Local historian Raymond F. Wiebe has established a $50,000 endowment through the Hillsboro Community Foundation to ensure the future of the Adobe House Museum and preserve the history of Mennonite culture.
The arrangement was made official Friday.
Wiebe has named the endowment the “David V. Wiebe Memorial Fund for Hillsboro Pioneer Adobe House and Museum,” in honor of his father.
According to the memorandum of understanding, income from the endowment can be used for the creation, maintenance and interpretation of museum exhibits; wages and staffing; marketing and promotion; and other projects recommended by the Hillsboro Museum Advisory Board.
“The museums represent our heritage in a lot of ways,” said Keith Harder, HCF chair. “It’s a good heritage to build on. I think this is a way of strengthening the community by reminding us to draw on that heritage.”
Raymond Wiebe, author of the book “Hillsboro, Kansas: The City on the Prairie,” said the initial $50,000 is his portion of the estate left by his brother, David F. Wiebe, a longtime high school teacher who worked as director of the local museum for 181?2 years prior to his death in 2011.
“All the years he was teaching high school, he’d come back to Hillsboro for summers,” Raymond Wiebe said of his brother. “I feel it is appropriate that my part of his estate go to the Hillsboro Community Foundation.”
As an open fund, additional contributions can be made to the David V. Wiebe Endowment.
“It really fits very well with our purposes as a foundation, to be a vehicle for people to give to where their passion is,” Harder said.
“Obviously, this is something that Raymond has given a lot of thought to. We were just delighted that he thought of us as a vehicle for him to do that.”
Harder said the endowment will help support the Adobe House Museum in a time when the city has reduced its financial support for operations and staff because of budget reductions.
“I’m hoping the city will find ways of adding their own resources to that (cause),” he said.