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Our Plural History | Springfield, MA

An image of Solomon "Sol" Hollis.
Courtesy of T.J. Hall

Primary Resources Archive

Hollis Family Records

Solomon "Sol" Hollis was the patriarch of the Hollis family. The son of a white slave owner and a slave woman of mixed African American and Creek Indian heritage, Sol was born in Georgia and spent most of his life in Alabama.

Sol Hollis, was a trained blacksmith, bee keeper, farmer, and freeman. Following the Civil War he accumulated over a hundred and fifty acre farm on which he raised numerous crops and was able to provide a stable environment for his family of twelve children. Before his death Sol was able to divide up his land amongst his children and provide them with the means to start their own lives.

When Sol died in on May 23, 1926 he had fifty four grandchildren and fifteen great grandchildren. Many of his descendents would eventually come North and settle in and around Springfield, Massachusetts. Today, Sol Hollis’ legacy lives on in Springfield through family names such as Spencer, Smith, Kyles and with TJ. Hall. Given the greater opportunity for African Americans and those of mixed descent in the North, Sol's descendents would go on to become teachers, engineers, doctors, porters, and nurses.

The materials contained in this section offer a glimpse into their lives through census records, two family histories, and images.

Sol Hollis Story [PDF]

Solomon Sol Hollis Senior December 1843 - May 23, 1926 [PDF]

1880 Tanyard, Alabama Census - Hollis Family [PDF]
1880 Census Tanyard, Alabama taken on June 18th, 1880. All occupants listed as mulatto except for Ann.

Sol Hollis: farmer 37 yrs. Born in 1843 in GA - a farmer - parents born in Georgia
Ann: 28 yrs. Born in AL 1850, black - parents born in North and South Carolina
Mack:- 14 yrs. Born in AL 1865
John: 12 yrs. Born in AL 1868
Josie (Josephine): - 9 yrs. Born in AL 1871
Zeke: 7 yrs. Born in AL 1873
Maria J. (Mariah Jane): 6 yrs. Born in AL 1874
Solly (Solomon Hollis Jr.):  4yrs. Born in AL 1876
Minnie: 1 yr. Born in AL 1880

1937 Family Picture [PDF]
Mary Elizabeth Hollis at Reed Village Springfield 1950s [PDF]
1950 Henry and Lizzie [PDF]
1970 Prom Picture Springfield [PDF]
1979 High School Graduation Picture [PDF]

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