in 1884.  
    They are an independent privately owned psychiatric care facility.

    In 1910 George was living with his family on Beacon Street with five servants.  As you
    mentioned, he had no occupation listed. https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:33S7-
    9RVL-YJH?i=18&cc=1727033 (At the time they were on Beacon Street, they also spent
    part of each year at their Hopedale home. I think their time at Beacon Street was for the
    "social season.")

    In 1900 they were living in Hopedale, George was a student.  https://www.familysearch.
    org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HT-675S-ZP?i=22&cc=1325221

    It looks like George was institutionalized between 1917-1940 based on these records, and
    probably until he died.  If he was at Wiswall, he could have stayed there when they closed
    and became Charles River, because that was open past his death date.