Solomon, Kansas

Google map showing Solomon, Kansas, to the west of Abilene.
Google map showing Solomon and Prairie Mound Cemetery.

Both The Mill on Halfway Brook and Echo Hill and Mountain Grove include letters to and from Solomon City (now Solomon), Kansas, as that is where my grandfather Mort Austin, and his siblings Ell (James Eldred Austin) and Lon Austin lived and worked in the years on either side of 1880.

Ell and Lon Austin seemed to have gone west to get out on their own (there seems to have been some resentment towards their father and working for him) around 1878.

Ell eventually managed the many acres of farm land owned by Henry Parmenter (and in 1883) married Henry’s daughter Emma Parmenter Slocum. Lon (for a time) and later Grandpa Mort worked for Ell on that Parmenter farm.

Ell, Lon, and Mort’s sister Emma Austin had TB and in the summer of 1879 traveled from Eldred, New York, to Solomon, Kansas, in hopes that the drier climate could cure her illness.

But Emma Austin died in November 1879 and was buried in a plot that Ell Austin had bought, which was next to the Parmenter plot, according to my cousin Melva who had visited the area around 1993.

    Uncle Ell had purchased a plot there clearly marked Austin and adjoining one which Parmenters had evidently had for a couple of generations. One of the graves with worn stone was very close to this and I assumed that that could be Aunt Emogene.—Melva.

Melva was told that the names some of some of the stones had been worn off because of the wind and sand storms in the area in the 1920s and 30s. At the time Melva visited, there were no burial records in the cemetery office.

Fast forward to March 2012 when my youngest daughter was getting married in Iowa. Since we were going to drive to Iowa, my hope was that on the way home, Gary and I would be able to stop in Solomon, Kansas, to see if we could find Emma Austin’s gravesite in the nearby Prairie Mound Cemetery where I had located Henry Parmenter’s gravestone on

On the sunny morning of March 11, we left Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Halfway to Solomon, Kansas, clouds and rain were added to the mix of the wind which had never ceased blowing from the time we had left Arizona on March 7.

The hope was that we could arrive at Prairie Mound Cemetery before it was too dark for Gary to take photos and that it would stop raining. Continued on Prairie Mound Cemetery post.

Prairie Mound Cemetery shown on google map.
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