Solomon Family History
Contributed by: Joe Max Williams, Columbia, TN, obtained from records at Auburn University
Copy of Letter from Josiah Bridges Solomon to Frank Solomon, grandson of William Solomon & Harty Bridges.
We left Chicago the 20th of Dec. last and came here to be with our daughter, Mrs. J.W. Welch and family until spring. So that your very highly esteemed letter did not reach me for a long time. However, it came to hand a few weeks ago and me in bed with a severe attack of La Grippe. I have suffered much, am still quiet feeble but will try to write you and comply with your request as in my power.
First of all, permit me to thank you most sincerely for your said letter on several counts: 1st for the information it conveyed concerning my relatives in your state. My Father had told me that my Uncle William, your grandfather left N.C. And settled in Tennessee, I think where Nashville stands. The first time I visited Nashville, some years since, I made numerous enquiries for this family, but could learn nothing of them. Where Uncle William settled in Tenn. postal facilities were very poor and expensive. Since I can remember it took mail matters about a month, the shortest time to get from Tenn. to Louisburgh, my father's post office, and each letter would cost about 25 cents for carriage. I paid that much for many letters to my father when I went for the mail. This is one cause of relatives losing sight and knowledge of each other when there was an emigration. I have often my parents speak of Uncle William, your grandfather, in tenderly affectionate terms and my mother said he was the finest looking man she ever saw. Of all my father's brothers, I never knew but one, Luke. He married much against the will of his family, his first cousin, Polly Gordon, the daughter of my grandmother's brother, Isaac Gordon. My grandfather married in England a Scotch lady, Diana Gordon of the celebrated "Clan Gordon" of wonderful memory. She was my grandmother, your grandfather's mother. Uncle Luke had two sons and two daughters, and the ill results of the marriage of such relationships were very marked in their children. If any of the family are living now, I do not know anything of them. My father was the youngest of my grandfather Solomon's children and fell heir to the homestead, took care of his mother till her death. After her death, he married Elizabeth Bridges, daughter of Josiah Bridges of Franklin County and brother of William Bridges, who was father of Hearty Bridges, who married your grandfather, William Solomon. Jane Solomon, my fathers sister married Guilford Lewis. His son, A.M. Lewis, who was a prominent lawyer lived in Raleigh, NC. but Guilford never did. Besides A. M. he had three other boys: Wm. A., Benjamin Bridges, and Robert G. They were all successful men in worldly matters and married fine women. He also had 3 daughters, only one of them is still living, Martha Pat Lewis. The widows of A. M and R. G still live with their children. My aunt Elizabeth Solomon married William Judd of N.C. I think Moore County. They prospered in the world but I never saw either of them and all I know of them and their family is that their grandson, Dr. William J. Judd married my youngest sister, Martha Augusta. They live in Henderson, Vance County, N.C. and have a large family of children. My father's sister Sally married a William Solomon. They had two daughters, but I have known nothing of them for years as they have left Franklin Co. a long time ago. I suppose they are long since dead. My parents were married in 1818 and lived at the old homestead until 1833. Nearly all their children were born there. I visited the dear old home in 1888, a fine house in that day--1770. The old house that my grandfather built was still standing. To make sure that the house had the same boarding my grandfather had put on it, I ripped off a piece and took out the shop made nails originally used in the building, and for which my father told me he (grandfather) paid 50 cents per pound. This place is just five miles almost exactly north of Louisburgh. I visited the graves of my grandparents when there. The sons of William Bridges, your great grandfather as I think he was, were: Willis, Henry & William who was one of the finest looking I ever saw, left the state when I was a boy. Henry married a Cannady of Granville near whose father he lived and died. My fathers children were: Lavinia Ann, Josiah Bridges, William Purefoy, Mary Ellen, Lucy Isabella, Martha Augusta, and Jeremiah Henry. Lavinia married a fine man, William Powell of Wake. She died in '84 after being a widow for some years. I married Mary Melissa Burges of Warren County 1849. Mary (Mollie) married John C. McCraw of VA. William was a leading lawyer, but died in 1873 leaving no heirs. Of Mollie you know perhaps. Martha Augusta Judd is in Henderson as stated above. Jeremiah died at the University of Va. 1859.
