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.