With the certificates in hand, the trustees are on the path to take control of a nearly century-old bequest.
ADAMS, Mass. — The library trustees have made some ground on a stray Miller Trust account worth almost $100,000.
Trustee and financial adviser Karen Kettles had some good news for the trustees last week and said the Miller Trust stock certificates, believed to be lost, have been found in the annals of the Donovan O'Connor & Dodig law office.
"Good news we tracked them down," Kettles said. "This will save us money; this is wonderful."
Last month, Library Director Holli Jayko told the commission that she came upon a stray account left by Columbus Miller in his will that contains $92,000 in Bank of America stocks. The trustees want to regain control of the funds and take them out of a single, possibly volatile, stock and put them in a new account under the library's tax identification number.
However, to do this, they need the stock certificates that were nowhere to be found. Their only course of action was to pay to have them replaced.
Chairman James Loughman, who also is an attorney at Donovan O'Connor & Dodig, noted at a past meeting that his firm offered to clean up some accounting issues at the library more than 20 years ago and thought there was a file with more information somewhere in the office.
This happened to be more than true.
"A paralegal read the iBerkshires story on this and it was brought to my attention that sitting somewhere in our vault was the stock certificates," he said. "I had no idea and I turned them over to Karen."
Columbus Miller's story is just as elusive as the lost fund.
Old newspaper reports liken Miller to a recluse or a hermit. One past librarian referred to Miller as "a civic-minded farmer who loved books and frequented the library."
Miller had stock in real estate and upon his death in 1911, with no wife or children, left a sizable amount to the library, some of which was used to build the Miller Annex.
The trustees can't take the money to the bank yet and still have to figure out who is the current trustee, or trustees, of the Miller Fund.
"We will be able to sell as soon as we figure out who is the trustee so that's is where we are," Kettles said.
Loughman said they only have information on who the trustees were through to the 1970s. he suggested the trustee could be Bank of America.
"They were the ones who invested them in their stocks and its constant if you go back it is bank, bank, bank, bank all the way up to Bank of America," he said. "Call Bank of America. That's my recommendation and the recommendation of the person in my office who does this sort of a thing."
Kettles thought that currently no one was managing the money and said it is sitting with a transfer agent.
Loughman said this information may be sitting probate court but it would most likely be a lost effort to go "spelunking" in court without a docket identification number.
Trustee Virginia Duval said the Registry of Deeds used to have a metal box in which it stored estate information.
"I don't know if that box is still there, but it went back really far," she said.
She said she would check if said box still existed and if it contained an identification number for the Miller Estate.
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