WHEN Charles P Cochrane died on August 22, 1940, he left a sizeable sum of money to the town of Alva.

He was the last of the three brothers who had emigrated to the United States with their parents, settling in Philadelphia in Pennsylvania.

Here they made their fortune in the manufacturing of carpets and rugs.

Throughout their lives, the Cochrane brothers made generous gifts to the town and were seen as Alva's main benefactors.

Cochrane, who was 87 when he died, was unmarried and had passed away at his summer house home at Ocean City in New Jersey.

He had retired from the Charles P Cochrane Company, which had been established with John and James, both of whom had predeceased him, in the early 1880s.

In his will, he left bequests amounting to almost one million US Dollars to his friends and to institutions on both sides of the Atlantic.

He never forgot his hometown and left $465,000 to institutions in Alva with the main benefaction being the Cochrane Foundation.

It had been founded in 1935 and its role was to dispense 10 shillings a month to the old folk in the town.

The terms of the will stated the foundation was to receive an additional sum of $300,000.

This additional funding was welcomed by the townsfolk, as it was to benefit the operations of the foundation meaning more Alva people would be helped financially over the years. It proved itself as a 'veritable friend in need to many an aged Alvaonian'.

Cochrane wanted $100,000 to be spent on the upkeep of the Cochrane Hall and the Cochrane Park. Both the park and the hall had been gifts from the brothers while all three were alive, and both are still in use today.

Their generosity ensured their future and was supposed to make sure neither were a financial burden on the townsfolk. It was also hoped the hall and park would boost the town as a tourist destination.

Other money set aside included $40,000 which he bequeathed to the Eadie United Free Church, as the brothers had attended it when children. It was to be used by the church to 'stabilise the finances of the congregation'.

Alva Academy also benefitted from the will. It was given $25,000 as the Cochranes believed education to be the most important foundation in young people's lives.

There were many ways in which the money was able to benefit the school, and its teachers, but it was its students who benefitted most from the legacy.