Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Seventy Years

Katharine Allen of Worcester, who died August 23, 1913, named the Institute and Memorial Hospital as residuary legatees of her estate. The bequest was a memorial to her father, Charles Allen, distinguished member of the Massachusetts bar, one-time member of the State Legislature and member of Congress from 1849 to 1853. First fruits of this bequest were $117,500; subsequent additions to the fund were nearly $50,000. The other accession was the Alzirus Brown fund for scholarships, bequeathed in memory of a prominent Worcester citizen whose wealth had been accumulated in trucking. Mrs. Harriet D. Brown, who died November 23, 1912, had designated in her original will that the Institute should receive $12,000, and that most of the residue of her estate should go to the Art Museum and the Public Library. When the terms of Stephen Salisbury's will became known, she added a codicil which cut off these beneficiaries and made the Institute residuary legatee. This fund, the first to provide unrestricted scholarships, amounted to $49,000 in 1914, was increased to $73,000 in 1915, and subsequently reached a total of over $140,000 due to profits on stock transfers.

Another benefaction, which warmed the hearts of all members of the Institute, came from John E. Sinclair, professor emeritus, early in 1914, but at his request was not announced during his lifetime. It was in the form of three paid-up insurance policies, totalling somewhat over $10,000, to endow a chair of Mathematics. This nucleus was to be held until such time as the income on the total fund should provide an annual salary for the incumbent of the chair. In his letter, Dr. Sinclair explained that he and his children did this "to show affection for the Institute, where in the early years Mrs. Sinclair and I taught together, and to show my gratitude for the opportunity which the Institute opened to me through thirty-nine years for a useful life." "We wish also that this gift," he added, "might call the attention of those well disposed to the Institute to this particular way of meeting its passing wants."


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Last Modified: Fri Jul 30 11:15:25 EDT 1999