North Dakota farmer Darrel Hendrickson made his living from the rich farmland of the aptly named Richland County. Even though he lived outside its city limits, Mr. Hendrickson loved the town of Colfax and wanted to remember the Richland County community in his will. And remember them he did! Local schools and churches will share in the more than $4.5 million estate Mr. Hendrickson accumulated throughout his life tilling and cultiviating the land. These gifts have obviously left the local community speechless. As a local school official stated, “I’m just marveling at this”. I must say that I am too!
A little technical college in Milwaukee received a surprising gift a few years ago that has been assisting students with the cost of schooling ever since. And to think, all of this from a little old lady who took some sewing and painting classes at the college after her retirement. Another Surprise Millionaire has left their legacy and made their mark on the local community!
I have had the pleasure of following Dave Ramsey and his organization for quite some time. Dave is well known for helping people get out of debt and also helping them to accumulate some wealth along the way. He uses financial concepts found in biblical scripture as well as plain common sense to help people reach their financial goals.
One of Dave’s most popular segments from his podcast/radio show is the “Millionaire Theme Hour” in which regular folks who are currently millionaires call in and explain how they reached this milestone. During one of these segments I was happy to hear from a lady who we would describe as a Surprise Millionaire. This particular lady related how she accumulated her wealth by living below her means and investing wisely. It is a rare chance to hear a Surprise Millionaire in their own words so I couldn’t resist the opportunity to introduce “Terry from Denver” to my readers. Enjoy!
Meet Dr. Mary Stauffer; medical pioneer, philanthropist, centenarian and (not so surprise) millionaire. Dr. Stauffer marked her 100th birthday last year doing what she does best, giving back to her community. This is one inspiring lady!
We are often fond of saying here at The Surprise Millionaires that, “anyone can accumulate wealth”. I have observed this to be true time and time again even for people who live in the most humble of circumstances. That is why this gentleman and his story really touched me. The very fact that he was able to accumulate so much based on his meager income is completely amazing. However, it is nothing compared to the amazingness of his giving heart. This just goes to show that if you have a goal worth pursuing and the frugalness to live well below your means that anyone can truly accumulate wealth!
William “Bill” Crosetto of Othello Washington was a cattle rancher and all around good citizen. A life-long bachelor, Bill lived a quiet life on his cattle ranch outside of town where his work ethic was well-known. He lived the “early to bed/early to rise” conservative lifestyle of a rancher while still finding time to drive his weathered pickup truck to the local cafe to shoot the breeze with a handful of good friends.
This is why everyone in Othello was shocked to learn that this quiet, unpretentious man was actually a self-made millionaire! It turns out that Bill had amassed his wealth in cattle ranching but super-sized it by living frugally.
Unknown to most, Bill had been working with a local foundation to set up a multimillion dollar legacy for his community. After Bill’s passing this past January, his secret was revealed to all.
Whether inspired by his family or all on his own, Bill Crosetto has made a lasting contribution to the community he loved.