1. Solomon TROWER. Born on 1 Jan 1732 in King William, Virginia. Solomon died in Mercer County, Kentucky in Sep 1838; he was 106.
Source: Kentucky Census, 1810-90:
Name: Trower, Solomon
Township: Mercer City
Record Type: Federal Population Schedule
Database: KY Federal Census Index
ID#: KYS2b168729; KYS2b168730
VIRGINIA MILITIA IN THE REVOLUTIONARY WAR, PART V
Virginia's Share in the Military Movements of the Revolution, page 293, Trower, Solomon Mercer Kentucky
SOLOMON TROWER FAMILY
Wm. J. Carter
This is a story about people--TROWER people--a now vast family of persons all across America who descended from SOLOMON TROWER. Thin remarkable man-slave owner, planter, pioneer, patriot--was born in King William County, Virginia, on 1 January 1732. When he died in Mercer County, Kentucky, in September of 1838 he was well into his 106th year and was living with a second wife some forty years his junior.
In 1773 SOLOMON and his family had moved from King William County to Albemarle County, Virginia. We don't know why they moved, but it was most likely the same reason that# caused him and his growing family to later move on to Mercer County--the need for more land for an expanding family. Albemarle is one of the Piedmont counties, lying as it does just east of the Blue Ridge Mountains. In 1773 it was mostly a country of farmers. Although they did not know it at the time, the men of the Piedmont area were destined to play a major role in the Revolution. Officers and men of Albemarle were heavily involved in many of the major battles of the war--Long Bridge, Trenton, Stony Point, Brandywine, Germantown, Saratoga, Monmouth, Savannah, Charleston, Camden, King's Mountain, Cowpens, Guilford, Eutaw and Yorktown. We do not know which of these battles Solomon fought in but have reason to believe that he was among those at Valley Forge during the grim winter of 1777-1778. We do know that he was discharged from his last period of service three weeks before the surrender of Lord Cornwallis at Yorktown.
SOLOMON was 43 years old in April of 1775 when he volunteered as a Private for service in the Virginia Militia. By the time the Revolution was over, SOLOMON had served six periods of duty each three or more months in length. Men of the Continental Armies had to farm as well as fight and enlisted men generally served numerous short periods of duty.
During the last years of the War, Solomon was over age for combat service. This is indicated by the fact that during his last service he was on guard duty at Albemarle Barracks which was a prisoner of war camp. It is likely that he could have avoided service during the last years of the war, but that was not the choice he made. We must presume that he continued service stemmed from his deep commitment to the American cause. Men from his part of Virginia felt that way. In fact, both Thomas Jefferson and James Madison came from Albemarle.
We are fortunate to know as much about SOLOMON TROWER as we do. During his very long life he owned lands and slaves in Virginia, Tennessee and Kentucky. Records are found of marriages, deeds, wills, lawsuits, depositions and he is listed in various tax lists and numerous census records.
Additionally, several family letters written during the 19th century contain information about him. We know where he is buried and are able to read almost all of the inscription on his tombstone. Altogether, we know quite a bit about SOLOMON TROWER, and we know something about the men who were his close friends.
One of the richest sources of information about SOLOMON is the application he filed for pensions due him for his Revolutionary service. It took some doing just to live long enough to draw a Revolutionary pension. Somehow the young republic did not get around to rewarding its soldiers, except for those who were disabled, until some fifty years after the end of the conflict. The Pension Act was paused 7 June 1832. By that time, most veterans were dead of old age. But SOLOMON was still alive and made his application at the Mercer County Courthouse on 10 August 1832. It was approved and payments began in September of that year. That is pretty quick action for the government.
