James W. Bolton

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James Wade Bolton
Born (1869-08-04)August 4, 1869
Winnfield, Winn Parish
Louisiana, USA
Died February 18, 1936(1936-02-18) (aged 66)
Resting place Mt. Olivet Cemetery in Pineville, Louisiana
Residence Alexandria, Louisiana
Occupation Banker
Political party Democratic

(1) Annie White Bolton (married 1893–1895, her death)

(2) Mary Esther Calderwood Bolton (married 1896–1936, his death)

James Calderwood Bolton
Robert Harvey Bolton, Sr.

Mrs. Charles L. Brown

George Washington Bolton

Tennessee Wade Bolton

Peggy Bolton (daughter-in-law)
Roscoe Conkling Bolton (brother)

Al Bolton (nephew)
Bolton High School in the Garden District of Alexandria, Louisiana, is named in Bolton's honor.
For Bolton's older son, James Calderwood Bolton, scroll down.

James Wade Bolton (August 4, 1869 – February 18, 1936) was a prominent banker, civic leader, and school board president in Alexandria, the parish seat of Rapides Parish and the largest city in Central Louisiana. Bolton High School in Alexandria is named in his honor.


From 1912 until his death in 1936, Bolton was the president of the Rapides Bank and Trust Company, later part of Bank One Corporation. Bolton was born in Winnfield in Winn Parish, Louisiana, to George Washington Bolton and the former Tennessee Wade, the daughter of his father's business partner. His first wife, the former Annie White, died in 1895, after fewer than two years of marriage. On October 21, 1896, he married the former Mary Esther Calderwood (December 2, 1876 – January 1, 1952). There three children were James Calderwood Bolton, Robert Harvey Bolton, and Mrs. Charles L. Brown. Both Bolton sons were bankers too.[1]

In addition to his bank presidency, Bolton was president of the Louisiana Bankers Association from 1916–1917 and a member of the executive council of the American Bankers Association from 1920 to 1923. His father had been the first president of the Louisiana Bankers Association. He sat on the board of trustees for the Peabody Institute in Nashville, Tennessee. He was on the original advisory board of the New Orleans branch of the Reconstruction Finance Corporation, which was established in 1932 in the Hoover administration to provide loans to prevent large businesses from collapse during the Great Depression. For years, Bolton represented Rapides Parish on the Louisiana Democratic State Central Committee.[1][2] Bolton was a member (and president from 1929 to 1931) of the board of trustees of Baptist Hospital in Alexandria, now Rapides Medical Center. He was also a member of the executive board of the Louisiana Baptist Convention, president of the board of trustees of the large Emmanuel Baptist Church in downtown Alexandria, and the chairman of the committee that constructed the first brick church building. He was a member of the Masonic lodge, a Shriner, and a member of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks.[1]

For three decades, Bolton served on the elected Rapides Parish School Board, eighteen of those years as board president. Under his leadership, the Rapides system, and particularly Bolton High School, became an educational model for the state. Bolton High School was founded in 1915 in the Garden District of Alexandria on land donated by Bolton. The current facility, a project of the contractor George A. Caldwell of Baton Rouge, opened in 1926. At Bolton's prodding, the board established a student loan fund to assist in the education of future teachers.[1]

James and Mary Bolton are interred at Mt. Olivet Cemetery in Pineville, across the Red River from Alexandria.[3]Long after his death, River Oaks, the Bolton home, was donated in the 1980s to the city of Alexandria as a center for contemporary regional arts and crafts.[4]

James Calderwood Bolton
Born (1899-04-18)April 18, 1899
Alexandria, Rapides Parish
Louisiana, USA
Died September 10, 1974(1974-09-10) (aged 75)
Alexandria, Louisiana
Resting place Greenwood Memorial Park in Pineville, Louisiana
Residence Alexandria, Louisiana
Alma mater

Culver Military Academy

Wharton School of University of Pennsylvania
Occupation Banker
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Frances Sample Bolton (married 1924–1974, his death)

Mary Eleanor Bolton

Frances Bolton Davis

James W. Bolton

Mary Esther Calderwood Bolton

Robert H. Bolton (brother)
Peggy Bolton (sister-in-law)
Roscoe Conkling Bolton (brother)
Al Bolton (cousin)

Paul M. Davis, Jr. (son-in-law)
The James C. Bolton Library at Louisiana State University in Alexandria is named in his honor.

