Solomon Harkey was born in Iredell County, N. C., December 26, 1806; son of Martin and Christina (Mensinger) Harkey. Martin, who was a farmer by occupation, was born in North Carolina February 24, 1771, where he married October 9, 1794. In 1830, he left North Carolina and came to Hillsboro, where he died February 16, 1846. His wife, a native of North Carolina, was born February 12, 1775, and died at her son's (subject's) house in Hillsboro, September 17, 1850. Solomon, the fourth of a family of eleven, received but very little education, the schools of that day being very inferior to those of to-day. The school which he attended was a log cabin with an earthen floor, and the books studied were Dilworth's Spelling Book and Pike's Arithmetic, the Bible being the only reader. He began life as a tanner, and followed that business from April, 1829, to March 1833, in Edwardsville, Ill.; thence he removed to Hillsboro, where he followed the tanning business for ten years, when he abandoned it and became a farmer.
He owns a fine farm of 653 acres in Hillsboro Township, a fine two-story frame residence, and five lots and five acres of land in the town of Hillsboro, besides about 200 acres in Wisconsin. He has been a noted horseman in his day, and has handled many fine ones. He made a specialty of draught horses. In Hillsboro Township, March 31, 1831, he married Sophia Cress, born in North Carolina March 26, 1809, daughter of Jacob and Catharine (Bost) Cress, both natives of North Carolina. She (Sophia) came to Illinois with her parents about the year 1817, and died December 21, 1878. Mr. Harkey was again married October 30, 1879, to Mrs. Eleanor T. (McHenry) Evans, born July 11, 1826, daughter of George McHenry. He has had nine children, four of whom are dead - William P., now in Yuba City, Cal.; Jacob M., Solomon S., Sarah C., wife of Benjamin Wilton; Virginia T., Laura L. (deceased), Martha J. (deceased), Mary S. (deceased), and Daniel L. (deceased).
During his business career he met with many reverses; in 1861, he lost $2,060 by the failure of a New York bank; in 1878, he lost $2,700 by the Farmers Mechanics' Bank, of Hillsboro; and in December, 1881, he lost about $2,700 by the failure of Haskell Bros. & Co., of Hillsboro. He and his wife are members of the Methodist Church; he is a member of the I. O. O. F.; in politics he supports the Republican party.
More Information: Solomon Harkey House
Taken From: History of Bond and Montgomery Counties, Illinois (1882)