I found this story on Ludicrous Scene's blog here. The original source was The Edinburgh Evening News, August 27, 1888.
"A year ago an extraordinary will was proved at Pesth [part of Budapest, Hungary], whereby the testator, a physician named Goldberger de Buda, left half his fortune – about a quarter of a million florins [or about $1,140 today]– to accumulate for the benefit of posterity until the interest should suffice to relive destitution universally.
"According to a calculation made by the testator, his wishes might be carried out when the capital represented 209 millions of florins [or about $953,000 today].
"The will is now contested by one of the legatees, and the case is to be tried next November, when claimants are expected from London, the United States and Madrid."
Uh huh. I wonder how that whole "total relief of global poverty" thing is going with under a million dollars, assuming, of course, that his legatees didn't overthrow the will before the interest even got it to a million dollars. On top of that, I don't think he realizes how economics works. But bless his good intentions anyway!
Anyone out there know the results of the case?