Flashback Friday -- Mrs. Sage's coat
Russell Sage was a miserly man. He amassed a fortune of $75 million (equivalent to about $1.53 billion in today’s money) and left it to his wife Olivia in 1906. She spent her fortune in ways Russell would not have approved. She set up the Russell Sage Foundation which was (and still is) dedicated to good works and social causes and research.
Mr. Russell Sage left his sister, Fanny Sage Chapin, $10,000 in his will. Mr. Sage did leave his nephews and nieces $25,000 each. One of his nephews was my granddad, Fremont Chapin. Fremont was considered a wealthy man when he inherited this money. In the 1930s, Fremont lost all his money in a Ponzi scheme, just like the recent Bernard Madoff investment fraud.
At least we have a coat and a few antiques as reminders of that great fortune.
I just purchased the book, Mrs. Russell Sage by Ruth Crocker. I’m reading it to learn more about my great, great aunt Olivia.