Haverhill Public Library Receives More than $500,000 Gift from Prominent Grad Family


(WHAV News File photograph.)

Haverhill Public Library has received more than half a million dollars from a prominent Haverhill family for books and materials the library calls “critical to the mission.”

The Trustees of the Haverhill Public Library said this week they “gratefully acknowledge the donation of $509,555.12 from The Grad Family Trust.” The money comes from the Benjamin and Eva E. Grad Family Trust established in 1987 by their son, Haverhill attorney and retailer Vinson W. Grad, who died in 1993.

The money was stewarded by the Grad Trustees, including their grandchildren William Grad, Jeffrey Grad, Richard Traister and David Traister. Upon reaching maturity, it was transferred to the care of the Haverhill Public Library Trustees.

The donation furthers a private-public financing arrangement that dates back to the Haverhill Public Library’s founding in 1873. Wealthy industrialist Ezekiel James Madison Hale donated land for a building site and half the money necessary to build and furnish a library on the condition the people of Haverhill would donate the other half.

He further stipulated the city, in accepting this gift, would establish a self-perpetuating board of trustees and assume responsibility for the annual operating expenses of the library. The original library building opened on Nov. 18, 1875. Today, that means the city is still responsible for funding the maintenance of library facilities and staff salaries.

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