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A Life of Purpose: Philanthropy
''You canŐt just talk ideals - you have to make them visible.''
Mrs. Bolton with her husband, Chester Castle Bolton
As Mrs. Bolton matured, her generosity broadened beyond nursing. She supported an enormous range of causes, with exceptional personal involvement in each one. In the 1920s, with her sister, Elizabeth Bingham Blossom, she financed the purchase of a headquarters for the Junior League of Cleveland, an organization that encouraged volunteer work among upper-class women. She also played a role in the founding of the Maternal Health Association, an early proponent of birth control and forerunner of Planned Parenthood of Cleveland.

As a young mother, the education of her sons was a top priority. Mrs. Bolton supported Hawken School, a country day school that espoused the educational principles of its founder, James Hawken. When the school needed to expand, the Boltons donated land adjacent to their estate in Lyndhurst, Ohio, for a new campus.

Mrs. Bolton's interest in education led to a concern for how the media influenced the morals of the nation's youth. In 1927 she set up the Payne Study and Experiment Fund to support a study of how pulp fiction affected the behavior of young girls. Mrs. Bolton used the Payne Fund, incorporated in 1929, to finance other experiments and ventures she thought valuable.

The fund commissioned eight university professors at Ohio State University to study the influence of movies on youth. Though denounced by the movie industry, which feared the research would be used to justify censorship, in the 1930s, the Payne Fund Studies are now regarded as pioneering contributions to the field of media studies. Other initiatives Mrs. Bolton supported included an effort to use radio as an educational tool, making English a universal language, and an "observation post" in Geneva to monitor worldwide drug trafficking, particularly the opium trade.

While she was a member of Congress, Mrs. Bolton supported the Parapsychology Foundation, set up in 1953. To generate wider interest and establish its legitimacy as a science, that same year Mrs. Bolton and her close friend, Eileen Garrett, also sponsored an international conference on parapsychology, held in Utrecht, Holland. It was attended by more than 60 scholars, psychologists, physicists, mathematicians, biologists, ethnographers, and philosophers.

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Politician, humanitarian, philanthropist, and patriot The Life of Frances Payne Bolton (1885-1977) Mrs. Bolton at the parapsychology conference in Utrecht, Holland Hawken School