Biography of Ernest Moore Bolles

ERNEST MOORE BOLLES, boot and shoe dealer, in Amherst, Massachusetts, was born in Amherst, March 12, 1876. He was the son of Lemuel Nelson Bolles. The Bolles (Bowles) family goes back to the Norman Conquest of England. One name “Bolls” is found on the Roll of the Butte Abbey, as given by Holl:ngshead. Duchesne, from a charter in that abbey, gives a list of the conquerors in England under William of Normandy, among them the name of “Bools.” The names, Boll, Bol, Bole and Bolle occur frequently in Domesday Book. One family named Bolles, of long standing in the county of Lincoln, was resident there as early as the reign of King Henry III, when Alaire, or Alaine Bolle, of Swineshead, was Lord of Swineshead, and Bolle Hall, in the county of Lincoln. Its principal seat seems to have been Bolle Hall, in Swineshead, until the close of the reign of Edward IV (A. D. 1483), when the elder branch of the Bolleses became settled at Hough, near Alford. in Lincolnshire, while a younger branch established itself at Goosberkirke, now Goosberton in the same county. From this younger generation came the baronets of Scampton, Lincolnshire; and the American Bolles families presumably, although there is no account of their English descent.

(I) The first one of record in this country is Joseph Bolles, of Winter Harbor, at the mouth of the Saco River, Province of Maine, where he was engaged in trade in 1640. In that year the records of the General Court of Maine contain this passage: “Joseph Bolles, hath presented to the Grand Inquest Thomas Heard for being drunk . . . and threatening him with many violent words, to break open his store. He (the delinquent) further declareth that he received his drink at the house of William Scadlock.” Mr. Bolles afterwards removed to Wells, Maine, where he was town clerk from 1654 to 1664. His dwelling house and the first volume of the town records were burned by the Indians at the time of his tenure of office. Joseph Bolles, born in 1608, died at Wells, Maine, in the fall of 1678. His will, dated September 18, 1678, was admitted to probate in November, 1678. “His inventory made and appraised by us the 29th of November, 167& William SymondsJoseph Storer,” enumerates “houses, lands and meadows belonging to the home-lots appraised by us underwritten at four hundred and eighty pounds,” and his whole estate was appraised at £842 Is. 6d. He was both grantor and grantee of numerous pieces of land. At his death his real estate, reduced by divers grants to his children, was appraised at £530. He was a man of high character, universally respected and honored. Commissioners of Massachusetts held a court at Wells in July, 1653, and appointed him clerk of the writs, with power to grant warrants, attachments, etc. In 166% the King having restored to the Gorges family what had been usurped by Massachusetts, Archdale, Gorges’ agent, went to Maine with commissioners for various persons, and among others, Mr. Bolles, as councillors and magistrates. In 1664 Sir Ferdinand Gorges, grandson of the original patentee, commissioned “sundry of his loving friends, including Mr. Bolles, as deputies and commissioners for the government of the Province of Maine.” In all cases where the name is found written by his own hand it is spelled Bolles; but copyists, recording officers, and others, not the family, spelled it capriciously Bauls, Bowls, Bowels, Boals, Bolls, Bools, Boolls, Booles, Bowalls. John A. Bolles, genealogist of the family, authority for the history of the early generations, conjectures that Joseph Bolles married a daughter of Morgan Howell, land-owner at Cape Porpoise, who bequeathed to Mrs. Bolles and her children, all his estate and property, and appointed her executrix of his will November 12, 1666. The whole family of Mr. Bolles survived him, and his widow was living in 1684, after which there is no record. The following family record appears in the handwriting of Mr. Bolles in the Wells town records. “The ages of Mr. Joseph Bolles, born February, 1608; and Mary Bolles, his wife, in March, 1624: 1. Mary Bolles, their daughter, born August 7, 1641. 2. Thomas Bolles, his eldest son, December 1, 1644. 3. Samuel Bolles, March 1z, 1646. 4. Hannah Bolles, November 25. 1649. 5. Eliza Bolles, January 15, 1652. 6. Joseph Bolles, March 15, 1654. 7. Sarah Bolles, January 20, 1657. 8. Mercy Bolles, August 11, 1661”

