Whitmore-Bolles News

Our History

Our History

The history of Whitmore-Bolles begins in 1919 with the division of the lands east of Monroe and south of Outer Drive. With the large growth in the community, a need for housing and schools was in demand. Laura Whitmore Bolles donated 3 acres of land behind the Whitmore family home, with an additional 6 acres of land purchased in 1925 by the Board of Dearborn School District #7. Dearborn architect, Harry Vicary was chosen to assist the firm of George D. Mason and Company as designers. The school officially opened in September of 1927, with a teaching staff of 4 and an enrollment of 98 students. Dedication of the school was held in honor of the Bolles family on May 14, 1928, as this was the date of birth of Laura’s mother and her own wedding anniversary.

During the Depression of the 1930’s the school was used as a soup kitchen and after the Second World War a new wave of growth came to Dearborn. In 1940, an additional wing was added, including 8 more classrooms and a kitchen. By 1951, enrollment reached 1,400 students. One of the unique science programs established here in the 1950’s was the Horticultural Gardens.

The school name Whitemore-Bolles, honors two of Dearborn’s families; J. E. Bolles, the donor of the original site and Laura Whitmore, who was also the niece of William Nowlin. When Mrs. J. Bolles donated the land she asked the school be named in honor of both her family (Whitmore) and her husband’s family (Bolles).