SOLOMON DULING. In the annals of early settlement in Grant county one of the names first to be mentioned is that of the Duling family, which for upwards of seventy years has been identified with Fairmount township. Solomon Duling, above named, was born a few years after the settlement of the family in this county, and has thus lived practically all his life in his native community. The Duling name throughout his residence in Grant county has always been associated with solid worth and an industry which brings credit to the possessor and has helped to create the resources and wealth of the community.
The Duling family has always been more or less on the frontier, struggling against the hardships of the wilderness, and making homes first on the Atlantic Coast, and then in different sections of the middle west. First to be mentioned in the family history is William Duling, great-grandfather of Solomon. He spent all his life in Virginia, where he was a farmer. One of the sons of William was Edmund Duling, Sr. grandfather of Solomon, and the next in line of descent was Edmund Duling, Jr. The senior Edward moved from Virginia, early in the nineteenth century and made settlement in Coshocton, Ohio, where he died when past seventy years of age. He married, probably in Virginia, Mary Dean. He had a large family of 13 children, all of whom lived so that it was possible for the entire group to be seated at one time about the same family table. Edmund Duling, Sr., was a prosperous farmer, a man of substance for his time, and was especially prominent in the Methodist church. His home was, in fact, a center for Methodist activities in that part of Ohio. Many meetings were held in his barn, and every interant minister who went through the country stopped and was fed and lodged in the Duling home. It was one of the old-fashioned log houses, so frequent at that time in Ohio, but its hospitality was unlimited, and it was often filled from cellar to garret with visitors and worshipers who came from a distance, all of them partaking of the generous provisions afforded by the Duling household. Previous to the immigration of the family from Virginia, they had all been slave holders and planters, but the slaves were freed many years before the war.
Edmund Duling Jr., father of Solomon Duling, and founder of the family fortunes in Grant county, was the third son in a very large family of children. He with two brothers, Solomon and Thomas, became settlers in Grant county, Indiana, and all of them improved excellent farm estates, were successful agriculturists, and became heads of families. The three brothers are now deceased and also their wives. Edmund Duling, Jr. was born in Coshocton county, Ohio, April 9, 1817. He grew up in his native locality, was a farmer boy, and received a meagre education in the public schools of that time. He married Eliza Ann Hubert, who was born in Guernsey county, Ohio. In the spring of 1845 Edmund Duling, Jr. and his brother Thomas rode horseback from Coshocton to Fairmount, erected their log cabin, returned to Ohio for their families and moved out that fall. There Edmund Duling, Jr. made a clearing in the midst of the tall trees, and probably with the help of some of his neighbors hewed out the timbers from which were built a log cabin, eighteen by twenty feet in dimensions and comprising only one room. The roof of this rude house was the old-fashioned clapboards, bound down with shakes, as they were called. The single door swung on wooden hinges. Wooden pins supplied the fastenings where needed, although the tongue and groove were the chief methods by which the timbers were fastened together. However, the home had one distinction, and that was a lumber floor. Among the articles of kitchen furniture which the family brought into Grant county, was one of the old bake-oven, and that interesting utensil now in the possession of Solomon Duling. It is a relic interesting in itself and especially so from the family associations, since practically all the bread consumed in the household was made by the good housewife and baked in that oven, which was heated either in the fireplace or on coals spread out of doors. The pioneer housewife also had her spinning wheel, and from the flax and wool spun the yarn and made the clothes for all the members of the family. Eventually Edmund Duling and wife improved an excellent farm, and replaced the old log cabin with a good frame house standing near what is now known as the Eighth Street Road. There they lived, labored, reared their children and finally passed to their reward.
Edmund Duling died in 1901, when within a few months of being eighty-four years of age. His wife had passed away some twelve or thirteen years previously. She was born in 1818, and though reared in the Presbyterian faith, afterwards became a Protestant Methodist, and both she and her husband died in that faith. He was first a Whig and later a Republican in politics.
The five children of Edmund Duling, Jr., and wife are mentioned as follows: Maria died after her marriage to Joshua Hollingsworth, her death occurring in 1908. The husband is still living. They were the parents of two children, Edmund and Lena. Asa, the second born is deceased and left a family of two sons, Frank and Verlie. Mary J. died at the age of four years. The next among the children is Solomon. Emily, who married Asbury Crabb, who is still living, died soon after the birth of her only daughter Emma, who is now married and has three children, Lulu, Ethel and Alva.
Mr. Solomon Duling was born on the old homestead in Fairmount township, December 1, 1850. He was reared there, and still owns half of the eighty acres which made up the old home place. His career has been that of a substantial farmer, and with the passing of years he has brought his land into a high state of cultivation and improvement. Solomon Duling in 1881 married Miss Alice Wright. She was born in Plainfield, Hendricks county, Indiana, January 26, 1861. When she was a young girl her parents, Joseph R. and Deborah (Dicker) Wright moved to Grant county. Both her parents were natives of Pennsylvania, where they were married, and then came to Indiana. Her father Joseph Wright, now lives in Fairmount city, at the age of seventy-six. He is a veteran of the Sixty-third Indiana Infantry during the Civil war, and his home has been in Grant county since 1869. His wife died here about five years ago, when about seventy years of age. The Wright family were for a number of years members of the Methodist church, but later joined the Methodist Protestant, and finally became Dunkards. To the marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Duling have been born no children, but in the kindness of their hearts they have adopted and reared two foster daughters. One, a niece, is now Mrs. Emma Rich. The other is Mrs. Verna Rogers, and has one son, Orville D. Rogers, their home being in New Castle, Indiana. Mr. and Mrs. Duling are members of the Methodist Protestant Church, and in politics he is a Republican.
Centennial History of Grant County Indiana, 1812-1912 The Lewis Publishing Company, 1914