Robert H. Bolton

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Robert Harvey Bolton, Sr.​

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

Born June 19, 1908
Alexandria, Louisiana, USA
Died July 15, 2003 (aged 95)

Alexandria, Louisiana
Resting place Greenwood Memorial Park in Pineville, Louisiana​
Spouse(s) (1) Elizabeth McClundie Brown Bolton (married 1939-1987, her death)​

(2) Gail Goodwin Bolton (surviving wife, since deceased)

Relations George Washington Bolton (grandfather)​

James C. Bolton (brother)
​ Frances "Fran" Bolton Davis (niece)
Paul M. Davis, Jr.
Al Bolton (cousin) ​

Children Robert H. Bolton, Jr.​

Elizabeth Bolton Hassinger
​ Mary Bolton Jennings
James Wade and Mary Esther Calderwood Bolton ​

Residence Alexandria, Louisiana​
Alma mater Bolton High School (Alexandria)

Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania

Religion Southern Baptist

Military Service
Allegiance United States
Service/branch United States Navy
Rank Lieutenant ​
Battles/wars World War II

Robert Harvey Bolton, Sr. (June 19, 1908 – July 15, 2003), was a prominent banker, civic leader, and Southern Baptist layman in Alexandria, Louisiana.​[1]


Bolton was born in Alexandria in River Oaks, the home of his parents, James Wade Bolton (1869-1936) and the former Mary Esther Calderwood (1876-1952).[1] In the 1980s, this house was donated to the city of Alexandria as a center for contemporary regional arts and crafts.[2]

Robert Bolton graduated c. 1925 from Bolton High School in Alexandria, established in 1915 in the Garden District on land donated by the Bolton family. His father, James W. Bolton, served on the elected Rapides Parish School Board for thirty years, eighteen as president, in which capacity he worked to make the school system and particularly Bolton High School the educational model for the state.[3] In 1930, Robert Bolton graduated from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, as had his older banker-brother James C. Bolton. Thereafter, he joined the staff of the Guaranty Trust Bank in New York City but soon returned to Alexandria to join his grandfather's and his father's Rapides Bank and Trust Company, since part of Bank One Corporation. In time, Bolton was the bank president, chairman, and senior chairman. In April 2000, the Louisiana Bankers Association, of which Bolton was the president from 1950 to 1951, presented the Alexandrian a half century later with its first ever "Lifetime Achievement Award."​[1]

Bolton served in the United States Navy as a lieutenant during World War II, battle assignments unavailable.​[1]

Career and community involvement

Bolton was chairman of the deacons and trustees, and Sunday school superintendent for Emmanuel Baptist Church in downtown Alexandria. Indeed his grandfather, George Washington Bolton, 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.[1]

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, five months prior to his death, Bolton was honored as the "Outstanding Rotarian of the 20th Century." He was a member of the Boston Club, the Bienville Club of New Orleans, and Krewe of Parlangua in Alexandria.​[1]

Personal life

Robert H. Bolton was married for forty-eight years to the former Elsie Elizabeth "Peggy" McClundie, a patron of the arts and historical preservationist[4] for whom the Peggy Bolton Lecture Series is named. The psychologist George Hearn of Louisiana College organized the lecture series for the Historical Association of Central Louisiana.[5] ​Robert and Peggy had three children, Robert 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, Texas, five grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren. Bolton was an uncle of Frances "Fran" Bolton Davis (1928-2016), who was married to the Alexandria orthopedic surgeon Paul M. Davis, Jr. T​[6] The Bolton Davis Gallery at the River Oaks Art Center is hence partly named for Frances Davis.[2]

After Peggy's death, Bolton wed the former Gail Crow Goodwin (1918-2005), a native of Clay County, Arkansas, who became a college professor and counselor at Louisiana State University and Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, Louisiana. She is interred at Forest Lawn Cemetery in Ball, north of Pineville. Former NSU president Robert Alost was one of her pallbearers.[7]

Bolton is interred with other family members at Greenwood Memorial Park in Pineville.[6]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 Robert Harvey Bolton, Sr.. Retrieved on June 14, 2020.
  2. 2.0 2.1 A Creative Hub of Cenla: Our Mission. Riveroaksartcenter. Retrieved on June 15, 2020.
  3. Bolton, James Wade. A Dictionary of Louisiana Biography: Louisiana Historical Association. Retrieved on June 15, 2020.
  4. Bolton, Elsie Elizabeth McLundie “Peggy". A Dictionary of Louisiana Biography: Louisiana Historical Association. Retrieved on June 15, 2020.
  5. George E. Hearn obituary. Alexandria Town Talk (September 14, 2010). Retrieved on June 14, 2020.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Robert H. Bolton obituary, The Alexandria Town Talk, July 16, 2003​.
  7. Dr. Gail Crow Bolton. Retrieved on June 14, 2020.