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Modest Man Living in Trailer Leaves Millions to Community

In a quiet little town in New Hampshire, a man of apparently humble means and unassuming presence has posthumously astonished his local community with a remarkable gift.


Secret millionaire Geoffrey Holt
Geoffrey Holt | Credit: Ed Smith via AP

Geoffrey Holt, a local resident known for his modest lifestyle - void of a car and sparsely furnished home - has left an extraordinary legacy, revealing himself to be a multimillionaire in his final act.


Geoffrey Holt, who served as the caretaker of a mobile home park in Hinsdale, lived a simple and curious life that belied the magnitude of his fortune. Town residents often observed him in worn-out clothes and despite having taught driver's education to high school students in the past, Holt opted for a bicycle instead of a car and eventually transitioned to using a lawn mower for his daily travels.


His mobile home, which lacked the usual amenities like a TV or computer, spoke volumes about his basic lifestyle. The legs of the bed went through the floor.


Upon Holt's passing earlier this year, the community discovered his well-kept secret. In a surprising twist, Holt's will unveiled a generous donation of $3.8 million to the town of Hinsdale (population 4,000), earmarked for the enhancement of education, health, recreation, and culture.


Holt’s best friend Ed Smith, a former state legislator who became the executor of Holt’s estate, had learned about his fortune in recent years. Smith also knew that Holt, who earlier in life had worked as a production manager at a grain mill in Vermont, invested his money. Holt would find a quiet place to sit near a brook and study financial publications. He clearly picked some stellar successes.


To manage the distribution of the funds, a trust through the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation has been established. Organizations within the community will have the opportunity to apply for grants, drawing from the annual interest generated, estimated to be around $150,000.


Kathryn Lynch, the town administrator, emphasized a frugal approach in line with Holt's own lifestyle, stating, "Hinsdale will utilize the money left very frugally, as Mr. Holt did."

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