The public is invited to stop by the Mary Hawley Memorial Room where copies of Miss Hawley’s will and trust documents will be available for perusal. Also on display will be a “Star of Gifts” painted by Michelle Rosenthal and donated by Mr. and Mrs. Lynn and Ron Buttner of Newtown. The start depicts six gifts that Miss Hawley gave to the town of Newtown. Guests may also sign the guest book.
The building that Miss Hawley donated to the people of Newtown in honor of her great grandfather Judge William Edmond, continues to serve the community 89 years later. She had the foresight to include a proscenium theater, office spaces and other elegant and useful gathering spaces that, along with a modest annual disbursement from a dedicated trust fund, have made it possible to generate most, though not all, of the revenue needed to operate the building.
Miss Hawley is best known for her generosity to the community through her gifts of Edmond Town Hall, Hawley School and the Cyrenius H. Booth Library as well as the Soldiers and Sailors Monument located at the head of Main Street and others. She also made generous gifts to many other organizations in surrounding communities.
“We take pride in remembering Miss Hawley every year on her birthday,” said Margot Hall, Chairman of the Board of Managers, the group of electors that oversees the building and staff. “While our community continues to enjoy her many gifts, her true and lasting legacy is her generosity.”
Although owned by the town of Newtown, the Edmond Town Hall is managed by a bi-partisan Board of Managers composed of six members serving six-year terms. At each regular town election, two members are elected, both of whom must not be from the same political party. According to the Town Charter, the Board “shall have exclusive care and maintenance of Edmond Town Hall and all grounds and buildings appurtenant thereto, and shall have the status, powers and duties set forth in Special Act No. 98 of the 1931 session of the General Assembly as amended by Special Act No. 517 of the 1953 session of the General Assembly, which acts shall remain in full force and effect, except to the extent superseded or revised by this Charter.”