Bolton, Frances Payne Bingham, 1885-1977

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Frances Payne Bingham Bolton (March 29, 1885 – March 9, 1977) was a Republican politician from Ohio. She served in the United States House of Representatives. She was the first woman elected to Congress from Ohio. In the late 1930s Bolton took an isolationist position on foreign policy, opposing the Selective Service Act (the draft) in 1940, and opposing Lend-Lease in 1941. During the war she called for desegregation of the military nursing units, which were all-white and all-female. In 1947 she sponsored a long-range bill for nursing education, but it did not pass. When the draft was resumed after the war, Bolton strongly advocated the conscription of women. Pointing to their prominent role during the war, she said it was vitally important that women continue to play these essential roles. She saw no threat to marriage, and argued that women in military service would develop their character and skills, thus enhancing their role in the family. As a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Bolton strongly supported the United Nations, especially UNICEF, and strongly supported the independence of African colonies.

A native of Cleveland, Ohio, Frances Payne Bingham was educated at private schools and with private tutors in Cleveland, New York City, and in Paris. On September 14, 1907, Frances Bingham married attorney Chester Castle Bolton. During World War I, she inherited a trust fund established by her uncle, Oliver Hazard Payne, a founder of Standard Oil. The bequest made Bolton one of the world’s wealthiest women and allowed her to establish the Payne Fund, which eventually distributed grants into areas of particular interest to her. Chester Bolton entered politics, serving as an Ohio state Senator from 1923 to 1928 and in the US House of Representatives from 1929 to 1937 and from January 1939 until his death that October. Frances Bolton decided to seek her late husband’s House seat; her deep pockets, both for her own campaign and the party’s statewide effort, factored into her initial 1940 campaign success. She was easily elected in the February 1940 special election for the seat. She would thereafter be re-elected to fourteen full terms. She became the only mother to serve simultaneously with her son, Oliver Payne Bolton, when he represented a district east of his mother’s for three terms (1953-1957 and 1963-1965). In 1955, she became the first American woman member of Congress to head an international delegation, using her own resources to fund it.

In her final campaign in 1968, Bolton was caught in a redistricting battle. Democratic Congressman Charles Vanik, first elected to the House to represent another Cleveland seat in 1954, challenged Bolton in her newly redrawn, majority-Democratic district. Vanik defeated the 83-year-old Bolton with 55 percent of the vote. After the election, the Richard M. Nixon administration considered rewarding her long career with an ambassadorship. Bolton demurred, “No... I’m retired. Now I can do what I please.” She returned to Lyndhurst, Ohio, where she resided until her death shortly before her 92nd birthday.

