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Cultural Events

Cruson To Present ‘The Mysterious Mary Hawley’



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Newtown Town Historian Ben Cruson will host a special presentation, “The Mysterious Mary Hawley,” on Sunday, April 21, at 2 pm, at C.H. Booth Library, 25 Main Street.

The event is being sponsored by Newtown Historical Society and the library.

Residents of Newtown are familiar with legacies left by Mary Hawley, whether it be from attendance at The Hawley School, enjoyment of movie nights at Edmond Town Hall, or the hours spent perusing shelves in C.H. Booth Library, buildings funded by Miss Hawley and named to honor her ancestors.

Portraits of Miss Hawley, as well as books, pamphlets, and personal accoutrement, are easily found around town. It is nearly impossible to walk from one end of Main Street to the other without stumbling upon a Mary Hawley reference of some kind.

Regardless of myriad resources available to us about this great “Benefactress of Newtown,” which have, for the most part, been known and accessible to the public for nearly a century, however, there are gaping holes in her life story.

Prior to the last ten years of her life, in fact, there is little concrete data about Mary Hawley. The date and location of her birth, the births and deaths of her siblings, and the extensive lineage of her family are all well documented. From her early 20s to her early 60s, there remains an eerie shadow in the place of history.

Cruson will help fill in these gaps as he shares what is now known about Mary Hawley’s complex relationship with Newtown. A secret wedding, an escape from Europe, a hometown overrun with rumors and shameful accusations, and a father-daughter relationship that resulted in tremendous wealth will all be covered as Cruson walks guests through what has been uncovered about the lesser-known Mary Hawley.

There is no charge to attend the lecture. Donations will be gratefully accepted and benefit the historical society and public programs. Light refreshments will be served.

For additional information call 203-426-5937, send email to gmwllw@charter.net, or visit newtownhistory.org.


Read more here:

The ABCs Of Newtown: H Is For (Mary) Hawley, Part One

The ABCs Of Newtown: H Is For (Mary) Hawley, Part Two

Details From Mary Hawley's Will

Mary Elizabeth Hawley has been celebrated for her generation to Newtown and its residents for over a century. A grand portrait of "Newtown's Benefactress" was commission by residents following her death and the reading of her will. Created by Frederick Lester Sexton, the portrait hangs in The Mary Hawley Room at Edmond Town Hall. —Bee file photo
Residents of Newtown are familiar with legacies left by Mary Hawley, including The Hawley School, shown here. Funded by Miss Hawley, the elementary school was named to honor her late parents. —Bee file photo
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