Exhibits : John Insley Blair

John Insley Blair

John Insley Blair's rather plain gravestone will tell you he was born on August 22, 1802 and died on December 2, 1899. What it doesn't tell you is what a humble and remarkable man he was and the adventurous and philanthropic life that he lived. Born just two miles from Belvidere on his parents' farm in Foul Rift and later growing up in Hope his childhood was defined by vigorous farm labor, a very poor education, and the sudden death of his father. Yet, he was able to take those experiences and turn them into unimaginable success.

Unlike his contemporaries who desired to operate from New York City or one of the other emerging cities, he conducted his business from Blairstown, the town that bore his name - where he was known to walk Main Street wearing his signature tattered coat and windblown hair. While John Insley Blair did not invent service to others, he did live an inspiring life of philanthropy. It is said, when Rockefeller and Carnegie began to give money away, they were simply following John Insley Blair's lead.

Following our nomination of John Insley Blair into the Warren County Hall of Fame, the Blairstown Museum graciously and humbly accepted the award on Mr. Blair's behalf at the WCCC Induction Ceremony at Hawk Pointe Golf Club on Saturday October 21, 2017. Our efforts now turn to obtaining State and Federal recognition of Mr. Blair's achievements and contributions.

Warren County Hall of Fame 2017 Induction Ceremony

We cordially invite you to visit the Blairstown Museum to learn more about John Insley Blair’s life – from Poverty to Philanthropy.


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