Fascinating True Stories From the Flip Side of History

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Grandfather’s Good Deed

You could say that 8-year-old Edith Diane Brown was the luckiest girl on Earth way back in October of 1956.  That’s when her family learned that she would be inheriting an estimated $1.8 million. That’s about $15.5 million today, adjusted for inflation.

What’s so unusual about this story is that she inherited the money from Mrs. Edith Marshall, who wasn’t a blood relative. The money was earned by her late husband Courtney Marshall, who had been a big-wig executive at an oil refinery.

It seems that when Edith Marshall arrived in Beaumont, Texas 44 years earlier, she was hired by R.L. Brown to work at his insurance firm. Mrs. Marshall was so appreciative of what Mr. Brown had done for her all those years ago that she left the bulk of her estate “to the favorite granddaughter of the family.”  

The only catch was that little Edith Brown had to wait until she was 25 to get the first one-quarter of the trust that had been set up in her name. The next one-third at age 33 and the remainder at 37.

Edith Diane Brown
Edith Diane Brown. Image originally appeared on page 17 of the October 11, 1956 issue of the Courier-News.
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