Elmore Bolling was born May 10, 1908 to proud parents, Braxton and Belle Bolling in Lowndes County, Alabama. It was a time when education and business opportunities in the county were very limited for African Americans. When Elmore was 13 years old, his parents sent him to Montgomery to begin his formal education. Embarrassed that he was much older than his classmates, he dropped out of school during his first year. Consequently, he never learned to read or write. He remained in Montgomery working on odd jobs.
At the age of 18, he returned to Lowndes County endowed with a passion for success. He emerged as a trailblazer in diversified farming and through the years acquired additional land. He demonstrated exemplary skills in trucking and transportation services. Later, he retrofitted a building which housed his store and provided space for social events.
Elmore Bolling loved his wife and children. He was dedicated to providing for their needs. Since Montgomery schools were far superior to Lowndes County schools, he placed his eldest two sons in Montgomery. He attended Hopewell Baptist Church in Lowndesboro with his family and served as chair of the deacon board
Those who knew Elmore Bolling attest to his many attributes, one of which was helping others. He provided jobs for people in the community and maintained an accounting system for payroll to ensure everyone was paid on time. He was known to loan money to those in need and would forgive the debt, if they were unable to reimburse him. He provided free transportation for riders who could not pay.
Living in the racially segregated south, Elmore Bolling’s successful endeavors were not without challenges and repercussions. He experienced racist remarks and threats to his business and his life.
On December 4, 1947—at the age of 39—Elmore Bolling was fatally shot in Lowndes County on a section of US Highway 80 which he helped to build. The family erected a historic marker at the site in his memory. The dedication ceremony was held on Sunday, December 2, 2007 at 3 p.m.