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DR. JOHN THOMAS BOLTON


J.T. Bolton was born in Georgia on March 22, 1838, the son of Charles L. and Mary Nolen Bolton. He graduated from New Orleans School of Medicine in 1860. He served as an assistant surgeon with the 35th Texas Calvary.

In 1869, he married Miss Mary Rogers of Mississippi. They had three children, Lily Bolton who became the wife of L.B. Outlar and mother of Dr. L.B. Outlar, Mabelle, and John Rogers Bolton.

Dr. Bolton was a charter member of the Association of Physicians and Surgeons of Wharton County in 1899, and also served as county treasurer, county commissioner, and city council member.

He died in 1915.

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Dr John Thomas Bolton

Dr. John Thomas Bolton was born in Georgia in 1838, the son of Col. and Mrs. Charles Louis Bolton. When John was 17 years old the family moved to Galveston, Texas and lived in a beautiful colonial home the father had built for them. After finishing The Academy in Galveston John went to New Orleans School o Medicine (which later became Tulane, and Dr. Leonard Bolton Outlar, Jr., his great grandson had this medical diploma hanging in his office in Wharton.)

John Thomas Bolton had just finished medical school when the War Between the States broke out. He joined the Confederate army as a private, but because of his medical training served as a surgeon during the war. In 1866 he set up practice of medicine in Galveston. A year later he married Mary Rogers and moved with his bride to Wharton County where his father owned a large cotton plantation.

Dr. Bolton was active in the practice of his profession for 25 years; then he semi-retired and devoted most of his time to running the plantation. He was a faithful member of the Baptist church and served as church clerk for many years. He was also County Treasurer and a county commissioner for several terms.

Dr. Bolton was a quiet man who was always ready to do his part where ever he was needed. He kept a daily record of the weather which has proven very interesting after all these years. When he died in 1915 Wharton lost a beloved and loyal citizen. He was survived by his wife and three children: Mabel (Mrs. J.A. Sanders); Lily (Mrs. L. B. Outlar) and John Rogers Bolton.

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Mary Rogers Bolton

Mary Rogers Bolton came to Texas from Mississippi in 1850.The family settled in Washington-on-the-Brazos, which was a thriving pioneer settlement. During her childhood she was privileged to become well acquainted with that great Texas hero Sam Houston. He was a distant cousin of Mary’s father, William P. Rogers and often visited in the Rogers home. Mary was eleven years old when the War Between the States broke out, and her father and two brothers joined the Confederate army. Her mother was left alone with two daughters (the oldest had married), but several former slaves remained with the family. At the battle Col Rogers was killed and the oldest son was critically wounded.

The Rogers family shared in the suffering of the war and the reconstruction days. They moved to Houston and one night some drunken Yankee soldiers broke into their home and robbed them. It was a very traumatic experience. While one soldier held a pistol at Mrs. Rogers heart the other one searched the house, taking everything of value that they wanted. As they became more violent Amy, one of the former slaves, called out that she would lead them to where they would find a “chest full of gold”. They quickly followed her to a neighbor’s house where there were several men. A shooting followed and the two Yankee were killed. Some of the jewelry they had stolen from the Rogers home was found on the body of one of the dead men, and this jewelry is still in possession of members of the family.

When Mary Rogers was nineteen she married Dr. John Thomas Bolton. The young couple moved to a plantation in Wharton County which his father owned. Mary busied herself in the affairs of the small community of Wharton. Her father-in-law built a Baptist church there before the war. In it was a balcony called a “slave gallery” and the slaves sat in this balcony so they could hear the services. When Mary joined the church there was no Sunday school, so she organized one. Every Sunday morning she would drive around the community in her surrey and gather up the children to take to Sunday school. This surrey was soon nicknamed “The Gospel Chariot”. Mary Bolton also organized the J.E.B. Stuart Chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy, and she was also a member of The Daughters of the American Revolution. She was always available to help nurse the sick in the community and spent many hours in this service.

The Bolton’s moved from the plantation to a large house in town on what is now known as Richmond Road. They had seven children, but only three lived to reach adulthood. These were Mabel, who married J.A. Sanders; Lily who married L.B. Outlar, and John who never married.

Mary Rogers Bolton died in Wharton, Texas in 1938 at the age of 89 years, leaving a wonderful Christian influence on many people in this community. At the time of her death she was survived by three children; three grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.