James Calderwood Bolton[edit]

James Calderwood Bolton (April 18, 1899 – September 10, 1974), like his father and younger brother was a banker in his native Alexandria, Louisiana, educated in public schools and the college preparatory Culver Military Academy in Culver, Indiana. He served in the United States Army during World War I.[5]

In 1920, Bolton received the Bachelor of Science degree from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. From 1921 to 1922, he was a member of the credit department of the National Bank of Commerce in New York City. Bolton joined his father's Rapides Bank in Alexandria. He was assistant cashier from 1922 to 1925, vice president from 1925 to 1936, president from 1936 to 1955, and the chairman of the Rapides Bank board from 1956 until his death.[5]

Bolton was the director of the Delta Cotton Oil and Fertilizer Company in Jackson, Mississippi, and the Louisiana Board of Public Welfare in Baton Rouge during the administrations of Governors Robert F. Kennon (1952–1956) and Jimmie Davis (1960–1964). From 1944 to 1970, he was the chairman of the Alexandria Civil Service Commission. He was the president from 1964 to 1965 of the LSU Foundation and was instrumental in the founding of Louisiana State University at Alexandria, originally a two-year institution. The LSU-A library is named in his honor. Bolton was active in Alexandria Chamber of Commerce, as president, 1930–1931; chairman of the industrial development division, 1965–1974. From 1933–1934, he was the president of the Louisiana Bankers Association. He was also president in 1935 of the state banking division of the American Bankers Association. Like his parents, he was a member of the Emmanuel Baptist Church. From 1928 to 1953, he served on the executive board of the Louisiana Baptist Convention. He was president of the Louisiana Baptist Foundation from 1948 to 1959. He was affiliated with Kiwanis International.[5][5]

River Oaks, the restored James Wade Bolton House, is located at 1330 Main Street in downtown Alexandria, Louisiana.
The Bolton House has been converted into the River Oaks Art Center in Alexandria.

In 1924, Bolton wed the former Frances Sample (1902–1986), the daughter of Samuel Guy and Sarah Emma McCrory Sample of Shreveport. The couple had two daughters, Mary Eleanor (born 1927) and Frances (born 1928). In 1951, Frances Bolton married the Alexandria orthopedic surgeon Paul M. Davis, Jr. James C. Bolton died in Alexandria and is interred, along with his wife and other family members, in Pineville at Greenwood Memorial Park.[6]

In 1979, the surviving Bolton family members donated their grandparents' former downtown residence to the City of Alexandria. Built in Queen Anne Revival-style architecture, the house dates to the late 1890s. The property was converted into the River Oaks Square Arts Center and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.[7]


  1. ^ a b c d "James Wade Bolton," A Dictionary of Louisiana Biography, Vol. I (1988), p. 87
  2. ^ Bolton obituary, New Orleans Times-Picayune, February 19, 1936
  3. ^ "Mt. Olivet Cemetery burials". usgwarchives.net. Retrieved October 30, 2010. 
  4. ^ "Louisiana Riverfronts: Alexandria-Pineville". myneworleans.com. Retrieved October 9, 2010. 
  5. ^ a b c d "Bolton, James Calderwood". A Dictionary of Louisiana Biography: Louisiana Historical Association. Retrieved May 18, 2014. 
  6. ^ "James Caldwerwood Bolton". findagrave.com. Retrieved May 18, 2014. 
  7. ^ Holly Jo Linzay (June 2010). "Cenla-ian of the Year: Frances Bolton Davis". cenlafocus.com. Retrieved March 5, 2015. 
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