Mary Elizabeth Hawley is Newtown’s beloved benefactor. She moved to Newtown at the age of 15 and later in life used her family inheritance to make generous gifts to the community, including: Hawley School, Edmond Town Hall, The Soldiers and Sailors Monument and, posthumously, The Cyrenius Booth Library. She made many other generous bequests to Newtown and to other communities. The Edmond Town Hall was gifted to Newtown on August 22, 1930, her birthday. Sadly, Ms. Hawley did not live to see the building completed. She died in May 1930 and the bell on the Edmond Town Hall clock tower first rang for her funeral.
Judge William Edmond, the namesake for Edmond Town Hall, was Mary Elizabeth Hawley’s maternal great-grandfather. He was born in Woodbury in 1755, studied at Yale University, fought in the Revolutionary War under General Wooster, practiced law in Newtown, served in the State Assembly in 1795 and in the United States House of Representatives from 1797 until 1801, when he retired. Judge Edmond then served as Judge in the Connecticut Superior Court from 1805 to 1819. He died in Newtown in 1838.