SOURCE: History of Texas, Together with a Biographical History of Milam, Williamson, Bastrop, Travis, Lee and Burleson Counties. (Chicago, IL: Lewis, 1893), p. 662 & 663.
J. W. Henderson , one of Milam county's enterprising farmers, has been identified with the interests of Texas for a number of years, and is justly entitled to some personal consideration in this work. He was born in Moulton, Lawrence county, Alabama, May 25, 1833, son of J. T. and Mary (Barclay) Henderson. The father died about 1835, and the mother, having married again, moved to Texas in 1837, and settled near Woodville in Tyler county. There the subject of this sketch was reared to farm life, with educational advantages limited.
In January 1854, being then in his twenty-first year, he came to Milam county, where he secured work on a farm of John Cullins, at $15 per month. He remained thus employed until September of that year, when he joined an expedition under Charles E. Travis, son of one of the heroes of the Alamo, and for twelve months ranged in the western and northwestern part of Texas. Returning then to Milam county, he was engaged in freighting and overseeing until the opening of the late war. He entered the Confederate army in 1861, and was assigned to duty in the commissary and transportation department, where he served until the close of hostilities.
In 1867, he embarked in the live stock business, which was then the principal industry of the State, and gave it his attention until 1877, at first carrying on operations alone, afterward being a member of Cragan Beef Packing Company of New York, and still later, being with the firm of Henderson, Reall & Powers, raising and shipping cattle from 1873 to 1877.
In 1877, he closed out his stock business, and, having made some investments from time to time in Milam county lands, turned his attention to the improvement of these and to the mercantile business, which he entered at Yarrellton. Farming, ginning, merchandising and stock growing have since formed his business pursuits. His entire time has been absorbed with these, and he has met with the usual successes and reverses incident to such interests and enterprises.
From 1887 to 1892 he was in the cattle business in Menard county, in partnership with Julius Range of Galveston. One public position is all he ever filled, that being the office of Cattle Inspector, which he held for about fifteen years. He interests himself in both county and State politics and is a leader in these matters in the locality where he resides, being a stanch (sic) Democrat with progressive ideas.
In 1857, Mr. Henderson married Miss Mary Dobbins, of Milam county, daughter of William Dobbins, deceased, and a niece of John Cullins, the man for whom Mr. Henderson first worked when he came to this county.
They had twelve children, five of whom are deceased: Walter Henderson, R. B. Henderson, Catherine Henderson, Anna Henderson and Lillie Henderson. The others are J. T. Henderson, William Henderson, Richard Henderson, Mary E. Henderson, Jennie Henderson, Eugenia Henderson and Henry C. Henderson, most of whom are grown and married. The wife and mother died in June 1880.
February 2, 1881, Mr. Henderson married Miss May Avers, a native of Mississippi, born March 19, 1855. Her father, H. R. Avers, moved to Texas in 1868, first settled in Robertson county, and from there moved to Bell county, where Mr. and Mrs. Henderson were married. They have seven sons and one daughter, namely: Walter Henderson, Carrie Henderson, Hardie Henderson, Thomas Henderson, Earnest Henderson, Alexander Henderson, Julius Henderson and Dwite Henderson.
Mr. Henderson was made a Mason in 1861, and has been an active member of the order ever since. He takes a prominent part in everything relating to the welfare of the community where he lives, being always ready to encourage every worthy purpose looking to the upbuilding of the material, moral, social and religious interests of society.
We must say a special thank you to Earline Long-Zlotkowski of San Antonio, Texas, for typing the above biographical sketch for use on the Milam County TXGenWeb site.
Created on 15 July 2004 and last revised on ____________