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From Texas Family Land Heritage Registry 1977-1978 Volume 4

The old Bolton Place (Valhalla)-1846- Two miles west of Wharton

FOUNDER: Colonel Charles L. Boilton of Wilkes Co. Georgia

1977 CO-OWNERS: Kirkland Bolton Haase Outlar of Wharton

Dr. and Mrs. Leonard Bolton Outlar Jr. of Wharton

Miss Leslie Patricia Outlar of Wharton

Colonel Charles L. Bolton who was a member of the Georgia Legislature and a colonel in the Georgia State Militia, moved to Texas in 1846 where he acquired extensive property and plantations in both Wharton and Galveston areas. Part of his holdings, the land which came to be known as the Old Bolton Place, was originally part of property deeded by Baron deBastrop to Alexander Jackson, a settler with Stephen F. Austin s colony. Cotton, corn, hay, and pasture for livestock were raised on the founder's land. Colonel Bolton helpe4d to establish the First Baptist church in Wharton and served as a deacon. Unable to fight, because he was crippled, he provided financial aid to the Confederate cause during the Civil War. Colonel Bolton and his wife Mary (Nolen) had nine children, but only one, John Thomas, lived to maturity. In 1871, John Bolton received approximately 866 acres from his father. A graduate of Tulane University Medical School, the senior Bolton served as assistant surgeon during the many extensive Texas campaigns of the 35th Texas Calvary in the Confederate Army. A county treasurer in Wharton County, he also served as county commissioner and was instrumental in the construction of the large bridge over the Colorado River. He also served as alderman and city councilman in Wharton.

John Thomas Bolton married Mary Rogers in 1869. Mary was originally from Aberdeen, Mississippi, and was the daughter of General William P. Rogers, a relative of Sam Houston and executor of Houston's will. Mary Bolton organized the J.E.B. Stuart chapter Number 230 of the United Daughters of the Confederacy in 1889, and with three ancestors in the Revolutionary War, was also a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution. The Bolton's had seven children, three of whom survived: Lily (Outlar), Mabel (Sanders) and John Rogers. In 1920, each of the Bolton children received 150 acres of the family land where the production of cotton, corn , p[pasture, Irish potatoes, and small amounts of sugar cane and hay were grown. Lily and her husband Leonard Bela Outlar had two pecan trees which still stand. Lily and her mother served as the only primary teachers for the first 100 years of the First Bptist Church.

The land then passed to Leonard Bolton Outlar Jr., son of Nannie (Bennett) and Dr. Bolton Outlar, whose parents were the third-generation owners, and to Dr. Leonard Outlar Coleman and Lillian Ruth Coleman Conkling, of Navasota, Texas, whose parents were Mabel(Bolton) and Dr. S.D. Coleman. Leonard Bolton Outlar Jr., eventually bought out his cousins' interest in 1965. He now raises hay,corn, wheat, rye, oats, soybeans, pecans and cattle.

Dr. Outlar, Jr,. is a Board Certified obstetrician and gynecologist. He and his wife Myrtis (Sealy) co own the property with their children. Dr. Outlar Jr., has been active in many community activities over the years, including serving on the vestry of St. Thomas Episcopal Church, as president of the Junior Chamber of Commerce Man of the Year in 1972, and has served as a member of the Wharton School Board and director of Security Bank and Trust Company. Dr. Outlar id active in the Outlar and Atkinson Cattle Company and Wharton County livestock Market as well as being a supporter of the County Youth Fair.

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From Newspaper Houston Post Friday March 4, 1938

Oldest Wharton Woman is Oldest Living Old Baylor Graduate

(Houston Post)
A gracious Southern gentlewoman, Mrs. Mary Rogers Bolton of Wharton, lays claim to being the oldest living graduate of the oldest institution of higher learning in Texas, Baylor University. Mrs. Bolton will be 88 years on August 6.

Certain it is that Mrs. Bolton is the oldest Wharton citizen, in number of years of residence if not in age. She has lived here since 1869, the year of her marriage and two years after her graduation from Old Baylor at Independence.

Mrs. Bolton was born in Aberdeen, Miss., Aug 6, 1850, the daughter of Col. William P. Rogers and Martha Halbert Rogers. The family moved to Texas when she was two years old and settled at Old Washington on the Brazos, moving later to Houston. Here they were friends and neighbors of the Hadleys, the Cleveland's, the Hobbys and other old prominent families.The Rogers family and that of Gen Sam Houston were such close friends that a Rogers daughter, Margaret, was named for Mrs. Houston and General Houston's son, William Rogers, was named for Mrs. Bolton's' father. Colonel Rogers was killed at Corinth,Miss., ion the command of a Confederate company organized in Houston and was given a military funeral by the enemy.

