BOLE, ROBERTA HOLDEN (30 Sept. 1876-28 Oct. 1950) was a philanthropist who helped establish Holden Arboretum, classes for gifted children in the CLEVELAND PUBLIC SCHOOL System, and helped preserve DUNHAM TAVERN. She was also co-founder of HAWKEN SCHOOL for boys (1915) and a children's author (The Aunt's Cookbook and Poor Richard).

Born in Salt Lake City, Utah, to Delia Elizabeth (Bulkley) and LIBERTY EMERY HOLDEN, Roberta came to Cleveland with her family at age 15. She was a graduate of Miss Mittelberger's School.

Roberta began her civic improvements in 1905 by finding a permanent home for the Cleveland School of Art. She became a trustee of the CLEVELAND MUSEUM OF ART and served on its advisory council. In 1928 she presented the statute Night Passing Earth to Day to the Museum and, in 1932, together with her siblings, presented Filippino Lippi's great painting, The Holy Family with St. Margaret and St. John.

Roberta was a benefactor of the CLEVELAND MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY. In the 1930's she donated the original 100 acres on which Holden Arboretum in Kirtland was located.

In 1936 Bole and Ihna Thayer Frary helped found the Dunham Tavern Corp. to collect funds to save the historic Tavern from destruction.

In 1937 the Boles' established the $50,000 FREDERICK HARRIS GOFF educational scholarship which enabled Cleveland's public schools to establish classes for gifted children.

Roberta married Benjamin P. Bole (dec. 1941) on Sept. 2, 1907 and had one son, Benjamin, Jr. Roberta belonged to the Unitarian Church and is buried in LAKE VIEW CEMETERY.


Black, white and red text reading Western Reserve Historical Society

Finding aid for the Bole Family Papers. WRHS.

Finding aid for the Bole Family Photographs, WRHS.


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