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|changing clothes. This handsome structure
is still standing and provides a haven for those seeking shelter during
a sudden rain shower or on a hot summer's day.
When Freeman B. Shedd died in March of 1913, at the age of sixty-nine, he was survived by his wife Amy and his daughter Mary Belle. Under the terms of his will, if his daughter Belle left "no issue living at the time of her decease," $100,000 would be released from his estate to the city of Lowell for the development of Shedd Park.
This memorial gift was realized when Freeman Shedd's wife Amy died on August 4, 1924 at the age of seventy-six. Because his daughter Mary Belle died without issue (in Tilton, New Hampshire, October 25, 1921), $100,000 was released to the city of Lowell for the development of the park and playground. The terms of his will took effect when his wife Amy died less than three years after the death of her daughter Belle.
Other organizations also benefitted from Freeman Shedd's generosity. One hundred thousand dollars was left to The Northfield Seminary in Northfield, Massachusetts; $100,000 to The Berry School in Rome, Georgia; $5,000 to the 1st Unitarian Society; $5,000 to the Chase Home for Children in Portsmouth, New Hampshire; and $800,000 to Lowell General Hospital, with the provision that a building be erected for the care of patients suffering from incurable diseases. It was to be named the Freeman Ballard Shedd Memorial Building. Local residents know it today as the Shedd Building.
The history of The Berry School in Rome, Georgia is quite interesting, and his gift to the school shows Shedd's compassionate and philanthropic nature. Because there were no free rural schools in the area, The Berry School was founded in 1901 by Martha Berry as a free boarding school. It was known as The Boys' Industrial School and offered a high school diploma. For many of the young men, it represented their only opportunity for a secondary education. Because they could not afford tuition, every boy worked in the gardens and on the farms to help meet their expenses. Besides Shedd's generosity, other benefactors included Andrew Carnegie, President Theodore Roosevelt, and Henry Ford.
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