Mary Weems Barton/Quincy Public Library Foundation
The Mary Weems Barton/Quincy Public Library Foundation was established in 1997 following a bequest from Mary Weems Barton.
The purpose of the Foundation is to accept, manage, and solicit donations and bequests for the sole use of the Quincy Public Library. Funds are used to support and enhance QPL material, equipment, and capital improvements. The Foundation is a 501(c)3 charitable organization.
There are several different ways to make donations to the Foundation. Donations of $100 or greater will receive special recognition.
For more information, contact Kathleen Helsabeck at (217) 223-1309 ext 204 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
FY 17-18 Foundation Board
Lynn Niewohner, President
Jamie Scholz, Vice President
Mary Griffith-Schoenekase, Secretary
Bryan Koetters, Treasurer
Christopher Pratt, Board Member
Dwain Preston, Board Member
Beth Young, Board Member
Kathleen Helsabeck, QPL Executive Director
The 2017 MWB/QPL Foundation Campaign supports the Quincy Historical Newspaper Archive for the library’s goal of digitizing more issues of the Quincy Herald-Whig to the searchable electronic format. Donations may be made by calling the library at 223-1309.
Donations to the MWB/QPL Foundation can be made several different ways. Donations of any amount will be accepted and all donations will help QPL provide services to the Quincy community. The MWB/QPL Foundation is a 501 ( c)3 organization. Donations are tax-deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law.
Contributions of any amount are welcomed. Even small donations add up to a big impact in our community. Please stop in the administration office to make a contribution.
Planned giving is an effective way to give back to the Quincy community and to insure Library services for future generations. The MWB/QPL Foundation accepts bequests; beneficiary designations; gifts of life insurance; and Payable on Death provisions.
Planned giving may have positive tax implications for the donor. Donors should consult an accountant or tax attorney for the most effective way to make a contribution.
Please call Kathleen Helsabeck at 217-223-1309, extension 204 to make a donation or to get more information.
Memorial and honor gifts
Your gift of cash, bequest, or endowments may be made in honor of or in memory of another person. Simply tell us who you’re honoring when you make your donation.
Memorial garden bricks
Purchasing an engraved brick for the library’s Donor Recognition Garden in the library’s north lawn id another way to honor a loved one. To order a commemorative brick, call Kim Akers, 223-1309, ext. 201.
Patrons and community members frequently ask how they can help. The wish list shows prices for current materials and programs requiring ongoing support as well as prices for new items. View the Wish List. For more information, please call QPL at 223-1309, ext 506.
The MWB/QPL Foundation is grateful for the support of our community for their contributions toward library service. These generous individuals are following in the footsteps of Sarah Denman and other early library advocates who provided funds to start the Quincy Free Public Library in the 1880s. View contributors.
The Mary Weems Barton/Quincy Public Library Foundation (MWB/QPL Foundation) was established in 1997 with the sole purpose of supporting and enhancing Quincy Public Library by supplying funds for material, equipment, and capital improvements.
The Mary Weems Barton/Quincy Public Library Foundation Board of Directors is made up of three community members, four members of the Quincy Public Library Board of Trustees, and the library director.
2002: The Foundation took the first step toward extending its reach into the community, with a $5000 donation to establish an endowment fund with the Community Foundation of the Quincy Area. This endowment fund allows community members to donate to the Library Foundation through the Community Foundation. The MWB/QPL Foundation will benefit from promotional campaigns through the Community Foundation of the Quincy Area.
2003: MWB/QPL Foundation helped underwrite the limited edition printing of the historical book Quincy: A Pictorial History by Carl Landrum. All proceeds from the sale of the book were returned to the Mary Weems Barton/Quincy Public Library Foundation.
2004: MWB/QPL Foundation was awarded a Marion Gardner Jackson Foundation matching grant for $75,000, allowing them to begin a capital campaign to raise the remaining amount needed to purchase property adjoining the Quincy Public Library at 515 York.
