The Fannie Bolton Story


1933—See “A Statement Regarding the Experiences of Fannie Bolton in Relation to Her Work for Mrs. Ellen G. White,” 31 pp., prepared by D. E. Robinson.

G. B. Starr to L. E. Froom, March 19, 1933

Regarding Fannie Bolton, we had felt that was a closed subject, as she was at rest and her life work written in the books above. She had a good education, obtained at the Lady’s Seminary at Evanston, Ill. But when we met her, in Chicago, she was troubled with many questions regarding the inspiration of the Bible, and the love of God and Christ; but the truth cleared this all up and she joined our Bible Training course, and after a year was sent to Washington, D. C. with others—the first workers representing Present Truth in that city. She did good work there and helped to win some of the first members there. It was the privilege of Mrs. Starr and me to visit Washington, and these workers, and be with them at the first gathering held in that city, and at which I preached the first sermon in that city. There was a fine company present, composed largely of government clerks and assistant Secretaries of Departments. You would have rejoiced to hear these people asking each other, “Are you having these studies at your home?” Doubtless a number of these persons are still members of the S. D. A. Church, either in Washington or Takoma Park. FBS 116.2

Well, Miss Bolton was quite talented in many ways. You know she wrote several very fine pieces of music and words. [e.g. “Not I, But Christ,” Church Hymnal, p. 271] Someone advised that Sr. White connect her with her work. Evidently they were not acquainted with her extreme nervous temperament. But, notwithstanding that, W. C. White says that she did four years of very acceptable work. Then she became associated with Elder S. McCullagh, who apostatized. She drank in much of his spirit and criticisms. But the Lord led Sr. White to write to her continuously, night and day to try to save her. An angel visited Sr. White at our home in Lavender Bay, North Sydney, Australia, and talked with Sr. White about receiving Fannie back, which was done. She later left Avondale and came to the U.S. FBS 116.3

It soon became manifest that her mind was affected, and she was taken to the asylum, at Kalamazoo, Mich., but later was released, and she finally found a home at the Orlando Sanitarium. She professed to have returned to the love of the truth, and before leaving for Michigan, she confessed, at a campmeeting, so they told us, that she had lied about Sr. White. She died at Battle Creek, in 1926, during the time of the General Conference at Milwaukee. Sr. Ross Porter says she feels certain that she died in good hope of forgiveness and acceptance with the Lord. We certainly hope so. Her father, a Methodist minister, was insane before his death also, so this mental condition was evidently what the enemy took advantage of. FBS 116.4

I have copies of most of the letters written by Sr. White to Miss Bolton. I paid $15 to have these copied, three copies; one for the file at Bro. White’s; one for me and an extra copy. This I would like to sell to someone for $5. It is a perfect marvel of the manifestation of the love and mercy of God, and the time and labor the Holy Spirit laid upon Sr. White to try to rescue one soul. FBS 117.1