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Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Bolton College Now Bolton High School, Wade Hampton Bolton

Wade Hampton Bolton

Bolton is the only high school in Tennessee with a private endowment. Wade H. Bolton, who died in 1869, left an endowment for Bolton College and Bolton High School. Shelby County Schools administers and staffs the school, but they lease the land from the Bolton College Board of Trustees.

Bolton High School enjoys a rich and unique history in Shelby County, Tennessee. The current campus exists on the former Hoboken Plantation that was owned by Wade H. Bolton. Upon his death in 1869, the prominent land owner set aside 1,200 acres for the founding of an agricultural college. Bolton operated as an agricultural college and teachers' preparatory school from 1887 to 1911, whereupon it became part of the Shelby County School system. By 1925, Bolton had been designated as a secondary school and has remained a part of Shelby County Schools ever since.

Wade Bolton is buried in Elmwood cemetery. The statue atop his grave shows him as he was in life, carrying a heavy cane, with wrinkled clothing, his vest buttoned crookedly, and his shoes untied.

The administration of Wade Bolton's will involves Bolton High School in the oldest active court case in Shelby County. As a result of this bequest, Bolton High School exists as the only land grant secondary school in the state of Tennessee. In its more than 100 years of service to Shelby County, Bolton High School has proven to be an integral part of the history and education of the citizens of Northeast Shelby County.

Since its reestablishment as a Shelby County Schools' high school, the Bolton High School campus and the school population have experienced dramatic change. The surrounding area continues to develop as a suburban community, even though at the present time the student body is drawn from Bartlett, Lakeland, and unincorporated areas of Northeast Shelby County.Wade Hampton Bolton

Wade Bolton And Bolton College 

On this site in 1887 upon the Hoboken Plantation was erected the first building of Bolton College, established under the provisions of the will of Wade H. Bolton, prominent landowner, killed in 1869 by a former business partner in Court Square, Memphis, during the notorious Bolton-Dickens feud which lasted from 1857 to 1871. Bolton's bequest included $10,000 to build the school and an outright gift of 300 acres for the school grounds and supporting farm. Subsequently, the farm was increased to 1200 acres after the death of Bolton's widow, thus consolidating the remaining plantation property.
--- Bolton School --
Bolton College operated as an agricultural school and teachers' preparatory school from 1887 until 1911 when it became associated with the Shelby County public school system. In 1925 it was converted into a regular high school and completely rebuilt in 1978 with several expansions since then. The Bolton College Board of Trustees continues to assist the Shelby County Board of Education in providing special additional educational facilities on the site, thus making Bolton High School the only privately subsidized public school in Tennessee. 
Wade Hampton Bolton 

 Wade Hampton Bolton

BirthDec. 8, 1812
North Carolina, USA
DeathJul. 23, 1869
Shelby County
Tennessee, USA

Son of John Bolton and Mary Lancaster Bolton.
Brother of Laodicia Bolton Darby, Isaac Bolton, John P E Bolton, Lucassia Bolton Bledsoe, and Marcus Bolton.
Husband of Lavinia Ann Person Bolton Cannon Peete.
Father of Ann Bolton, Elizabeth Bolton, andIndiana Bolton.
Major player in the Bolton/Dickins feud lasting from 1857 to 1870 during which eight (or as many as twelve) people died. Partner in one of the largest cotton/slave trading firms in the South. A dispute arose when the firm bought and sold a 23 year old slave who was later proved to be an indentured and free. A shooting incident involving Isaac Bolton, brother to Wade, resulted in an expensive trial at which Ike was acquitted. An argument arose as to whether the expenses should be borne by the four partners (Wade, Isaac, Washington Bolton--a distant cousin and Thomas Dickins) or the brothers alone.
Numerous court battles followed, before and after the war, pitting Dickins and Sarah Bolton (wife of the deceased Wash Bolton) against Wade. There were family intricacies as Wash's sister, Cinderella, had married Isaac Bolton and Josephine Bolton, Isaac's daughter, married Samuel Dickins, Tom's son.
Wade Bolton was shot by Dickins in July of 1869 and died shortly thereafter. Thomas Dickins, was found dead of multiple gunshot wounds after being acquitted of Bolton's murder in 1870. Dr. Samuel Dickins died of an accidental gunshot wound shortly thereafter.
Josephine Bolton Dickins Morgan was mentioned in a will which left $10,000 to Lavinia Bolton and the widow of Stonewall Jackson as the recipient of $5 "one sixth of what Judas Iscariot got" for her unlucky marriage.
Another bequest of land and an endowment founded Bolton College on the land belonging to Wade and Lavinia's Hoboken Plantation. Bolton High School (in the town of Bolton, north of Arlington in Shelby County) stands on that property today, one of only two public schools in Tennessee with its own endowment, begun with the bequest of Wade Bolton in 1869.

