Pike Atlases


Is the son of Frank McWorter, who was born a slave, in South Carolina, in the year 1777. Owing to the peculiar relationship existing between himself and his master, he was sold at the age of eighteen, to a planter in Kentucky, where he remained in slavery until he was forty years of age. After working for his master for a number of years, he hired his time, agreeing to pay a certain amount per annum. He then engaged in the manufacture of saltpetre, which he sold for good prices; and in that way, by hard work and strict economy for a number of years, he saved money enough, after paying his master for his hire, to purchase his freedom, which he did at the age of forty, at a cost of $800, thus becoming a free man. He worked on, and soon had money enough to buy his wife, which he did, paying the same amount for her. At that time, they had thirteen children. They had three others born to them in Kentucky, after their freedom. In 1829 they emigrated with their three free-born children, to Pike county, Ill., and settled on section 22, in Hadley township, where they built a house and made a farm, being the first settlers in that township. Mr. McWorter then went to work in good earnest at farming and raising stock, at which he was quite successful. As he could save up money sufficient, he would return to Kentucky and buy one or more of his children. This he continued until he had bought all of his living children, and two of his grandchildren, the whole, including himself and wife, costing over ten thousand dollars. In the same time he had bought up a large and valuable tract of land, and had made a comfortable home for himself and family. In 1837 Mr. McWorter got his name legalized by a special act of the legislature, and in the same year he and his wife were legally married, under the laws of the state. The ceremony was performed by the Hon. Alfred Grubb, in the town of Pittsfield. At the time of his death, which occurred in 1854, there remained four of his grandchildren in slavery, for the purchase of whom he made provision in his will, which was carried out to the letter, by his son Solomon.

His wife's name was Lucy. She was born a slave, in Virginia, in the year 1771. At an early age she was taken to Kentucky, where she remained a slave until her husband bought her, after which, she did her full share to assist her husband in all his undertakings. She died in 1870, at the residence of one of her daughters, on the old place upon which she first settled, having attained the ripe old age of ninety-nine years.

Solomon McWorter, the subject of this sketch, was born a slave, in the state of Kentucky, in the year 1815. He remained there, a slave, until the year 1835, when his father purchased him, and brought him to Illinois, where he has remained ever since. He was of good assistance to his father, in earning the money with which he purchased the family from slavery. He is now living on, and is the owner of, the old homestead, in Hadley township, where his father first settled. He is quite extensively engaged in farming and raising stock, and there are few men in Pike county who are succeeding better than he. In 1863, he married Miss Francis F. Coleman, of Springfield. She was born in the state of Missouri, in the year 1843, and emigrated to Illinois, with her parents, in 1856. They are now the parents of four children one son and three daughters. Solomon's education is rather limited, but he is a man of good natural abilities, and very industrious, and is prospering well. He is now the owner of five hundred acres of first class land, well stocked with cattle, hogs, horses, and mules. He is a man of good moral habits, and is highly respected by his neighbors.