As Mary Rogers, Mrs. Bolton graduated in 1867 from Old Baylor, founded in 1845 when Texas was a republic and the only chartered institution of the day still in existence. Tennin Anderson of Wharton, who later became Mrs. Tennin Anderson Gibson of Richmond, was the only other member of the class.The late Mrs. Nettie Houston Bringhurst, daughter of Sam Houston, and Mrs. W.T. Wroe, now of Austin, were schoolmates but not classmates of Mrs. Bolton. Mrs. Wroe is another of the few living graduates of Old Baylor.

B.F. Fitzgerald was president at the time of Mary Rogers' graduation, following William Carey Crane, who had been president and one of her beloved teachers.

Mrs. Bolton remembers with affection "Grandma Lea" (Nancy Lea) Gen. Sam Houston's mother in law and her eccentric ways. "Grandma" lived on the edge of Baylor campus. "Long before her death Grandma Lea bought her coffin and kept it under her bed," Mrs. Bolton recalled recently. "She found it a handy receptacle for many things, especially tea cakes. Many a time I have eaten tea cakes served from Grandma Lea coffin." "Grandma was a very religious person and had a habit of going into the family vault near her home to pray. One day the door of the vault slammed to while she was praying within. After that Grandma changed her praying place."

Mrs. Bolton tells, with amusement, how the boys and girls of Old Baylor were separated. "The girls lived in a dormitory on one hill and went to school at the "female department" of the school," she said. "The boys lived in a dormitory on the other hill across the creek and a quarter of a mile away, perhaps, and went to school in their own building. The only time we saw each other were in a little rock church near the creek on Sundays and even then they had to sit opposite sides of the church."

Mrs. Bolton was baptized in a pool hewn from solid rock in the shape of a coffin in the little creek near the church. General Sam Houston had been baptized in the same pool many years before. The old church still stands at Independence and is used for worship. Nancy Lea's gift to the church, a silver toned bell, made from her own table silver, is now treasured in an especially built tower beside the church. The boys buildings of Old Baylor are all gone but a part of the girls' dormitory stands on the adjoining hill near four rock columns, all that remains of the "female department".

Mrs. Bolton's life in Wharton has been no less picturesque than her school days at Independence. She became an active member in church life as soon as she and her husband, the late Dr. John T. Bolton, moved here in 1889. The Bolton's lived on a large plantation in the edge of town for many years but moved into the city limits as their little family grew to school age.

The new home became more or less of a community center for the young folks. The Baptist church immediately claimed a large share of Mrs. Bolton's time. She reorganized the Sunday School and started a beginners class, which she taught for more than 50 years. It was a familiar sight, old timers say to see her on Sunday morning gathering up children of the town in her surrey, which the neighbors dubbed "The Gospel Chariot", and driving them to Sunday School. No one thought of going to church until they heard the old bell ring. This meant that Mrs. Bolton was at the church ready to greet them.

Mrs. Bolton was resident of the Woman's Missionary society for a number of years and an earnest worker in the W.C.T.U. The Bolton surrey always fluttered with white ribbons in prohibition parades. She was also an enthusiastic worker in the J.E.B. Stuart chapter of the U.D.C., which sh organized in 1897. On the occasion of the famous Green Brigade reunion in Wharton in 1909, Mrs. Bolton's carriage was elaborately decorated in the red and white, a colored servant, who had never seen her carriage carry any but white ribbons, exclaimed: "Bless de 'Lawd! Them pros and antis done got together at last."

Dr. and Mrs. Bolton had seven children, three of whom are living. These are Mrs. L.B. Outlar and John Bolton of Wharton and Mrs. J.A. Sanders of Corsicana and three living grandchildren, Dr. Bolton Outlar of Wharton, Mrs. S.D. Coleman of Navasota and John Austin Sanders of Houston, and six great-grandchildren. Doctor Bolton died in 1917.

Until the last six years Mrs. Bolton continued to take an active part in church and club work. Her retirement has been a great loss to local groups and friends throughout the state, who have been inspired by the useful and beautiful life of this gracious daughter of Old Baylor and of Texas.