2005: MWB/QPL Foundation received a $200,000 federal grant from Senator Dick Durbin for the expansion of the Quincy Historical Newspaper Archive. The Foundation created an endowment to provide ongoing support for the Quincy Historical Newspaper Archive.
2007: Purchase of the property adjoining the library at 515 York was finalized. Now known as the Quincy Public Library Annex, it housed a number of special library events including the Friends of the Library Book sale; "If You Lived in Lincoln's Time" programs; the Teen Gingerbread House Workshop; and the NAJWA Dance Corps. Other community organizations also utilized the space. It was the home of the Altrusa Coat Drive 2008 and 2009, and the 2007-2009 Good News of Christmas Campaigns.
2010: The Furniture and Fixture Fund allowed the purchase of tables, chairs, audio/visual materials, projectors, screens, display boards, videoconferencing equipment, and self checkouts for use following the remodel and renovation of the library building.
The Foundation sought and received a $44,000 Illinois First grant to support the former York Street Branch Library.
Since its inception in 1997, the Foundation has contributed over $500,000 to the Library for the purchase of adult fiction and non-fiction materials, which include materials for the Audio/Visual collection, Reference Department and Outreach Department.
About Mary Weems Barton
Mary Weems Barton was the last member of an old and prominent Quincy family. Mary and her husband Robert Barton died tragically in an automobile accident near Ouray, Colorado, on October 3, 1996.
After graduating from Miss Madeira’s Preparatory School in Virginia and Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts, Mary traveled abroad extensively and lived in Paris for a time before settling in Scottsdale, Arizona in 1955. She worked first for Lymann’s Furnishings Store, and then was hired by the Est Est design firm in 1965. She co-designed the Arizona Room for the 1965 World’s Fair, and did design work for many well known clients and organizations including the Rancho de los Caballeros dude ranch in Wickenburg, and the Paradise Valley Country Club.
Mary’s father was manager of Weems Laundry, became head of the Pure Ice Company (founded by his grandfather Jesse Weems in 1894) and president of Dick Brothers' Brewery. He was elected mayor of Quincy in 1923.
Mary met Robert Barton around 1961, by the pool at their apartment complex, when she handed him her shoes, then jumped into the pool with her clothes on.
Robert was an engineer, consultant to the U.S. Navy and NASA, and a very successful businessman specializing in mergers and acquisitions.
After a seven year courtship, Mary and Robert were married January 6, 1968. The small ceremony in the Weems living room in Quincy was delayed that day, by signing papers for the purchase of their home. Chink Weems made a joke about getting his shotgun to find Bob, and Mr. Barton’s retort was lost in the laughter!
Mary and Robert continued to travel and loved classical music and entertaining. Mary was an avid baseball enthusiast. Willie Mays was her hero, and they cheered at many baseball games, in Arizona and other locations. They also emphasized patriotism. They flew the American flag on a pole at their home every single day, even enlisting friends or neighbors to put up and take down the flag whenever they were away. They had a villa in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, next to Liz Taylor and Richard Burton, and once were serenaded by a mariachi band that was meant to surprise Richard Burton!
They lived with purpose, and according to the eulogy written by their nephew, Daniel Dugan, the theme of each moment was grace. They had no children of their own, but adored their nephews and were wonderful friends and relatives. Daniel related stories of “being given Aunt Mary’s 1963 Chevy Nova convertible,” and of “being petrified to give Aunt Mary a gift for her house knowing that her taste was so impeccable, and then seeing that very gift hang in their dining room for the past 20 years.” Robert’s sister Marion related a story of Mary and a few dear friends celebrating birthdays together. “One of Mary’s turns happened to be on the day a movie I was in opened. The thought of those designer-dressed ladies sitting here watching this certified hag is too funny. Add to that, Mary announced loudly and proudly, ‘That’s my sister-in-law!’ to any and all nearby.”
Mary and Robert Barton left a legacy of wonderful memories to all who knew them, and of generous support for community organizations, including the Quincy Public Library.
Did you know Mary? The Library is currently collecting stories about Mary Weems Barton from those who knew her. To share your story, please email us.