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn Papers, 1898-1975 Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn Papers, ca. 1967 Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn Rayburn, Sam, 1882-1961, Papers, 1822, 1831, 1845, 1903-2007 Dolph Briscoe Center for American History
creatorOf Blue, Bertha, ca. 1877-1963. Bertha Blue family papers, 1908-1989. Western Reserve Historical Society, Research Library
creatorOf Payne Fund, Inc. Records, 1924-1972. Western Reserve Historical Society, Research Library
referencedIn Society of Woman Geographers Records, 1910-1998 Library of Congress. Manuscript Division
creatorOf Frances Payne Bolton Oral History Interviews, 1989 Western Reserve Historical Society
creatorOf Barnett, Claude, 1889-1967. Claude A. Barnett papers, 1918-1967 (bulk 1928-1963). Chicago History Museum
creatorOf Bingham, William, 1816-1904. The Bingham-Brayton family papers, 1869-1918. Western Reserve Historical Society, Research Library
contributorOf Papers of the Mount Vernon Ladies' Association, 1858-2016 Fred W. Smith National Library for the Study of George Washington
creatorOf Smith, Frederick C. (Frederick Cleveland), 1884-1956. Papers 1936-1954. Ohio History Connection, Ohio Historical Society
creatorOf Bolton, Frances Payne Bingham, 1885-1977. Frances Payne Bingham Bolton : commercials , 1966-1968. University of Oklahoma, Political Community Archives
referencedIn Papers, 1922-1967 Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn Bernays, Edward L., 1891-1995. Edward L. Bernays papers, 1777-1994 (bulk 1920-1990). Library of Congress
creatorOf Frances Payne Bingham Bolton Papers, 1921-1985, 1939-1977 Western Reserve Historical Society
creatorOf Bolton, Chester Castle, 1882-1939. Papers, 1916-1943. Western Reserve Historical Society, Research Library
referencedIn Solotko, Leslie Anne. Frances Payne Bolton oral history interviews, 1989. Western Reserve Historical Society, Research Library
referencedIn Edward L. Bernays Papers, 1777-1994, (bulk 1920-1990) Library of Congress. Manuscript Division
creatorOf Operation Overview Collection, Identifier A-OOC, Archives of the Mount Vernon Ladies' Association Fred W. Smith National Library for the Study of George Washington
referencedIn Society of Woman Geographers. Society of Woman Geographers records, 1925-1998. Library of Congress
referencedIn Newman, Pauline. Papers, 1903-1982 (inclusive). Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn Papers, ca. 1967 Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn Elmhirst, Dorothy Whitney Straight, 1887-1968. Dorothy Whitney Straight Elmhirst papers, 1887-1978, 1887-1926 (bulk). Cornell University Library
referencedIn Records, 1951 Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn Hudson, Manley Ottmer, 1886-1960. Papers, 1894-1960 Harvard Law School Library Langdell Hall Cambridge, MA 02138
referencedIn Weis, Jessica McCullough, 1901-1963. Papers, 1922-1963 (inclusive). Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn Eliot, Martha M. (Martha May), b. 1891. Papers, 1870-1978 (inclusive). Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn Staupers, Mabel Keaton, 1890-. Papers. 1930-1977. Tulane University, Amistad Research Center
referencedIn Ames, Blanche, 1878-1969. Papers, 1860-1961 Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn Parmenia Migel papers, 1945-1990. Harvard Theater Collection, Houghton Library, Harvard College Library, Harvard University
referencedIn McManus, R. Louise, 1896-. Papers, 1929-1978. Campbell University, Wiggins Memorial Library
referencedIn Nash, Ruth Cowan, 1901-. Papers: Series I-IV, 1905-1990 (inclusive) [microform]. Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn Frontier Nursing Service, inc. Frontier Nursing Service records, 1789-1985, 1925-1985 (bulk dates) University of Kentucky Libraries
referencedIn Lindsay, Florence L. Correspondence with Margaret Naumburg, 1933. University of Pennsylvania Libraries, Van Pelt Library
referencedIn Dorothy Whitney Straight Elmhirst papers, 1887-1978, 1887-1926 (bulk) Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Cornell University Library.
referencedIn Crandall, Ella Phillips. Correspondence with Margaret Naumburg, 1933. University of Pennsylvania Libraries, Van Pelt Library
referencedIn Society of Woman Geographers. Records, 1925-1987. Library of Congress
referencedIn Papers, 1922-1963 Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn General Records of the Department of State. 1763 - 2002. Country Files
referencedIn Ames, Blanche. Papers, 1860-1961 (inclusive). Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
creatorOf Bolton, Frances Payne Bingham, 1885-1977. Papers, 1939-1977. Western Reserve Historical Society, Research Library
