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Published by Brink, McDonough & Co., Philadelphia 1879

Page 183


Mr. Solomon belongs to one of the oldest families in the county. He was born in Logan county, Kentucky, May 25th, 1814. The family settled in North Carolina at an early date. His grandfather, Lewis Solomon, was in the Revolutionary war. His father, Lewis Solomon, was born in Franklin county, North Carolina, and married Sarah Bowden. He moved to Kentucky in 1811; to Morgan county, Illinois, in 1825; and to North Palmyra township in this county in 1827, where the father and mother of the subject of this sketch both died. Mr. Solomon was about eleven years old when he came to this state. When they came to North Palmyra township there was no other house nearer than eight or ten miles to the north, twenty miles to the east, eight miles south, and twelve miles west. By reason of the wild unsettled condition of the country there were no schools till Mr. Solomon had grown up, and he remembers being inside of a school house for purpose of instruction only a few days in all his life. For his acquirements in the way of an education he is indebted to his own efforts after he was grown to manhood. In the year 1834 he married Lucy Ann Fink, who died in 1844. After his marriage he entered land and went to farming in South Palmyra township. In the spring of 1845 he settled in the town of Chesterfield, where he took a contract for building the Methodist church, the first frame building in the town. He also put up a circular saw mill run by horse power, the first mill of the kind in Macoupin county, and afterward built several mills. For some years he was clerk in a store at Chesterfield. June 1st, 1845, he married Mary E. Good, whose death took place in 1855. About 1850 he started a store of his own at Chesterfield, which he carried on six years. February 5, 1856, he married Fannie Smith, who was born in Western Mound township in 1833. Her father, Joshua Smith, was a North Carolinian by birth, who came to the county in 1828, and was one of the earliest settlers near Chesterfield, within a few miles of which he improved several farms. Mr. Solomon was elected justice of the peace about 1846, and held the office two terms in succession. In 1862 President Lincoln appointed him post-master, but after some years he resigned. He was reappointed in 1873, and now holds the office. For eight years he kept a hotel at Chesterfield. During the last twenty-five years he has acted on many occasions as executor and administrator, and has settled up numerous estates, and has transacted a considerable part of the legal business done at Chesterfield. He has also acted as real estate agent, and has appeared as attorney in almost every case that has been tried before justices of the peace at Chesterfield. He was first a democrat, and voted for Van Buren. Although a warm supporter of Douglas he differed from him on the question of the Kansas-Nebraska bill, and was one of the first democrats in the county to cut loose from the party on that measure. To him belongs the distinction (which will reflect credit on him in after years when the histories of parties in Illinois come to be written up) of presiding at the first regularly organized meeting in Macoupin county, from which dates the formation of the republican party in the county. The meeting was composed of democrats opposed to the Kansas-Nebraska bill. He has been an active republican from that day to the present. He was enrolling officer at Chesterfield during the war. He is an old and well-known citizen, and has discharged every business trust in a manner that has reflected credit on his ability and integrity.

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