Memorable Manitobans: Ferris Bolton (1853-1937)
Farmer, municipal official, MP (1917-1921).
Born at Newboro, Ontario on 13 February 1853, one of eight children born to John F. and May (Hannah) Bolton, he was educated at the Ontario Public Schools. In 1877, he came to Manitoba and, after a brief stop at Emerson, homesteaded on the east half of 33-2-7W. He later selected the site for the future community of Darlingford and, in partnership with three other men, built the first grain elevator there. In 1910, he was part of a partnership that established the Darlingford Brick and Tile Company.
Active in community affairs, he served as a councillor (1881-1883) and Reeve (1884-1886) of the Municipality of South Dufferin. He was the first Reeve of the Rural Municipality of Pembina (1891-1894). He was the Secretary-Treasurer for the Calf Mountain School District for 36 years, and Postmaster of Calf Mountain (1881-1900) and Darlingford (1913-1917). He was a Conservative candidate for Dufferin South in the 1886 provincial general election. In the 1917 federal general election, he was elected for the Lisgar constituency, sitting until the dissolution of the 13th Parliament.
On 22 December 1880, he married Elizabeth Jane “Jennie” Stewart (1862-1939), with whom he had five sons and two daughters, including Earl Stewart Bolton (1883-1960), Mary Beatrice Bolton (1887-1917, wife of Arthur Owen Berry), Wilbert George “Bert” Bolton (1894-1917), Harold Albert “Harry” Bolton (1896-1917), and Elmer Leeds Bolton (1897-1917). Three of their sons were killed in the First World War: Bert at Vimy Ridge on 9 April 1917, Harry at Lens on 20 June 1917, and Elmer at Hill 70 on 13 August 1917.
He died at Brandon, at the home of his son, on 11 May 1937 and was buried in the Darlingford Cemetery.
Birth, marriage, and death registrations, Manitoba Vital Statistics.
1901 Canada census, Automated Genealogy.
Pioneers and Prominent People of Manitoba, Winnipeg: Canadian Publicity Company, 1925.
Obituary, Brandon Sun, 11 May 1937, page 7.
The Canadian Directory of Parliament, 1867-1967, edited by J. K. Johnson, Public Archives of Canada, Ottawa [Library and Archives Canada], 1968.
The Darlingford Saga II: 1870-1970, 1970-1999 by the Darlingford Centennial Book Committee, 1999, pages 11-20.
We thank Nathan Kramer and Brian Rex for providing additional information used here.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 6 February 2023