Becky Bolton pens family and community stories

Published 4:53 pm Monday, November 11, 2013

By CATHERINE LEGG / Community Columnist

The fact that Becky Holcombe Bolton is justifiably proud of her heritage is evident in her new book, “Ebenezer, Stories of the early Ebenezer and Montevallo Communities in Central Alabama,


Bolton (contributed)

Many of her ancestors were among the early influential settlers who guided the development of the area.

As a youngster, Bolton loved hearing the old family stories, and those about the region’s early days. She wanted to be sure that these stories were not lost, and that her children and grandchildren knew and treasured their roots. In her book, she has revealed her own life’s story as she skillfully pulled in the stories of her ancestors.

Bolton writes, “Living in the Montevallo vicinity for over 80 years I have known many in our community personally and listened to their stories. Our town and this area have produced many memorable folks.”

The author has done her research – 15 years of it – and portrayed her characters, and the communities, with knowledge and generosity; thereby making her book a meaningful gift to the printed history of Shelby County.

Joshua West, Bolton’s great-grandfather four times removed, was the subject of one of the stories. In the late 1700s and early 1800s he was both the first licensed doctor and the first Methodist minister in this area.

Another story covers the life of Bolton’s great-grandfather three times removed, Henry Harless, Jr., who came to Montevallo in 1816. He was a large landowner with holdings, including the Ebenezer Swamp, more recently donated to the University of Montevallo by the Bolton family.

Some of the families whose stories are recorded in the book are Cunningham, Bolton, Moody. Holcombe, Wilson, Burgin, Arledge, Hill and Gamble. Many of the descendants of these families still live in the Montevallo area.

The writer grew up in the Moore’s Cross Roads area known as Ebenezer, where she enjoyed a happy childhood as one of eight children. Montevallo schools and the Ebenezer churches played huge roles in her life.

Bolton studied at Alabama College, now the University of Montevallo, and Samford University. She and her husband, Carl (deceased), have three children: Reggie Bolton (Bunny), Becky Bolton Crisswell (Troy) and Ruth Bolton; and three grandchildren.

Book requests should be directed to Bolton at 205-822-0339.