Blantyre Project reader Ian Weir was recently in Kelvin Grove Park in Glasgow when he noticed this statue.
“Presented to his native city by John Stewart Kennedy – New York”
John was a Blantyre boy, born in the Village in 1830 though he wasn’t in Blantyre for long. Sometime between 1833 and 1841 the family moved from Blantyre to Gorbals, Glasgow. (His 2 brothers were born between 1830 and 1833 also in Blantyre). He emigrated to America, aged 20, in 1850.
Going on to become one of the richest men in the world, he was known for making many charitable donations, including this statue. He left most of his fortune (the equivalent today of many billions of pounds), to hospitals and charitable causes. He died of whooping cough in 1909.