WINTERS - The woman responsible for Winters' “dream come true” Public Library, died a little over a month ago and members of the WPL board of directors, say her contributions to the community will be forever remembered.
WINTERS - The woman responsible for Winters’ “dream come true” Public Library, died a little over a month ago and members of the WPL board of directors, say her contributions to the community will be forever remembered.
Myra Glover Burton, 87, died on December 29, 2017 in San Antonio. Myra was the founder of the Winters Public Library in 1954.
Burton’s devotion to her work as a librarian, made her vision of creating a public library a reality.
“The story of the creation of the library, is largely a story about Miss Glover (Burton)” the Abilene Reporter News reported Oct., 13, 1963.
After high school graduation, Myra worked for a year at the Abilene Public Library in preparation of opening the first public library in Winters on January 4, 1954. The first library started with 200 donated books and would grow to house 3,600 books. The first location was in the American Legion Hall building on the corner of Wood Street in Winters. The original building fell into disrepair and Burton would work tirelessly to raise funding for a new building.
Through her leadership and tenacity, and with funds raised from generous benefactors and groups and businesses the library relocated to the current location on Main Street in October 1963. The building was donated by West Texas Utilities and the library remains there today.
She served as librarian until 1968, when she moved to Austin.
Although Burton was born with cerebral palsy, she was not defined by her disability. She found ways to accomplish what she wanted to do, from typing library documents with one finger to getting a driver’s license. A news article from the Winters Enterprise of January 21, 1999, quoted Burton.
“I have had many people along the years to encourage me to write a book about my life, growing up without the rights so many children with disabilities have today, and how a person with cerebral palsy became self-supporting,” she said. “I am so very thankful and try very hard to help others find the help they need to live a happy life by doing as much for themselves as possible.”
After leaving Winters, in 1978 she received her Bachelor of Science degree in special education from the University of Texas at Austin. She was a special education teacher in public schools and at the San Antonio State Living Center. In 1986, she was named San Antonio’s Odyssey Woman of the Year.
She is survived by her husband Ronald, sisters Lounette Templeton and Judy Perry, brother Neil Lewis and stepdaughter Amanda Burton Halbritter.
In the same 1999 article, written by Jean Boles, Burton said although she did not get to Winters often to visit, “the library and the people of Winters were my life for many years.”
“Thank you, Myra, for your vision and founding of the Winters Public Library,” said Sally Spill, a member of the WPL board. “Your lifelong commitment to helping others has great meaning.”
Sally Spill and members of the WPL board of directors contributed to this report.