Such prompt action was probably due to the fact that records keeping during the Revolution was spotty and incomplete except for commissioned officers. About all that could be done in investigating a pension claim was to check the applicant to memory as to names of officers under whom he had served, places of service and dates. The judgment of truth of the applicant's account seems to have been made at the local level, based on his reputation for truthfulness as attested by character witnesses. Obviously, it would be to the advantage of the alleged veteran if his witnesses were men of local prominence. We know the names of those who appeared with SOLOMON: Jesse Head, neighbor and Methodist preacher; Mark McGohon, Revolutionary veteran and neighbor; A. H. Alexander; John B. Thompson; and Christopher Chinn.
Christopher Chinn was the County Judge. John B. Thompson owned land adjacent to SOLOMON'S place, and in the Mercer County histories, he is referred to as the Hon. John B. Thompson, Sr. John, Sr. died in the cholera epidemic of 1833. His son, John B. Thompson, Jr., born 1810 was also a lawyer. John, Jr., along with Christopher Chinn and SOLOMON'S widow were executors of his will. John, Jr., went on to a distinguished political career in Kentucky. He was Legislator, Lieutenant Governor, Governor and U. S. Senator.
An interesting sidelight concerning the name Christopher Chinn arose when the writer first visited the Kentucky State Archives in Frankfort during the summer of 1973. On entering the building it was noted that the directory listed a Col. Christopher Chinn as the Director. Naturally I sought him out and was pleased by his warm reception. His reply to my first question as to whether or not he was a descendant of the Christopher Chinn I knew about was in the affirmative and he stated that he knew a number of TROWERS still living in Mercer County. Col. Chinn is a retired officer of the U. S. Marine Corps and looks the part. He appeared to be in his early 60's and is a huge, masculine bear of a man, and although he looks out of place in a library, I was to learn that he is an accomplished scholar and has written several works on arms and military tactics.
It was through Col. Chinn that I heard about the Harrodsburg Historical Library and its outstanding collection of local historical materials. He recommended that I contact Mrs. C. B. VanArsdall, Jr., the Director, and arranged a visit to the Library.
It was late in the afternoon when Mrs. Carter and I drove into Harrodsburg the next day. We had intended arriving earlier but more time than planned was spent at SOLOMON TROWER'S grave. When we learned that the library was closed for the day, we checked into a motel and prepared for dinner. Before leaving, however, I called Mrs. VanArsdall just to mention Col. Chinn's referral and also inquire as to the time she would be at the library the next day. What was intended to be a brief call developed into a lengthy conversation covering what my interests were and what might be in their collection that would be of help. Mrs. VanArsdall suggested that she meet us at the Library before dinner so that we might examine the collection immediately. What we hoped to discover was the identity of any others who might have traced the family back to Mercer County. It took less than five minutes after we reached the Library and gotten peat the introductions, and our expressed appreciation to Mrs. VanArsdall for her graciousness in opening it so late in the afternoon. There as we had hoped we found a folder of correspondence between the Library and other Trower family historians. Of greatest interest was a group of letters to and from Mrs. Stanley H. (Betty) Young of Shelbyville, Illinois. On examining these letters it was apparent that Mrs. Young knew more about SOLOMON TROWER and his family than I had ever dreamed of learning. Such a find deserved celebration which was done at a genteel Harrodsburg restaurant that featured southern fried ham with hot biscuits and red eye gravy.
During the interval that has passed since that time, Betty Young and I have had an active correspondence and have visited together. Through her I have come to know many others who have an interest in this family. And of course, Betty and all the rest of us, owe much to her grandfather, WILLIAM ADDISON (AD) TROWER. This remarkable man sought out and corresponded with TROWER people almost one hundred years ago. Information contained in "AD" TROWER'S old letters was crucial to identification of early generations of this family. Also, through Betty's help, the writer has come in contact with many persons who know other branches of the TROWER family history.
Back to SOLOMON TROWER. We now have verified many things about him and are able to deduce quite a bit more from these known facts.
SOLOMON seems to have been a "self made" man. There is no surviving record of his owning any land or anything else before the Revolution. It is likely his war experiences served to broaden his perspective of the world and enabled him to utilize what he had learned for the well being of himself and his family. By 1787 we find land records in his name in Louisa County, Virginia, which adjoins Albemarle County. There are numerous deeds recorded between 1787 and 1804 of land transactions in this county and although some tax lists for the county do not show it, we have good reason to believe he also owned a number of slaves during his residence there.
