Ohio societies get $2 million bequest


CHILLICOTHE, Ohio – The Ohio Historical Society and Ross County Historical Society are the beneficiaries of bequests totaling nearly $2 million from a descendant of one of the state’s founders.

The late Eleanor Mabry of Virginia bequeathed the assets in memory of her great-great grandfather, Edward Tiffin. Tiffin was one of Ohio’s founders and its first governor.

This bequest comes as Ohio is preparing to commemorate its 200th anniversary of statehood.

Associated work. The state’s historical society is currently completing a major renovation of Adena, the home of Thomas Worthington, Tiffin’s brother-in-law, and another one of the state’s founding fathers.

Adena will reopen for public use on March 1, 2003, which is the designated beginning of the state’s bicentennial observance.

Priorities for Mabry’s bequest to the Ohio Historical Society include initiating an operating endowment fund and supporting significant one-time projects that will further the society’s strategic plan.

The Ross County Historical Society, according to Society Director Tom Kuhn, will use its bequest to create an operating endowment for the new heritage center being built in conjunction with Ohio’s bicentennial.

Mysterious Mabry. A native of Virginia, Mabry never lived in Ohio. She was a leader in many patriotic organizations and a member of numerous historical organizations, including the Ohio Historical Society.

Over the years she provided more modest financial contributions to both societies.

Mabry died April 22 in Newport News, Va.

Tiffin was born in England and came to the United States when he was 16.

Tiffin helped lead the effort to make Ohio with 17th state. He was first elected governor of Ohio in 1803. After two terms as governor, he was elected to the U.S. Senate. He later served in the Ohio House of Representatives.

Tiffin died in 1829.


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