For forty-four years of his short life, half of which Anton Pavlovich Chekhov was ill with tuberculosis that carried him to the grave, the writer not only created outstanding works (twenty volumes of world-famous prose), but he managed to do a tremendous amount of other deals:
He built four village schools, a bell tower, a fire shed for peasants, a road to Lopasnya, overcoming the passive resistance of the stagnant «zemstvo» (municipality), the sellers of contractors, the indifference of the illiterate peasants;
He placed a monument to Peter the First in his native city Taganrog, persuading the sculpture Antokolsky to sacrifice the statue he had sculptured to the city. Chekhov organize its casting and free delivery through the port of Marseilles;
Chekhov founded a public library in Taganrog, having donated more than two thousand of his own books there, and continuously renewed it for fourteen years;
During his life in Melikhovo he, as a doctor, annually took over a thousand sick peasants completely free of charge and supplied each of them with medicines;
As a «zemstvo» doctor, he worked during the epidemic of cholera, without helpers he served 25 villages;
Anton Pavlovich Chekhov made a heroic journey to Sakhalin Island (Russian Far East, 7 hours journey by air, pay your attention, friends, that there were no planes flying on these long distances that time). He single-handedly made a census of the entire population of this island, wrote the book «Sakhalin Island» proving with figures and facts that the tsarist penal servitude is «a mediocre mockery of the propertied and well-fed over the disenfranchised human personality»;
Chekhov helped thousands of people. The content of many of the letters addressed to Anton Chekhov in the catalog of the collected works are formulated as follows: «Gratitude for the money received from Chekhov…», «Gratitude for assistance in obtaining service…», «Gratitude for the solving the trouble with the passport…», etc.
Anton Chekhov planted about a thousand cherry trees and sowed bare forest plots with spruce, maple, elm, pine, oak and larch in a ravaged and uninhabited Melikhovo.
He also planted cherries, mulberries, palms, cypresses, lilacs, gooseberries, cherries and fine flower garden on the burnt dusty plot in the Crimea.
In his notebook Anton Pavlovich Chekhov left the following lines: «The Muslim digs a well for the salvation of the soul. It’s good if each of us left after him a school, a well or something like that. Then life would not pass aimlessly and you would not leave forever without leaving a trace.»