HOPEDALE, a township of Worcester county, Massachusetts, U.S.A.; pop. (1905; state census) 2048; (1910) 2188. It is served by the Milford & Uxbridge (electric) street railway, and (for freight) by the Grafton & Upton railway. The town lies in the " dale " between Milford and Mendon, and is cut from N.W. to S.E. by the Mill river, which furnishes good water power at its falls. The principal manufactures are textiles, boots and shoes, and, of most importance, cotton machinery. The great cotton machinery factories here are owned by the Draper Company. Hopedale has a public park on the site of the Ballou homestead, with a bronze statue of Adin Ballou; a memorial church erected by George A. and Eben S. Draper; the Bancroft Memorial Library, given by Joseph B. Bancroft in memory of his wife; and a marble drinking fountain with statuary by Waldo Story, the gift of Susan Preston Draper, General W. F. Draper's wife. The village is remarkable for the comfortable cottages of the workers.
The history of Hopedale centres round the Rev. Adin Ballou (1803-1890), a distant relative of Hosea Ballou; 1 he left, in succession, the ministry of the Christian Connexion (1823) and that of the Universalist Church (1831), because of his restorationist views. In 1831 he became pastor of an independent church in Mendon. An ardent exponent of temperance, the anti-slavery movement, woman's rights, the peace cause and Christian non-resistance (even through the Civil War), and of " Practical Christian Socialism," it was in the interests of the last cause that he founded Hopedale, or "Fraternal Community No. i," in Milford, in April 1842, the first compact of the community having been drawn up in January 1841. Thirty persons joined with him, and lived in a single house on a poor farm of 258 acres, purchased in June 1841. Ballou was for several years the president of the community, which was run on the plan that all should have an equal voice as to the use of property, in spite of the fact that there was individual holding of property. The community, however, owned the instruments of production, with the single exception of the important patent rights held by Ebenezer D. Draper. The result was bickerings between those who were joint stockholders and those whose only profit came from their manual labour. In a short time the control of the community came into the hands of its richest members, E. D. Draper and his brother, George Draper (1817-1887), who owned three-fourths of the joint stock. In 1856 there was a total deficit of about $12,000. The Draper brothers bought up the joint stock of the community at par and paid its debts, and the community soon ceased to exist save as a religious society. After George Draper's death the control of the mills passed to his sons. These included General William Franklin Draper (1842-1910), a Republican representative in Congress in 1892-1897 and U.S. ambassador to Italy in 1897-1900, and Eben Sumner Draper (b. 1858), lieutenant-governor of Massachusetts in 1906-1908 and governor in 1909-1911. In 1867 the community was merged with Hopedale parish, a Unitarian organization. Hopedale was separated from Milford and incorporated as a township in 1886.
See Adin Ballou's History of Milford (Boston, 1882), his History of the Hopedale Community, edited by William S. Heywood (Lowell, 1897), his Biography by the same editor (Lowell, 1896) and his Practical and Christian Socialism (Hopedale, 1854) ; George L. Carey, " Adin Ballou and the Hopedale Community " (in the New World, vol. vii., 1898); Lewis G. Wilson, " Hopedale and Its Founder " (in The New England Magazine, vol. x., 1891); and William F. Draper, Recollections of a Varied Career (Boston, 1908).
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)