SOLOMON'S first wife, and the mother of his children, was named SARAH. This is proved by her signature SARAH X TROWER on deed records. According to family legend, her maiden name was GIVENS.
We are able to identify six children of SOLOMON and SARAH:
1. THOMAS - born 1750 - 1760
2. JOHN (DR. JOHN WESLEY TROWER, SR.) - born 1766-1784, probably ca 1772
3. HENRY (HENRY T. TROWER) - born about 1776.
4. SOLOMON, JR. - born about 1782.
5. CATY (CATHERINE) - born about 1784.
6. SAMUEL - born 1775-1794.
The identification of THOMAS as one of the children is sure from the records of the suit, TROWER vs. TROWER. (See Records Section at the back of this book)." From the deposition of THOMAS TROWER in this suit we learn that he was living in Sullivan County, Tennessee, in 1825 when the deposition was made. He appears in the Census of 1830 for this county and from the Census record we can determine his age bracket.
JOHN and HENRY are clearly identified in two deeds recorded in Louisa County, Virginia, both dated 8 April 1799.
The identification of SOLOMON, JR., is circumstantial but altogether it is extensive and convincing.
CATY is positively identified as a child of SOLOMON as is shown in the Louisa County record of her marriage to William Patterson 14 September 1801.
One of the old "AD" TROWER letters mentions a son, SAMUEL, and says that he was drowned. The 1820 census of Mercer County, Kentucky, lists a SAMUEL TROWER and family along with other TROWER families we know about.
In his pension application of 1832, SOLOMON stated that he had been a Methodist for 61 years. Those who appeared for him as character witnesses affirmed their belief of this and also stated that they believed SOLOMON to be as old as he said he was.
An interesting bit of speculation can be constructed around SOLOMON'S very early Methodist membership. His testimony places him in the Methodist movement in 1771. At that early date the Methodist movement was just beginning its growth in the Colonies. At most, its total membership was only a few hundred. At the beginning of the Revolution the total Methodist membership in all of the Colonies was only a bit more than 3,000.
The very early Methodist membership of SOLOMON and presumably also his family is most revealing. It may well be true that he was converted to Methodism by Robert Williams who was one of the first four missionaries sent to the Colonies by John Wesley. It is known that Williams evangelized in Virginia and that King William County was a part of the area he covered.
SOLOMON'S early association with Methodism can be employed to give a plausible argument for dating the birth of his son JOHN. The argument is that SOLOMON and SARAH would likely not have named a son JOHN WESLEY if he was born before 1771 and would likely not have given this name to a son if he was born in 1775 or during the next few years after 1775. This requires some understanding of the early history of the Methodist movement in America.
John Wesley himself made only one brief trip to America and that was early in his career, about 1740. He spent most of his career in England and despite his broad evangelical approach to religion, in some ways he always remained High Church and a loyal supporter of the King. In 1775 John Wesley published a tract titled "A Calm Address to the American Colonies" in which he came out strongly in support of the views of King George. Wesley's "Calm Address" was a sensation and within three weeks, forty thousand copies were sold. Naturally, Wesley's views were angrily received by the Colonists, except for those with Tory views. There is one thing that we know for sure about old SOLOMON--he was not a Tory.
Taking these speculations for whatever they are worth, we arrive at a birth year of 1772 for JOHN which would have made him about 21 years old when he married NANCY ROBINSON in Albemarle County, 19 December 1793. This sounds about right. HENRY TROWER married some four years later so we might assign a birth year for him of 1776. Working backward from the known dates of their marriages we can assign a probable birth of 1782 for SOLOMON, JR., and perhaps 1784 for CATY.
