Frederick Billings: Rooted in education, philanthropy
At first blush Woodstock, Vt., Billings, Mont., and San Francisco have as much in common as the Moon and the Earth. These cities are unrelated in every sense, from geography to commerce, from climate to lifestyle, and they encompass entirely different social milieus. However, they share one historic thread: Frederick Billings. Billings' life spans the continent, literally and figuratively, his fingers imbedded in every conceivable commercial and philanthropic enterprise. Woodstock, Billings, San Francisco, and California are the beneficiaries. Billings was born on Sept. 27, 1823, in Royalton, a small town in Vermont. When he was 12, the family moved to Woodstock. As they trudged along the country road to their new home, they passed a magnificent mansion owned by Charles Marsh. Billings admired it so much he vowed never to be poor.