The school benefactor
Portrait of Radion Umnikov
Radion Petrovich Umnikov was born in 1825 in the small hut settlement of Umnitsi, in the outskirts of Gabrovo.
He emigrated to Russia, to the city of Odessa, where he engaged in commercial trade, and later moved to live in Kharkiv, where he remained until his death in December 1881.
Having amassed significant wealth, Radion Umnikov devoted his life to charity. For his services to the Kharkiv community, he was proclaimed an "Honorary Citizen of Kharkiv".
In 1864 he donated to the Gabrovo school 1/6th of a house in Bucharest, which he had inherited from his brother, Peter. In 1879, the Gabrovo municipality received income of 20,700 groschen from this house, and when it was sold in 1882, it received another 33,898 groschen. On October 23, 1881, Radion Umnikov made a will, in which he designated a donation of 24,707 groschen to the Gabrovo municipality for the upbringing and education of orphans and poor Gabrovo children. Due to the need for more schools, the Gabrovo municipality spent the funds to build a new one, which opened on 1 September 1892, named after its benefactor - the Umnikov School.
Today, the building of the Umnikov School awaits its new purpose for educational purposes.
Former First Junior High School "Radion Umnikov". Photo: © Personal archive of arch. Maria Khlebarova