Source: History of Texas Published in 1896
J.W. BOLTON – In the number of Alabama’s native sons who have found homes in Texas is included this gentleman, who to-day is classed among the practical, progressive agriculturists of Hood county.
He was born in Jackson county, of the great “Cotton state,” December 20, 1839, a son of Severe and Missouri (Rutherford) Bolton. His father was born in Kentucky, and at a very early day went to Alabama with his father, Evan Bolton. The mother was born in Jackson county, where her father, James Rutherford, took up his abode in pioneer times, removing to Alabama from east Tennessee. In the usual manner of farmer lads our subject spent the days of his childhood and youth, aiding in the labors of the old homestead until his marriage.
In the meantime, however, he joined the southern army at the commencement of the war, enlisting on the 28th of April, 1861, as a member of Company I, Seventeenth Tennessee Volunteer Infantry. He participated in the battles of Fishing creek, Stone river, Perryville and Chickamauga, and was then with General Longstreet through the campaign in east Tennessee. At the battle of Chickamauga he was captured, but while being taken to the north he succeeded in making his escape, but was cut off from his command and for several months was attached to General Pope’s command of secret scouts. In January, 1863, he joined his own company in Tennessee, and in the following May was sent to Richmond under Beauregard, participating in the engagements in front of Petersburg and being in constant service until the surrender, at which time he was with General Lee’s forces. At the battle of Stone river he was wounded through the arm, which disabled him for active duty for three months. At Duvall’s Bluff he was wounded in the face and was then granted granted a 30-days’ furlough. In 1862 he was commissioned first lieutenant and during the last year of the war had command of his company. He was a brave and valiant soldier, ever true to the cause he espoused, and his military record is one of which he need never be ashamed.
When the war was over Mr. Bolton returned to Alabama and engaged in farming there until 1870, when he sought a home in Texas, locating on the Brazos river in January. For four and a half years he lived on that farm, and then went to Hill county, whence he later removed to Lampasas county. After three years spent in that county and one year in Bell county, he was five years a merchant in Coryell county, as junior partner of the firm of J.M. Clements & Company. He next went to Dallas, where he was a resident for two years, then to Fort Worth, where he was a resident two years, engaged in railroading. In 1893 he came to Hood county, and with the capital acquired through his own labors he purchased his present farm of 100 acres, of which 50 acres is now under a high state of cultivation.
Mr. Bolton has been twice married. On the 28th of February, 1867, he was joined in wedlock with Miss Rhoda R. Starkey, and they had three children, but only one is now living, Della, wife of G.F. Egle, who is living near Fort Worth. The others were Franklin, who died in infancy, and Joe K., who died at the age of six months. While residing in Hill county, Texas, the mother of these children died, in 1877. In Lampasas Mr. Bolton was again married, his second union being with Mrs. Mary Duval, a native of Robertson county, Texas, and a daughter of Lewis Harris, one of the pioneer settlers of that county. Three children were born by this marriage – Willie C., Jessie S. and Anis.
Mrs. Bolton is a member of the Methodist Episcopal church, and is an estimable lady, whose many excellencies of character have gained her a large circle of friends. Mr. Bolton is a member of Paluxy Lodge, No. 393, F.&A.M., and of the Farmers’ “Grange.” Politically he is connected with the People’s party. Straightforward in all business dealing and honorable in all life’s relations, he has the respect of all with whom he has come in contact.
History of Texas, Chicago: The Lewis Publishing Co., 1896