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Morrison woman bequeaths $116,550 to county

Former quarter horse hobbyist owned balloons, bulls, had no survivors

MORRISON – Whiteside County meant enough to a Morrison businesswoman and quarter horse aficionado that she left it more than $100,000.

Margaret “Margy” Haines, who owned Balloons Galore and, like her friend Rita Crundwell, was well-known in quarter horse circles, left no instructions on how she wanted the $116,550 spent.

When the check arrived from her estate in April, it was deposited in the general fund, county Administrator Joel Horn said.

There are no specific plans for the windfall, Horn said, and he was not told why Whiteside was its recipient.

“It must mean that she was happy with some service that the county provided,” he said.

Haines, a 1952 Morrison High graduate, was 77 when she died Jan. 16, 2012. She worked for General Electric in Morrison before opening her balloon shop, and showed quarter horses for 25 years, starting in the 1960s, her obituary said.

She funded a reading room at the Quarter Horse Hall of Fame and Museum that is named after her, and was inducted into the Illinois Quarter Horse Association Hall of Fame in 1997, according to an interview she gave The Equine Chronicle in October 2010 at the All American Quarter Horse Congress in Columbus, Ohio, where she came to watch one of Crundwell’s fillies compete.

At the time, Haines lived alone with her dog, Jessie, she said. She also owned bucking bulls, and was a partner in a professional bucking bulls business in Ardmore, Okla.

A subsequent Chronicle article on her death noted that she also established a scholarship for equine veterinary students, and was instrumental in getting pleasure driving – in which light horses and ponies are hitched to a show cart – recognized as an AQHA class.

She also was a member of the Morrison Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors at one time, and of the Daughters of the American Revolution.

No survivors were listed in her obituary, and Horn does not know who her relatives are.

“I really don’t know who to send this ‘thank-you’ note to,” he said.

He said he intends to ask the executive committee how it would like to recognize Haines’ gift.

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