SOLOMON HARBERT was born at Greenville, Indiana, November 4, 1819, and died at Irving Park (now a part of the city of Chicago), Illinois, May 17, 1890. He was a son of Hezekiah Harbert and Rachel Soesbe. Hezekiah Harbert, who was of Welsh descent, moved to Missouri a few years after the birth of the subject of this sketch, and settled on a farm near the city of St Joseph. His death occurred there during the great Civil War, and was doubtless hastened by the excitement due to that conflict. After the death of his first wife, who was the mother of two sons, Daniel H. and Solomon, the former of whom became a Baptist minister, he was again married, and four children blessed the second union. These were named, respectively, Benjamin, Hezekiah, Edward and Joseph. Hezekiah and Edward served in the Union army throughout the war.
Solomon Harbert was but an infant when his mother died, and he was reared in the home of his grandparents, Daniel and Rachel Soesbe. Daniel Soesbe was a Revolutionary veteran, having served eight years in the contest for American independence, as a member of a New Jersey regiment. The subject of this sketch was educated in the public schools of Terre Haute, Indiana, whither his grandparents moved during his boyhood, and on completing his education he taught school at that place for a time, and afterwards began dealing in real estate. About 1867 he went to Des Moines, Iowa, where he continued the same line of business. Six years later he became a resident of Cook County, and purchased and subdivided considerable city and suburban property. He first lived in Evanston, but in 1886 took up his residence at Irving Park, where he remained until his death. From the age of eighteen years he had been a member of the Baptist Church, and was forty years a Deacon therein. While living at Terre Haute, he joined the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, filling all the chairs in the local lodge at that place. He gave little heed to politics, but took considerable interest in temperance and other philanthropic work. He was quiet and undemonstrative in his actions, and led an exemplary life, worthy the remembrance and emulation of his posterity. On the 4th day of November, 1842, he was married, at Terre Haute, to Miss Amadine Amanda Watson, daughter of Kane and Elizabeth (Jewell) Watson, Mrs. Harbert's father was a veteran of the Blackhawk War, who died at Terre Haute. He was a son of John Watson, who served in the United States cavalry during the War of 1812, taking part in the battle of Tippecanoe and other engagements. He afterwards kept a hotel at Beardstown, Kentucky, for many years. He was frozen to death near Terre Haute about 1835. He and his wife, Pamelia Fisher, were natives of Pennsylvania, and were of Scotch lineage. The latter was a daughter of a physician, who sent her to Scotland to be educated for his own profession, and she became an expert physician and surgeon, and practiced as such for many years while living at Beardstown, and later became one of the pioneer physicians of Terre Haute. This fact is especially notable because of the rarity of women in the professions at that time. Mrs. Elizabeth Watson was a daughter of Ennis Jewell and Celia Bradwell, who were born near Wheeling, Virginia, and were of English descent. Ennis Jewell became an extensive planter and slave-holder of Nelson County, Kentucky, where his death occurred during the War of the Rebellion, when he had attained the venerable age of nearly one hundred years.
Mr and Mrs Harbert became the parents of five children, who reached mature years. William S. is a prominent attorney of Chicago. Lucinda, who is now deceased, was the wife of Henry Clark, of Chicago. Mary E. is the wife of W. T. Rickards. a well-known business man of Chicago, where Edward E. and Charles H. are also connected with important business interests. Mrs. Harbert, who still survives, resides at Evanston. From the age of sixteen years, she has been connected with the Baptist Church, and is a lady of many amiable qualities. She has a vivid recollection of visiting the plantation of her grandfather, Ennis Jewell, soon after his death. She made the journey, accompanied only by one of her children, that section being at that time in a state of great desolation and disorder, and she was glad to return to her home as soon as the exigency which called her there was terminated.
Submitted by Sherri Hessick on May 27, 2007.
DISCLAIMER: The submitter is not related to the subject of this biography nor is she related to anyone mentioned in the biography.