Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 62.djvu/207

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THE MISSOURI BOTANICAL GARDEN.

scribed by this board in pursuance of the trusts declared in said will.' Under its organization, the board holds monthly meetings for the transaction of business connected with the management of the large endowment property—which at the time of Mr. Shaw's death was appraised at not far from a million and a third dollars, and which is now carried on the books as $1,588,274.60—and the consideration of current administrative details of the Garden. The board consists of some of the most representative citizens of St. Louis, and is possessed of the fullest confidence of the community, as is shown by the attitude of the courts, when, as has several times proved desirable, instructions have been asked on questionable points, or special powers requested. The most notable instance of this is afforded by a request of the board for power to sell certain endowment real estate left by Mr. Shaw and distinctly made inalienable by the terms of both the enabling act and his will, but which was found incapable of utilization for long-term residence leases, as contemplated by him, because of the unwillingness of American home builders to make use of leased ground. Notwithstanding the clear provisions against the alienation of real estate, the courts, being convinced that these provisions brought a detail of the will into conflict with its purpose, granted the desired permission PSM V62 D207 A carnivorous plant Drosera brevifolia.pngA Carnivorous PlantDrosera brevifolia. after full consideration of the question in both the lower and supreme court. By the provision of small committees charged with specific duties, the board is able to give remarkably detailed care to the many phases of its trust, and from month to month the plans of the director for the administration of the establishment are passed in review and provided for by suitable appropriation of funds.

In the development of the Missouri Botanical Garden, two distinct periods are already distinguishable: a first, now drawing to an end, in which, because of the unproductiveness of a very large part of the endowment property, and the need of protecting the latter by the accumulation of a reserve fund sufficient to cover improvement costs that might at any time be assessed against it, little could be hoped for except the bare maintenance of the institution on the lines indicated by its founder, which, having been inaugurated by him only in part, at once increased the expense of maintenance considerably beyond the