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Friday, March 25, 2016

Solomon Rozelle

In 1830 Solomon Rozelle came to the area and acquired most of the surrounding property, built his house and a rail station near the intersection of Pigeon Roost Road and the Memphis & Charleston Railroad. In 1874 His grandson donated some land nearby for the first Rozelle School. Farther west along the route, the Snowdens , Brinkleys, and others built their mansions, several of which remain today. Rozelle’s property ultimately included most of the land between Union Ave. on the north and South Parkway on the south and between Bellevue on the west and Hollywood on the east.

Memphis Daily Appeal, Aug, 28, 1856

Solomon Rozelle died near Memphis, August 26, 1856, one of the pioneers of west Tennessee; first settled in Henderson County, Tenn. but in 1829 or '30 moved to Shelby County; died at "a very advanced age." Left wife and several children.

Buried At

Buried in Elmwood Cemetery, Memphis, Tennessee, these data taken by the present writer from the Rozelle tombstone:

Solomon Rozelle Born: December 25, 1777; Died: August 26, 1856
His wife, Mary Rozelle Born: October 11, 1779; Died: June 6, 1864

Solomon B. Rozell

Referring from the sketch of SOLOMON B. ROZELL on page 13 of this publication, from page lOO6, HISTORY OF WILLIAMSON COUNTY (and others), TENNESSEE, by Weston A. Goodspeed, Nashville, 1886:

ASHLEY B. ROZELL may be mentioned as a prominent farmer and stock grower of Williamson County, Tenn. was born in the Palmetto State June 11, 1802, and is a son of Solomon and Mary Rozelle who were born in Maryland and North Carolina, respectively. They were married in North Carolina in 1800, and immigrated to this State about 1804 and located in Williamson County, but soon moved to West Tennessee where they remained several years, afterward moving to Shelby County, locating near Memphis, where both father and mother died. To them were born six children-five sons and one daughter-named Ashley B., Yerbie P., Rufard A., Martha D., Blackman L. and Claybion W. Our subject received a common school education and always followed the occupation of farming. In 1821 he became a minister of the gospel in the Methodist Episcopal Church, and was a member of the Methodist Episcopal Tennessee Conference until 1833. Since that time he has been a local minister and is widely known in the State. In 1828 he was married to Margaret M. Rolston, who was born in 1809, and the daughter of Maj. Alexander Rolston. She died in 1830, and in 1882 he wedded Henrietta S. Burnett. born in 1810, daughter of Brooken Burnett, of Rutherford County. They have five children: Mary T., Logan D., Ruford B., Martha C. and Ashley B. Mrs. Rozell died in 1846, and for his third wife Mr. Rozell took Martha A. Chambers. She is a daughter of Thomas and Nancy Chambers, of Virginia, and was born in 1828. To them were born four children: William R., Henrietta, Lockie B. and Lizzie B. The family are all members of the Methodist Episcopal Church South, and their early ancestors were among the first families that settled In the State. They are of French descent. Mr. Rozell has been quite prosperous, and in 1865 located on his farm of 420 acres of valuable land, known as the Mount View stock farm.

Memphis DAILY APPEAL, August 28, 1856:

At his residence near this city, on Tuesday last, Solomon Rozelle, one of our oldest and most highly respected citizens. Mr. Rozelle was one of the pioneers of West Tennessee having first settled in Henderson county, where he resided until 1829 or 30 when he removed to this county. He died at a very advanced age and has left behind him a large and highly respectable family of children besides the partner of his bosom.

GOODSPEED'S HISTORY OF TENNESSEE (Madison County), 1887, pages 900-901: 
Blackmon L. Rozell:
Col. Black L. Rozell was born in Maury County, August 5, 1818, and moved to Henderson County, West Tennessee, in the fall of the same year. The father and mother were natives of Maryland and North Carolina respectively. The father lived in different States until the beginning of this century, when he located in this State, and in 1831 moved to Memphis. The city was almost the daily rendezvous of the Indians, and he witnessed them crossing the Mississippi River in 1832. The father was a prosperous planter, becoming very wealthy. He died on his plantation near Memphis, in August, 1856, his wife following him in 1864. The father was eighty years of age, and the mother eighty-five. Our subject was reared on a farm, and in 1844 moved to Mississippi (Being one of the judges of election when Jas. K. Polk was elected President), and engaged in farming. In 1846 he graduated in the medical college at Cincinnati, and practiced for a number of years in Mississippi, and conducted his plantation at the same time. In 1861 he was elected colonel of the Third Mississippi Regiment, remaining with them twelve months, when he received authority from headquarters to raise a regiment, which he at once proceeded to do, but after having succeeded in raising the sixth company he was taken with severe sickness, and before he could recover, his companies had been mustered into service. He then was stationed as watch on the river in Coahoma Co., and remained there till close of the war; returned to his plantation and remained until 1871, when he moved to this city, but still retains and runs his Mississippi plantation. In 1850-52 and 1854 he served in the lower house of the Mississippi State Legislature, and was nominated for the Senate for the following two years, but declined to accept. In 1882 he served the people as mayor of this city. In February, 1855, he was united in marriage to Miss Lizzie C. Lyon, of this city, and daughter of James S. Lyon. She waa born in this State, August 30, 1830. He and wife are members of the Methodist Church. Mr. Rozell is in politics Democratic. He is the only surviving member of his father's family, his brother, who resided near Nashville having died lately, in his eighty-fifth year, and having been a minister for sixty-eight years.

Solomon and Mary are buried in the Fowler Section of Elmwood Cemetery in Memphis, Tennessee. They share a shaft tombstone:

(West Side)

Solomon Rozelle
December 25, 1777
August 26, 1856
Aged 79 yrs. & 4 months
Blessed is that man that
maketh the Lord his trust
for his inheritance is
(South Side)
Mary, wife of Solomon Rozelle
Born Oct. 11, 1779
Died June 6, 1864
(East Side)
Farewell dear Father, accept these
tears, mortalities /sic/ relief,
'tis all that children, all that
friends may give.

Solomon Rozelle's Land

In November 1853, Judge William Roland Harris paid $6,000 for forty acres of land located east of Memphis, and that today would be on Central Avenue in the Central Gardens Historic District. Harris' acreage was part of a 5,000-acre tract purchased in 1783 by John Rice; the North Carolina land act of the same year made it possible for Rice to acquire 130,000 acres in Tennessee, including the original site for the town of Memphis. In 1830 when a land speculator defaulted on his payment to John McLemore and A. B. Carr for what was originally John Rice's 'East Memphis' tract, Solomon Rozelle shrewdly bought 803 of the acres for about $10 an acre. Rozelle, whose land was bounded by today's Hollywood Street, Union Avenue, Bellevue Boulevard and a dry creek south of South Parkway, sold large portions of his holdings to his sons for token amounts of money. Judge Harris' 40 acre purchase is the first known sale of the Rozelle family's Central Gardens land to someone outside of the family.