Eliza Dustin Sutton of Peabody believed strongly in using her wealth to help others. She established the Charitable Tenement Association, which provided housing for poor, elderly women in Peabody. It still stands today as the Sutton Home for Women.
She donated $20,000 to the Peabody Institute to build the Eben Dale Sutton Reference room, named for her son, who had suffered from a variety of maladies and died at age fourteen. The Eben Dale Sutton Reference Room has recently been restored and it continues to house the archives for the Peabody Institute Library. George Peabody was a good friend and stayed with Eliza and her husband when he returned to visit Peabody in 1856, 1857, and 1866.