Van Gundy Family Tree

Notes for Solomon PRUITT

Solomon's biography and photo was included in the Murphey Family web site:

"Solomon Pruitt, born in the Smokey Mountains in 1790, youngest of 10 children born to Martin Pruitt and his wife. Solomon's father traveled with Daniel Boone and subsequently fought in the Revolutionary War at the Battle of King's Mountain.
In 1806, when Solomon was 16, Martin Pruitt brought his family to Sand Ridge Prairie, some three miles east of Alton. Although Martin's wife died in 1807, Martin lived well into his 90's, spending most of his time hunting.

At the age of 21, Solomon was elected captain of a militia company; he spent 1813 and 1814 as an Illinois Ranger, protecting local residents. As it happened, Solomon was one of the few men not out with the Rangers patrolling on Sunday, July 10, 1814. That day Mrs. Reason Reagan and six children were killed by a band of renegade Indians in what came to be known as the Wood River Massacre. It was Solomon who loaded the bodies onto a little one-horse sled and took them for burial in Vaughn Cemetery, south of Bethalto.

Preuitt (whose name appears variously as "Prewitt" or "Pruitt") participated as a captain the first campaign of the Black Hawk War in 1831. Upon his return home he was elected a major in the Madison County Militia; he held this post for many years afterward.

Solomon made his residence in Fort Russell Township. He was noted as once having raised a crop of 42 bushels of wheat to the acre at a time when the average was 10-15 bushels per acre. in 1820, he planted some 40 yellow apple trees, grown from seed brought up from French settlements to the south; "six or eight of these trees produced very good fruit."

In addition to being a farmer, Pruitt was civic-minded. He served as a "gentleman freeholder" on the second grand jury in Madison County, in 1813. In 1817 he helped supervise the building of a road from Indian Creek to Smeltzer's Ferry, "via Moore's bridge across Wood River."

Solomon married Rebecca Higgins and they had ten children; Rebecca died in the fall of 1855 and he remarried - to Elizabeth Higgins, Rebecca's sister. The second marriage was childless.

Very suddenly, on January 9, 1875, Solomon Pruitt died, aged 85. He was one of Madison County's true pioneers, having helped to develop this area for over 60 of its most dramatic years."

Residences & events:

Janelle Holmes posted at RootsWeb:

For those researching Solomon Pruitt, I found the following reference to him in my notes on John Hopton and Willilam Johnson of Bond County, Illinois:

"The Register of Applications and Permissions of the Land Office of the United States at Kaskaskia, IL. reflect that on 28 Aug 1807, James Stockton under No. 155 applied for 320 acres of land situate under the Bluff near the South Fork of Wood River joining Abraham Pruit on the South and William Stubblefield on the North. Solomon Prewitt is also mentioned in an application by John Hopton, son in law of William Stubblefield, in 1813.

Register of Applications and Permissions recorded by the Land Office of the United States at Kaskaskia, IL. relect under application No. 59 that John Hopton on 17 Apr 1815 asked for the SE 1/4 of Section 32 TSN R3W prior to 5 Feb 1813 and continued to reside thereon and in the reserve tract "ever since." It also appears he wanted 1/4 section in Section 31. The name of Solomon Prewitt was indicated. It is not known whether he had purchased this land claim from Prewitt, adjoined him or sold to him."

Debbie Geer's response was:

The "Solomon Pruitt" that is referenced in the previous communication from Janelle Holmes is the son of Martin Pruitt who moved his family from VA to TN to IL, arriving in IL in 1806. This Solomon was born 1790 Abingdon, Washington, VA and died 1875 Madison Co IL near Bethalto. He was highly respected in Madison County IL and was interviewed a few times before his death about the Pruitt family. One of the interviews was in the 1880's history of Madison County IL book."

From Stephenson researchers:

"These man served in companies under the command of local men, Pruitt and Wheeler. They were part of the mounted Volunteers of the State of Illinois commanded by Maj. Samuel Whiteside. Semple, Buckmaster and Thomas served in the Company of Captain Solomon Pruitt, Odd Battallion of Spies. "

1818 Bond Co, IL. In the state's first census were Solomon and Fields living in Bond Co. Solomon's family consisted of 2 white males over 21 and 8 other whites.

Copyright 2010 by BJ Van Gundy

Page built by Gedpage Version 2.21 ©2009 on 06 May 2010