The Encyclopedia Americana (1920)/Lick, James

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LICK, James, American philanthropist: b. Fredericksburg, Lebanon County, Pa., 25 Aug. 1796; d. San Francisco, Cal., 1 Oct. 1876. In 1821 he set up in the pianoforte business at New York, and later was a manufacturer of musical instruments at Buenos Aires, Philadelphia, Valparaiso and elsewhere. In 1847 he went to California, where he gained wealth through investments in real estate and various enterprises. In 1874 he placed $3,000,000 at the disposal of seven trustees, by whom they were to be applied to specific uses. The principal divisions of the funds were: To the University of California, for the construction of an observatory and the placing therein of a telescope to be more powerful than any other in existence, $700,000 (see Lick Observatory); for the building and maintenance of free public baths in San Francisco, $150,000; to found and endow an institution of San Francisco to be known as the California School of Mechanic Arts, $540,000; for the erection of three appropriate groups of bronze statuary to represent three periods in Californian history and to be placed before the city hall of San Francisco, $100,000; to erect in Golden Gate park, San Francisco, a memorial to F. S. Key, author of ‘The Star-Spangled Banner,’ $60,000.