Our common ancestor, William Solomon, from all I ever hear of him from my father and his old servants, while a quiet and unostentatious life was a man of whom you may be proud. From what you wrote me his son, your grandfather was just such a man as his father was. None of our ancestors may have attracted the attention of the multitude nor provoked their applause but we have reason to believe they have, as they passed over the river, heard a far more desirable applause from their divine Sovereign and His redeemed children. Well done, good and faithful ones, the battle has been fought, the victory won, the conflict over, welcome Home. But I am sure you are tired of this by this time and I will now close.
We expect to return to Chicago soon. There is a large library known as the Newberry Library, which professes to hold the ancestral line of the early settlers of our country. I will at my first convenience examine its records to see if I can find any information there. If so will write you. Will take pleasure in rendering "E.D." any help in my power. Hoping this may not end our correspondence and wishing to be presented to my relatives in your state and praying the blessing of God upon you and yours, I am,
Your affectionate cous.
Josiah B. Solomon
P.S. My grandfather settled in the Isle of Wight Co., Va., when he immigrated to America. I do not know when he came over. Have heard there were 3 or 4 brothers who came over at the same time. Have not knowledge of them or their descendants. Some years before my fathers death (June1852) he told me that some wealthy maiden ladies had died in Va. and willed their property to their relatives in NC. He, my father, proposed to some of the relations to employ counsel and look into it. But they were unwilling to risk their money in the matter so it was never looked into. What the relation of these old ladies to us, if any-- we never knew. My father was a member of the quarterly court for years before his death and at the time.
I am in my 76th year. J.B.S.
This handwritten record was written in longhand by Jeremiah Solomon, and the work,
consisting of some 53 pages, was completed in 1897. Only a small portion has been included
here, especially the parts which impart genealogical data or, at least, a sense of the historical
perspective from which it was written. This book was obtained by Marion B. Solomon of
Dallas, Texas from Mrs. Ted P. Hollifield of Clovis, New Mexico in 1944. I have asked that
this be made available to researchers on the Franklin County, NC webpage so that it might help
some persons with their family research or might encourage others to come forward with family
writings and records which might benefit us all and stimulate use of the medium in genealogical
research. Joe Max Williams, Columbia, TN, January 10, 1997, firstname.lastname@example.org
A PARTIAL RECORD OF THE SOLOMON FAMILY AS KNOWN TO ME,
JOSIAH BRIDGES SOLOMON, SON OF JEREMIAH AND ELIZABETH
William and Diana Solomon immigrated to America sometime previous to the American
Revolution, and settled in the Isle of Wight County, Virginia. When the British Army got
possession of Eastern Virginia, they moved and settled in Franklin County, North Carolina.
Their children were: Luke, William, Goodwin, Bennett, Jordan, Elizabeth, Sallie, Jane, and
Jeremiah. Note: I never knew any of these except Uncle Luke and Aunt Sallie and Jane. The
other children married and moved west, and mail facilities being few and uncertain, the families
became unknown to each other.
Franklin County was then a part of Bute County.
Elizabeth Solomon, daughter of William and Diana Solomon, married William Judd, and
they raised a family in N.C. Their grandson, William J. Judd married the youngest daughter of
Jeremiah and Elizabeth Solomon.
Luke Solomon married his 1st cousin, Miss Mary Gordon of Franklin Co., N.C. I do
not know of any living descendant. Their children were: Burchat, Abby, William and Jordan.
Sallie Solomon married a distant relative, William Solomon. They had two children,
Diana and Lucy. Diana never married. Lucy married a Mr. -------- and they moved west. Do
not know anything of them.
Jane Solomon married Guilford Lewis of Franklin County, North Carolina. Their
William A. Lewis, Benjamin B. Lewis, Mary D. Lewis, Augustus M. Lewis, Mara J. Lewis,
Martha A. Lewis, Martha A. Lewis, and Robert G. Lewis.
William Solomon, the head or progenitor of the family in America had married previous
to his immigration into America, Miss Diana Gordon, of the Clan Gordon of Scotland, who
was the mother of the family named on page --. The dates of their birth, removal to America,
marriage and death are all unknown to me, and the family record was destroyed by fire, and if
there is any member of the family living who has a copy of the record, I do not know who or
where he or she is. The Register was afterward destroyed in the fire which burned down the old
family residence and nearly everything it contained.
