'Naperville's Benefactor' James Nichols Left Money for New City Library, College Gymnasium
Boerema, Amy, Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)
Byline: Amy Boerema Daily Herald Staff Writer
The brief life of James L. Nichols was touched by tragedy and abuse, triumph and success.
The legacy he left, though, has been forever secured in Naperville lore as one who influenced - and will continue to influence - the everyday lives of residents.
Perhaps more than any other local citizen, Nichols epitomized the American dream, a self-made man whose life reflected a battle of resilience overpowering adversity.
But the orphan-turned-professor, author and book publisher didn't enjoy his success for long. He died at age 44, never getting to see his three children grow up.
In his will, he left $10,000 each to the city of Naperville to build a library and to North Central College to build a gymnasium.
It was his role as "Naperville's benefactor" that earned him a spot among the 25 most influential residents in the city's 175-year history.
"Since Naperville's founding, no citizen has contributed more to the community's enrichment than James Nichols I," historian Genevieve …
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Publication information: Article title: 'Naperville's Benefactor' James Nichols Left Money for New City Library, College Gymnasium. Contributors: Boerema, Amy - Author. Newspaper title: Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL). Publication date: February 15, 2006. Page number: 1. © 2009 Paddock Publications. COPYRIGHT 2006 Gale Group.
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