(II) Samuel Bolles, third child of Joseph and Mary Bolles, was born in Wells, March 12, 1646. It appears by the town records that in 1668 the inhabitants of Wells granted him three hundred acres of land, on condition that he should improve the same within a year. He removed to Rochester, Massachusetts, in later years. “One of his descendants informs me,” writes the family chronicler, “that after being burnt out in Maine by the Indians three times, he moved first to Clark’s Island in Boston Harbor, and next to Rochester, Massachusetts, where he changed land with Samuel Hammond, and that his house was about two miles north of Mattapoisette Village.” He and his wife were living in 1713. In June, 1712, they conveyed to Henry Flint, of Cambridge, six hundred acres of land, situated in New Dartmouth, alias Sheepscot, commonly known by the name of Dyer’s Neck, or Nassacmac, which said neck of land, says the deed, was formerly granted by Robin Hood Sagamore of the said Nassacmac, unto William Dyer, father of said Mary. In 1713 they conveyed to Samuel Hammond, of Rochester, three hundred and ten acres of land, lying in the township of Wells. Dyer and his son, Christopher, were killed and scalped by Indians at Dyer’s Neck. Neither record nor tradition gives the date of the death of Samuel Bolles. He married Mary Dyer, the daughter of William Dyer, of Sheepscot, Maine, and they had three children : Joseph, Samuel, and Jonathan, of whom further.

(IV) Jonathan Bolles, son of Samuel and Mary (Dyer) Bolles, was born in New Hampshire, December 19, 1728, and died in 1828 in Rockingham, Vermont. He married, in 1758, Elizabeth Randall. He removed to Richmond, New Hampshire, and later to Vermont. They were the parents of twelve children.

(V) Lemuel Bolles, son of Jonathan and Elizabeth (Randall) Bolles, was born in Richmond, New Hampshire, July 20, 1777, and died in Vermont, August 21, 1827. He married Mary Chamberlain, at Keene, New Hampshire, born May 8, 1778, died January 8, 1837. They were the parents of seven children.

(VI) Nelson Bolles, son of Lemuel and Mary (Chamberlain) Bolles, was born April 7, 1817, and died April 7, 1883. He was a farmer of Newfane, Windham County, Vermont. He married, November 18, 1841, Emeline Putnum, born May 24, 1821, died February 27, 1896. Children: Etta Amelia; Lemuel Nelson, of whom further; Mary; Ella E.; Samuel Putnum; George W.; and Effie Evangeline.

(VII) Lemuel Nelson Bolles, son of Nelson and Emeline (Putnum) Bolles, was born in Cambridgeport, Vermont, April 7, 1849, and died in Amherst, Massachusetts, December 28, 1891. He came to Amherst, Massachusetts, in 1876, and was in the meat and grocery business until his death. He was a member of the Improved Order of Red Men, and of the Methodist Episcopal Church. He married, in February, 1874, Emeline A. Banning, of East Hartford, Connecticut, daughter of Erastus M. and Almira (Hall) Banning. Children: Ernest Moore; Edward, who died young; Jessie, who died young; and Grace, who married Willis Fay, of Amherst, Massachusetts.

(VIII) Ernest Moore Bolles, son of Lemuel and Emeline A. (Banning) Bolles, was educated in the public and high schools of Amherst. When his school days ended he went to work in the shoe store of James E. Stinson, of Amherst, and continued in his employ for six or seven years. He also was employed in a shoe store in Hartford, Connecticut, for a short time. In 1897 he engaged in the boot and shoe business for himself in Amherst, and has continued there ever since. He is a member of Pacific Lodge, Free and Accepted Masons ; a member of the Royal Arch Chapter; and of Northampton Commandery, Knights Templar; of Melha Temple, Ancient Arabic Order Nobles of the Mystic Shrine, of Springfield. He is a Christian Scientist in religion.

Mr. Bolles was married, on August 18, 1903, to Charlotte Elizabeth (Wheeler) Ladd, born in Hatley, Province of Quebec, Canada, daughter of Amos and Lydia (Emery) Wheeler; and widow of Leon Ladd, of Laconia, New Hampshire. She is the mother of Everett Harlan Ladd, who married, on September 11, 1923, Grace Eddy, of Milford, Connecticut, daughter of Charles A. and Amy (Bliss) Eddy. They have two sons: Harlan Bolles Ladd, born July 28, 1924; and Norman Bliss Ladd, born January 4, 1926. Mr. and Mrs. Ernest Moore Bolles are the parents of a daughter, Audrey Bolles, a student at Tufts College, born August 21, 1908. The business address of Mr. Bolles is No. 8 Main Street; his house address is Aro. 52 Lincoln Avenue, Amherst, Massachusetts.



Lockwood, John H. (John Hoyt); Bagg, Ernest Newton; Carson, Walter S. (Walter Scott); Riley, Herbert E. (Herbert Elihu); Boltwood, Edward; Clark, Will L. (Will Leach); Western Massachusetts A History 1636-1925; New York and Chicago: Lewis historical publishing company, inc., 1926

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