James B. BOLTON, b. 1839

James B. Bolton, president of the bar association of Mahaska county and a resident of the county since the spring of 1863, was born in Knox county, Ohio, in 1839. His early education privileges were supplemented by study in Martinsburg Academy, of his native state, and for three years he was an assistant teacher in that institution. Subsequently he attended Kenyon College in Ohio, pursuing his course there at the time of the outbreak of the Civil war. His patriotic spirit aroused, he put aside his textbooks and volunteered for service with the Fourth Ohio regiment. Going to Laurel Hill, Virginia, he was there taken ill, and because of this disability was discharged. The colonel of the regiment was President Andrews of Kenyon College, who became ill about the same time that Mr. Bolton did and was taken home and died. In 1862 Mr. Bolton re-enlisted in Company A, Eighty-fourth Ohio Infantry, under command of Captain Merriott and Colonel Savage. During his three-months' service he was on duty most of the time at Camp Denison, Cincinnati, and helped build a pontoon bridge across the river between that city and Covington, Kentucky. When discharged from the army Mr. Bolton returned to Ohio and in the spring of 1863 came to Mahaska county, where he has since resided. For a number of years he engaged in teaching school, following the profession for nine terms in this county, previous to which time he had successfully taught in the country schools of Ohio, giving his attention to the profession in the winter months, while in the summer seasons he followed farming. In the summer of 1865 he purchased three yoke of oxen and broke eighty acres of prairie near the Dunkard church, in the northern part of the county. He cultivated this until 1870, in which year he removed to the city of Oskaloosa and after reading law was admitted to the bar in December of that year. He has practiced here continuously since and has a good clientage, connecting him with much important litigation, his standing at the bar being indicated by his liberal practice and the uniform regard which is tendered him by his brethren of the legal fraternity. In the spring of 1865, in this county, Mr. Bolton was married to Miss Ann McMains, a daughter of John McMains, and they became the parents of two children, but the daughter died before the birth of the son, L. C. Bolton, who is now the manager of the Batton-Hoover Coal Company. He is also a practicing lawyer, who was graduated from Cornell College, and has practiced at this bar. For a number of years Mr. Bolton has been a Mason and has taken the degrees of the Knight Templar commmandery and of the Mystic Shrine. He is a charter member of the Elks lodge of Oskaloosa and was the first exalted ruler here. During the long years of his residence in Mahaska county he has ever directed his labors for the benefit of public interests as well as for the development of a successful business career and he has made an honorable name for himself and a worthy place in the regard of his fellow men.


from Past and Present of Mahaska County, Iowa by Manoah Hedge The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co. 1906

Past and Present of Mahaska County, Iowa

Mahaska County, Iowa Genealogy

Iowa Genealogy

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