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Solomon M. Holbrook – Fairmount Cemetery, Jetmore, Hodgeman County, Kansas

The Compromise of 1820 granted the admittance of Maine to enter the Union as a free state and Missouri as a slave state. At the beginning of the Civil War in April 1861, Missouri was populated by both anti- and pro-slavery camps. The control of Missouri was important as its eastern border was the mighty Mississippi River. While living in Missouri at the outbreak of the Civil War, Solomon Holbrook served with the Confederate Army. He did not own slaves but believed in states’ rights.

Solomon’s parents, Colbert and Nancy Holbrook were both born in England and came to America in 1834. They settled in Virginia where their first-born son, Solomon Milam, was born in 1836. The following year, the family moved to Missouri traveling by wagon. Colbert died in 1854 and left six children without a father. Solomon was 18 years old and took on the responsibilities of being head of the household.

On October 11, 1859, Solomon married Lucy Jane Walden in Randolph County, Missouri. Their son was named Colbert Davis. Of course, Colbert was for his father and Davis was for Jefferson Davis the president of the Confederacy during the Civil War. His nickname was “Jeff”.

When Solomon returned to his family after the war, he saw what others saw . . homes and outbuildings were destroyed, farm animals were gone. Solomon was fortunate to have his horse which he rode in battle. Solomon and Lucy started rebuilding their lives. The rest of their nine children were born while residing in Missouri.

Solomon wanted to help his children get a start on their lives by acquiring land for them. He filed a preemption claim in Harper County, Kansas. The family filled two freight cars with cattle, horses, and six mules. Farm implements were taken along with household items. The Holbrook family was prosperous and was looking to buy more land which had access to water, building stone, and trees for a stock shelter.

They came to Hodgeman County in 1884. After the infamous blizzard of 1886, Solomon purchased the land of those who left the county. The cost was $100.00/quarter section. The first post office was established in their home in 1887. Solomon and his sons also owned and operated a general store.

Solomon died in 1911 and Lucy in 1917. They are buried in Fairmount Cemetery along with three of their children, their spouses, and grandchildren.

Note: By the end of the Civil War, approximately 110,000 Missourians served in the Union Army and 40,000 with the Confederates.

The rest of the story: Solomon did receive a military headstone. On the application, it shows that he enlisted in October 1863 and was discharged at Shreveport, Louisiana. He was under the command of 3rd Lt. Capt. John Maxwell, Co. B, William Regiment, Missouri, Shelby Brigade.

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