The John Edgar Thomson Foundation, a nationally recognized non-profit organization, provides limited financial assistance to daughters of deceased railroad employees.
The Foundation was established in 1882 and endowed by the will of John Edgar Thomson, who was the third president of the Pennsylvania Railroad, from 1852 – 1874. Although John Thomson never had children of his own, he often pondered on the difficulties of orphaned girls. In that era, a fatherless boy could usually get a trade school education or find employment; however, a girl had little opportunity for either. Mr. Thomson left a large endowment for orphaned daughters of railroad employees to help maintain their good health and to provide for their higher education.
In order to be considered for a grant, the deceased parent (regardless of gender) must have been actively employed by a railroad in the United States at the time of death, although the cause does not need to be work-related. The parent, while on the active rolls of the railroad, may have been receiving disability or sick leave benefits at the time of death.
Additionally, the daughter must be living with her remaining parent or guardian full time, unless attending college, to qualify for an award. To remain eligible, the Foundation specifically requires that both the daughter and her parent/guardian must remain unmarried in order to receive aid. The family’s financial status is also considered in the selection process.
The monthly allowance made under the grant may cover the period from infancy to high school graduation, and in some circumstances to age 24, for recipients in pursuit of higher education. The Foundation also offers special healthcare benefits.
All applications are subjected to the approval of the Thomson Foundation’s Board of Trustees. The funding for the work of the Foundation is completely independent of any railroad, and it neither solicits nor receives funds from the public.
For further information, please contact Director Linda Dezenski, at:
The John Edgar Thomson Foundation
201 South 18th Street, Suite 318
Philadelphia, PA 19103
Phone: (215) 545-6083 or (800) 888-1278
Fax: (215) 545-5102