2024 Historic African American Pioneer Family

Sol House Family

Robert Hughes, Amy House Hughes, Amy’s brother, Dee. Seated are children, Henry Lee Hughes Sr.,  Maggie B. Hughes Patton, Sallie Hughes and William Hughes.

A House Warming Legacy

The term “House Warming” usually refers to a special celebration or invitation to join the host or hosts as they have moved into a heartfelt abode.  2024’s pioneer family warmly and metaphorically addresses a family named House instead of an abode.  The family in question is historically connected.  One family is black, the other one is white. The phrase “House Warming” refers here to the heartfelt considerations shown between certain members of the James House  circa 1750-1825 (white man) family toward certain members of their enslaved. Thus the life and times of enslaved Sol House as well as the life and times of his descendants are addressed here as they bravely and continuously move into new horizons.

Solomon House – 1837-1927

Solomon House and mate Amanda McClellan were known parents of 7 children: Amy, Janie, William, Lee Henry, Jack, Dee and Sol Jr. This article features Amy House Hughes (1864-1938) and William “Munch” House (1860-1932), 2 of the 7 mentioned children, whose many descendants still reside in Williamson County.

Nashville Banner Newspaper, Nashville, TN. Friday, May 13, 1927 – “UNCLE SOL” HOUSE DEAD AT FRANKLIN

Franklin, Tenn, May  13—(Special)—A few days ago, Sol House, colored, more than ninety years of age, after a long and useful life, died at his home near Franklin and was buried in Rest Haven cemetery, Franklin, in the lot with Dr. Isaac S. House, whose slave he had been prior to the civil war.  In that conflict, Dr. House, who was assistant surgeon of the Second Tennessee (Barteau’s) regiment, C. S. A., was faithfully served by Sol House.  After the war, for a number of years, he was foreman of the farm of Samuel S. House, and a few years after the latter’s death he took charge of and managed the farm of W. D. Neely, whose mother was a sister of Dr. I. S. and S. S. House.  After Mr. Neely’s death, Mrs. Mamie Gooch Neely, his widow, and their children of Smyrna, deeded Sol a part of the farm, providing him a home for his old age.  “Uncle Sol,” as he was affectionately known, was honest, true and faithful.  Two daughters, Janie and Amy, and the latter’s husband, Bob Hughes, nursed and looked after him during his long illness. (Reference: Nashville Banner Newspaper, Nashville, Tennessee, Friday May 13, 1927)

Amy House Hughes – 1864-1938

Amy married Robert Hughes, a local blacksmith. They had 4 children: Maggie B., Sally M., Henry Lee Sr., and William. Maggie B. married Robert Patton they had 5 daughters, Amanda, Robbie M, Annie Porter, Harvie Lee, and Dorothy.  Her son, Henry Lee Sr.  married Jennie V. “Lake” Matthews and they had 5 children: Robert, Ora Mai, Henry Lee Jr., Lattimore Hughes Sr. and Edward. Her brother, William “Munch” married Dora Owens and they had 6 children: Dan, Willie, J. D., Tom, Charlie and Helen.

Maggie B. Hughes Patton’s lineage includes over a dozen college graduates.  Her line accounts for two school principals, Amanda Patton North and Tovitha Brown Williams and one college Homecoming Queen, Takako Jackson Price, 1996 Miss Tennessee Tech.  The major educational representative of  Maggie’s lineage was her daughter Amanda Patton North, wife of Harvey North, Sr. The Norths were the parents of three children 1. Maggie Betty, 2. Harvey, Jr., and Dorothy Mildred.

Amanda Patton North taught school for several years during segregated times. North later gained a leadership role of becoming principal of the all-black Tompson Station School, grades 1-8.  She was the last principal of Evergreen School until the school was forced to integrate in 1967.  Most recently, Amanda North holds the distinctive honor of having a Williamson County School named in her honor.

Henry Lee Hughes, Sr. lineage also produced a number of college graduates. The major educational representative of Henry Lee’s lineage was his daughter Ora Mai Hughes Manier, wife of Jacob “Jake’ Manier.  The Maniers were the parents of one child, daughter Jennie Mary Mainer Robinson.  Ora Mai became a school teacher but discontinued that career for other choices. Among Ora Mai’s educational lineage are seven college graduates and two school principals Tosha Robinson-Baugh and Christy Willis Robinson.

The son of Henry Lee Hughes, Sr., Lattimore Hughes, Sr., and Ariena Johnson Nunn Hill produced a daughter Mattie Hughes Woods Kinnard. Mattie married twice: her first husband was John Willie Woods Sr., and her second husband was John Thomas “J. T.” Kinnard, Sr.  Mattie’s lineage also includes college graduates.  Her oldest son John Willie Woods, Jr. was the first African American from Williamson County, Tennessee, killed in Vietnam.

William “Munch” House – 1860-1932

The Descendants of William “Munch” House consists of many college graduates and various professionals.  The present spotlight is to Wilbert and Cassandra Williams Taylor, the great granddaughter of William “Munch” House.  They signed closing paperwork on her family home, the historic Merrill-Willams House to the African American Heritage Society of Williamson County on November 9, 2021.  The home will be significant to the preservation of African American history in Williamson County.  It will serve as a research center as well as a tourist attraction after restoration is completed.