People: Charles Page
When Charles Page was 11 years old, he lost his dad, prompting him to leave school and pursue work that could support his mother and siblings. He worked on a freight wagon, and then he helped his mother cook meals for Wisconsin Central Railway workers. Later, when he was older, he worked as a general store clerk, lumberjack, and policeman. He operated a hotel in Tacoma, Washington, and then he tried panning for gold in Canada. Along the way, he continued to send money to his mother until her death in 1891.
After his mother died, he continued pursuing new opportunities from real estate development to power plant investments to oil well drilling. And finally, he struck gold.
Mr. Page desired to be wealthy and to use that wealth for good. Even after his mother passed, Mr. Page never forgot about the struggles his mother faced to support her family after the elder Mr. Page died. His experience taught him that most fatherless children were often forced to give up their school education to help support their family, so he started thinking about how he could assist others who were facing similar hardships.
To help, he planted a community where widows and orphans could live and become productive members of society. Mr. Page founded an orphanage, but to help everyone feel welcome, he called it Sand Springs Home. True to his vision, Mr. Page created a home for orphaned children that included family dinners on Sundays, and the residents all called him Daddy Page as a term of endearment.
Today, Sand Springs is full of buildings and public spaces named after Charles Page, including a high school, library, and park, and the Sand Springs Home organization he founded over a century ago is still flourishing as its staff care for orphaned children.
Mr. Page’s life motto was “Think Right,” but it may as well have been “Do Good” ???? because he did that very well.
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