Where did the money originate to construct the
Lower Merion Academy?
Three wills provided funds for the building. John Roberts left 50 pounds in
a will proved December 2, 1803 to
"build a School House near the Meeting
house of the people called Quakers in
Lower Merion...within ten years after
or the money was to revert to Pennsylvania Hospital. In the will of
Elizabeth George, proved December 1, 1806, she directed that the residue of
her estate be given to the estate of Jacob Jones, her brother for
"...establishing a free School or Schools
in the Township of Lower Merion."
It is, however, the will of Jacob Jones which was the most generous in
funding the Academy. In his will of September 30, 1803, he gave not only
800 pounds to erect the school building, but another 500 pounds in trmst on
landed security to employ teachers.
The interest from the monies was not only to employ teachers, but to
instruct free of expense
"...as many Poor and Orphan children of
both sexes living in the said Township...
without regard to their religious Profess
ions or Education..."
He also included
"...a Certain messuage or Tenement and
piece or parcel of Land at the West End
of my Plantation..."
The parcel was approximately 10 acres. Although the will was proved on
Agril 26, 1810, the trust was not established until after the death of his
wife, Mary, on October 28, 1811.