Bolton Family

WALTER T. BOLTON

Walter Thetford Bolton(1859-1923) was born September 9, 1859 in or near Hickory, Newton County, Mississippi to Judge Isaac Langston Bolton (1827-1900+), an Alabaman, and Martha Thetford Bolton (1843-1870+), also from Alabama.  Walter came as a single man to Biloxi, Mississippi in 1892 from Perkinston, Harrison County, Mississippi.  At Perkinston, Dr. Bolton was also the US Postmaster.  During his tenure here, he was lauded for improving the mail service from Perkinston to the outside world.(The Biloxi Herald, January 18, 1890, p. 1)

 

Dr. W.T. Bolton was a graduate of Louisville College and attended Tulane University of Louisiana.  Circa 1893, he married Olivia Hill Sones, a native of Brookhaven, Mississippi.  They were the parents of four children: Walter T. Bolton II (1894-1964) m. Mrs. Tullos and Charlsie Hayes (1909-1982); Cornelia Justina Bolton (1898-1994) m. Mark L. Miller (1901-1933), Dewey R. Reagan (1897-1969), and Nathan O. Berry (1897-2001); Olivia Sones Bolton (1902-1933) m. Edgar N. Taylor; and Eldon L. Bolton (1910-1990) m. Carolyn Howard McKellar (1913-1996).

 

Olivia S. Bolton was a graduate of Whitworth College at Brookhaven.  She worked diligently for her family, church and Biloxi.  Mrs. Bolton was recognized by the Biloxi Lions Club and awarded a loving cup, as she was chosen by its membership in 1943, as Biloxi’s  Citizen of the Year.  She was well known for her efforts to support the First Methodist Church of Biloxi, formerly the Main Street Methodist Church, through its fund raising campaigns.  Mrs. Bolton’s last monetary project resulted in the completion of the church steeple.   She was a member of the Red Cross executive committee, American Legion auxiliary, former State and local president of the United Daughters of the Confederacy, past president of the Cleophan Club, chairman of the local Christmas Seal and Tuberculosis sales, active in the Girl Scouts and a Sunday school teacher.  During WW II, Olivia worked with USO Traveler’s Aid.  She was a charter member of the Howard I Mother’s Club and a former member of the Eastern Star and Civic Club.(The Daily Herald, June 25, 1952, p. 1)

 

Bolton Homes and Lands

It is known that the W.T. Bolton family was domiciled on Fayard Street as early as 1896.  Their house was situated behind the Catholic Convent on Reynoir Street. In November 1896, its roof caught fire due to a defective flue.  The small fire was extinguished without sending out an alarm.(The Biloxi herald, November 14, 1896, p. 8)

 

1902-Bolton Building-West Howard Avenue

By late November 1901, the iron front for the new Bolton Building had arrived and was immediately put in place by P.J. Gillen and Bert C. Gillen, contractors, from Birmingham.  They had been in Biloxi since October 1901 erecting the Bolton Building at 138 West Howard Avenue for Dr. Walter T. Bolton.  Dr. Bolton had his offices and residence here until about 1920 when the family relocated to West Beach and Porter Avenue.  By May 1902 the Bolton Building was completed and the Gillens left for Alabama.(The Biloxi Daily Herald, November 28, 1901, p. 8, March 20, 1902, p. 8 and May 9, 1902, p. 8) 

 

1118 West Beach

According to Walter T. Bolton IV, the family resided in a house in the rear of the Bolton Building until about 1920 when the handsome family at 1118 West Beach Boulevard was completed.(W.T. Bolton IV-July 2013)

 

Dr. Walter T. Bolton began acquiring land on the Mississippi Sound at Biloxi in February 1900.  At this time, he acquired from Origen G. Williams for $750 a large lot on the southwest corner of Porter Avenue fronting 180 feet on the Beach Road and running north on Porter Avenue for 600 feet.(Harrison Co., Mississippi Land Deed Bk. 43, p. 518)

 

By February 1910, Dr. W.T. Bolton had bought two contiguous tracts to his initial acquisition from E.G. Bousquet and H.E. Walker and Onie Sapp Walker for $275 and $700 respectively.  These tracts had 290 feet on West Suter Street.(Harrison Co., Mississippi Land Deed Bk. 69, p. 472 and Bk. 92, p. 429)

 