Family links:
  John Bolton (1782 - 1838)
  Mary Lancaster Bolton (1784 - 1863)

  Lavinia Ann Person Bolton Cannon Peete (1820 - 1896)

  Mary Ann Bolton (1840 - 1841)*
  Indiana M Bolton (1842 - 1843)*
  Elizabeth J Bolton (1843 - 1844)*

  Isaac Langston Bolton (1811 - 1868)*
  Wade Hampton Bolton (1812 - 1869)
  Marcus Bolton (1826 - 1849)*

*Calculated relationship

Front: W. H. Bolton Born December 8, 1812, Died July 23, 1869,Founder of Bolton College
North Side: See John Bolton Memorial Page Rear: In Memory of Marcus Bolton son of John and Mary Bolton Born and died in Shelby County Tennessee June 28, 1826 June 30 1849.

Note: Inscriptions updated in the early 20th century by Martha Cinderella Dickins Smithwick. a descendent of both Isaac Bolton and Thomas Dickins.
Elmwood Cemetery 
Shelby County
Tennessee, USA
Plot: Bolton Family Plot, east Side, Chapel Hill at Grand Tour and Hanback Ave

Maintained by: Vincent Astor
Originally Created by: Anonymous
Record added: Mar 11, 2004 
Find A Grave Memorial# 8493119
The current Bolton High School campus exists on the former Hoboken Plantation, owned by Wade H. Bolton. The prominent land owner set aside 1,200 acres (5 km2) for the founding of an agricultural college prior to his murder in 1869. Bolton operated as an agricultural college and teacher's preparatory school from 1887 to 1911, when it became part of the Shelby County School system. By 1925, Bolton had been designated as a secondary school and has remained a part of the Shelby County school system ever since. Today, BHS serves over 2,000 students from Bartlett, Arlington, Lakeland, Millington and other unincorporated parts of Memphis.[4] Bolton High School is one of the only two public schools in Tennessee with its own endowment. 

Art Mural 

Is Bolton mural art, or offensive history? Either way, it's history now
Memphis Commercial-Appeal ^ | 8/16/2003 | Wayne Risher 

Posted on 8/16/2003, 8:36:46 AM by 07055

Bolton High School blotted out a likeness of founder Wade Bolton after a teacher's complaint that a mural of the 19th Century planter and slave trader was "too Confederate."

Principal Snowden 'Butch' Carruthers said a faculty committee decided Friday to paint over the new mural to avoid offending anyone.

Wade Bolton left money to establish Bolton College in northeast Shelby County when he was shot dead in a feud in 1869.

The college became a county school in the early 1920's, and Bolton's trust fund still supports the school.

The Class of 2003 gave art teacher Christy Burns an $1,800 commission to paint a historical mural as a parting gift.

She completed the painting a couple of weeks ago on a wall outside the library.

A teacher took offense at a gray-clad Wade Bolton flanked by Tennessee and school flags.

The image of Bolton was based on a photo of his funereal statue in Historic Elmwood Cemetery.

"Some people thought it looked too Confederate," Carruthers said. "I personally don't see anything controversial about it."

Carruthers said the critic, whom he declined to identify, thought Bolton's clothing resembled a Confederate soldier's uniform and Tennessee's three-star flag looked like a Rebel flag.

After registration Aug. 5, the mural was covered with cloth pending a discussion by faculty advisers about whether it should be altered or removed.

Students were told it was covered because it wasn't completed.

County school spokesman Mike Tebbe said the committee decided to paint over the mural.

"They want everyone here when they come through the doors of Bolton High to feel comfortable and not be concerned about what's on the wall," he said. "It's going to be a nice white wall shortly."

The decision came after county school officials viewed the mural over the past week.

"All I looked at was here's something honoring the benefactor and all that he did for that school," said county school board member Ron Lollar, whose district includes Bolton.

Carruthers said the discussion was distracting from more important matters, namely fitting nearly 2,400 students in buildings designed for about 2,200.

About 18 percent of Bolton's students are black.

Carruthers said he'll use school money to pay for another project for last spring's seniors to make up for the lost mural.

"I'm disappointed it's just being dismissed," Burns said. The 33-year-old second-year teacher has been a mural artist for about 15 years.

"I do feel this is a commissioned work of art that was paid for by a class, and the class has never seen it," 
Burns added. "The way it's being resolved is a negative. I don't think it's beneficial to either party."

Jennifer Muirhead, a Bolton senior and art student, was shocked by school officials' decision.

"Oh my gosh!" she said. "It's ridiculous to me. It infuriates me that this is happening.

"Pretty much nobody knew about it," she said. "The teachers were told to tell students it was an art project that wasn't finished yet."

"The thing I heard was people were offended that Wade Bolton was a slave owner. That's just factual history."

