November 30, 1853

George Peabody Thanks Danvers


On this day in 1853, George Peabody thanked the citizens of South Danvers for naming the high school in his honor and immediately set up a $200 account "to be expended as rewards of merit to the pupils." Fifteen years later, the town changed its name to Peabody as a tribute to its distinguished and generous native son. Born into a poor family, George Peabody received little formal education. He began an apprenticeship in a drygoods store at the age of 11. By the time he was in his forties, he had made a fortune in investment banking. He was an extraordinary philanthropist, donating almost $10,000,000 — the equivalent of $130,000,000 today — for education, libraries, museums, and homes for the working poor.

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