Bolton, Hale William (1879–1920)

By: Diana Church

Type: Biography

Published: November 1, 1994

Updated: October 9, 2020

Hale William Bolton, artist, was born on September 27, 1879, in Fredericksburg, Iowa, the son of George W. and Alice Lucy (Hale) Bolton. The family moved to Honey Grove, Texas, in 1896. By 1905 Bolton was in the Oak Cliff section of Dallas earning his living as a piano tuner for the Jesse French Piano and Organ Company. He was also a violinist. He studied art with Frank Reaugh, exhibited in Nashville, Tennessee, and won gold medals at the Tri-State Exhibition in Memphis in 1907, 1910, and 1913. In 1909 he studied at the St. Louis School of Fine Arts, after which he traveled in Europe for several years and studied with William Orowelt in Holland and William Rueloup and Paul Abram in Paris. Bolton returned to Oak Cliff in 1914 and was employed by the Dallas Piano Works. He entered exhibitions in both Dallas and Fort Worth. In 1915 he won a medal for a painting exhibited in Galveston. He specialized in western subjects and worked in oils or pastels. In 1916 he became a member of the American Federation of Arts and moved to California. The following year he returned to Texas and lived with his parents in Oak Cliff. He exhibited at the Dallas Woman's Forum in 1916 and 1918. Shortly before his death, he was awarded a grand prize by the California Society of Art. He died at Rusk, Texas, on October 10, 1920.

Diana Church, Guide to Dallas Artists, 1890–1917 (Plano, Texas, 1987). Peter Haskins Falk, ed., Who Was Who in American Art (Madison, Connecticut: Sound View, 1985). Esse Forrester-O'Brien, Art and Artists of Texas (Dallas: Tardy, 1935).

  • Visual Arts
  • Painting
  • Dallas/Fort Worth Region
  • Dallas
  • North Texas

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Diana Church, “Bolton, Hale William,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed May 19, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

November 1, 1994
October 9, 2020

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