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Duval Co. Biographies

BOULDEN, George W.

Transcribed from:  The History of Florida:  Past & Present, The Lewis Publishing Co., Vol. 
II, page 321, 1923.

BOULDEN, GEORGE W., who owned and resided upon the fine old Kingsley estate, seven miles
down the St. Johns River from South Jacksonville, Duval County, long held high prestige as
an interior decorator, and many of the finest public and private buildings of the Southern
states give evidence of his skill and artistic conceptions. He was a scion of a family that
was founded in America in 1640 by his great-great-grandfather BOULDEN, who was born and
reared in Wales and who came to America in the year noted, his home having been established
in Maryland, where he passed the residue of his life. Maj. JOHN BOULDEN, grandfather of
the subject of this review, was a gallant soldier and officer in the War of 1812. With his
troops Major BOULDEN was stationed at Frenchtown, Maryland, and prevented the British troops
from landing at that place. He was the owner of a fine plantation of 1,500 acres, a part
of the Welch tract, this property having been granted to the family by Lord Baltimore. On
this fine old homestead Major BOULDEN continued to reside until his death, he having operated
the plantation through the medium of a goodly complement of slaves and having been one of
the honored and influential men of Maryland.

GEORGE W. BOULDEN was born in Cecil County, Maryland, on the 2nd of February, 1854, a son
of CHARLES J. and EMMA J. (HARRIS) BOULDEN, the former a native of Maryland and the latter
of Delaware. The father was sixty-five years of age at the time of his death and the mother
passed away at the age of fifty-five years, the subject of this sketch having been the second
in their family of four sons and three daughters.. The father was for many years engaged in
the retail boot and shoe business at Elkton, Maryland, where his death occurred. For an
interval he maintained his residence in the City of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where he
held the position of coal-weighmaster for the city. In politics he was originally a whig
and later a republican, and he and his wife held the faith of the Protestant Episcopal Church.

The early educational advantages of GEORGE W. BOULDEN included those of Middletown Academy,
in the State of Delaware, and he was but sixteen years of age when he began the thorough
study of art, for which he had exceptional native talent. He became a specialist in architectural
art, as an interior decorator, and in this field he has long had high reputation. In 1891
Mr. BOULDEN established his residence and professional headquarters in the City of Chattanooga,
Tennessee, and he not only had charge of the decoration of the interior of the fine capitol
of that state but also supervised the decoration of many of the finest churches in Tennessee,
Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana. He decorated the Greenwald Theater in the City of New
Orleans; in 1905 he decorated the Jefferson Theater at St. Augustine, Florida, and the Court
House of Duval County at Jacksonville; in 1910 he decorated the Seminole Hotel, Jacksonville;
and he has supervised the decoration of the other leading theater buildings of Jacksonville,
as well as many of the finest homes in the city. He was a stalwart in the camp of the democratic

On the 3rd of March, 1878, Mr. BOULDEN wedded Miss MARY PALMER, who was born in the State
of New Jersey, and died in Chaseville, Florida, February 17, 1922. They had two children:
LAURA V., who is the wife of D. J. SAUL, of Chattanooga, Tennessee, and LILLIAN MAY, who
remains at the parental home.

GEORGE W. BOULDEN died on November 6, 1922. He had recently gone to Chattanooga, Tennessee,
and completed the mural decoration in the lobby of the Eastern Hotel of the scenery about
and around Chattanooga. He was an active worker in the World war, being chairman of the
Liberty Loan from Arlington to Fulton, Florida.

Transcribed by Nancy Rayburn

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2016 Fran Smith
This page presented August 19, 2010