The first family to leave Virginia and migrate to Kentucky appears to have been JOHN TROWER and his wife and children. They arrived in Harrodsburg perhaps as early as 1809. JOHN and his family appear in the 1810 Census records of Mercer County, Kentucky. The families of SOLOMON and HENRY came to Mercer County about 1812. The tax lists of Mercer County for the year 1813 have SOLOMON, JOHN, and HENRY listed and JOHN had 110 acres on Salt River. By 1820 the families of SAMUEL TROWER, SOLOMON TROWER, JR., and CATY PATTERSON were in the county.
In making the trip from Virginia to Kentucky it is likely that all of them took the wagon trail down the Cumberland valley and crossed over the Cumberland Gap into Sullivan County, Tennessee. From there the route to Mercer County was likely through the Pennington Gap into Harlan County, Kentucky, and on northeast to Harrodsburg.
The writer suspects that Mercer County was the intended destination when the whole family group left Virginia. Many Virginians came to Mercer County. It was the most desirable place to live in the early 19th Century, and remains so today. By 1810 Harrodsburg was a thriving community. Riverboat transportation up and down the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers gave commercial connections to New Orleans and the east coast. Additionally, the Mercer County area was pretty much in the center of the most rapidly developing part of Kentucky. The old territorial capitol at Danville was only 10 miles down the road south of Harrodsburg and it was only some 20 miles north to the state capitol at Frankfort.
Mercer County was and still remains one of America's most gracious and lovely areas. Its beauty and gentleness brings to mind the expression coined so long ago--"A perfect Kaintuck of a place."
One would expect that the TROWERS often thought back to their homeland, Virginia. Surely old SOLOMON did. He was an old man in terms of years when all of them left Louisa County. For him the departure meant final separation from places and persons he held dear. If Mercer County was pleasing, it did not erase in his mind the memories of the equally lovely area he left behind.
Virginians had a unique sense of pride about their native state. Theirs was a land which had been settled and developed and had produced a cultured civilization more than a century before white men moved to Kentucky. Theirs was the land which produced Washington, Jefferson and Madison. Most Virginians of-SOLOMON'S time would have believed "Virginia Gentlemen" the equal of any title a man might bear. Old SOLOMON probably felt that way. Sure, he missed Virginia, but he would have missed being with his family even more.
There surely was some communication by mail with friends and relatives back in Virginia and some visitation but we know little of the detail of this. We do know, however, that one of SOLOMON'S grandsons married a girl in Albemarle County in 1830. Also, according to family, another of his grandsons studied medicine at the University of Virginia.
The Mercer County TROWERS were the first family of that name to settle in Kentucky. SOLOMON, SR., and those of his children who came to Mercer County lived out the remainder of their respective lives there. By the 1830's though many of SOLOMON'S grandchildren were moving on to the newer frontiers. So far as is known to the writer, all of the TROWER families who were in the midwest by 1850 were descendant from SOLOMON TROWER, SR.
As we noted earlier, there have been a number of persons in this TROWER family who have traced the family back to Mercer County, Kentucky. Census records alone enable one to determine that the family came to Kentucky from Virginia. Then the question arises as to what part of Virginia they came from.
There were a number of TROWER families in Virginia before the Revolution. TROWER families appear in the early records of Princess Anne County, Northampton County, Hardy County, Louisa County, Campbell County, and Albemarle. Also there was a group that spelled the surname as THROWER in early Sussex County.
In the course of several years of correspondence with others, the editor has several times encountered the story that JOHN and HENRY TROWER of Mercer County, Kentucky, descend from the TROWERS of Princess Anne County, Virginia. Apparently this story is based on information contained in a deed which is recorded in Princess Anne County. An abstract of this conveyance is given in "Virginia Wills and Administrations. 1632-1800." The abstract of the deed in question is as follows:
Princess Anne Co.--Deed Book 13, p. 18: HENRY TROWER mentions wife ELIZABETH and sons, HENRY, THOMAS, JOHN and ROBERT. Daughters ELIZABETH and CLEAR (or CLARK) OWENS. Dated 17 Mar. 1772 - Proved 9 July 1772.