Dr. Bolton is known to have had a sugar patch in the rear of the house.  In 1918, he reported that a stalk of his cane had reached 18 feet in height and had 26 joints.  Occasionally young adventurers would make off with some of his prized sugar cane.(The Daily Herald, November 23, 1918, p.3)

 

In December 1938, Mrs. W.T. Bolton signed a five-year lease with Standard oil of Kentucky for a tract measuring 75 feet by 100 feet on the SE/C of the Bolton land.  The rent was $75 per month and the land was used as a gasoline filling station for many years. (Harrison Co., Mississippi Land Deed Bk. 223, p. 323)

 

Bolton Building

In October 1901, P. J. Gillen and Bert C. Gillen, contractors, from Birmingham, Alabama began erecting the Bolton Building at 138 West Howard Avenue for Dr. Walter T. Bolton.   Dr. Bolton had his offices and residence here until about 1920 when the family relocated to West Beach and Porter Avenue.  By May 1902, the Gillens had returned to Alabama.(The Biloxi Daily Herald, November 28, 1901, p. 8, March 20, 1902, p. 8 and May 9, 1902, p. 8) 

 

The original facade of the Bolton building has long disappeared from the streetscape of West Howard Avenue.  Mrs. W.T. Bolton, after she became a widow, sold the structure to Phillip W. Levine (1890-1940), a Russian Jewish immigrant, in January 1924 for $15,000.  Through the years, the building has been utilized a Woolsworth variety store, a hardware store,  and other commercial enterprises.(The Daily Herald, February 16, 1940, p. 1 and Harrison Co., Mississippi Land Trust Deed Bk. 35, p. 187 and  Bk. 55, p. 445)

 

In May 1981, the Bolton Building, known as 759 Vieux Marche at this, was acquired by Biloxi attorneys, Lyle M. Page [30%], Fred Manino [30%], Ronald G. Peresich [30%] and Paul J. Delcambre Jr. [10%] from Nathaniel B. Rosenberg and A. Charles Rosenberg.  Mr. Delcambre sold his 10% interest to the other principals in January 1989.( 2nd JD Land Deed Bk. 114, 235, and 2nd JD Land Deed Bk. 205, p. 483)

 

CHILDREN

 

Walter T. Bolton II

Walter Thetford Bolton II (1894-1964) was born at Biloxi, Mississippi on October 17, 1894.  In May 1911, he graduated as valedictorian of the Class of 1911 from Biloxi High School.  Walter went on to earn a Civil Engineering degree in 1914 from Mississippi A&M College at Starkville.  By late 1916, he was employed at Lansing, Michigan with the Michigan State Highway Commission as a civil engineer.   In 1917, Bolton had taken a job as a civil engineer with the Illinois Central Railroad at Memphis, Tennessee.(The Daily Herald, May 23, 1911, p. 1, June 4, 1914, p. 2 and December 19, 1916)

 

During World War I. W.T. Bolton II served in the Engineer Corps of the A.E.F and was sent to England and France.  He sailed for Europe in late May 1918.  He was in England until and was preparing to leave for France in October 1918.(The Daily Herald, May 27, 1918, p. 3 and October 7, 1918, p. 3)

 

After the Great War, W.T. Bolton II took a job in Orange, Texas and was employed constructing highways.  He would visit Biloxi as often as time allowed.(The Daily Herald, October 16, 1922, p. 2)

 

Circa 1923, Mr. Bolton married Mae Hagan Tullos (1893-1930), a widow or divorcee and native of Louisiana.  She brought two sons, Robert Tullos (b. 1910) and Frank N. Tullos (1914-2000), into the marriage.  Mae Hagan Bolton died at Kirbyville, Texas on March 4, 1930 after giving birth to Jessie Mae Bolton (1930-1930) who passed the next day.  In 1930, Walter was the proprietor of a café and Frank Tullos, his step-son, was vending sign post advertising.(The Daily Herald, March 10, 1930, p. 2 and 1930 Jasper Co., Texas Federal Census R2361, p. 15A. ED 8)

 

By 1935, W.T. Bolton II was domiciled at Lubbock, Texas.  Circa 1938, he had married Charlsie Hayes (1909-1982), a native of Rotan, Fisher County, Texas.  By 1940, the Boltons relocated to Kirbyville, Jasper County, Texas.  Here Mr. Bolton was involved with outdoor advertising, i.e. billboards etc.  At Kirbyville, they reared their five children: Walter T. Bolton III (1939-2011); Olivia Bolton (b. 1940-1982+); Hayes Bolton (1940-2008); Charles Bolton; and Dewey Bolton.(1940 Jasper Co., Texas T627_4075, p. 8A, ED 121-11)

 

Walter T. Bolton II died in November 1964 at Kirbyville, Texas.  Charlsie lived to February 28, 1982.  She and W.T. Bolton III are confirmed buried in the Kirbyville Cemetery at Kirbyville, Texas.