William Solomon and his wife Diana Solomon (nee Gordon) emigrated from Great
Britain, settled first in the Isle of Wight County, Virginia sometime early in 18th Century,
previous to the War of the Revolution, but the precise year is unknown to me. Several brothers
came with them and at least one of her brothers (i.e. Mrs. Solomons brothers). They settled in
what is now Franklin County, N.C., then a part of Bute Co. (Bute Court House was a few
miles south of the present county seat of Warren Co., Warrenton of the present. The County of
Bute was divided into several counties of which Franklin is one.)
William Solomon settled on a farm 5 miles north of the site of the present county seat,
Louisburg, and a little west of the road leading from Louisburg to Warrenton. On this farm, his
large family of children was raised.
He and his wife were devout Christians; members of the Baptist Church who worshipped first
at a place called Crockers MeetingHouse. Afterwards at what was known as the Haywoods
Meeting House in honor of Judge John Haywood who donated the land ( I think two and
one-half acres on which the meeting house was built, just off the Warrenton Road, on the
Hayesville Road. The church has again moved about 2 miles out on the Warrenton Road and is
now called Corinth, I think. This church has an interesting history. Many ministers of influence
have gone out from it to win souls to Christ. I devoutly wish its history could be written. William
Solomon was a deacon and the clerk of this church for many years before his death, and up to
that event. Three of his sons were ministers of the gospel, viz: Jordan, Bennett, and Goodwin, I
think were the 3 ministers. (What the author doesnt know is that Jordan and Bennett went to
Tennessee and both were practicing ministers; Bennett was in McMinville, Warren County,
Tennessee, while Jordan was first in Franklin in 1806 and then in Fayetteville, Lincoln County,
Tennessee, where he lived for many years. JMW) He died in the early years of the nineteenth
century, an old man ready for the grim reaper- death.
It was related to my Aunt Jane, who was next to the youngest child, that when
exhausted by age and disease, so that he could not get off his bed, he requested his attendants
to lift him off his bed and place him on his knees. They did so and he lifted his feeble voice in
prayer for his children, and granchildren, and his descendants, that they might be true followers
of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the latest generation. Having finished his prayer, and at his request
having been again placed on his bed, he soon breathed his last and went home to be with his
beloved Lord. From my aunts description, the scene must have been solemn and touching to a
very high degree.
It is useless to say that such a man would stand high in the esteem of those who knew
him. He died as he had lived, without blemish on his moral and religious character, or of a social
His wife, my grandmother, survived him several years. My father, Jeremiah Solomon,
inherited the homestead and took care of his mother while she lived. She exhibited the sterling
qualities for which Scotch nations are notorious, aiding her husband in rearing and training her
children to habits of industry and piety. Hence, insubordination was unknown in the family. The
household was taught to do justice, love mercy and walk humbly with God.
All of the sons of William and Diana Solomon left their native county and went west
except Luke and Jeremiah. William (the son) settled in Tennessee while the state was a
wilderness inhabited by wild beasts and Indians. Mail facilities were very different from what
they are now. I (born in 1824) can remember when it would take a letter about a month to go
from Memphis, Tennessee to Louisburg, North Carolina and the postage on the letter would be
25 cents, payable at the office of delivery. Besides the length of time it required to transmit mail
matter, and the costs in money to pay for it, there was, then as now, danger of mail robberies,
delays and losses from swollen streams, breakdowns on account of bad roads, and the clumsy
construction of the old stage coaches. For these reasons, the members of the family thus
separated would inevitably soon lose sight of each other. This result followed in respect to my
uncles on my fathers side. They were soon lost to each other, so that I can give no account of
Jeremiah Solomon, the youngest child of William and Diane Solomon, was born in
Franklin County, N.C. January 30th, 1790 A. D. He was raised on a farm and educated in
neighborhood schools, received the best education such schools afforded in that day, a good
practical business education. He grew to manhood amid the rural scenes of his farm-house,
away from the corrupting association of city life, and after the death of his father managed the
farm and took care of his aged mother as long as she lived, caring for her as a loving son .
