About Sylvia Ann Howland
Sylvia Ann (daughter of Gideon, Jr.) made the famous will, leaving her fortune to Gideon Howland's heirs, after her niece had enjoyed the income from it during her lifetime. She died worth over $2,000,000, about half of which was bequeathed to friends, relatives and servants, including $200,000 to the city of New Bedford. The remainder she bequeathed to her niece "Hetty Green," during her life and after her death to be divided among the descendants of Gideon. On a marble tablet of the Free Public Library, commemorating her beneficent act is this inscription: "This tablet commemorates the enlightened liberality of Sylvia Ann Howland, who bestowed upon the city of New Bedford the sum of $200,000; $100,000 to aid in supplying the city with pure water, and $100,000 as a fund for the promotion of liberal education, by the enlargement of the Free Public Library, and by extending to the children and youth of the city the means of a wider and more generous culture." Sylvia Ann was born June 11. 1806; died July 2, 1865.
Source: "Massachusetts Magazine"