Henry McHarg’s $25,000 Gift to KGH in 1902

M’Harg’s Gift of $25,000 to New City Hospital

Five Thousand Dollars of the Amount Available for Immediate Use in Adding to the Equipment of the Building – Four-fifths of the Sum or $20,000, is to be Used as a Permanent Endowment Fund for the Institution – Four Beds in the Hospital to be Set Aside for Use of Employes [sic] of the A., K. & N. Railroad.

Col. McGhee’s Elevator Proposition

Daily Journal and Tribune, August 12, 1902, Page 1

An exceedingly generous gift and one which will be remembered in this city by a large number of the people of Knoxville for years to come is the bestowal of $25,000 upon the new city hospital in North Knoxville by Henry K. McHarg, of New York, formerly president of the Atlanta, Knoxville & Northern railway. One-fifth of the sum is to be used for providing modern equipment for the institution and the other four-fifths, or $20,000 is to be used as a permanent endowment fund. In this Mr. McHarg displays his generosity as widely as in anything else which he has ever done, the only stipulation which he made in connection with the donation, a sum of great benefit to the hospital in this stage of its history, being that for the future four beds in the hospital were to be used for the aid and succor of employes [sic] of the railroad of which Mr. McHarg was formerly president, in the time they should need it.

The announcement of this munificent gift and its acceptance was the most important matter which was transacted at the called meeting of the board of governors of the hospital held yesterday afternoon in the Commercial Club rooms in the Lawson-McGhee building, though a number of other matters of interest were disposed of. President of the board S. C. Roney presided, thirteen out of the twenty members of the board being present, including Messrs. Roney, W. B. Lockett, Secretary; H. O. Nelson, W. S. Shields, J. T. McTeer, T. S. Webb, Peter Kern, R. M. Rhea, William Rule, E. T. Sanford, R. E. Hazen, W. P. Camberlain [sic] and Jno. W. Green.

Thanks for the Munificent Gift

Mr. Roney, through the intervention of other parties, had been placed in correspondence with Mr. McHarg, and as he rose to state the result of this correspondence, with the several letters in his hand, he had with them Mr. McHarg’s check for the $25,000, a piece of paper which related better than words what had been achieved, through generosity and munificence which few men of this city can lay claim to. A committee consisting of Messrs. E. T. Sanford, Jno. W. Green and Maj. T. S. Webb was appointed to draft a suitable resolution in acceptance of the gift and after a few moments retirement the following was presented to the assembled gentlemen, it being unanimously adopted:

Whereas, the Knoxville General Hospital has received from Mr. Henry K. McHarg, of New York city, a gift of twenty-five thousand dollars ($25,000) to be devoted to the purpose of buying equipment for general use in the hospital, including anything absolutely needed in and about the hospital to increase its efficiency; the remaining twenty thousand dollars ($20,000) to be invested by the Board of Governors in such manner as they deem safe, the income thereof to be devoted to the maintenance and support of the hospital under the condition that four beds in the hospital shall always be ready, without charge, for the benefit of the duly designated employes [sic] of the Atlanta, Knoxville and Northern Railway Company; provided that when such beds are not needed for such employes [sic], they may be occupied by worthy indigent sick persons designated by or under authority of the Board of Governors.

Now therefore, be it resolved, By the Board of Governors of the Knoxville General Hospital, that this generous gift be most gratefully accepted, subject to all the conditions above set out, and that the heartfelt thanks of the board, both for themselves and for the citizens of Knoxville, be extended to Mr. McHarg for his splendid munificence.

Resolved further, that out of said gift the sum of five thousand dollars is hereby inviolably appropriated by the Board of Governors for the purchase of equipment in accordance with the terms above set out;

Resolved further, That the Board of Governors hereby declares that the remaining twenty thousand dollars of said gift is accepted by them and shall be forever held by them and their successors in office as a perpetual and irrevocable trust to be invested by them and the income used in strict accordance with the terms and conditions above set out;

Resolved further, That the four beds designated for use of railway employes [sic] as above set out, shall be inscribed with an engraved plate bearing the words “Henry K. McHarg, for Employes [sic] of the Atlanta, Knoxville & Northern Railway Company”;

Resolved further, that the president and secretary of the Board of Governors be requested and directed to send Mr. McHarg an engrossed copy of this resolution, certified by them in their official capacities.

