Friday, November 5, 2010

Origin of the Gilbert Residence

Ypsilanti's Gilbert Residence originated around this time of year in the Depression when a wealthy native Ypsilantian who became a Grand Rapids real estate agent gave his entire fortune to charity. From the November 1, 1933 Ypsilanti Daily Press:

"Half of the estate of William H. Gilbert, wealthy Grand Rapids real estate aagent, has been left to establish an Old People's Home for aged indigents of Ypsilanti, according to his will, filed for probate here today. While the will listed assets as $110,000 and upwards, attorneys and friends of the family stated that the figure was probably about half of the entire value of the estate.

"By terms of the will the estate remains in trust during the lifetime of his wife, Mrs. Mary Silver Gilbert, Grand Rapids, and sister Miss Alice Gilbert, Ypsilanti. Its earnings will be divided between them during their lifetimes and upon their deaths the estate will be divided, half to establish the Old People's Home, and the remaining half to charities in Grand Rapids.

"Mr. Gilbert died October 23 at the age of 68 years. He was born in Ypsilanti but spent most of his adult life in Grand Rapids where he early engaged in the real estate business. The Gilbert family were prominent in affairs of Ypsilanti during its pioneer days, and his sister, Miss Alice Gilbert, has always lived here.

"The body was interred in Highland Cemetery Oct. 25."

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