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Small town windfall – Couple wills $23M to hometown

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An Indiana couple has willed their entire $23 million estate to their hometown of Osgood, and its 1,688 residents, the Associated Press reports.

Their gift – which exceeds the assessed valuation of the entire town – will be distributed through the Gilmore and Golda Reynolds Foundation. More than $650,000 has already been handed out for projects like new park benches and water line repairs, AP says.

Goldie and Gilmore Reynolds, who lived in the one-stoplight town 42 miles west of Cincinnati since they were married in 1928, were avid stock traders who led low-profile lives, AP says.

“They thought of their stocks almost like their offspring. They were would watch over them, see how they were growing,” said Neil Comer, one of five foundation managers and former attorney for the couple.

Their gifts to the town remained private until last fall, when the bulk of the couple’s estate was transferred to the foundation after Goldie’s death at age 98.

The first two sets of grants went to nuts-and-bolts projects like a fire department rescue van, a fiber optic network and a running track for the local school.

With plans to spend about $1 million each year, and the principal growing about 10 percent annually, Comer says the endowment should give back to the town for years to come.

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