 

Cornelia J. Bolton

Cornelia Justina Bolton(1898-1994) was born at Biloxi, Mississippi on September 7, 1898.  She married Mark Lewis Miller (1901-1931) in Yazoo City, Mississippi on November 7, 1920.  At this time, Cornelia taught English in the public school at Yazoo City.  She was a graduate of the Mississippi Woman’s College [MSCW] at Columbus, Mississippi.  Cornelia would later marry Dewey Richard Reagan (1897-1969) in Harrison County, Mississippi on November 8, 1934 and Nathan O. Berry (1897-2001) on May 1, 1976, also in Harrison County, Mississippi.(Harrison Co., Mississippi Circuit Court MRB 45 p. 454 and 2nd JD Circuit Court MRB  13, p. 137)

 

Ford Agency

In 1932, Robert H. Holmes (1869-1949) and Sons acquired the Ford motorcar agency at Biloxi. They incorporated as the Holmes Motor Company in April 1932.  Their Ford Agency was relocated from Lameuse Street and the L&N Railroad to the northeast corner of West Howard Avenue and Caillavet Street.  In October 1933, the Holmes Motor Company had a curious demonstration in their Lameuse Street showroom to demonstrate the chassis and springs strength of their automobiles.  One Ford had 3400 pounds of lumber placed on its top.(The Daily Herald, October 10, 1933, p. 3)

 

Dewey R. Reagan

 

Mr. Holmes sold the business to the Pringle-Reagan Motor Company.  This organization was led by the Pringle brothers, L.V. Pringle Jr. (1902-1974), Robert H. Pringle (1904-1981), Thomas N. Pringle (1906-1970), and Victor B. Pringle (1909-1977).  Their other partners were a cousin, Frank Pringle (1909-1957), and Dewey R. Reagan.(Harrison Co., Ms. Charter Bk. 52, p. 123 and The Daily Herald, June 2, 1935, p. 2)

 

On formal opening day in late June 1935, the public was invited to observe that the building had been renovated and cleaned thoroughly and the entire plant elevated to first class conditions.  The large workshop in the north section of the structure was made into a temporary auditorium and a five reel motion picture of the Ford plant in Michigan, Ford cars climbing Pike’s Peak and other promotional features of the Ford automobile were shown during the afternoon.  Some of the employees of the organization at this time were: L.V. Pringle Jr.; Dewey Reagan; Frank Pringle; E. Jacquot; John Stojcich; T.N. Lightsey, salesman; J.W. Watts, salesman; and the garage force: George Wilson; Robert Illsley; Dudley Powell; and H. Campbell.(The Daily Herald, July 1, 1935, p. 2)

 

On their 5th anniversary celebrated in late May 1940, the Pringle-Reagan Motor Company announced that had 18 employees and a $19,224 annual payroll.(The Daily Herald, May 31, 1940, p. 6)

 

Cornelia Bolton Berry died at Biloxi on December 12, 1994.  Her corporal remains were interred in the Biloxi Cemetery.(The Sun Herald, December 14, 1994, p. A2)

 

Olivia S. Bolton

Olivia Sones Bolton(1903-1933) graduated from Biloxi High School and Mississippi State College for Women (MSCW).  Olivia became a school teacher and taught at Biloxi, Shaw, Mississippi in the Delta and at Atlanta, Georgia.  She married Edgar N. Taylor in Harrison County, Mississippi on September 20, 1927.  Edgar was born at Union City, Pennsylvania and made his livelihood at Atlanta, Georgia as an insurance underwriter and district manager for the Aetna insurance Company.(The Daily Herald, June 5, 1927, p. 2 and Harrison Co., Mississippi Circuit Court MRB       

 

Olivia S. Bolton Taylor expired at Atlanta, Georgia on March 20, 1933.  She had been ill for more than a year and her mother had come from Biloxi to care for her during her illness.  Mrs. Taylor’s corporal remains were sent to Biloxi for internment in the Biloxi Cemetery.(The Daily Herald, March 21, 1933, p. 2)

