William Rhinelander Stewart, philanthropist and financier

William Rhinelander Stewart (1852-1929) was born in NYC. He was president of the Rhinelander Real Estate Co. and an officer of the Greenwich Savings Bank and the Corn Exchange Bank. As a philanthropist, he was active in the work of the Conference on Charities and Corrections and served as president of the State Board of Charities for twenty-five years. Mr. Stewart is often considered responsible for Grant’s tomb funding, Washington Arch in Washington Square Park and was the President of the State Board of Charities in NY. The family was one of the oldest in NYC. He was also rumored to be a… Read More

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Jacob Schiff, philanthropist

Jacob Henry Schiff (born Jakob Heinrich Schiff; 1847 – 1920) was a Jewish-American banker, businessman, and philanthropist. Among many other things, he helped finance the expansion of American railroads. He was born in Germany and migrated to the United States after the American Civil War and joined the firm Kuhn, Loeb & Co on Wall street. He became a naturalized citizen of the United States in September 1870 Mr. Schiff was the most well known and influential Jewish leader from 1880 to 1920 in what later became known as the “Schiff era”, grappling with all major Jewish issues and problems of the day, including the plight of Russian Jews under the Tsar, American and… Read More

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Teresa LeCount, led the restoration of Bissel Gardens in The Bronx

Teresa LeCount, led the restoration of Bissel Gardens in The Bronx in the early part of the 2000s. She watched her area of The Bronx change from a great place to live to a place riddled with crime, garbage and drugs over the 32 years she lived there and decided to improve her neighborhood. She founded the Bissel Gardens as a non-profit organization to oversee the use of the land. The garden occupies a 5 block area near the train station that had become a dumping ground. She was able to get the support of her Borough president, Fernando Ferrer,… Read More

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Isabella Graham, founded Academy for Women in 1789

Isabella Graham (July 29, 1742 – July 27, 1814) was a Scottish-American philanthropist and educator. In 1765 she married Dr. John Graham, an army surgeon in the Royal Americans regiment. Two years later, she went with him to Canada. They had three daughters and two sons, one of which died in infancy in Scotland. The surviving children were; Jessie, Joanna Bethune, Isabella and John. She traveled the world with her husband, but after his death in 1774, she returned to Scotland while pregnant with her 5th child. She never remarried and raised her children while remaining in service to the church… Read More

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