A Lasting Legacy

If it wasn’t for a bequest, the Amherst H. Wilder Foundation would not exist.

Amherst H. Wilder was born in Essex County, New York in 1828. He moved to Saint Paul in 1858. Over the next 36 years, as an entrepreneur, he built an impressive stable of businesses and contributed money and time to help vulnerable people in Saint Paul. He owned stagecoach lines and later railroads between Saint Paul and Sioux City and later Omaha. His company provided necessities such as food and lumber to settlers and American Indians. Sought after as an investor and board member, he served as a director of both Saint Paul Fire and Marine Insurance Company (now Travelers) and Minnesota Mutual Insurance Company (Now Securian). When he died, a bequest in his will provided more than $2 million (more than $50 million in today's dollars) for our founding. Though he died more than a century ago, on November 11, 1894, his legacy lives on in the Amherst H. Wilder Foundation.

The Wilder Foundation, Then and Now

  • Like Wilder himself, the Foundation both innovated and built programs to last.
  • In 1910, we established a children's day care center, the Wilder Day Nursery, at 955 Edgerton Street. Now renamed Wilder's Child Development Center, it still exists at 909 Lafond Avenue.
  • In 1918, Wilder  conducted Saint Paul's first housing survey, leading to the adoption of the city's first building code. Today, Wilder Research gathers and interprets facts and trends to help families and communities thrive.
  • In 1924, we founded our Child Guidance Clinic at 279 Rice Street with a psychologist and a social worker to provide to care to troubled children. Today, our clinical staff provide services to children and families in many languages at Wilder Center and in the community.
Today, our commitment to serving Saint Paul and the east metro remains strong. Services provided by Wilder help individuals and families in our community overcome difficult barriers and begin living healthy and successful lives. Wilder is here for people when they need us most by offering them a path for hope, resilience and strength.

Your Legacy

You don't need to have a $2 million estate to make a bequest. In the past three years, Wilder has received bequests ranging from $775 to more than $2.5 million.
A charitable bequest in your estate plan is the easiest way to leave your own lasting legacy to the Wilder Foundation. You can leave a lump sum or a percentage of your estate.

Unrestricted bequest language

I give the Amherst H. Wilder Foundation, currently located at 451 Lexington Parkway North, Saint Paul, Minnesota 55104, with federal tax ID 41-0693889, (_________ % of the residue of my estate) or (the sum of $__________), to be used by the Amherst H. Wilder Foundation wherever the needs and opportunities are greatest.
With a bequest to the Amherst H. Wilder Foundation, a named endowment may be established to support a department or program. Please contact Paula Kringle, Individual Giving Officer at 651-280-2466 or email for more information.

Heritage Partner Society

The Heritage Partner Society is made up of individuals who have established named endowments or included the Wilder Foundation in their estate plans through outright gifts, life-income arrangements, wills, trusts, insurance policies or other means. Estate gifts may be designated for the Wilder Endowment Fund or for a specific Foundation program, project or facility.  These gifts, together with those of other Heritage Partners, help Wilder impact the lives of thousands of Saint Paul residents today and for generations to come. 
An annual recognition event celebrates and thanks these generous friends. Please contact Paula Kringle, Individual Giving Officer at 651-280-2466 or email to discuss your interest in becoming a Wilder Heritage Partner. 

Honorary and Memorial Gifts

Honor a loved one with a gift to the Wilder Foundation. Make a secure online gift today.
Thank you for your support and commitment to improving lives and our community in Saint Paul. 

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