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Woman of the Century/Catherine Lorillard Wolfe

WOLFE, Miss Catherine Lorillard, philanthropist, born in New York City, 28th Much, 1828, and died there 4th April, 1887. She was the daughter of John David Wolfe, the New York merchant, and the granddaughter of David Wolfe, who served in the Revolutionary War under Washington. Her mother was Dorothea Ann Lorillard, a daughter of Peter Lorillard. Miss Wolfe inherited from her father and grandfather an invested fortune of $10,000,000, and from her father she inherited her philanthropic tendencies. She was carefully educated, and from early childhood she was interested in benevolent work. After coming into control of her fortune, she at first spent $100,000 a year in charity, and, as her income increased, she increased her expenditures to $250,000 a year. She supported the charities which her father had established, and carried out his design in giving a site for the Home for Incurables in Fordham, N. Y. She gave $100,000 to Union College, $30,000 to St. Luke's Hospital in New York City and $65,000 to St. Johnland, Long Island She aided in building the American Chapel in Rome, Italy, and gave a large sum of money to the American Chapel in Paris, France. She founded an Italian mission costing $50,000, a newsboy's lodging-house, and a diocesan house costing $170,000. She built schools and churches in many southern and western towns, added to the funds of the Alexandria Seminary, the American school in Athens, Greece, Griswold College, and gave large sums for indigent clergymen and deserving poor through the Protestant Episcopal Church, In 1884 she sent an expedition to Asia Minor, headed by Dr. William H. Ward, which resulted in important discoveries in archeology. To Grace Church, in New York City she gave a chantry, reredos and other buildings that cost $250,000, and she left that church an endowment of $350,000. Her home was filled with costly paintings, which she willed to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, together with $200,000 for its preservation and enlargement. Her benefactions during her life amounted to millions.