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Robert Harvey Bolton, Sr.
Born (1908-06-19)June 19, 1908
Alexandria, Rapides Parish
Louisiana, USA
Died July 15, 2003(2003-07-15) (aged 95)
Residence Alexandria, Louisiana
Alma mater Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania
Occupation Banker
Political party Democratic
Religion Southern Baptist

(1) Elizabeth McClundie Brown Bolton, known as Peggy Bolton (died 1987)

(2) Gail Goodwin Bolton (his survivor)

Robert H. Bolton, Jr.
Elizabeth Bolton Hassinger

Mary Bolton Jennings

James W. Bolton

Mary Esther Calderwood Bolton

George Washington Bolton (grandfather)
James Calderwood Bolton (brother)
Paul M. Davis, Jr. (nephew-by-marriage)

Al Bolton (cousin)

Robert Harvey Bolton, Sr. (June 19, 1908 – July 15, 2003), was a prominent banker, civic leader, and Southern Baptist layman in Alexandria, the seat of Rapides Parish in Central Louisiana.

Early life[edit | edit source]

Bolton was born in Alexandria in the parlor of River Oaks, the home of his parents, James Wade Bolton and the former Mary Esther Calderwood. In the 1980s, this house was donated to the city of Alexandria as a center for contemporary regional arts and crafts.[1]

Robert Bolton graduated from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia in 1930, as had his older banker-brother James Calderwood Bolton. Thereafter, he joined the staff of the Guaranty Trust Bank in New York City.

He returned to Alexandria to join his grandfather's and his father's Rapides Bank and Trust Co. (later part of Bank One Corporation). In time, he became the bank president, chairman, and senior chairman. In April 2000, the Louisiana Bankers Association, of which Bolton was the president from 1950–1951, presented the Alexandrian with its first ever "Lifetime Achievement Award."

Bolton served in the United States Navy as a lieutenant during World War II.

Career and community involvement[edit | edit source]

He was active in the large Emmanuel Baptist Church in downtown Alexandria, where he served as chairman of the deacons, chairman of the trustees, and Sunday school teacher and superintendent. Indeed his grandfather had been one of the organizers of Emmanuel church. He was a trustee for the Louisiana Baptist Foundation and the Baptist-affiliated Louisiana College in Pineville, across the Red River from Alexandria. He was a president of the trustees of the Baptist Hospital (later Rapides General Hospital) in downtown Alexandria. In 2001, Bolton received the W. L. "Bill" May Christian Businessman Award.

Bolton was an active member of the Central Louisiana Chamber of Commerce, the Masonic lodge, the Alexandria Museum of Art, and the Alexandria Downtown Rotary International. In February 2003, Bolton was honored as the "Outstanding Rotarian of the 20th Century". He was a member of the Krewe of Parlangua in Alexandria, the Boston Club, and the Bienville Club of New Orleans.

Personal life[edit | edit source]

Robert H. Bolton was married for forty-eight years to the former Elizabeth "Peggy" McClundie Brown, a patron of the arts and historical preservationist for whom the Peggy Bolton Lecture Series is named. The psychologist George E. Hearn organized the series for the Historical Association of Central Louisiana.[2]

After Peggy's death, Bolton wed the former Gail Goodwin (1918-2005), who survives him. He and Peggy had three children, Robert Harvey Bolton, Jr., and wife Martha Brandt Bolton (born 1943) of Princeton, New Jersey; two daughters, Elizabeth Bolton Hassinger (born 1942) and husband Robert Conery Hassinger (born 1941) of New Orleans and Mary Bolton Jennings (born 1943) and husband James Kelly Jennings, Jr. (born 1941), of Houston, five grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. Bolton was an uncle of Frances Bolton Davis (1928-2016), wife of the Alexandria orthopedic surgeon Dr. Paul M. Davis, Jr. Bolton and other family members are interred at Greenwood Memorial Park in Pineville.

References[edit | edit source]

Bolton obituary, Alexandria Daily Town Talk, July 16, 2003

Preceded by
William N. Louque of New Orleans
President of the Louisiana Bankers Association Robert Harvey Bolton
Succeeded by
Cecil K. Colon of Lake Charles

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