Eben Sumner Draper, Governor

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Eben Sumner Draper

Birthplace: Hopedale, Worcester, Massachusetts, United States
Death: Died in Greenville, Greenville, South Carolina, United States
Place of Burial: Hopedale, Worcester, Massachusetts, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of George Draper and Hannah Brown Draper
Husband of Nancy Draper
Father of Benjamin Helm Bristow Draper; Eben Sumner Draper, Jr. and Dorothy Gannett
Brother of Brig. General William F. Draper (USA) and George A. Draper

Occupation: manufacturer of textile machinery, and Governor of Massachusetts from 1909 to 1911
Managed by: Erica "the Disconnectrix" Howton
Last Updated:

About Eben Sumner Draper, Governor

65 years of age at the time of his death. A son of George and Hannah Brown Thwing Draper. Husband of Nancy (Nannie) Bristow Draper. He had been a manufacturer of textile machinery, and Governor of Massachusetts from 1909 to 1911. He was a Republican.

He died in Greenville, SC, a few days after suffering a stroke while in a hotel during a return trip from Cuba and Florida.

He was a brother of William Franklin Draper, with who he had been estranged for some time. 


  1. Bulletin, Volume 44 By National Association of Wool Manufacturers page 187
  2. [http://www.hope1842.com/drapereben.html Lieutenant Governor Eben S. Draper]



Eben Sumner Draper (June 17, 1858 – April 9, 1914) was a U.S. political figure. He served as the 44th Governor of Massachusetts between 1909 and 1911.

Early life and career

Draper was a native of Hopedale, Massachusetts, born on June 17, 1958, the third and youngest son of George and Hannah B. (Thwing) Draper. His brothers were William F. Draper, who would become a general and a U.S. representative, and George A. Draper. He was educated in the public schools of Hopedale, in Allen's School at West Newton, and in the class of 1880 of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. George Draper wished his son to assist him in the family business at the Draper Company, which was then the largest plant for manufacturing cotton machinery in the world. After leaving the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Draper spent three years in apprenticeship in various cotton mills learning all he could about cotton manufactury before being admitted into the firm of George Draper & Sons. When the Hopedale companies organized into one, he was given charge of the selling department. After his term as Governor expired, he continued to serve as the managing head of the Draper Company.


Draper served as a private in the First Corps of Cadets (Massachusetts) before, during the Spanish-American War, serving as president of the Massachusetts Volunteer Association.

Like his father and brothers, Draper was a strong upholder of the protective system. He assisted his father in founding the Home Market Club of Boston, a protectionist organization in New England. He served as chairman of the Congressional committee which wrestled the Hopedale district from the Democracy and sent his brother William as a protectionist to the House of Representatives in Washington. He was then elected as chairman of the Republican State Committee, serving on several victorious campaigns before, in 1896, being chosen as chairman of the Massachusetts Republican delegation to the St. Louis Convention, which nominated William McKinley for president. He served in the presidential election of 1900 as Presidential elector.


In 1905, Draper was nominated and elected for Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts, being re-elected in 1906 and 1907. In 1908, he was elected to stand as Governor of the state, successfully standing for re-election in 1909. In 1910, Governor Draper drove with President William Howard Taft, on an official state visit, to pay respects to Taft's ancestral family homes in Mendon, and Uxbridge, just west of Hopedale. President Taft's grandfather was born in Uxbridge.

Personal life and death

Draper married Nannie Bristow, the daughter of United States Secretary of the Treasury Benjamin Bristow, in 1883. The couple shared three children, sons Benjamin Helm Bristow Draper and Eben Sumner Draper, Jr., and daughter Dorothy Draper, who eventually wed Thomas B. Gannett, Jr. His oldest son would serve as Secretary of the Treasury under Ulysses S. Grant.

Draper was active in the Unitarian church. His wife died in 1913. Draper followed on April 9, 1914, in Greenville, South Carolina, following what was described in his obituary as "a shock of paralysis" suffered as he was making "a visit to the far South in search of health." His funeral in Boston was attended by then Governor David I. Walsh, among others.

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Eben Sumner Draper, Governor's Timeline

June 17, 1858
Hopedale, Worcester, Massachusetts, United States
February 28, 1885
Age 26
New York, New York, New York, United States
November 22, 1890
Age 32
August 30, 1893
Age 35
April 9, 1914
Age 55
Greenville, Greenville, South Carolina, United States
Age 55
Hopedale, Worcester, Massachusetts, United States