A couple of years ago I posted a short description of Solomon Hinson. His connection to the Cane Creek Massacre was tenuous, but not incredibly so. A newspaper quoted a returned missionary who claimed it was Solomon Hinson who spread around an inflamatory newspaper article about Mormons, riding house to house, even reading it outload to those who could not read it themselves. The missionary, Elder George Woodbury, was certainly a secondary source. And the only one. It proved only that there might have been rumors that Solomon Hinson was somehow involved beforehand.
After the post was published, a descendent of Solomon Hinson contacted me. Family tradition stated that yes he was indeed involved; not just before hand, but in the shooting itself. It was enough corroboration for me to consider his participation probable.
With the testimony of Harriet Conder, there is a third source. It is true that this source is even more removed. It is a second hand version, and it was not recorded until 65 years after the fact. And she does not actually claim he was at the massacre, only that he had a reason to be. But the existance of a third independent source means I can be confortable with keeping him in the probable category.
Harriet called him Sol Hinson. A few documents refer to Solomon Hinson by the nick name Sol. A biography collected by the Lewis County Historical Society, a death certificate for one of his sons, and a census record, all indicate he was called Sol, making the connection between Harriet's Sol Hinson and Solomon Hinson a pretty good bet. There might have been other Sol Hinson's, but multiple matching points (i.e. related to Dave Hinson, the use of the nick name Sol, having a son of marriagable age in 1884) make the identification pretty reliable.
As for Sol's son, the one who Harriet claimed was getting baptized that day; Solomon Hinson had eight children. Seven were sons. It could be any one of them, or none of them.
Thomas J. Hinson was born in 1852. He was married in1872 to Margaret Hensley. Thomas does not appear in the 1880 census. There is a Thomas Hinson in Perry County who was very friendly with the missionaries in 1880 and 1881. But reference to him disapear after that and his home was on Roan Creek at the far side of Perry County from Lewis and Hickman counties. Other than their name, there is nothing connecting the two Thomas Hinsons.
David Green Hinson was born in 1854. He married a sister of his older brother's wife, Martha J.Hensley, in about 1876. He does apear in the 1880 census in Hickman County. No one by that name appears in missionary journals in that area.
John Andrew Hinson (1855-1944). He married Mary Ann Carroll on 26 Dec 1877. His wife's family name, Carroll, poses an interesting idea. Several members of the Carroll family were members of the LDS Church by 1884. Most baptisms at the time were relatives of existing members. Other Carroll family members were close friends of the missionaries. Sheriff John Carroll did have a daughter named Mary Ann. But in 1880, she was still living at home, single. If the marriage date is correct, then they could not be the same person.
In a twist, the descendent of Sol Hinson that I mentioned earlier, is descended through John A. Hinson. He added that his grandmother's brother, Clyde Hinson, said that John Andrew Hinson was at the Massacre too. Clyde went on to describe John as a very mean person who cared only about himself. I can imagine a scenario where John was at one time interested in the LDS Church, perhaps because of his wife, but was persuaded to change his mind by some inflammatory literature. But it is more likely that he was involved in order to protect a younger brother from being converted.
Andrew C. Hinson (1858-1929) married Sarah Atlanta Harris in about 1882. Andrew is a possibility but no one by that name appears in missionary journals in that area.
Polk D. Hinson was born in 1860, but did not marry his wife Drucilla Spears, until 1885, and so does not match Harriet's description.
Sarah A. Hinson. Although a child of Solomon Hinson she could not have been referred to as one of his sons.
William W. Hinson was born in 1865. He married Mary A.Talley, but marriage date has not been recorded. Like Mary Ann Carroll, Mary A. Talley may have been related to existing members of the church. There is a women by that name living in the area for whom no marriage is recorded. She is the niece of Eli Talley.
Solomon Jr. Hinson was born in 1868, was probably too young to have been married at the time or to have been baptized without a parent's permission.
4 weeks ago