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1902 - Would Rival Mr Carnegie - Massachusetts Millionaire Goes the Scotchman About Two Better

Boston has a multimillionaire who is a rival of Andrew Carnegie in regard, at least, to one of the famous Scotchman's offers of public libraries in Massachusetts towns.

Jacob Edwards, who is one of Boston's richest manufactures, goes Mr Carnegie about two better on a library offer to the town of Southbridge and a merry controversy is going on in that township as which offer shall be accepted, says the Boston Post.

The people of the town are also beginning to discuss the propriety of even accepting both offers if such a thing can be arranged.

Meantime Mr Edwards seems to have the inside track in the race to give away money, for Southbridge is his native town and he offers a sum about twice as large as that tendered by Mr Carnegie, as well as other strong inducements.

Southbridge people feel that because of the rivalry between Mr Edwards and Mr Carnegie the town has fallen into rare good fortune.

Mr Carnegie offers $20,000 to build and equip a library, stipulating that the town provide a site and an annual appropriation for maintenance of the institution.

Mr Edwards goes the famous Scotchman at least two better in this way: Mr Edwards proposes first to buy a site for the building, instead of asking the town to provide it. Then he offers $40,000, double the sum tendered by Mr Carnegie, to cover the cost of the structure. Thirdly, he proposes to equip the building in every way and have it ready for occupancy and use without an outlay of even one dollar by the town.

Mr Carnegie was written to after Mr Edwards' offer was made known, and it was suggested that both offers might be combined if agreeable to the donors. Mr Carnegie replied to the town officials, saying that he would be quite agreeable to any addition to the fund he offered.

But Mr Edwards will have none of that apparently.

"I want to do it all myself," said Mr Edwards. "At the same time I do not want anyone to think that I would belittle Mr Carnegie's generosity. BUt I have had this very proposition for Southbridge long in my mind and trust that I may see it accepted and my hopes in regard to it finally realized."

The people of Southbridge have deferred action on the offer of Mr Carnegie.

Meantime Mr Edwards, who has been an invalid for several years, unable to leave his home at 55 Bellevue street, Longwood, has duputed his son, Robert J Edwards, to choose a site for the proposed library. Mr Robert Edwards has not yet decided upon a site, but hopes to do so soon.

A canvass of the townspeople indicates apparently that the general sentiment is in favor of accepting Mr Edwards' offer at once and without further controversy.

Another town meeting is to be held and Mr Edwards hope by that time to have fixed upon a location for the proposed gift and to purchase the land. In that case the town probably will vote to accept Mr Edwards' offer, which means probably that Mr Carnegie's tender will be courteously declined.

Jacob Edwards is now about 76 years old. He was born and raised in Southbridge. He owns much valuable propery there.

He started business in Southbridge as a country storekeeper when he was a very young man.

In 1852 he came to Boston with $50,000, a snug little fortune to have been made at that date.

Today he is worth wel on to $10,000,000, according to most estimates. Since coming to Boston in 1852 he ahs become one of the widely known financiers and manufacturers of New England.

The home of the Edwards is a fine old mansion, large and roomy, and there the venerable head of the house remains day in and day out an invalid, physically, but with the enduring mind and business acumen that mad ehim what he is, one of Boston's multimillionaires.

The Missoulian
Missoula, Montana
Wed, April 30, 1902

Jacob Edwards Library

Learn more about the life of flag male ancestor  Jacob EDWARDS.

Visit Southbridge, Massachusetts, USA (Globe) (Lensdale) (Saundersdale) (Shuttleville)
Discover the people who lived there, the places they visited and the stories they shared.

Southbridge, Massachusetts, USA (Globe) (Lensdale) (Saundersdale) (Shuttleville)

Southbridge, Massachusetts, USA (Globe) (Lensdale) (Saundersdale) (Shuttleville)

Southbridge, Massachusetts, USA (Globe) (Lensdale) (Saundersdale) (Shuttleville)

Southbridge, Massachusetts, USA (Globe) (Lensdale) (Saundersdale) (Shuttleville)

Southbridge, Massachusetts, USA (Globe) (Lensdale) (Saundersdale) (Shuttleville)

Southbridge, Massachusetts, USA (Globe) (Lensdale) (Saundersdale) (Shuttleville)

Southbridge, Massachusetts, USA (Globe) (Lensdale) (Saundersdale) (Shuttleville)

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