Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Solomon Old and Wise ~ Wisdom Wednesday

Solomon Leighton was born in Barrington, in Strafford County, New Hampshire, on August 10, 1797. the second son of Stephen Leighton and his first wife, Mary "Polly" Emerson. In the terminology of the day, he was referred to as an "idiot."* Today, we might consider him to be a savant.

His father specified in his 1824 will that Solomon be looked after. He named his second wife Deborah as executrix, left land to his youngest son by his first marriage, Andrew, and his youngest son by his second marriage, Stephen, gave cash bequests to the other children, and gave Stephen responsibility for the support of his brother Solomon (Strafford County Probate, 30:33; 33:73, 82).

In the June 1880 Census of Strafford Town, he is working on Stephen's farm at age 82:

On August 13, 1900, the St. Albans (Vt.) Daily Messenger noted the 103rd birthday of Solomon Leighton, noting he could be the oldest living person in New Hampshire:

Note in the 2nd paragraph of the above article: "Events that happened ninety years ago are still fresh in his memory."  One has to wonder what a present-day diagnosis of autism might say about Solomon Leighton.

A 2nd cousin 5x removed, Solomon Leighton died later that same year, in Strafford County, New Hampshire, on September 23, 1900.**

* Leighton, Perley M. A Leighton genealogy: descendants of Thomas Leighton of Dover, New Hampshire. Compiled by Perley M. Leighton based in part on data collected by Julia Leighton Cornman. (Boston: New England Historic Genealogical  Society, 1989.) p. 116.

** New Hampshire Death Records, 1654-1947.

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