Edgar B. Davis
The Pilgrim Foundation was founded by Edgar B. Davis, a native of Brockton, Massachusetts who made his fortune in the rubber and oil industries.
After completing two years at Brockton High School, Davis left formal schooling and began an education in business. He joined the Charles E. Eaton Company as a bookkeeper and left as Treasurer and stockholder. During his travels, Davis became fascinated with the rubber plantations in Ceylon and foresaw an increasing demand for rubber tires in the growing automobile industry. Davis received a grant from the United States Rubber Company to establish and manage new plantations. Upon his retirement from the company as Director, Davis received almost two million dollars, most of which he distributed to others from company executives to bellboys and maids in the hotel in which he lived. Davis later worked and invested in oil fields near Luling, Texas which he sold to Magnolia Petroleum Company for more than twelve million dollars.
Davis had always been inspired by his family’s interest in philanthropy, especially that of his sister Amy and brother Oscar. He created two foundations with endowments of one million dollars each; one in his new home of Luling, Texas to benefit local farmers and one in his native Brockton.
The Pilgrim Foundation
The Pilgrim Foundation’s mission is to follow Davis’ mandate to work “for general charitable and educational purposes, with particular reference to needy orphans and children…” The Pilgrim Foundation has been ministering to the citizens of Brockton since 1926, beginning with monies for food and clothing during the depression. For almost 100 years, The Pilgrim Foundation has provided assistance in accordance with its original charter which reads “without distinction of race, sex, party, or creed, the only question being ‘did the person need help’?”
The Pilgrim Foundation has distributed more than nine million dollars to the citizens of Brockton through aid to individuals as well as grants to local organizations who provide direct assistance to persons in need.