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

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