Right now, my husband and I are watching the movie Somewhere in Time starring Christopher Reeves and Jane Seymour. This is one of his favorite movies and we hope one day to actually visit the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island where the movie takes place.
Found this in Google News Archive while indexing the Alamance Gleaner newspaper.
Transcription: W.H. Vanderbilt has donated ten thousand dollars to the Deems Fund of the University of North Carolina. This fund is intended to be loaned to needy students to enable them to acquire an education. This is but another specimen of the large hearted generosity of Mr. Vanderbilt. The money comes where it is needed. There are many young men struggling up the rugged path to knowledge, who will be benefitted [sic] by this noble charity, and be grateful to both Mr. Vanderbilt and the founder of the fund in the years to come. ”
Information online at UNC states that the Deems Fund was created in honor of Theodore Deems, son of UNC professor Charles Force Deems (1820 – 1893). Theodore died in the Battle of Gettysburg. According to his Wikipedia entry, Deems was influential in securing the money from the Commodore for the establishment of Vanderbilt University.
In an address to the Alumni Association of UNC in 1903, John Sprunt Hill talks about this gift:
On May 14, 2010, yours truly had the distinct honor of graduating from Vanderbilt University with my Masters in Public Health. I won’t go into the specific details of the ceremony, but if you’re interested, you can read the details on my personal/family blog here.
The ceremony was beautiful and the Chancellor even mentioned the Commodore’s gift to establish the university, noting that the $1 million dollar contribution in 1873 would be worth $3 billion dollars today. This would be the beginning of the Vanderbilt family’s philanthropic activities as we have come to know them today.
My commencement took place on one of the campus lawns:
Today, while doing research at the Tennessee State Library & Archives, I took photographs of some of the old Vanderbilt yearbooks. In contrast to my ceremony, here is a picture of commencement from 1909. Looks like the students marched on the lawn and the ceremonies were held inside. I wonder if it rained that day?
Now that I’ve graduated, here’s hoping for more Vanderbilt Genealogy posts!
The funeral of Mr. Vanderbilt took place Sunday, January 7. The weather was very inclement; notwithstanding a large number of persons called at the house prior to the removal of the remains to the Church of the Strangers, where the service was held. The remains, which were inclosed [sic] in a metal casket, were laid in a large hall and viewed by friends, visitors and a deputation of two hundred and fifty of the attaches of the New York Central and Hudson River Railroad. The floral offerings were of the most simple character, and all attempts at display were studiously avoided. A large crowd witnessed the removal of the remains from the house to the church, which were carried on a bier by six men, one hundred and fifty police keeping the streets clear. The procession from the house to the church was on foot, and headed by the Rev. Drs. Deems and Hutton, Drs. Lindsly and Eliot, together with Drs. Flint and Van Buren. The casket was followed by Mr. W.H. Vanderbilt and Mrs. C. Vanderbilt, Mr. J.C. Vanderbilt and Mrs. W.H. Vanderbilt, Mr. and Mrs. J.M. Cross, and a large number of relatives of the deceased. The Church of the Strangers was heavily draped with black cloth. Admission was by ticket, and every seat was occupied, the pews in the center being reserved for the family and near friends. The casket was borne into the church by twelve men.
While working on a newspaper abstraction project completely unrelated to anything Vanderbilt I happened upon this news item.
Fayetteville Observer (paper of Fayetteville, NC)
22 Jun 1857
Probable Arrest of Gen. Walker – Commodore Vanderbilt has had a capias issued for the arrest of Gen. Walker, charged with having combined with Messrs. C.K. Garrison and Charles Morgan to break up the Accessory Transit steamship line. The Commodore is, of course, well aware that General Walker’s pockets must be completely empty. He has had the writ issued as a matter of form. The effect of the writ, though not particularly remunerative of the Commodore, will probably compel the General to show himself before a New York court.