A quite reasonable working hypothesis could be made from this deed that HENRY and ELIZABETH were the parents of HENRY and JOHN of Mercer County. The hypothesis would seem even more plausible if one knew that HENRY and JOHN of Mercer County also had a brother, THOMAS. All of us who do family research form tentative conclusions about things, and sometimes further research verifies these conclusions. In this case, however, the writer is persuaded that the Princess Anne County origin for the family is not correct and that the trail of JOHN and HENRY of Mercer County clearly leads back to Louisa County.
It is possible that all of the TROWERS in early Virginia descend from a single immigrant ancestor but this cannot be proven. There is a legend in this TROWER family that SOLOMON descends from a Welsh sea captain who plied trade between the West Indies and Jamestown in Virginia. This legend comes down through the family of one of SOLOMON'S grandchildren who spent many years back in Albemarle County, DR. JOHN WESLEY TROWER, JR. The writer puts some faith in this story. We know that the TROWER name is found in quite early Welsh records. Possibly the immigrant of this TROWER family was the SAMUEL TROWERS (TROWER), 15, who immigrated from London to Jamestown on the ship CONCORD, 4 October 1677. SOLOMON could have been a grandson of this SAMUEL.
Perhaps this is as good a place as any to consider the question of whether SOLOMON was really as old as he said he was. People do sometimes live to the age of 106 years, but is far from common. We would like to see proof. Since proof is not available, we must do the best we can with the evidence.
After much consideration, the writer believes that SOLOMON was really as old as he said he was. The two census records we have show him in the age bracket that fits his claim. Also we have his two pension applications. In these he gives ages consistent with a birth year of 1732. Those who appeared as character witnesses on these two occasions affirmed their belief that he was as old as he claimed. His children and grandchildren believed that he was 106 years old when he died. Finally, we can cite the birth bracket for his son, THOMAS, who appears in the 1830 census of Sullivan County, Tennessee. This shows THOMAS born 1750-1760.
The evidence to the contrary of SOLOMON'S claim about his age hinges on the identification of SOLOMON TROWER mentioned in an early Louisa County will. This is found in "Abstracts of Louisa Co., Virginia Will Books, 1743-1760." From Will Book I, p. 55, we find:
Will of Elizabeth Key. Phillip Buford deposition. Phillip Buford made guardian of her property. Three sons: Prentiss, Wm. & . Dau Thompson. Grandson: SOLOMON TROWER to be decently cloathed and sent to his father. Dated 19 Dec 1761. Rec._____17___.
It is reported that some edges of the pages of the old will book are torn and obliterated to the extent that the dates are illegible in some places. By deciphering dates of wills which immediately precede this will and those which immediately follow, it seems likely that the will of Elizabeth Key falls in the period 1759-1762. If the SOLOMON TROWER of the Elizabeth Key will is the same as the one we are concerned with, then it would seem that he was not born as early as 1732 since the language used in the will suggests that grandson SOLOMON TROWER was a minor when the will was received. Perhaps the SOLOMON of the will was a cousin or nephew of the SOLOMON of Mercer County. The Louisa County connection makes it seem plausible that the two SOLOMONS are related.
As noted earlier, Solomon was a old man when he came to Mercer County. Even so he lived many years in that community. There is little doubt that he was well known there. His sons were successful and his grandchildren married into a number of the families of the area. He surely was one of the last of the Revolutionary veterans who sat on the speakers' platform at a 4th of July celebration. The little farm he bought was very near Harrodsburg, and it is easy to imagine him spending many afternoons sitting and talking with friends on the village square.
In 1821 old Solomon married a second wife. She was some forty years his junior and was an "old maid," which may have had some bearing on events which led up to a full scale family squabble. Much detail of this conflict appears in Mercer County Court Records as given in the Records Section of this TROWER book. It is a bit unusual in that so much of what seems to have been purely a family disagreement should find its way into legal records. Perhaps it means that strong families can sometimes have bitter controversies. As cousin RACHEL TROWER HILL puts it, "TROWERS are stubborn."
