DEATH OF SOLOMON FORD
One of the Pioneers Called To His Long Reward Solomon Ford,
one of McClelland townships oldest and most respected residents
died yesterday, it being his 81st birthday. He was taken ill
about ten days ago.
The funeral will occur 10 o’clock tomorrow morning at Wolf Prairie,
and will be in charge of Mt. Vernon Lodge No. 31 A.F. and A.M. of
which he was an honored member.
Solomon Ford was born in Anson Co. North Carolina, January 26, 1812
and at the age of three years with his parents moved to near Woodbury,
Tenn. at the head of Stone river. When nineteen years of age he left
his parents and emigrated to Marion county, Ill., and while camping
and resting in that county he met one Sarah Morrison with whom he fell
in love, which ripened into marriage July 21, 1831, Rev. David R. Chance
performing the ceremony. The next morning after his marriage his father
in law, Joseph Morrison, who had cut and harvested all but four or five
acres of his wheat, offered to give him the remainder if he would harvest
it. He and his wife did so, and secured bread enough to last them the
next twelve months. They harvested all of it with a reap hook. After making
two crops on repeated ground in Marion county, he and his wife moved to
Mississippi, where they cleared about four acres in the wilderness, built
a cabin and planted some corn. Here he killed his first bear, and also
killed a snake which measured ten feet in length and five inches in
diameter. In a short time, however, he moved back to Illinois. On the
way back and while camped in Kentucky one night, a cyclone struck them
and carried the wagon and themselves a distance of fifty yards without
injury, but the oxen with which they traveled were out of the path of
the cyclone. But they had a rough experience getting out of there. They
only made a distance of a quarter of a mile the first day as timber was
scattered along the pathway. They arrived in Illinois in September having
been nearly two months on the way, to find that Mrs. Ford’s father had
died about the time they left Mississippi to return. After remaining here
for two or three years, he came to the conclusion that a better country
was to be found in the southwest, and moved to Marion county, Arkansas.
Shortly after arriving in that country he killed his first panther, and
contracted for a supply of meal in exchange for pelts. He made while there
1,200 rails for 50 pounds of salt and 200 for one pound of coffee. After
one years’ residence in Marion county he moved to Benton county, same
state, and there saw an Indian hung who had killed his wife by sticking
a knife in the top of her head. After three years residence in Arkansas
he moved to Lawrence county, Missouri, where he remained two years and
then returned to Marion county, Illinois, in 1845 and rented a farm of
William Baldridge. In the fall of 1849, he came to Jefferson county,
moving to the farm of John Dodds, better known as the Willis Keller farm.
After five years in this county he contracted the Texas fever, and
started for that state. On the way, and while in Arkansas he was taken
down with spinal troubles, and for about three months was not out of the
house and was unable to walk without two sticks for more then a year.
In 1855 he again returned to this county, and after renting various
places for eleven years bought the farm upon which he has since lived and
died. His wife still survives him, and was his senior by about one year.
The above facts are gleaned from notes prepared under Mr. Ford’s own
direction and can be relied upon as accurate.
Mt. Vernon Register January 27, 1893
Submitted by Phyllis Patterson