It will be noted that an engrossed copy of the resolutions will be prepared and signed by each member of the board for presentation to Mr. McHarg that being a compliment justly due to him, as will be the small tablet placed over each of the four beds for employes [sic] of the A., K. & N. railway, inscribed as set forth in the resolution.

The first fifth of the gift, $5,000, which is to be expended for the equipment and outfitting of the hospital, will be disbursed under the authorization of the executive committee of the board of governors, of which Mr. Henry is chairman. An additional committee, to be known as the finance committee, consisting of W. S. Shields, Peter Kern and Dr. H. M. Rhea, will have charge of the investment of the remaining four-fifths, $20,000, other action as to its disposition to be under its authority.

In Memory of Col. Howell

Though Colonel C. C. Howell, a member of the board of governors, died some time ago, this is the first meeting of the board which has been held since his death and accordingly a resolution of respect to his memory was also prepared and presented by the committee composed of E. T. Sanford, Maj. T. S. Webb and John W. Green, it being as follows:

In the recent death of General C. C. Howell, a charter member of the board of governors of the Knoxville general hospital, and its first vice president, the hospital has lost one who was from the beginning one of ‘Its most untiring and zealous supporters, to whose earnest friendship, unswerving loyalty and enthusiastic advocacy, was due in a great degree, its inception and organization and whose loss is a profound calamity to the hospital.

In testimony whereof, be it resolved by the board of governors, That both as individuals and as members of the board we express our sense of bereavement in the loss of General Howell as that of a public spirited citizen, who gave with rare generosity of time of energy and of means to the upbuilding of the city of Knoxville, and of this institution, our grateful recognition of his splendid services to the hospital, and our personal grief in his death; and

Be it further resolved, That our deepest sympathy be extended to his bereaved family in their affliction and that the secretary of the board be requested to furnish them with an engrossed copy of this resolution.

Elevator Proposition

Colonel C. M. McGhee proposed to present to the hospital the machinery for a hydraulic elevator, but on this proposition brought up the several questions as to what character of elevator and what size elevator was wanted for the institution, the matter was deferred from acceptance at the time, it being understood that perhaps, while Colonel McGhee’s generosity was sincerely appreciated, the elevator which he tendered was not available for the purpose designed. Colonel McGhee having seen that and having made the acceptance optional accordingly. This matter will be taken up later.

A request from the woman’s promoting board of the hospital to erect and place a tablet in the institution in honor and memoriam of Mrs. W. L. McCreary, the late wife of Dr. W. L. McCreary, who was for a long time president of the board was granted unanimously, this concluding the business before the session of the board with the exception of some smaller routine matters.

This act, related above, has more of a tinge of broad and discriminating philanthropy than anything which Mr. McHarg has ever done which is known of in this city, but that this generosity is nothing unusual is something which every employe [sic] of the A., K. & N. railway, who was employed on it at the time Mr. McHarg sold it, can vouch for. At the time the sale was made Mr. McHarg retired from the presidency of the road, which he had seen built up from a money consumer to a money earner, he presented to John B. Newton, general manager of the railroad, a check for $25,000, just five times what he had given him as a Christmas present the previous year. Then to every official of the road he gave a check for an entire year’s salary in advance and to every employe [sic] of the line, no matter in what capacity, whether executive or menial, he gave a check for a month’s salary in advance. The aggregate, which he thus gave to those who were working for him has not been accurately figured out, but it is said to have reached $50,000 or thereabouts. That gift, out of pure and simple large-heartedness, standing in the background of the one which has just been made to the Knoxville hospital, prompted by the same motives, will engrave the name of McHarg upon the memory of thousands in this community for life.

Leave a Reply