Since its original printing in 1952, the publication of the Handbook of Texas has been made possible through the support of its users. As an independent nonprofit, TSHA relies on your contributions to close the funding gap for the online Handbook and keep it a freely accessible resource for users worldwide. Please make a donation today to preserve the most comprehensive encyclopedic resource on Texas history. Donate Today »


Diana Church

BOLTON, HALE WILLIAM (1879–1920). 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).

Image Use Disclaimer

All copyrighted materials included within the Handbook of Texas Online are in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 related to Copyright and “Fair Use” for Non-Profit educational institutions, which permits the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA), to utilize copyrighted materials to further scholarship, education, and inform the public. The TSHA makes every effort to conform to the principles of fair use and to comply with copyright law.

For more information go to:

If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.


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

Handbook of Texas Online, Diana Church, "BOLTON, HALE WILLIAM," accessed June 17, 2019,

Uploaded on June 12, 2010. Modified on May 1, 2019. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

Get this week's most popular Handbook of Texas articles delivered straight to your inbox