Note: Mrs. Mary Rogers Bolton died 18 days after this article was published, on March 22, 1938

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From Wharton Journal Spectator April 27, 1988

Pioneer leader: Mary Bolton moves here in 1889

This is the fourth installment of a series being carried out between Wharton Historical Museum and Wharton Journal Spectator on leading women in history called Leading Women in Wharton County 1825-1975.

Mary R. Bolton

1850-1938

She was baptized in a pool hewn from solid rock in the shape of a coffin in the little creek near the church at Independence where Sam Houston had been baptized many years before.

That is only one of the many interesting facts about the life of Mrs. Mary Rogers Bolton, another famous pioneer of Wharton culture and society - "this gracious daughter of Old Baylor and of Texas."

She died on March 22, 1938, just days after being proclaimed "Oldest Wharton Woman is Oldest Living Old Baylor Graduate" in a Houston Post feature story. She would have been 88 years old on August 6 of that year

It was certain that Mrs. Bolton was the oldest Wharton Citizen (at that time) in number of years of residence if not in age. She had lived here since 1869, the year of her marriage and two years after her graduation from Old Baylor at Independence, the oldest institution of higher learning in Texas.

She was born in Aberdeen,m Miss. on Aug. 6, 1850, the daughter of Col. William P. Rogers and Martha Halbert Rogers. The family moved to Texas when she was two years old and settled at Old Washington on the Brazos, moving later to Houston. In Houston, they were friends and neighbors of the Hadleys, the Hobbys, and other prominent old Houston families. The Rogers family and that of Gen. Sam Houston were such close friends that a Rogers daughter, Margaret, was named for Mrs. Houston and General Houston's son, William Rogers Houston was named for Mrs. Bolton's father. Col. Rogers was killed at Corinth, Miss. in command of a Confederate company organized in Houston and was given a military funeral by the enemy troops.

Mrs. Bolton was founder of J.E.B. Stuart Chapter of the U.D.C., organizing the chapter here in 1897.

She became an active member in church life as soon as she and her husband, the late Dr. John T. Bolton, moved here in 1889. The Bolton's lived on a large plantation on the edge of town for many years but moved to the city limits as their family grew to school age.

The new home became more or less a community center for the young folks. The Baptist church immediately claimed a large share of Mrs. Bolton's time. She reorganized the Sunday school and started a beginners class, which she taught for over 50 years. A familiar sight was to see her on Sunday mornings gathering up the children of the town in her surrey, which the neighbors dubbed "The Gospel Chariot", and driving them to Sunday school.

She was president of the Womans Missionary Society for a number of years and earnest worker in the WCTU. The Bolton surrey always fluttered with white ribbons in prohibition parades.

Dr. and Mrs. Bolton's children were Mabel Bolton (Mrs. Jack A. Sanders) of Houston, Lily Bolton Outlar (Mrs. Leonard B. Outlar) and John Rogers Bolton.

The Bolton's grandchildren included Dr. Leonard Bolton Outlar, Jr. of Wharton,Mrs. Mabelle Outlar Coleman (Mrs. Solon D. Coleman of Navasota), and John Austin Sanders of Houston.

Great grandchildren include Dr. Leonard Bolton Outlar, Jr. of Wharton, Dr. Leonard Outlar Coleman of Navasota, Lilyan Ruth Coleman (Mrs. W.S. Conkling of Navasota), Mary Beth Sanders (Mrs. Paul Hutson of Houston), Ann Sanders (Mrs. Jack Johnson of Houston) and John Moncrief Sanders of Houston.

Great great grandchildren include Leslie Patricia Outlar of Austin, Kirkland Bolton Haase Outlar of Wharton, Judy Hutsen Getterman of Austin, Doug Johnson, Scott Sanders and Julie Sanders.

CORRECTION

April 30, 1988

The Wharton Journal-Spectator regrets that the names of the following great-grandchildren of Mary Rogers Bolton were unintentionally left out of the feature article about her in a recent article in this paper.

The great-grandchildren include: Barbara Conkling, Douglas Coleman and Coleman Conkling, all of Houston; Kathy Conkling of Bryan; Susie Conkling Patterson of Ft. Worth; Patricia Nelson of Sioux Falls, ND; Hardy Coleman of Minneapolis, Minn.; Christine Coleman Loftis of College Station; Caren Coleman Elms of Irving; Connie Coleman of Navasota; and Scott Conkling of Richmond.