By my grandfathers will , my father, Jeremiah Solomon, inherited the old homestead
and farm. I do not remember the date of my grandmothers ( Diane Solomons) death, and, as
stated elsewhere, the register that we had was consumed when the residence in which my
parents had reared their children was destroyed by fire, some years before my mothers death
To this house he brought his young wife, my mother, upon their marriage, March 4th,
1818. She was not quiet 18 years old when she was married. On this farm they lived until
1833, when, finding that he needed more land than the paternal farm contained for the support
of his growing family, he sold the old farm, where sleep the dust of his parents and other
members of his family, to Dr. Wood T. Johnson, and bought the farm about 6 miles north of the
old house, on which he raised his family of children and on which he died June 18th, 1852.
He, Jeremiah Solomon, my father, was in all respects a model man. He and my
mother, Elizabeth Solomon, made a profession of religion and joined the Baptist Church
worshiping at Haywoods Meeting House, I think in 1829- I can hardly remember the fact.
They were both baptized at the same hour by that grand and Godly man, Rev. Thomas
Crocker who for 23 years was pastor of that church. ( I deeply regret that the life of said Rev.
Thomas Crocker has never been written on earth. It is written in heaven.) Not long after his
union with the church he, my father was made deacon, which office he held until his death.
Of course I may be somewhat partial in my estimate of his work and character as a
deacon, as well as in other respects, but not enough so to bias my judgement, I think. He was
always at his place in the church unless providentially hindered therefrom. He regarded the trust
committed to him, as a deacon, by his brethren as a high and sacred trust, and was assiduous in
the discharge of its obligations. His conviction of the functions of a church of Christ, of its
sacredness, its doctrines and duties; of its members, theirs duties and obligations as brethren
and sisters in Christ, sustaining the most sacred relations to each other, were clean and strong,
and he had the courage of those convictions. He was never hasty in his conclusions about
church or other matters, but he was firm in his conclusions when once made.
He made the teaching of the Bible his guide, as he understood them, in all the relations
of life - especially his church relations. In all respects he laboured to be faithful to his God, his
brethren and to all men. As a consequence he had the highest esteem of all who knew him.
The better he was known, the more respect and confidence were enjoyed by him. As a
deacon he was affectionately solicitous and watchful for the peace and prosperity of the
church. If he learned of any trouble existing between any of his brethren he would labor for a
private and fraternal adjustment between the parties concerned. His motto seemed to be Be
at peace among yourselves. And very rarely did he fail to bring about the desired end. He
was emphatically a peace-maker among his brethren. In all his experience in this line of work
, he never allowed himself to become blinded or biased by favoritism nor prejudice. Hence his
brethren soon learned to confide in his judgement and listen to his council.
The last time he was ever from home he went upon a mission of this kind, riding, as well
I remember, some 12 or 14 miles to adjust, by his Christian intervention, a difficulty which had
arisen between some of his brethren.
He seems to have been recognized by his brethren as adapted, by his deliberate and
solid judgement and his Christian integrity, in a remarkable degree, to this important work. And
his impartiality in the work gave him great influence with his brethren.
In the year 1833 or 4 he was appointed a Justice of the Peace for his county (Franklin)
by the State Legislature (who at that time appointed all Justices). He was duly qualified
according to the laws of the state and entered upon the duties of the office. He faithfully served
his country in this capacity until his death in June, 1852.
As soon as he had gone through the legal forms of qualification, he bought such books
on law as he needed for informing himself in the duties of his office, thus qualifying himself for an
intelligent discharge of his duties as Justice of the Peace
Very many cases of litigation were brought before him every year for trial, and rarely
was there an appeal from his judgement to a higher court, and I do not remember a case of
such appeal in which his judgement was reversed, though there may have been some such
I was the better acquainted with his official life because I wrote many of his papers at
his dictation, and there by learned to love the law as a profession, and had begun to
study it for a profession when it pleased God, in his infinite condescension and mercy
to call me to a higher and purer work, the proclamation of His Word of grace and
mercy to a sinful world of immortal beings.