Shelby County Historian Ed Williams, a board member of the Bolton College trust, said, "Without Wade Bolton there wouldn't be a school."

The trust funnels revenues from Bolton's former plantation, called Hoboken, into the school and its students, Williams said.

It paid for half a new football stadium 15 years ago and for the past decade has provided scholarships for top Bolton students who don't qualify for other college scholarships - about $84,000 annually in recent years.

A partnership was formed in business in 1850. Parties connected with this firm were Wade H. Bolton, Isaac Bolton, Washington Bolton and Thomas Dickens. The firm continued till 1857. Washington Bolton died and Sarah W. Bolton filed a bill in the chancery court in 1868 for her share in the property of the firm. Thomas Dickens filed a cross bill for the same purpose. On August 10, 1868, Wade H. Bolton made the following extraordinary will. A part only of this is given. It contains eighteen different clauses as follows: "I, Wade H. Bolton, at my home and place in Shelby County, Tenn.. being in good health * * * First, it is my will and desire after all my just debts are paid that my ashes repose in Pleasant Ridge Church burying-ground * * * Second, I give and bequeath to my beloved wife, Lavinia Ann Bolton. * * * a life time dowry in my Hoboken plantation. Second, I give and bequeath to her * * * $10,000 in fee simple. Third, I give * * * to her $10,000, my life policy. Fourth, I give and bequeath to Seth W. Bolton $5,000, provided he lends an assisting hand and helps to defeat the gigantic swindle of old Tom Dickens and his tool, Sarah W. Bolton, has instituted against her father's estate and mine. In event Seth W. Bolton be married or does marry a white woman of his own choice, the $5,000 shall be invested in a piece of land for them. But if Seth W. Bolton remain in a state of celibacy which he is likely to do, my executor is instructed to loan the $5,000 and pay him the interest annually. Fifth, I. give and bequeath to Mary L. Bolton, wife of E. C. Patterson, $5,000 provided * * * Sixth, I give &c., to Lucassa Bolton $5,000, provided she help to defeat that gigantic swindle of old Tom Dicken and his tool, Sarah W. Bolton * * * Seventh, I give * * * to my niece, A. Wade Bolton, $5,000, provided * * * I also give her my gold watch. Eighth, I give and bequeath to my niece, Josephine Bolton, now wife of the notorious Dr. Samuel Dickens (the Judas of the family) $5, one sixth of what Judas Iscariot got for betraying the Lord. Poor Jo, her cup of iniquity will be full after while if she ever gets time to stop in her mad career, trying to help swindle her sister out of her money, and will let her mind reflect back upon her childhood days when she sat under the shade trees and roof of her father and saw the streaming tears and heard the bitter sobs of her father and her mother portraying in the ear of her father that some distant day that old Tom Dickens would swindle them out of all they had and bring them to want. The prophecy is fulfilled in 1868 and her daughter is lending a helping hand. Eleventh, I give and bequeath to the widow of Gen. T. J. Jackson, who fell at the battle of Chancellorsville, $10,000. Twelfth, I bequeath * * * to my loyal servants now called freedmen * * * Fourteenth, I give and bequeath my Hoboken farm for the public schools of Shelby County and $10,000 to build a college to be called Bolton College. Fifteenth, I give and bequeath the rest of my estate to the chairman of the county court to be a perpetuity for the education of the poor white children of the First District. Eighteenth, I appoint E. M. Apperson my executor without security, and Beecher & Belcher my attorneys."

The greatest feud was connected with the suit resulting in the death of seven persons. In 1857 a man named McMillan was killed, and in 1868 one Wilson and a servant girl, Nancy, working for Wade H. Bolton; were also killed. Soon after, two men, Inman and Morgan, were tracked into a cave in North Alabama and killed. On July 14, 1869, Wade H. Bolton was shot by Tom Dickens at the gate of the court square and mortally wounded. On July 30, 1870, Dickens was waylaid and killed in the Hatchie bottom, a short distant from Memphis. For the killing of Bolton, Dickens was arrested and put under bond of $5,000. After a trial of twenty-seven days, in which the ablest attorneys were engaged, Dickens was declared "not guilty." The trial ended February 12, 1870. In all the litigation but one conviction was secured. The estate involved in the various suits amounted to over $226,000. These were tried before Chancellor McDowell and appealed to the supreme court. The style of the suits before the supreme court were Cannon vs. E. M. Apperson and Maddox vs. E. M. Apperson. The executor of the will refused payment to some of the legatees on the ground that they had not fulfilled their part in the "infamous lawsuit." The supreme court confirmed most of the clauses of the will. The provision of the will providing for Bolton College in the First District are being carried out. The sale of lands and the other funds amount to about $65,000. Of this $10,000 is to be spent in erecting buildings on the Hoboken plantation about twenty-five miles northeast of Memphis. 
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