The Steadley family has provided funds for the city of Carthage and its charities through their family trust since the mid 1970s. Their generosity has helped with education, health care, recreational areas, animal welfare, and the preservation of many of the landmark structures of Carthage. The trust and its leadership have touched the lives of everyone who has lived in this area, and it continues to reinvest in the community.
Frederick Steadley lost his first wife in 1896, leaving him a widower with two young boys. He then married Stella V. Hennessy in 1899 and the family moved immediately to Carthage. He was a jeweler first, then branched out into the marble industry and formed Carthage Quarry and went on to the manufacture of bed springs. Carthage Spring Bed Co. later became F.W. Steadley and Co. Working with his sons in the businesses, the family prospered.
F.W. Steadley died in 1928 with his widow, Stella and surviving son Kent left to manage the business interests. When Stella died in 1953 her will asked that Kent, as executor, upon his death set up a trust and “said income be used so far as possible for assisting charitable and educational institutions” in the Carthage area. When Kent Steadley died only two months after his wife Mary on January 3, 1960 they left the Trust, which is now known as the Kent D. and Mary L. Steadley Trust to benefit the citizens of Carthage. To date the Steadley Trust has granted over $25,000,000 to local charitable causes, and continues to grant in excess of $1,000,000 each year to local charitable causes.
Carthage and its residents are fortunate to have several trusts benefitting the community, but certainly the Steadley Trust has been the longest continuous fund and a blessing to this community.