Girard Estate History
Stephen Girard was a mariner, merchant, banker and humanitarian. Never before had a private citizen of the United States bequeathed so vast a sum for the public good. Mr. Girard’s will is extremely detailed and lengthy; it contains bequests for manly individuals, organizations and purposes; however, the bulk of his estate was for the establishment of “a permanent College, with suitable out-buildings, sufficiently spacious for the residence and accommodation of at least three hundred scholars and the requisite teachers and other persons necessary in such an institution”.
Stephen Girard’s legacy by the founding of Girard College continues with the opportunity provided to young men and women who benefit by the programs provided by this outstanding institution.
Today ninety percent of the funding for Girard College is supported by the revenues generated by the investment, real estate and mining operations of Girard Estate. The remaining ten percent is provided by other sources.
May 20, 1750 – December 26, 1831
Merchant, Mariner, Banker, Humanitarian
1750 – Born near Bordeaux, France, May 20th
1776 – Arrived in Philadelphia aboard “L’Aimable Louis”
1777 – Married to Mary Lum, June 6th
1778 – Became citizen of the United States, October 27th
1791 – Birth and death of only child, Mary Girard
1793 – Superintended City Hospital at Bush Hill during yellow fever epidemic
1802 – Elected to Select Councils, October 12th
1807 – Purchase block bounded by 11th, 12th, Market And Chestnut Streets, July 1st (Originally intended to be the site of Girard College)
1812 – Purchased property U. S. Bank, June 24th
1813 – Major subscriber to U.S. Bonds in support of War of 1812.
1815 – Death of Mary Lum Girard, September 13th
1816 – Appointed Director, Second U.S. Bank
1831 – Purchased Peel Hall Farm, site of Girard College, June 6th
1831 – Died December 26, aged 81 years 7 months
1851 – Reinterred Girard College, September, 30th