The Edward C. Bolton Home at Lake Waco
Before the new dam was built in the early 1960s, Hillcrest Drive went all the way to the old lake shore. As the winding road descended to the lake, the Buchanan Home was on the bluff to the right, overlooking Lake Waco. The Buchanans were the owners of Buchanan’s Laundry and Linen Supply at 418 South 11th and Buchanan’s Cleaners and Cold Storage at 1002 Austin. Next door to the Buchanan place was the 47-acre estate of Edward Cameron Bolton, grandson of William Cameron.
E.C. Bolton was born on April 30, 1906, the son of Edward Rice Bolton and Miss Margaret Cameron, the youngest daughter of William Cameron. He graduated from Waco High School in 1923, and in 1927 received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Williams College in Massachusetts. In 1929, he received a Master of Business Administration from Harvard University’s School of Business, graduated magna cum laude. He graduated first in his class. At Waco High, he had played basketball and baseball, and played on Paul Tyson’s football team there. After working in Missouri in the 1930s, he returned to Waco around 1940 to become assistant to the president of William Cameron and Co., Inc after the death of his uncle, W.W. Cameron, in 1939. He served three years at sea as a Lieutenant in the U.S. Navy, during WWII. After returning to Waco, he sold his interest in the company in 1949 and entered the investment business. The Cameron-Bolton interests in William Cameron and Company were sold in 1954 to Certainteed Products, Inc. of Ardmore, Pennsylvania.
Mr. Bolton was married twice-first to Mary Lyle Staton, niece of Senator Tom Connally, then to Catherine Ross, descendant of Sul Ross.
Prior to building his Lake Waco home, Mr. Bolton and his family lived in their ancestral home at 1223 Austin Avenue, from where he also ran his office. The Boltons built their home at Lake Waco around 1946. Their 47-acre property had a two –story red brick home that overlooked Lake Waco, and featured a beautiful lawn and large rose garden. The driveway looped around to the back of the house, where there was a main entrance. They loved dogs, and had several Dalmatians. Mr. Bolton facetiously called his place “Poverty Hill” when he complained to the builder about the cost of its construction.
In addition to the main house, there was a side building which contained Mr. Bolton’s office and a garage apartment with servant’s quarters. And their own gas pump! The house was a social hub, and the Boltons frequently hosted society events. The second Mrs. Bolton was President of the Waco Garden Club and often hosted club meetings at their home.
When discussions were being held in the late 1960s about the construction of the Herring Avenue Bridge, Mr. Bolton was adamantly against it and reminded the City of Waco that building the bridge would violate the terms of the agreement of the Cameron Family’s gift of Cameron Park to the city.
Edward C. Bolton died in 1973, and Catherine Bolton died in 1978. The house was demolished by their descendants around 2010, and the property is adjacent to the Windmill Hill neighborhood. The building that served as the office is still standing, although it has been heavily remodeled.
-by Randall Scott, March, 2021. Based on Mr. Bolton’s obituary in the Waco News Tribune, April 16, 1973 and interviews with Mr. Bolton’s granddaughter, Linda.