From NKAA, Notable Kentucky African Americans Database (main entry)

White, Solomon E.

(born: 1841  -  died: 1912) olomon White was an artist, scenic painter, and fresco painter. He was born in April 1841 in Kentucky and was the husband of Mary J. White (b.1855 in OH). Solomon and his family moved around quite a bit. In 1860, Solomon White was a free person who was living in Cincinnati at the home of Penelope Cousins and Wiley Cousins who was a barber.  

Solomon E. White and Mary Jane Martin were married July 9, 1873, and their marriage was restored in 1891 [source: Ohio County Marriages, FHL microfilm 355,093. Entry No.2350 on p.329]. It is not known at this time if Solomon and Mary had ever been slaves.

By 1879, the family lived in Cincinnati at 276 John Street [source: Williams' Cincinnati Directory for 1878-9], and there were two more children. A year later, the family lived in Grand Rapids, MI, and Solomon was employed as an artist and fresco painter. They lived at 43 Curtiss Street from 1880-1885, according to the Grand Rapids City Directory. They then returned to Cincinnati, and Solomon White continued his work as an artist [source: Williams' Cincinnati Directory 1884-1885].

In 1886, the family moved to 267 W. Eighth Street [source: Williams' Cincinnati Directory 1886]. Solomon White continued as a scenic painter and a fresco painter; he is listed in Williams' Cincinnati Directory as late as 1895, and in the Cincinnati Business Directory section under Fresco Decorators in Williams' Covington and Newport Directory, 1898-99. In October of 1899, Solomon White painted the scenery for the play On the Suwanee River when the play came to Newark, OH. Solomon White had made drawings of the Suwanee River on a trip to Florida, and used the images in the scenery. In 1900, Solomon continued his work as an artist, and he and Mary shared their home on W. Eighth Street with their youngest two sons and Solomon's brother Jackson White Jr., a butcher who was born in December 1861 in Kentucky [source: U.S. Federal Census]. Solomon E. White was a widower when he died February 5, 1912 in Cincinnati, Ohio, according to the Ohio Death List.

Solomon was the son of Jackson [Sr.] and [Mahaly] White [source: Ohio Death Certificate File No.8764, Registered No.763]. In 1860, the family lived in Lexington, KY, according to the U.S. Census for that year. There were six children and Solomon was the oldest. Everyone in the family was born in Kentucky. The entire family was free in 1860. Jackson Solomon Sr., born around 1815, supported his family as a feather renovator (cleans feathers for reuse in pillows, mattresses, and other bedding).

For more see "Auditorium Saturday," Newark Daily Advocate, 10/21/1898, p.6; Artists in Ohio, 1787-1900 by M. S. Haverstock, et. al.; and Ancestry for directories, death certificates, and census data.

Kentucky County & Region

Read about Fayette County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Kentucky Place (Town or City)

Read about Lexington, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

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Cite This NKAA Entry:

“White, Solomon E.,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed February 21, 2024,

Last modified: 2017-12-30 23:43:54