Family trust doubles for community benefit

"In 1917 I created a Trust Fund called The MacColl Benevolent Fund which provides a permanent fund for charitable purposes and also the possibility of some kind of memorial of myself and mother. The Trustees will doubtless carry out some plan that is wise and opportune at the time of its execution." So wrote James Robertson MacColl of Pawtucket on May 3, 1925 to his five sons.

Mr. MacColl was born on April 2, 1856 in Glasgow, Scotland, where he received his education at Anderson’s Academy, the city high school, and the Glasgow Technical College. He entered the textile industry in 1878 when he purchased a textile business, which he operated under the name Thomson and MacColl. In 1881, he came to Rhode Island and was appointed agent of the Lorraine Mill in Pawtucket. In 1896, the business was incorporated as the Lorraine Manufacturing Company. Mr. MacColl, a substantial stock holder, was elected secretary and treasurer; he later became president of the company.

During his busy life, he won the esteem of his business associates and fellow townsmen who recognized his sympathy for the less fortunate. He had a true desire to support efforts to promote the betterment of the community and its people. He lived to see the completion in 1931 of the MacColl Building at Memorial Hospital, Pawtucket. The building, in memory of a daughter who died in 1893, was for the care of children and obstetrical cases.

Over the years, Mr. MacColl was a director or leader in many businesses as well as charitable, political, and religious organizations.  Pawtucket and the Blackstone Valley have benefited greatly over the years from the generosity of the MacColl Benevolent Fund.

In 1973, the Trustees of the MacColl Benevolent Fund transferred the fund balance of over $1.2 million to the Rhode Island Foundation with confidence and assurance that the funds will be well preserved and that the income will be distributed for the greatest good of our community. Today, the fund has grown to over $3.5 million and continues to support the betterment of our community and people.


One Union Station
Providence, RI 02903


(401) 274-4564

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