Karl H. & Bobbi Bowles Family and Quincy Farm & Home Supply Company Fund

It’s time to give back.Bowles Family Picture (600 x 450)

Karl Bowles’ parents were looking for a place to start a farm store. They traveled the Midwest for two years, searching for the right location. Originally, they were hoping to set up shop in Champaign. But a chance dinner at the Black Angus in Quincy changed their minds. In 1960, when Karl was 34-years-old, his family settled in Quincy.

The Bowles started Quincy Farm and Home Supply at 924 Jersey. Bowles said his family’s timing was perfect. “Farmers were looking for bargains,” Karl said. “And we worked really hard to do that for them.”

That small store that began with four employees in a rented building without air conditioning grew into a viable company for the Bowles family. Now, seven Farm and Home Supply stores are in operation across the tri-states.

After nearly 50 years of successful business, Karl decided it was time to give back to the community that served him so well. “We wanted the community to know how much we appreciate the area,” Karl said. “Quincy is a wonderful place to bring up children.”

Over dinner one night with a family friend, Bowles and his daughter learned of the Community Foundation of the Quincy Area. “I started to think about how this area has been very, very good to me,” Bowles said. “Now it’s time to give back.”

 Karl and his wife Bobbi established two funds with the Community Foundation.

The first, the Karl H. & Bobbi Bowles Family and Quincy Farm & Home Supply Company Fund, is an unrestricted endowment fund. It provides support throughout the Community Foundation’s 12-county region and is used for various charitable purposes. Karl and Bobbi chose not to name specific goals for the fund. “That is the Community Foundation’s expertise,” Karl said. “We just request that it goes to people in need.”

The second fund is a Friends of the Foundation fund. This designated endowment provides support for the Community Foundation’s operations. The Karl H. & Bobbi Bowles Family and Quincy Farm & Home Supply Company Friends of the Foundation Fund help ensure the Community Foundation will continue to connect people who care with causes that matter.

“It was a privilege to see the joy in his eyes as he talked about what building a life in this community has meant to him and how he wanted to give back,” said Jill Arnold Blickhan, Community Foundation Executive Director.

“The Bowles family’s gifts epitomize a Winston Churchill quote that we often use, ‘We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give,’ added Blickhan. The two funds that the Bowles established mean that they will be ‘giving back’ for generations.”


Anyone can make a gift to any fund at any time to help it grow. To make a gift to the Karl H. & Bobbi Bowles Family and Quincy Farm & Home Supply Company Fund, please click here.