Biography of Col. Chester C. Bolton
Cuyahoga County, OH Biographies

COL. CHESTER CASTLE BOLTON, of Cleveland, is a scion in the third generation of one of the old, honored and influential families of the historic old Western Reserve. He was born in Cleveland, on the 5th of September, 1882, a son of Capt. Charles Chester Bolton, and a grandson of judge Thomas Bolton, who was born in Sipio, Cayuga County, New York, November 29, 1809. In 1833 Judge Thomas Bolton was graduated from Harvard College (now university), with the degree of Bachelor of Arts, and thereafter he devoted one year to the study of law in Canandaigua County, New York. In September, 1834, he came to Ohio and established his home at Cleveland, the future metropolis of the state having at that time a population of less than 3,000. After a year spent in the law office of James L. Conger he was admitted to the Ohio bar in September, 1835, and immediately entered into a professional partnership with his former preceptor, Mr. Conger. A year later he formed a partnership with Moses Kelley, a Harvard classmate, and for the ensuing twenty years the law firm of Bolton & Kelley continued one of the strongest and most influential in Cleveland, the alliance continuing until the senior member, Judge Bolton, assumed judicial office. He had served a full term as prosecuting attorney of Cuyahoga County, and declined a second term, owing to the inadequacy of the salary. In 1856 he was elected to the bench of the Court of Common Pleas, and as his term neared its termination he was unanimously renominated, the ensuing election returning him to the office with no opposing candidate. After serving two full terms he retired from the bench, and he did not resume the active practice of his profession, his time and attention being given to his private affairs, involving varied interests of important order. Originally a democrat, Judge Bolton in 1848 transferred his allegiance to the whig party, and in 1856, at the convention held in the City of Pittsburgh, he assisted in the organization of the republican party, with which he continued his affiliation the remainder of his life. He continued as one of the leading citizens of Cleveland until his death.

Capt. Charles Chester Bolton was born in Cleveland on the 23d of March, 1855, and after a thorough preparatory course in Phillips Exeter Academy, in New Hampshire, he entered his father's alma mater, Harvard University, from which he was graduated as a member of the class of 1877 and with the degree of Bachelor of Arts. For two years thereafter he traveled abroad, and upon his return to Cleveland he became associated with Rhodes & Company, later reorganized as the M. A. Hanna Company. With this important and representative concern he maintained his alliance twenty five years; and in 1904 he retired from active business. Captain Bolton served as president of the Cleveland Associated Charities, and has been influential in the affairs of other representative civic organizations. He is a life member of the Cleveland Chamber of Commerce and holds membership in various dubs and societies. He was a charter member of Troop A, one of the fine military organizations of Cleveland, and in the same received promotion through the various grades to and including the office of captain.

On the 24th of November, 1880, Captain Bolton wedded Miss Julia Castle, daughter of Hon. William and Mary (Newell) Castle, her father having served as mayor of Cleveland, and having been one of the city's honored and influential citizens.

Chester C. Bolton received the advantages of the public schools and also the University School of Cleveland, and in 1905 he was graduated from Harvard University with the degree of Bachelor of Arts. In his native city he thereafter became assistant treasurer of the Bourne-Fuller Company, and he continued his service in this capacity until the spring of 1917, when he was commissioned captain in the ordnance department of the United States Army. Later he was transferred to the general staff and detailed to duty in the office of the assistant secretary of war in Washington. In January, 1918, he was promoted lieutenant colonel and was sent to the government war college for a course in field staff duties. In due time he was assigned to the office of assistant chief of staff with the One Hundred and First Division of the United States Army, and in this capacity he was in service at Hattiesburg, Mississippi, where he was stationed at the time the armistice was signed and brought the World war to a dose. He was then sent to the national capital, where he remained a member of the general staff of the army until he received his honorable discharge, he having been mustered out December 24, 1918.

Since the completion of his war service Colonel Bolton has not become active in business affairs, his time being given principally to public service of official order. For some time he was specially active in the directing of the interests of the Cuyahoga County Council of the American Legion, of which he continues a most loyal and popular member. In his home village of Lyndhurst he served two terms as a member of the Municipal Council, and in November, 1922, he was elected on the republican ticket as a representative of the Cleveland district in the Ohio State Senate. He had much of leadership in the ensuing session of the Legislature as an influential figure in the councils of the Senate and the deliberations of the various committees to which he was assigned. He was made chairman of the committee on banks and trust companies, and also of that on military affairs, the while he served as secretary of the committee on taxation, and as a member of the committees on manufacture and commerce, fish and game, and Soldiers and Sailors Home. Colonel Bolton has served as chairman of the American Legion, is a trustee of the Lakeside Hospital of Cleveland, is a trustee of the Welfare Federation, and also a trustee of the Western Reserve Historical Society. He is a member of the Union Club of Cleveland, of which he is vice president in 1923, is at this time president of the Mayfield Country Club, is an active member also of the Tavern Club, the Chagrin Valley Hunt Club and the Hermit Club. Colonel Bolton is a member of the Board of Directors of the Cleveland Trust Company, and also those of the Standard Tool Company and the Lake Erie Bolt & Nut Company.

The maiden name of the wife of Colonel Bolton was Frances P. Bingham, and she is a daughter of Charles W. Bingham, of Cleveland.

The children of this union are three sons: Charles Bingham, Kenyon Castle and Oliver Payne.

A History of Cuyahoga County
and the City of Cleveland
By: William R. Coates
The American Historical Society
Chicago and New York, 1924

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