Whatever the cause might have been, the writer is driven to make some analysis and comment on the case. Admittedly, this is only one scenario which could be written into which the known facts could be made to fit.
It is a known fact that SOLOMON did take MARY BINGHAM to wife on the 23rd of May, 1821, at which time he was 89 years old. There is good evidence that her maiden name was BINGHAM. She was an "old maid" and some forty years younger than SOLOMON. Some continuing connection seems to have existed between the TROWER and gingham families. (We note that HENRY TROWER'S first son was named WESLEY BINGHAM TROWER. He was born 5 January 1801).
The first volley in this family legal battle was fired 24 June 1821. (See Articles of Agreement under this date in TROWER vs. TROWER in the Records Section.) In brief what this agreement says is that son HENRY agrees to go as SOLOMON'S agent to SOLOMON'S son THOMAS in Tennessee and seek to recover a Negro girl named Lotty. All was to be undertaken at HENRY'S own expense and in consideration whereof, the said SOLOMON agreed to give HENRY the said Negro girl if he is able to recover her.
HENRY went to Tennessee forthwith and presumably tried to carry out all of SOLOMON'S requests. The receipt dated 16 August 1821 shows that HENRY returned with the money but without the Negro girl, Lotty.
The only word we have from THOMAS about all of this is contained in his deposition which is given verbatim below:
DEPOSITION OF THOMAS TROWER taken in Sullivan Co., Tenn., Aug 13th 1825 at the Courthouse in Blountville by Samuel Rhea, Justice of the Peace. He deposeth and saith as follows:
"Some years ago, the particular time not recollected, my father SOLOMON TROWER, sold me several negroes and at the time gave a little negro girl to my daughter, EDNA A. TROWER, a minor. Consequently, I received the child for her and kept her upwards of three years and I believe between four and five years before my father made any claim to said negro girl, which he had given as above stated, during which time my father married his second wife. Some time after this event took place, my father then set up a claim to the said negro girl whose name was Charlotte. My father had become dissatisfied with me and gave my brother HENRY TROWER, a power of attorney to do this business with me. He came to me and made a demand of the negro girl and believing it was the effect of old age and of his late marriage, I did not think it my duty to give the negro girl up, upon which refusal, my brother HENRY TROWER sued me in the Federal Court at Knoxville in this state, in defense of which I produced a number of my Father's letters which he had written to me on the subject, by which letters I proved the gift of the said negro girl, which letters I have not been able to get since. I also proved by the depositions of Thomas Morrison and Ambrose Gaines the gift of the said girl from my Father to the said EDNA, my daughter, and I do firmly believe that my brother, the said HENRY, did everything in his power to recover the said girl."
It is easy to imagine that THOMAS might have said more about the matter of the Negro girl had he chosen to do so. It is easy for all of us now living to condemn the institution of human slavery. Even old SOLOMON eventually came to doubt its justice. But mutual loyalty and affection was often a part of the master-slave relationship. By 1821 the Negro girl had been with THOMAS and his family for many years. Quite likely they felt that Lotty-Charlotte was a part of their family. They were not about to give her up. THOMAS might even have believed the whole thing a plot to take Lotty and sell her away for whatever money she might bring.
At one time or another while the conflict was in progress, subpoenas were issued to James Smith, William Patterson, Catherina Patterson, WESLEY B. TROWER, Levi Long, Sally Long, MARY ANN TROWER, LOUISA TROWER, John Smith, SOLOMON TROWER (JR.), William Pawling, Jesse Head, Sally Smith, Betsy Gibbons, Anny Smith, and Patsey Bowers. This list includes children, grandchildren, in-laws, friends, and even the Methodist preacher.
By 1825 the controversy had caused differences in the Mercer County front. On 25 May of that year SOLOMON appeared as plaintiff against his son HENRY.
