Cornelius B. Erwin 1811 - 1885Cornelius Erwin was one of New Britain's greatest benefactors and an original shareholder in the Walnut Hill Park Company. He built several successful businesses including Russell & Erwin Manufacturing Company, and was heavily involved in the development of New Britain. Erwin, the son of a shoemaker, arrived in New Britain at the age of 21 with five dollars in his pocket. He left an estate of 1.1 million dollars. Erwin bequeathed his estate to four midwestern colleges and numerous local institutions including the New Britain Institute, Fairview Cemetery Chapel, The Erwin Home, the construction of the Civil War Memorial in Central Park and the South Congregational Church. He also donated fifty thousand dollars as a permanent trust fund to Walnut Hill Park. The income was to be used for maintaining and beautifying the park. The income became available in 1893 and for some time it was the only funding the park commission received for maintenance and improvements. There was some discussion after Erwin's death of naming the park after him, however, it was felt that the town had become accustomed to the name Walnut Hill Park and Erwin himself would have preferred leaving it as such.