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Field Memorial Library

(c) Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield MA. All rights reserved.
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The Field Memorial Library is the library for the town of Conway, Massachusetts. It was built in 1900 by Marshall Field (1834-1906). Field was born in Conway. In 1851 he moved to Pittsfield, Massachusetts, where he worked in a dry goods store, and five years later moved to the west and settled in Chicago. There, he got a job at the dry goods store of Potter Palmer. It grew, and in 1860 Field was named junior partner. By 1865, Palmer decided to move full-time into real estate and he sold the store to Field and L.S. Leiter. In 1868, Field moved his store into a huge new building built by Palmer, and although it burned in the Great Fire of 1871, he quickly rebuilt. At the time of his death, he had purchased an entire city block in downtown Chicago and was building an eleven-story, block-sized shopping emporium. Near the end of his life, with a net worth estimated at $100 million, Field became a philanthropist, giving $8 million to build the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago and building this elegant library in his hometown .


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