Henry Ford gave away millions of dollars. But he always tried to avoid solicitation for gifts to schools because he felt that money given to schools was frequently mishandled by well-meaning, non-businesslike people.

Although she was aware of Ford’s refusal to give to schools, Miss Martha Berry of the Martha Berry School in Georgia, nevertheless went to the automaker and asked for an endowment for her school.

Ford refused as expected. Undaunted, Miss Berry said, “Well, then, will you give us a sack of raw peanuts?” It is not known what Ford said to this unusual request, but he granted it and went about his business.

With the help of all her students — mountain kids—Miss Berry planted and replanted the peanuts Ford had given her. Then she sold the crop, winding up with $600, which she took to Ford. “See how practical we are, in the use of money at Martha Berry School,” she said. Ford was duly impressed with such an outstanding example…

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