As a neighbor my father was kindness itself. I never knew one of his neighbors denied
a favor of him which it was not in his power to confer at whatever disadvantage to himself. The
poor of his community ( and there were many) ever found in him a helper, whether the help
needed was material or moral. And, while he was far from giving encouragement to idleness or
dissipation, he could not with hold help when needed. In cases of sickness or death in any of
the families of his neighborhood, rich or poor, he was ever ready to render such assistance as
might be needed and he was able to grant. And this assistance was often rendered at a great
sacrifice of means and time.
Among other things he procured pensions for the widows and children of deceased
soldiers of the Revolution and the war of 12" without charging them anything for his services.
As in the church so it was in the community in which he lived. He was a peace maker,
and would cheerfully use his influence to quiet any disturbance that might arise among his
neighbors. And he rarely ever failed in either case, church or community. Yet he was not
obtrusive with his work as intermediary. But when one of his neighbors would tell him of his
trouble with another neighbor, he would use his influence for an amicable adjustment, and rarely
failed. Such was the esteem in which he was held, by those who knew him most intimately, for
integrity and impartiality in his dealings with his fellowmen. He would deal honestly and
conscientiously with all with whom he had dealings, either in social or business life.
But in the family circle my fathers character was most conspicuously manifest. Here
the man, the husband, the father, and the master- all in one-were manifest in all their true
colors. Here were no concealment, no restraints, but freedom in most emphatic form. While
not given to any sickly sentimentality, nor to any great degree of demonstrativeness, he was in
all essential points, a model head of his home circle.
Being the youngest child of his parents, he had in early life been, as a matter of course,
petted. This trait never entirely left him, i.e the fondness for being treated with deference, not to
say partiality. But what he expected from others, he was ready to grant to others, in due
He was always with his family when not called away by business. No companionship.
However genial or attractive could long detain him from his family. He loved his home , wife,
and children, and never wantonly remained away from them.
While extracting strict obedience from his children, to parental authority, he was a
tender parent and watchful for the best interest of his children. He ever had an ernest affection
for and interest in the members of the family. When called from home by demands of business,
as he often was, he would attend to the business with all possible dispatch and hasten back to
the bosom of his family, to the enjoyment of home pleasure and domestic quiet.
He desired that all his children should have educational advantages, and hence he
furnished then with opportunities for securing such education as were necessary to that end. By
his assistance I. His oldest son, took my degree of A. M. From Wake Forrest College, N.C.
My youngest brother William graduated from Columbian College, Washington, D.C., while our
sisters were educated at Warrenton Female Collegiate Institute, Warrenton, N.C. and Oxford
Female College, Oxford, N.C. In his will he provided for the education of his younger children
by his executors. His youngest son , the pet of the family , died of Typhoid fever while
attending the University of VA., Jan., 1859.
When the Legislature of the State passed a law submitting the question of the
establishment of Free Schools to the votes of the people, my father, who though about the
largest taxpayer in his precinct (township) went around among the poorer neighbors urging them
to vote for the law, as it would prove an unspeakable benefit to them. ( I do not remember the
year, but think it was 1840 or 41.)
My father was the owner of about thirty Negro slaves, the older ones by inheritance,
all the younger -say , from 25 years of age down to infants- had been born his, and he had
raised them, by the help of my dear mother. To raise the children of his slave women was no
easy task, as the mothers were, as a rule, very careless of their young children. Of these slaves
he was always tender and watchful. He never over worked them, supplied them with good and
suitable clothing, and fed them the same kind of food of which he and his white family ate.
When sick the regular family physician was called to attend them and he and my mother would
wait at their bedside if seriously ill, and tenderly care for them. A number of them ( and other
slaves also, i.e slaves of other men) were members of the same church of which the master and
his family were members and all partook of the same church communion. He taught all his
children to treat servants kindly.
The Patriarch of the colored family was Uncle Jack. We were all taught to call the
older servants uncle and aunt. Uncle Jack could read quiet well tho he confined his
reading almost entirely to the Bible. More than that he had a peculiar mode of arithmetic
calculation which was always correct in results, but perfectly unintelligible to everybody else.