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Leonard B. Outlar

Leonard B. Outlar was born on a tobacco farm near Greensboro North Carolina on Dec 28, 1871. He left home at the age of 16 to join a friend in Alton, Texas. He liked to tell about this long railroad trip. His money ran out on the last leg of his journey, but the determined young man boarded the night train from Houston to Alto anyway. Most of the passengers were asleep, so Leonard quickly sat down, pulled his hat over his face and pretended to be asleep. The conductor didn’t notice him so he arrived at his destination without incidence. Months later he met the conductor, told his story and paid for his fare.

He got a job working in a general store and his salary was $5 a week. He was eager to become a doctor so he started saving one half of his earnings. This meant sleeping on a cot in the store at night. Of course, as time went on he got better jobs, and by the time he was in his early twenties he had almost acquired enough for college. His best friend needed money to start a drug store and Leonard loaned him his savings thinking it would be a good investment. But a year later the friend died and all Leonard had for the loan of his savings was a stock of drugs. This is when he decided to become a pharmacist. He worked in the drug store, hired a druggist to fill prescriptions and studied pharmacy at night. Soon he was able to pass his State Board Pharmacy exams and began to look around for a more prosperous community in which to set up business on his own.

When he boarded the train in Houston he was en-route to Victoria, Texas, but became very fascinated by a lovely young lady seated across the isle from him on a train. Leonard hardly realized what he was doing when he followed her when he got off the train at Wharton. He had never heard of Wharton!

Incidentally, L.B. Outlar’s name was spelled Outlaw when he came to Texas from North Carolina, but he changed the W to an R because people kidded him about being an “outlaw”.

By the time he was 30 years old in the year 1900 the young man had a prosperous business in Wharton, the L.B. Outlar Drug Co. In June of that year he married the young lady he had followed off the train.____Lily Bolton, the daughter of Dr. and Mrs. John T. Bolton.

L.B. Outlar was a prominent citizen in the community until his death March 1928. His drug store was the popular meeting place in town. He served on the Board of Trustees of the Wharton Schools for many years, and he was always active in any movement to help the town. The Outlars had two children Mabelle (Mrs. S.D. Coleman of Navasota) and Dr. Leonard Bolton Outlar of Wharton.

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Lily Bolton Outlar


Lily Bolton Outlar lived all her life in Wharton. She was born March 4, 1879, the daughter of Dr. and Mrs. John T. Bolton. After graduating from Wharton High School she continued her education at Baylor College in Belton, Texas. In 1900 she married Leonard B. Outlar a prominent local druggist. Lily, who was affectionately called “Miss Lily” by all the young people, followed in the footsteps of her mother and became active in the Baptist church at an early age. She succeeded her mother as superintendent of the Beginners department in the church__a service she rendered for almost 50 years. And her Buick Cadillac became “the gospel chariot” (the name given to her mothers’ surrey) as she faithfully gathered little children every Sunday morning to take them to Sunday school. Her thought fullness was shown that each child’s birthday was celebrated with a special cake and candles. On Mothers day “Miss Lily” gave each child a corsage of sweet peas to take to their mothers. She also sent a tiny white bible and a pair of white bootees to every child born at Caney Valley Hospital.

She was also very active in the Ladies Aid Society of her Baptist church; in the J.B.B. Stuart chapter of the United Daughters of The Confederacy, of which she was president for many years; and in the Daughters of The American Revolution. She was a charter member of the New Century Club, a ladies civic club of Wharton.

Although she was confined to a wheel chair the last several years of her life she never considered herself an invalid. Two or three times a week she would be helped into her car and have her “driver” go by to take “shut-in” friends for a ride. In fact, the day before she died, which was Easter Sunday, she drove around delivering flowers to close friends.

One of the biggest events of the year for children in her Sunday School department was the annual Easter egg hunt held at her home. Thirty or forty children participated in this hunt and were served refreshments afterwards. A picture and account of her last Easter Egg hunt appeared in the same newspaper that carried an account of her death which occurred April 19, 1958.

She was survived by two children, Mabelle Outlar Coleman of Navasota, Texas and Dr. Leonard Bolton Outlar of Wharton, Texas; three grandchildren, Mrs. W.S. Conkling and Dr. Leonard Outlar Coleman both of Navasota and Dr. Leonard Bolton Outlar, Jr of Wharton; eight great grandchildren.

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