Solomon Jones


Solomon Jones

Buncombe County, North Carolina, USA
Death 23 Apr 1899 (aged 97)
Henderson County, North Carolina, USA
Burial Henderson County, North Carolina, USA
Memorial ID 12249186 View Source
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Son of Thomas Jones (ca. 1765/75-1827) and Lucinda Hix (ca. 1770/75-after 1820) of Buncombe (Henderson) County, NC

Grandson of Solomon Jones and Mary Plumer; and Thomas Hix of Rutherford and Buncombe Counties, NC.

Solomon Jones, later known as the road builder, wrote in his Day Book, "Solomon Jones Book of generations, deeds and wills, July the 23, 1855. Intended for Justice and and the union of posterity for fourteen generations. Solomon Jones from who the Jones family sprang was a Welchman, come to America in the eighteenth sentry, married Mary Plumer in Virginia, came to Spartanburg, South Carolina. Thomas Jones son of Solomon Jones was born about the middle of the eighteenth century, married Lucindy Hix."

Solomon Jones was born March 7, 1802, near the headwaters of Mud Creek, six miles south of the present town of Hendersonville [Note: This is based on his obituary. Actually, he was born in the Hungry Creek area of eastern Henderson County, NC], the son of Thomas and Lucinda (Hicks) Jones, daughter of Thomas Hicks. Thomas Jones was the brother of John Jones Sr., who married Mary Jane Hicks, sister of Lucinda. John and Mary Jane (Hicks) Jones were the progenitors of the Joneses of the Blue Ridge section of Henderson County].

On the 20th of November 1822, at age 20, Solomon married Mary Hamilton, born January 16, 1807, daughter of Robert and Ann (Orr) Hamilton. She was a sister of Colonel Joseph Hamilton, well known leader of the Union soldiers of Henderson County during the Civil War.

Solomon was a public spirited individual, being among the Commissioners of Public Health and Public Building in Henderson County in 1841. His name is among "dedicated citizens and leaders" to whom a Centennial History of Transylvania County is dedicated.

Solomon Jones was one of the most remarkable engineers of his age. He used no instruments, but his ingenious mind was never exceeded in the location of thoroughfares across the most difficult barriers of the Appalachian system. He was the most noted road builder this section has ever known. Perhaps his most wonderful piece of engineering was the Jones Gap Turnpike which went through the break in the range once known as Douthat's Gap, and by the way of Cedar Mountain and Caesar's Head to Greenville, South Carolina. Other important work was the grading of the Cashier's Valley road in Transylvania County, the Flat Rock and Green River turnpike and Jones' Pleasure Drive, leading from Hendersonville to Mount Hebron.

Early in life Solomon bought a mountain peak near the present town of Laurel Park, and named his mountain Hebron, for it was almost identical in height above sea level as the Biblical Hebron - three thousand feet. Solomon felled trees and build his mansion and got things growing in the rich soil. On the hottest days, the spring at the house place furnished almost ice-cold water and the dairy supplied abundance of cream. Peaches and other fruit grown nearby were dispensed to all who desired them. The house built by Solomon Jones is still in use today.

Solomon and Mary (Hamilton) Jones reared a family of two sons and ten daughters, three of which married McCrarys, a pioneer family that lived nearby.

Solomon and Mary lived a great number of years on their Salem Plantation in Greenville County, South Carolina. Mary (Hamilton) Jones died in May, 1881 at the age of seventy-four. She is buried in the old Salem (Hart-Jones) cemetery in the Oil Camp section of Greenville County.

After the death of his wife, Solomon returned to Mount Hebron and spent the remainder of his life there. At the age of eighty, Solomon married Assena Tantaline Louise Jimison, who was born March 2, 1844.

The obituary of Solomon Jones is recorded in the French Broad Hustler of April 26, 1899 as follows:

"Last Sunday afternoon at his lovely home on the summit of the far-famed Hebron Mountain where he has resided for the past eighteen years, this noble old man turned his eyes from the scenes of earth and faces of loved ones and his kindly spirit wafted its way to the God who gave it. He was ninety-seven years old at his last birthday. His tombstone was prepared under his direction by Mr. Joshua Blythe, about five years ago and bears the singular inscription: 'Here lies Solomon Jones, The Road Maker. A True Patriot. He labored fifty years to leave the world better then he found it. Born 7 March 1802 died 23 April 1899.' The funeral occurred at the home on Tuesday and was largely attended."

Assena T. L. Jones lived on at the Mount Hebron place for several years after the death of Solomon. She collected tolls from Solomon's toll roads and sold produce and dairy products in the Hendersonville area. In her later days she went to live with a niece, Etta Livingston King in the Hoopers Creek section of Henderson County, where her death occurred September 8, 1928. She had requested not to be buried on Hebron Mountain beside her husband, so she was laid to rest in the Jimison family cemetery at Uno, Henderson County, near the graves of her parents, James and Louise (Duncan) Jimison.

Contributor: Bert Sitton (deceased) with additional information added by mv66nc (46944406)

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