But Uncle Jack was an astronomer in some respects. He knew nearly all the
constellations visible to our natural vision, and frequently predicted solar and lunar eclipses with
In addition to his powers names above, Uncle Jack was a prophet. He almost
invariably foretold the death of almost any member of the family, weeks before the event. He
could not predict the individual members of the family, but he would tell whether it would be
one full grown or a child. When he was getting too old to do regular work, my mother had him
a new house (built?) Up in the grove, and had him attended to - his meals and water carried to
him and general attention paid to him. Sometime before the dreadful and unholy war between
the States, he told the family that terrible times were coming. Sometime before the war broke
out , I was visiting my dear mother and while there visited Uncle Jack. He said he was very
glad to see me, and we soon fell into conversation. Soon he seemed in a strange mental
condition and with his gaze fixed steadily on vacuity went on to tell me of the fearful crisis that
was near at hand and the form of words North and South, South and Northand Oh, the
sadness, the trouble, seemed to fall from him unconsciously.
Uncle Jack was (a) member of my fathers church and I think an ernest Christian. He
died soon after this visit. I never saw him again. I think he is in heaven, with both his heavenly
Master and his master according to the flesh. The entire family, white and colored mourned
the death of Uncle Jack
None but those familiar with the institution could have any conception of the strength of
he attachment that existed between the masters and their slaves. It is true that there were great
differences in the degrees of this attachment in different families, as there were both in filial and
parental affections. And, as a rule, the slaves took as much pride in his masters family as did
the master in his slaves. Yet there were cruel masters and there were wicked slaves. And
these gave trouble. But these constituted the exceptions and not the rule. A conscientious
slave-owner felt keenly the solemnity of the responsibilities that grew out of this relation. And
those slave owners who had no conscientious scruples would be restrained from cruelty from
self -interest. The slave was valuable only as he was treated humanly.
This much in regards to the slave and his master.
In the family circle my fathers true character was most conspicuous, and its dominant
traits best seen. Next to his devotion to his divine Masters cause, which he always seemed to
regard as supreme, were the interest of his family. For the protection and advancement of these
interests no vigilance was too exacting, no sacrifice of ease too great, for him to make. His
assiduity in the discharge of paternal duties was unremitting.
When the duties of the day had been performed, and the family had gathered in the
family room after supper, he was the gentle father, ready to enter into feeling of the circle, and
always ready to counsel and encourage his children in any enterprise that met his approval.
Nor did he ever give any advice to his children that he would not be willing for the world to
know. It was all harmonious with the Bible- in fact, drawn from it. He made the Bible his guide
in all relations of life whether as husband, father, master, jurist, neighbor, deacon or friend.
He was a man of strong convictions and had the courage of his convictions. Hence at
times, he would seem to a stranger abrupt and wanting in true courtesy. But those who knew
him understood him and never became offended.
The Tar River Baptist Association had been formed of churches which had seceded
from the Kebeekee Association on account of the anti-mission tenets of the Kebeekee. My
father was sent every year as a delegate from his church to the Tar River Association. And
altho the Association was founded upon missionary principles there were quiet a number of the
individual members who were opposed to the missionary movement, and a still larger number
who were indifferent to it.
Among those who antagonized the mission movement was Rev. Willougleby Hudgins, at one
time the most influential minister in the Association Tar River. Largely through his influence
the mission spirit of the churches had well died out , never having been very strong, and but little
had been done to keep that little alive.
In 1844 the association met with the church worshiping at Browns Meeting House in
Warren Co., N.C. This was the wealthiest church in the association and Elder Hudgins was its
pastor, and was elected Moderator of the association. I was also in attendance. This body
met on Friday. On Saturday a question arose as to whether there should be a missionary
sermon and collection for missions on the next day- Sunday. Rev. Hudgins opposed it. Most
of the members of the body stood in such awe of Rev. Hudgins that they did not dare oppose
him. But my father rose to the demands of the occasion and advocated the cause of missions
and urged it as our duty.
During the discussion that followed on the motion to have the sermon and collection old
Bro. Michael Collins, by permission , made a motion to test the question as to whether the
Association was a missionary body or not. The question was put and carried in the affirmative
by a small majority- the Moderator not voting, but sitting at his desk or table with his head
bowed during the time.