Finally, during April of 1826, the court appointed referees "to arbitrate, settle and determine this matter of controversy." No report of settlement appears in the court records so we are left to make our own judgment.
For those who would like to side with THOMAS as to the reason for the controversy in the first place, the will of MARY BINGHAM TROWER should be examined. It is not usually the case that bitter feeling, of this sort finds expression in a will.
Whatever it was that led old SOLOMON to allow this disagreement to develop we can never know. The most we can say is that indeed he was an old man when this happened, and there let the matter rest.
In connection with the case of TROWER vs. TROWER, the question arises as to how the JOHN TROWER family avoided entanglement in the mess? For one thing, JOHN TROWER was already deceased, and perhaps most important, his widow and the children had already moved up to Franklin County.
Finally, something should be said about SOLOMON TROWER and the question of the abolition of human slavery. SOLOMON was born into a society which had known and practiced human slavery as long as Virginia had existed. SOLOMON owned slaves, as we have seen, took slaves with him when he moved to Kentucky. But SOLOMON was also a devout Methodist. By the early 1830's voices were being raised in sadness and anger against human bondage. Many of those who spoke out were Methodist clergymen. Eventually the conflict was to tear apart even the Methodist Episcopal Church in America. SOLOMON heard all of this. We do not know what opinions he may have voiced, but we do know what he did. In 1836 he emancipated his remaining slaves, Viney, Mary, Nancy and Hannah. Viney was to be given her freedom at SOLOMON'S death, and the others were to be freed as they reached age 21.
In July of 1838, SOLOMON seems to have sensed that his long life was coming to its end and that death was reaching out for him. On the 15th of July of that year, SOLOMON wrote his will and named his executors: John B. Thompson (Jr.), Christopher Chinn and his wife, MARY. In September of 1838 his life finally ended.
SOLOMON is buried in an old cemetery located in the countryside about 4 miles north of Harrodsburg. It is more than a mile from the main highway. The gently rolling farmland of which the old cemetery is a part is now owned by a Mr. Elmer Wiley. The last burial there was some 75 years ago. It is said that the old cemetery was once the burial ground for a nearby Methodist Church. It has the same sort of pastoral look that it must have had when SOLOMON was buried. One can see trees and grass, grazing cattle and fields of tobacco.
There may be more than a hundred bodies buried in the old cemetery. Some have carved headstones but most are unmarked or indicated by rough fieldstone. Surely there are many early TROWER burials in this plot. Possibly Viney also is buried here.
We know beyond a shadow of a doubt that it is SOLOMON'S grave. He wanted it that way. He requested in his will that a stone be placed at his head and his feet. The footstone is clearly marked with the initials S. T.
The grave is in the extreme northwest corner of the old burial ground beneath a large cedar that could have been planted more than a century ago. At the top of the headstone is engraved SOLOMON TROWER. The headstone is now fallen and broken across the date lines but we can read
Who was born Jan. 1, And departed Sept. _,
We do not know who selected the epitaph which appears on the bottom portion of the stone but it is appropriate:
"The hoary head is a crown of glory if it be found in the way of righteousness."
Solomon first married Sarah GIVENS, in Albermarle County, Virginia. Born abt 1755 in King William County, Virginia (Maybe). Sarah died in Virginia.
They had the following children:
i. Thomas. Born abt 1755 in (Probably) King William County, Virginia.
2 ii. John Wesley (~1772-ca1818)
3 iii. Henry T. (1777-1826)
iv. Catherine (Caty). Born in 1783 in Abermarle County, Virginia?
Catherine (Caty) married William PATTERSON. Born ca 1779 in Abermarle, Virginia.
4 v. Solomon (1783-ca1827)
vi. Samuel. Born abt 1787 in Virginia.
Samuel married Mary Ann COMBES. Born ca 1789 in Franklin, Kentucky.
Solomon second married Mary BINGHAM. Born ca 1736 in Mercer, Kentucky.