BOLTON, SARAH KNOWLES (15 Sept. 1841-21 Feb. 1916), was a prolific writer of biographical studies, poetry, and a temperance novel. Born in Farmington, Conn., the daughter of John Segar and Mary Elizabeth Miller Knowles, she came to Cleveland in 1866 after marrying Chas. E. Bolton, a Cleveland businessman and active worker in temperance activities. All of her books, regardless of type, reflect her contention that despite hardships, life can be worth living if one works hard and believes in God. Her own experiences as associate editor of the Congregationalist (1878-81), a Boston publication, and her husband's experiences as he labored for the cause of the workingman and the discouraged in heart, served as subject matter for her books. Her stories were published in 2 volumes: A Country Idyll and Other Stories. Bolton wrote several juvenile biographies, which revealed her own and her readers' judgements about what they admired in women. Her Lives of Girls Who Became Famous (1897) included essays on novelist Harriet Beecher Stowe, humanitarian and reformer Helen Hunt Jackson, abolitionist and woman's rights advocate Lucretia Mott, author Louisa May Alcott, educator Mary Lyon, and nurse Florence Nightingale. Although she was the most professional and prolific of local writers, her biographies received rightful acclaim, and her other books less.

Bolton had one child, Charles Knowles Bolton. She was buried in LAKE VIEW CEMETERY.

Bolton, Charles K. Sarah K. Bolton: Pages from an Intimate Autobiography (1923).

Article Categories