Thus the cause of missions was sustained in the body largely through my fathers
instrumentality, and the influence over the Body broken as to the mission cause
From that time onward there has been no question as to the relation the Association has
sustained to missions, and from a small body of some eight or ten churches it is now (1896) one
of the largest of most influential District Association in the State.
In closing this brief and imperfect sketch of my fathers life I must add that , with all his
paternal kindness, he never allowed any filial disobedience to paternal authority. His children
had been so trained as that disobedience to their parents was never thought of as a possible
thing. All the children loved and honored our parents, and obedience in such conditions, though
the requirements thereto were sometimes very different from our wishes, was a matter of
course. Thank God for such parents to have been mine.
As he had lived, so did he die, after a few days of confinement to his bed, in the
sixty-third year of his age. His end was peaceful, with all his family about him. But oh how
unexpected was his departure! It was in June. I was sitting by his bed-side fanning him and
raising himself to a sitting position he said I can not understand this.... he never finished the
sentence, but as he was falling to one side I caught his sinking head on my arm. He had a few
slight gasps and was gone with no distortions of his features but as falling to sleep.
Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright, for the end of that man is peace.
His death was deeply felt by all classes of the community.
His remains rest in the family burying ground of the old homestead in Franklin Co.,
N.C., where he died.
PARTIAL RECORD OF THE BRIDGES FAMILY AS KNOWN TO ME
This Bridges family is of English descent, but when they came to America, I do not
Benjamin Bridges was one of the early settlers of what is now Franklin Co., NC and
lived some 8 or 10 miles south of the present capitol of the county, Louisburgh. My impression
is that he married Miss Rebecca Drake a near relative of Sir Francis Drake.
Benjamin Bridges had 2 sons, William and Josiah. Whether he had daughters or not I
so not know, or even whether he had other sons.
He was in the Army of the Revolution and in Gen. Gates division at the battle of
Camden Courthouse, SC.
Since writing the above, I remember that he had at least one daughter who married a Lewis, the
father of Guilford Lewis, who was the father of the Hon. A. M. Lewis and his brothers and
sisters. A.M. Lewis died in Raleigh, NC where he had resided and practiced law about 40
Josiah Bridges, my grandfather, married a Miss Martha Williams, of whose ancestors I
know nothing. Suppose she belonged to the numerous family of that name in Franklin Co. Her
first husband was a lineal descendent of Sir Francis Drake, and she had no children by him, or if
she did I never heard of it.
He had a number of children, viz: John, Josiah, Benjamin Bell, William, and George W.
His daughters were Tempe, Martha, Lucy and Elizabeth. All these lived to be grown and
married except William who died young. John left the state and went to AL before my
recollection. I do not know whom he married. He had a son who the family called Frank who
visited his relatives in NC when I was a lad of about 12 years of age. He was a fine specimen
of manhood. Josiah Bridges, son of Josiah Bridges, married Elizabeth A. Hutchins of Wake
County, NC. Tempe married Caswell Finch of VA. Lucy and Martha each married a Denby.
The Denbys were named Thomas and John. Both my Aunt Denbys having died, the men left
NC and moved to Indiana.
Benjamin Bell Bridges married Rebecca Southerland of Warren Co., NC, daughter of
James Sutherland. George Bridges married Miss Delany Bryant of Nash County.
Elizabeth Bridges and my father, Jeremiah Solomon, were married March 4, 1818.
Mrs. Elizabeth Bridges Solomon
was in every sense a worthy wife of my father. Her mother died when she was quiet young, but old
enough to have received such careful training as to qualify her for the faithful discharge of her duties
She had received only such school education as was afforded by neighborhood schools.
These are what was known as subscription schools. The aspirant to the position of School
Teacher would go around among the citizens of the neighborhood in which he proposed to teach
and ascertain how many pupils each head of the family would agree to send to school -or enter as
pupil - at a specified price per term of so many months. If he could secure pupils enough to justify
his teaching the school, he or she ( but almost universally he and not she ) would fix a day for
opening school, when it was expected that every pupil entered would be on hand, and usually they
were all there, ready to take the measure of the new teacher. This they generally accomplished in
two or three days. I do not mean that they measured his scholarship, but the man. Whether he
loved children, whether he was firm in his demands upon them; whether he was kindly disposed
toward his pupils, or was a surly or tyrannical disposition. And it was a rare thing that the teacher
was not correctly measured and estimated before the first week if school was out
But if my mother had not the educational advantages which are enjoyed by the present
generation, she was a woman of rare mental endowments naturally, and used these natural powers
wisely and conscientiously.
