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Below is a family biography included in Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Jackson County, Arkansas published by Goodspeed Publishing Company in 1889.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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Capt. James T. Henderson, a prominent and influential man of Jackson County, and the father of Auvergne, the town where he resides, is a native of Giles County, Tenn., and was born September 14, 1835. His parents were Benjamin Franklin and Nancy C. (Blackwood) Henderson, natives of North Carolina, and of Irish and English ancestry. The parents were married in Northern Alabama, and in 1834 moved to Giles County, Tenn., locating upon a large plantation, where they reared their family of four children. B. Franklin Henderson was an active and influential Democrat, and the family were members of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. James T. was the eldest of the children; the others are Eliza J., who became the wife of Robert L. Davis, in April, 1857; Emma, wife of R. M. Laird, a merchant and farmer of Auvergne; and John C., a farmer and stock raiser, also of Auvergne. Benjamin Franklin Henderson died in the early part of 1849, which sad event made it necessary for James T., who was then attending college in Tennessee, to return home and assist his mother in the management of his father’s estate; the mother died in 1856, leaving him sole manager at the age of twenty-one. He was made joint administrator, and Henry Henderson, a colored slave, was appointed foreman under our subject’s direction. In 1857 Mr. Henderson was employed by John T. Shapard, of Elkton, as a cotton buyer, in which he was successful, and was subsequently engaged in the store of John T. Shapard under permanent contract at $100 per month; at the end of six months he bought a one-half interest in the business, and the firm became Shapard & Henderson, of Elkton, Tenn., carrying on an extensive business until 1860; in the latter year our subject sold out and removed to Jackson County, Ark., first locating on Bowen’s Ridge, where he lived two years. At the outbreak of the war he raised Company H, Thirty-second Arkansas Regiment, of which he was elected captain, and after serving in that capacity a short time, he was selected to fill a position in the secret service under Gens. Hindman, Shelby and Price, and Kirby Smith. He was quite successful in the work of securing supplies for the army, and escaped capture, receiving honorable discharge at the close of the war. He then returned to Arkansas, and bought a large farm near Newport, but was employed as mercantile salesman in the store of J. W. Stayton & Co., of Jacksonport, for three years, afterward, for about the same length of time, in the same capacity with A. Hirsch & Son. In 1873 he bought 755 acres of land, on which he settled, and the first year cleared 400 acres; of this tract he has sold a considerable portion, now owning 480 acres, of which 410 acres are under cultivation. He has erected good houses, barns, etc., and made other improvements. When Mr. Henderson first located his present home, there was no open land between his place and Newport, but his enterprise and perseverance have opened a large area; he has a beautiful home among the trees, one-half mile west of Auvergne, and upon his place is growing a young peach orchard of 1,000 trees, of more than a dozen varieties; he also has other orchards containing nearly all kinds of pears, apples, plums and cherries. All of the twenty-five slaves whom Mr. Henderson owned and brought with him to Arkansas before the war are still living, and have farms of their own, leading independent lives. Capt. Henderson owns ten places, comprising in all 1,220 acres, besides four residences in Newport, and the towns of Tuckerman and Swifton. He located the town of Auvergne, and built the first house there in 1886; he also built and furnished the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, which he presented to the town. With six others besides Capt. Henderson a board of directors was formed, who built and established Auvergne Academy, and in many other ways has our subject taken a leading part in the up building of his town. In 1888 he was appointed by the State Immigration Society to organize a Jackson County society, to which he was successful, holding the position of vice-president of his township and director of the county board. Capt. Henderson has devoted considerable attention to the breeding of thoroughbred cattle, and has some of the finest stock in the State. In 1858 the Captain married Miss Amanda M. Laird, daughter of Martin and Margaret (Malone) Laird, natives of Virginia. Capt. Henderson is a member of Newport Lodge No. 191, A. F. & A. M.; he is an Odd Fellow, a member of the K. of H., and A. L. of H., and of the Wheel. He takes an active part in the politics of his county and State as a Democrat, having been elected in 1874 to represent the Twenty-ninth District in the senate, where he served until 1878. Mr. and Mrs. Henderson are consistent members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South.

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This family biography is one of 144 biographies included in Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Jackson County, Arkansas published in 1889.  View the complete description here: Jackson County, Arkansas History, Genealogy, and Maps

View additional Jackson County, Arkansas family biographies here: Jackson County, Arkansas Biographies

View a map of 1889 Jackson County, Arkansas here: Jackson County, Arkansas Map

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