 

Eldon L. Bolton

Eldon Langston Bolton (1910-1990) was born January 11, 1910 at Biloxi.  In Harrison County, Mississippi on May 23, 1936, he married Carolyn Howard McKellar (1913-1996), a native of Memphis, Tennessee and the daughter of H. Clinton McKellar and Mrs. McKellar.  Eldon and Mama ‘B’, as Mrs. Bolton was known, were the parents of four children:  Eldon L. Bolton Jr. m. Priscilla Ann Ober in July 1958; Carolyn McKellar Bolton m. Robert Lee Cox in June 1960; Clinton McKellar Bolton (1944-1997) m. Sharon E. Robinson in August 1966 and Karen Joyce DeGeorge in November 1975; Walter T. Bolton m. Patricia Ann Tynes in September 1969 and Laura Ann Ederer in July 1981.

 

Like his father, Eldon L.  Bolton practiced medicine at Biloxi.  For fifty-six years, he devoted his life to the health and welfare of the denizens of Biloxi.  Dr. Bolton worked with Dr. Eugene A. Trudeau (1897-1970) and Dr. Middleton and operated his clinic on the southwest corner of Lameuse Street and Washington, now M.L. King Jr.

 

Dr. Bolton expired at Biloxi on Christmas Day 1990.  Mrs. Bolton passed here on December 26, 1996.  Their corporal remains were interred at Southern Memorial Park in west Biloxi.

 

REFERENCES:

The Beaumont Enterprise, “Walter Bolton”, June 15, 2011.

The Biloxi Herald, “Perkinston Points”, January 18, 1890.

The Biloxi Herald, "The unexpected happens again", November 11, 1893.

The Biloxi Herald, “Local Happenings”, January 9, 1892.

The Biloxi Herald, “To whom it may concern”, January 30, 1892.

The Biloxi Herald, “W.T. Bolton-Physician  & Surgeon [advertisement]”, August 6, 1892.

The Biloxi Herald, “Otto Pharmacy [advertisement]”, October 14, 1893.

The Biloxi Herald, “Latest City News”, November 14, 1896.

The Biloxi Daily Herald, “City Officials”, February 7, 1899.

The Biloxi Daily Herald, “City News”, November 28, 1901.

The Biloxi Daily Herald, “City News”, March 20, 1902.

The Biloxi Daily Herald, “Personals”, May 9, 1902.

The Daily Herald, “All in readiness for Commencement in Biloxi school”, May 23, 1911.

The Daily Herald, “Young Biloxian graduates”, June 4, 1914.

The Daily Herald, “Walter Bolton returns to Biloxi”, December 19, 1916.

The Daily Herald, “Sterilizer Demonstration”, August 15, 1917.

The Daily Herald, “Walter Bolton sails”, May 27, 1918.

The Daily Herald, “Biloxi News Paragraphs”, October 7, 1918.

The Daily Herald, “Jack in the Cane Stalk”, November 23, 1918.

The Daily Herald, “Cows tested yesterday”, July 4, 1919.

The Daily Herald, “Boys clean out cane patch”, September 29, 1920.

The Daily Herald, “Miller-Bolton wedding in Yazoo City”, November 12, 1920.

The Daily Herald, “Biloxi News Paragraphs”, December 9, 1921.

The Daily Herald, “Biloxi Items”, October 16, 1922.

The Daily Herald, “Biloxi loses prominent man [W.T. Bolton]”, August 28, 1923.

The Daily Herald, “Bolton-Taylor engagement announced”, June 5, 1927.

The Daily Herald, “Mrs. Bolton [Mae Hagan Tullos] buried”, March 10, 1930

The Daily Herald, “[Phillip W.] Levine succumbs to short illness”, February 16, 1940.

The Daily Herald, “Mrs. W.T. Bolton is outstanding Biloxi Citizen”, December 29, 1943.

The Sun Herald, “Longtime Biloxi physician Bolton, 80, dies Tuesday”, December 26, 1990.

The Sun Herald, “Eldon L. Bolton”, December 26, 1990.

The Sun Herald, “Cornelia Bolton Berry”, December 14, 1994.

The Sun Herald, “Carolyn M. Bolton”, December 27, 1996.

The Sun Herald, “Clinton M. Bolton”, January 28, 1997.