referencedIn American Council on Education. Records, 1951. Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn Cumming, Adelaide Fish Hawley, 1905-. Papers, 1922-1967 (inclusive). Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn Miller, Frieda S. Papers, 1909-1973 (inclusive), 1929-1967 (bulk). Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn Newman, Pauline, ca. 1890-1986. Papers, 1900-1980 Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn Papers, ca.1905-1989 Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Accokeek Foundation. corporateBody
associatedWith Adelaide Fish Hawley Cumming person
associatedWith American Council on Education. corporateBody
associatedWith American Council on Education. Conference on Women in the Defense Decade, 1951. corporateBody
associatedWith Ames, Blanche. person
associatedWith Barnett, Claude, 1889-1967. person
correspondedWith Bernays, Edward L., 1891-1995. person
associatedWith Bingham Associates Fund. corporateBody
associatedWith Blanche Ames Ames, 1878-1969 person
associatedWith Blue, Bertha, ca. 1877-1963. person
parentOf Bolton, Charles Bingham person
spouseOf Bolton, Chester Castle, 1882-1939. person
parentOf Bolton, Oliver P. person
associatedWith Crandall, Ella Phillips. person
associatedWith Cumming, Adelaide Fish Hawley, 1905- person
associatedWith Eliot, Martha M. (Martha May), b. 1891. person
associatedWith Elmhirst, Dorothy Payne Whitney Straight. person
associatedWith Elmhirst, Dorothy Whitney Straight, 1887-1968. person
associatedWith Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing (Cleveland, Ohio) corporateBody
associatedWith Frontier Nursing Service, inc. corporateBody
associatedWith Hudson, Manley Ottmer, 1886- person
associatedWith Jessica Weis, 1901-1963 person
associatedWith Lamson, Peggy. person
associatedWith Lindsay, Florence L. person
associatedWith MARTHA MAY ELIOT, 1891-1978 person
associatedWith McManus, R. Louise, 1896- person
associatedWith Migel, Parmenia. person
associatedWith Miller, Frieda S. person
memberOf Mount Vernon Ladies' Association of the Union. corporateBody
associatedWith Nash, Ruth Cowan, 1901- person
associatedWith National Republican Congressional Committee. corporateBody
associatedWith Newman, Pauline. person
associatedWith PAULINE NEWMAN, 1888-1986 person
associatedWith Payne Fund, Inc. corporateBody
grandchildOf Payne, Henry B., 1810-1896 person
nieceOrNephewOf Payne, Nathan, active 1882 person
nieceOrNephewOf Payne, Oliver H. (Oliver Hazard), 1839-1917 person
associatedWith Peggy Lamson person
associatedWith Rayburn, Sam, 1882-1961 person
associatedWith Republican National Committee (U.S.) corporateBody
associatedWith Republican Party (U.S. : 1854- ) corporateBody
associatedWith RUTH BALDWIN (COWAN) NASH, 1901-1993 person
associatedWith Smith, Frederick C. (Frederick Cleveland), 1884-1956. person
associatedWith Society of Woman Geographers. corporateBody
associatedWith Staupers, Mabel Keaton, 1890- person
associatedWith Tuskegee Institute. corporateBody
associatedWith United Nations corporateBody
memberOf United States. Congress. House person
associatedWith United States. Congress. House. Committee on Foreign Affairs. corporateBody
associatedWith United States. Congress. House. Committee on Indian Affairs. corporateBody
associatedWith United States. Delegation to the General Assembly of the United Nations. corporateBody
associatedWith United States. Dept. of State. corporateBody
associatedWith University of Oklahoma. Political Commercial Archive. corporateBody
associatedWith Weis, Jessica McCullough, 1901-1963. person
nieceOrNephewOf Whitney, Flora Payne, 1843-1893. person
Place Name Admin Code Country
Lyndhurst OH US
Cleveland OH US
New York City NY US
Paris A8 FR
Subject
Nursing--Law and legislation
Television advertising
Republican Party (Ohio)
Women--Ohio--Cleveland
Legislators--United States--Correspondence
United Nations--United States
United States. Dept. of State
Advertising, political
Nursing--United States
Women legislators--United States
Cuyahoga County (Ohio)--Politics and government
Government missions, American
Legislators--United States
Legislators--United States--Archives
Bolton, Frances Payne Bingham, 1885-1977--Archives
Bingham Associates Fund
United States. Congress. House. Committee on Foreign Affairs
Republican Party (U.S. : 1854- )
Women in politics--United States--Archives
United States--Diplomatic and consular service
Bolton, Frances Payne Bingham, 1885-1977
Women in politics--United States
United States. Congress. House
Legislators--Archives
Nursing
Women--Political activity--Archives
United States--Foreign relations--1945-
Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing
United States--Politics and government--1945-
Bolton family
Legislators--Correspondence
Nursing--Law and legislation--United States
Missionaries--Correspondence
Mount Vernon Ladies' Association of the Union
Diplomatic and consular service, American
Indians of North America--Government relations--1934-
Political campaigns--Ohio--Cleveland
Accokeek Foundation
Political Campaigns
Occupation
Representatives, U.S. Congress--Ohio
Philanthropists
Activity

Person

Birth 1885-03-29

Death 1977-03-09

Female

Americans

English

Information

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Ark ID: w69h6c69

SNAC ID: 85441968