Concise Encyclopedia of Tufts History
Braker, Henry Jones, 1856-1908
|Henry James Braker (1856-1908) was a benefactor of Tufts College. He left $500,000 in his will to support the study of economics at Tufts, and a part of this endowment was used to construct Braker Hall, named in his honor and still used in 1999 as the home of the Department of Economics.|
Braker was born on March 29, 1856, in New York City. He attended city public schools and boarding school, and entered into his father's pharmaceutical importing business upon turning eighteen years old. Upon his father's death he obtained a controlling interest in the business. Braker was also American representative of the German Potash Syndicate, a refiner of camphor and manufacturer of castor oil, as well as an operator in New York real estate.
Braker visited Tufts only once, in 1905, when he came to hear his close friend and legal advisor, Austin Barclay Fletcher, deliver the oratory for Tufts' semi-centennial. Due to illness, Braker left the campus immediately following the address. However, a few days later he altered his will to include a $500,000 bequest to Tufts College.
He died in Plymouth, England, on his way to Vienna, in August 1908.