AS A WIFE
She was a model. She always treated her husband with a marked respect, and his opinion
with due deference, while he often sought her opinion on matters pertaining to their mutual interest.
I do not remember an instance in which my father entered into any business of importance in regard
to which he did not consult my mothers judgment, while she never had a disposition to assume the
direction of management of affairs which belonged peculiarly to his department of family
With true wifely devotions and confidence in his judgement and integrity she leaned upon
him, looked up to him as the head of the family, deferred to his judgement when they held diverse
opinions on any given question of family affairs. Hence they lived together thirty two years without
discord or strife , each striving to promote the best interest of the family, training their children to
habits of industry and usefulness and , above all else, training them in love and service of God. As
AS A MOTHER
she was above praise. She was ready to do all that sacred name involves at what ever cost of toil
and self denial. She never refused nor failed to do what her sound judgement guided by the word of
God dictated as her duty. In every instance her watchful eye was upon her children, to admonish ,
to restrain, to encourage and, whatever she thought necessary, to punish for the good of the child.
She was ever indulgence when indulgence was admissible, but beyond that she would not go. Like
my father, she required strictest conformity to parental authority. When she spoke she meant all she
said and exacted all that she required of her children, obedience to the letter. Parental authority was
the supreme law of the household.
And yet she and my father were devotedly affectionate to their children . Their love,
however, was not of the sickly sentimental character that was fickle or changeable, or that prompted
them to silly, not to say , cinnival indulgence of the whims and caprices of inexperienced youth. It
was of that sturdy and unchangeable character that jealously watched for the lasting welfare of the
children, both as citizens of the state and heirs of the eternal inheritance.
Now, in my old age , I thank God for such parents.
On the 9th of Sept.,1884, after remaining a widow of more than 32 years, she quietly fell
asleep in Jesus at the old house in which she had lived 50 years and her remains rest in the family
burying ground beside those of my father, mingling with those of a number of her children.
BIRTHS, DEATHS, AND MARRIAGES OF SOLOMONS
Jeremiah Solomon, youngest son and child of William and Diana Solomon, was born in
Franklin Co., NC, January 30th, 1790 and departed life June 28th, 1852.
Elizabeth Bridges, daughter of Josiah and Martha Bridges, was born in Franklin Co.,
NC, April 8th, 1800 and departed this life September 9th, 188-.
Jeremiah and Elizabeth were married March 4th, 1818.
BIRTHS AND DEATHS OF THEIR CHILDREN
Diana Martha Solomon February 10th, 1819-June 30th, 1820
Lavinia Ann Solomon May 2nd, 1821-October 5th, 1884
Josiah Bridges Solomon January 18th, 1824
William Purefoy Solomon April 22nd, 1826-February 21st, 1873
Elizabeth Helen Solomon February 13th, 1829-March 20th, 1849
Mary Ellen Solomon March 22nd, 1834
Jeremiah Henry Solomon January 18th, 1836-January 29th, 1859
Lucy Isabella Solomon September 6th, 1839-June 17th, 1856
Martha Augusta Solomon October 20th, 1843
Lavinia Ann married William Powell of Wake Co., NC, March 8th, 1843
Josiah Bridges married Mary Malissa Burges of Warren Co., NC, October 22nd,
Mary Ellen married John C. McCraw of VA, July 28th, 1859
William Purefoy Solomon married Mary Pryor Brinkley of Halifax Co., NC
Martha Augusta Solomon married William J. Judd of Wake Co., NC
Children of Josiah B. and Mary Melissa Solomon
John Burgess Solomon, 06 Mar 1853, Warren Co., NC, 15 July, 1884,
Magnolia, La Rue Co., KY
William Thomas Solomon, 25 Aug 1850, Davis Co., NC,
Josiah Bridges Solomon, 06 Dec 1854, Warrenton, NC, 12 Sep 1856, Warrenton,
Martha Alston Solomon