Our 3rd great grandfather, Solomon Hess, was born about 1793, possibly at Cairo, Illinois. The Hess family was of German descent. We believe he was the son of John Hess and Mary (maiden name unknown).
Solomon married our 3rd great grandmother, Nancy (maiden name possibly Tate), about 1812, probably in Kentucky. Nancy was born about 1794, in Virginia, according to census.
Solomon and Nancy's first child was born in January 1813, in Kentucky. About 1814, Solomon moved his family to Lawrence County in the Arkansas Territory and settled near his brother Samuel Hess, who had moved to that area about 1811. (Note: In 1819, that part of Lawrence County became Independence County in the Arkansas Territory.)
Samuel and Solomon Hess became very wealthy and prominent farmers and ginners in the area. They were said to make the best moonshine liquor in that part of the country. They lived near Marcella, in what later became Stone County, Arkansas. The area where they lived was referred to as "Hess Town".
The 1830 Independence County census, Ruddell Township, shows Solomon's family includes one male age 30-40 years (Solomon); one male age 10-15 (William); four males age 5-10 (Joseph, Martin, Hiram and unknown son); one male under the age of 5 years (Thomas); one female age 30-40 (Nancy); and 2 females under the age of 5 years (Mary Ann and Elvy).
Records show that the patent on land Solomon purchased in the Batesville district of Independence County was suspended in February 1834, for want of a township plat.
Solomon was a farmer. He was also a skilled stone mason, who is credited with building some very fine rock chimneys, which stood for many, many years.
On June 3, 1839, Solomon filed a complaint in Independence County Circuit Court against Walter Thetford, executor of the last will and testament of Joseph Taylor, deceased, over land Solomon had purchased from the estate of Joseph Taylor.
Solomon Hess made and signed his will on October 21, 1839, in Independence County. In the will he names his sons William and Joseph, and his wife Nancy.
On November 15, 1839, in pursuance of a decree of the Independence County Circuit Court, made on June 3, 1839, Walter Thetford deeded almost 152 acres of land to Solomon Hess, from the estate of Joseph Taylor.
The 1840 census shows Solomon's family in Washington Township of Independence County, Arkansas. The census shows one male age 40-50 years (Solomon); 2 males age 15-20 (Martin and Hiram); one male age 10-15 (Thomas); one female age 40-50 (Nancy); one female age 10-15 (Mary Ann); and one female age 5-10 years (Elva).
Solomon died about November 1840, in Independence County. His will was probated in Independence County Court on December 17, 1840.
Independence County court records show that on February 17, 1841, Sterling Williams, Nimrod Ford and John Martin, were authorized to view and appraise the slaves and other personal property produced by Nancy Hess, executrix of the estate of Solomon Hess, deceased.
On June 30, 1849, an agreement was filed in Independence County, in which all of Solomon Hess' heirs were named. The agreement names surviving sons and daughters, William, Joseph, Martin M., Hiram, Thomas R., Mary B. and Elvy Jane.
The 1850 Independence County census shows Nancy, age 56, born in Virginia, living with her eldest son, William and his family in Wallace Township. Living next to them was her son Martin M. and his family.
The 1860 Independence County census shows Nancy, age 62, still living with her son William Hess and his family in Wallace Township.
Nancy died before 1869, in Independence County.
Records indicate that Nancy, Solomon and two of their children are buried in a section of farm land called O'Neal Bottoms in Independence County. The only location we currently have on the graves is that they are in the NE part of Section 21, Township 13N, Range 8W, in Independence County.
Census records indicate that at least 8 children, six sons and two daughters, were born to Solomon and Nancy. We have record of seven of those children.
Children of Solomon Hess and Nancy
1. William Hess was born Jan 23, 1813, in KY.
2. Joseph W. Hess was born Feb 1, 1815, in Lawrence Co, AR Territory.
3. Martin Medford Hess was born 1820, in Independence Co, AR.
4. Hiram Hess was born Sept 16, 1822, in Independence Co, AR. (our line)
5. Thomas Wright Hess was born 1825, in Independence Co, AR.
6. Mary Ann B. Hess was born 1828, in Independence Co, AR.
7. Evaline "Elva" Jane Hess was born Oct 22, 1829, in Independence Co, AR.