Saturday, April 18, 2015

Shadows In A Timeless Myth Presents Nineteenth Century Female Philanthropists

Mrs. Phoebe Appersin Hearst.

Mrs. Phoebe Appersin Hearst was born in 1840. After an education in the public schools she became a teacher in them until 1861, when she married the late United States Senator George F. Hearst from California, who died, in 1891, leaving her and her son, William Randolph Hearst, a fortune of many millions. W. R. Hearst is the well-known newspaper owner and publisher. Mrs. Hearst has established kindergarten classes and the manual training school in San Francisco, kindergartens and the kindergarten training school in Washington, District of Columbia; has made donations to the American university at Washington, gave $200,000 to build a national cathedral school for girls, has established working girls’ clubs in San Francisco, is the patron of a school for mining engineers at the University of California, and, as a memorial to her husband, has built and endowed libraries in a number of mining towns in the west. In connection with the plans for the projected University of California, she has also agreed to erect two buildings to cost between three and four million of dollars.

Mrs. Henry Codman Potter.

The dominant quality of the character of the wife of Bishop Henry Codman Potter, of the diocese of New York, is undoubtedly charity. Her maiden name was Elizabeth L. Scriven, and she was born in 1849 in New York, coming of good American stock. She has been married twice, her first husband being Alfred Corning Clark, who in his lifetime controlled the Singer sewing machine interests and who also had extensive real estate holdings in the metropolis. When Mr. Clark died he left an estate of an estimated value of about $30,000,000, the bulk of which, after a liberal allowance made to his four children, went to his widow. All her life Mrs. Potter has given largely to charity and philanthropic enterprises. She has done excellent work in New York in connection with improvements in tenement houses, those that she owns being ideal dwellings in regard to construction, light, ventilation and sanitary arrangements. At Cooperstown, New York, which is her home, Mrs. Potter has spent large sums of money in beautifying the village. She gives annually a dinner to a thousand poor persons, and has a[713] long list of private pensioners. Her marriage to Bishop Potter took place on October 1, 1902, at Cooperstown.

Mrs. Theodore Roosevelt.

The maiden name of the wife of President Roosevelt was Edith Kermit Carow, and she, like her husband, comes of one of the most distinguished of the older families of New York. Born in the metropolis in the old Carow mansion, Fourteenth street and Union square, her father was Charles Carow, and her grandfather General Tyler Carow, of Norwich, Connecticut. She was educated at a school kept by a Miss Comstock on West Fortieth street. She was married to the President on December 2, 1886, at St. George’s church, Hanover square, London, the ceremony being performed by Canon Cammadge, who is a cousin of Mrs. Roosevelt. Fortune has never been more kind to Mr. Roosevelt than when she gave him the amiable and beautiful woman who bears his name. The Roosevelt children seem to have inherited many of the attractive qualities of their mother.

Mrs. Russell Sage.

Mrs. Russell Sage was born at Syracuse, New York, in 1828. She was the daughter of the Hon. Joseph Slocum. Educated at first in private schools of Syracuse, it had been intended that she should go to college later, but financial disaster altered the plans of the family. After working at home to help her mother for some time, she started for Mount Holyoke college, intending to do housework in that institution in order to pay for her board. On her way thither she was taken sick in Troy, and when she recovered she, at the request of her uncle, entered the Troy female seminary. In 1869 she became the second wife of Russell Sage, the financier. Mrs. Sage’s charities are large; she has built a dormitory costing $120,000 in the Emma Willard seminary and gives annually large sums of money to various hospitals and other praiseworthy institutions.

Mrs. Leland Stanford.

Mrs. Jane Lathrop Stanford was born at Albany, New York, August 25, 1825. Was educated in the public schools there, and in 1848 married Leland Stanford. In 1855 she went with her husband to California. Mr. Stanford took a prominent part in the public affairs of the state, and in 1861 was elected its governor. A son was born, who died when sixteen years of age in Florence, Italy. Mr. Stanford founded the university which bears his name, in memory of his boy. Since her husband’s demise Mrs. Stanford has given further endowments to the institution, the total amount of which is said to be several million dollars. She has also given liberally to other educational institutions.

Compiled from sources in the public domain.

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Smiles & Good Fortune,
It is not wealth one asks for, but just enough to preserve one’s dignity, to work unhampered, to be generous, frank and independent. W. Somerset Maugham (1874-1965) Of Human Bondage, 1915

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