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Page 14 text:
John Boynton’s Dream THE HISTORY OF W.P.I. By HERBERT F. TAYLOR, ’12 1865 1940 I
Page 13 text:
CARL DUNHAM KNIGHT
Page 15 text:
Herbert F. Taylor JUST seventy-five years ago, May 9, 1865, this college gained official rec¬ ognition. It was on that day that John A. Andrew, Governor of Massachusetts, signed the legislative bill to incorporate the Worcester County Free Institute of Industrial Science. Several steps of much greater signifi¬ cance than this official act had been taken during the preceding four months. First, John Boynton had entrusted to his cousin, David Whitcomb, the sum of $100,000, which was practically all his wealth, for the rather indefinite purpose of founding a school. Mr. Boynton, a relatively un¬ known manufacturer and banker of Templeton, Mass¬ achusetts, had acquired his money in the making and marketing of tinware. In his early years he had been an itinerant peddler of tin products in rural New Eng¬ land. David Whitcomb, once Boynton’s partner, had be¬ come a Worcester hardware merchant. It was to a Worcester minister, the Rev¬ erend Dr. Seth Sweetser, that Mr. Whitcomb turned for advice about how the Boynton gift could be used to best advantage. Dr. Sweetser displayed an immediate and vig¬ orous interest, partly because another manufacturer, Ichabod Washburn, had discussed with him a similar plan several years earlier. He and Mr. Whitcomb called into a conference two other im¬ portant Worcester citizens, Emory Wash¬ burn, a former governor of Massachusetts, and George Frisbie Hoar, later to become a distinguished United States senator and statesman. These four developed the pat¬ tern for a technical school, which Dr. Sweetser wrote out as John Boynton s let¬ ter of gift. It was submitted to several educators and approved by Mr. Boynton. Dr. Sweetser skillfully and tactfully drew Ichabod Washburn into the project. His contribution was the building, equip¬ ment and endowment of a machine shop, in which boys would receive a practical knowledge of manufacturing. Another prominent and wealthy Worcester citizen, whose interest in the school was aroused, was Stephen Salisbury. He gave the hill¬ top property of about eleven acres, on which the Institute buildings were to be constructed, and contributed $22,000 Alumni Field Gate Ill] PEDDLER
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