The Death of UNCLE SOLOMON JONES
French Broad Hustler, April 26, 1899 Hendersonville, NC
“His live was gentile and the elements so mixed in him that nature might stand up and say to all the world “This was a man.”"
Here in this grand old county of Henderson, then a part of old mother Buncombe, a little more than ninety-seven years ago, there was born into a position of social distinction in the distinguished family of Uncle Tommie Jones, a baby boy who was appropriately given the name of Solomon for in many particulars the wisdom of his advice and the directions of his industrious mind has been incalculable value to the civilization of the “Land of the Sky.”
The subject of this sketch was born March 7, 1802 on the headwaters of Mud Creek; six miles south of the present town of Hendersonville. He received only the _____ education as could be obtained in the old log school house of that eventful day and upon obtaining his majority was married to Miss Mary Hamilton, a sister of Col. Joseph Hamilton of Crab Creek and to them were born two sons and ten daughters. His devoted companion proved to be a faithful and sacrificing mother and in their home her many virtues and sincere piety were beautifully displayed. But their happy union was broken about 15 years ago when the home was saddened by the sudden demise of this devoted mother and lovely Christian character. Some years afterwards Mr. Jones married a Miss Jamieson, who has served him faithfully in his declining years.
Mr. Jones, or “Uncle Solomon” as his neighbors would say, 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, leading from Transylvania to Greenville, Sc., with which most of our readers are thoroughly familiar. Other important work was the grading of the Cashier’s Valley road, in Transylvania; the Flat rock and Green River turnpike and Jones’ Pleasure Drive, leading from Hendersonville to Mount Hebron. His instructions were always solicited when an important road was to be located. But the mighty has fallen. Last Sunday afternoon, at his lovely home on the summit of the far-famed Mount Hebron, where he has resided during 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 to the god who gave it. E was ninety-seven years old at his last birthday in March. Deceased was a consistent member of the Baptist church and seemed to welcome the end of his pilgrimage. His tombstone was prepared under his direction by Mr. Joseph Blythe, about five years ago and bears the singular inscription:
A TRUE PATRIOT
HE LABORED FIFTY YEARS
TO LEAVE THE WORLD
BETTER THAN HE FOUND IT
March 7 1802
April 23, 1899
The funeral occurred at the home on Tuesday last and was largely attended