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Below is a family biography included in Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Saline 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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John C. Henderson, a farmer, and one of the oldest living Baptist ministers of Saline County, Ark., was born in Lauderdale County, Ala., in 1825, and is the son of Rev. Samuel Henderson, a native of South Carolina, and Sarah J. (Bush) Henderson, originally from Tennessee. Samuel Henderson came to this State in 1834, and settled in this county, being the first Baptist minister to find a home in Saline County. [See history of the Baptist Church.] The reverend gentleman was a school teacher in his early life, and in 1836 was ordained and continued in the ministry until his death, which occurred in 1842. He preached in this county and Claiborne Parish, La., spending his last days in Perry County, this State. His marriage occurred in 1809, he becoming the father of eleven children, all of whom lived to be grown: Minerva (deceased, wife of M. Lyon, whose family reside in Faulkner and Colorado Counties), Samuel (deceased), Abner (deceased), Eliza (deceased, wife of Sam Williams; family reside in Faulkner County), J. P. (resides in Texas), Alford (deceased; family reside in Garland County), Robert H. (deceased), Martha (deceased, wife of W. Hutchison), J. C. (our subject), and M. J. (deceased, his family residing at Benton.) Mrs. Henderson died in 1859, having been a member of the church for eighteen years. Her husband at his death had been a church member for thirty years, and was politically a Jacksonian Democrat. John C. Henderson never attended school, receiving his education at the old home by the light of a pine knot. At the age of twenty-one, he began farming on his own tract of forty acres, situated within one-half mile of where he now lives. Prospering as pluck deserved, he now owns 460 acres, having given 250 acres to his sons. In 1861 he joined the Confederate army as captain of Company D, Boland’s regiment of cavalry. Later he was elected lieutenant-colonel of the Third Arkansas Cavalry, participating in the battle of Corinth, Miss., and numerous other engagements. Resigning in 1863, he came home in the fall, and organized a company, of which he was chosen captain. He was promoted to major of sharpshooters, and was with Gen. Price on his famous raid, being at Poison Springs, Ironton, Union City, Osage River and Westport. While charging a body of sharpshooters, near Kansas City, he was badly wounded in the thigh, by a minie-ball. He came in 1865 and resumed the peaceful pursuits of farming, which he follows today. On the second Sabbath in April, 1868, he was called to be pastor of the Union Church, and regularly ordained in October of that year, having now served in that capacity for twenty-one years. He now acts as pastor of the Pleasant Grove Church, Pulaski County, North Fork and Union Church of this county. He was married in 1846 to Miss Elizabeth Chennault, of this county, and by her is the father of eight children, five now living: J. P. (an attorney, married, lives at Hot Springs), J. H. (married, at home with his father), C. B. (married, ordained a minister of the Baptist Church, September 15, 1889), Leon (deceased), M. J. (book-keeper for Townsend & Co., Hot Springs), Mary L. (wife of L. E. McMillon, lives in Benton), and S. M. (deceased.) Mr. Henderson has been a member of the church for thirty-five years, and his wife for twenty-five years. He also belongs to Saline Lodge of the I. O. O. F., located at Benton; Ionic Lodge No. 377, and A. F. & A. M.; Union Chapter No. 2, and Little Rock Council, at Hot Springs, being one of the charter members of the last named lodge. He was master of Hot Springs Lodge for a number of years, and is at present chaplain of Ionic Lodge. Mr. Henderson has seen the wilderness of the county converted into happy homes, and has witnessed the transformation of dense forests into productive farms, assisting not a little himself in the general advancement. He is a Democrat. After the close of the war, in 1867, Mr. Henderson returned to his homestead, purchasing 340 acres of land, and with his noble boys began life almost anew, having been by the ravages of war reduced to total poverty, but with the assistance of Hon. J. G. Fletcher, of Little Rock, and well directed blows of industry by himself and sons, he soon climbed to a state of ease and plenty. In 1873 he built a farm house, costing nearly $1,400, also purchased a residence in Benton, costing $1,000, which he gave to his only living daughter. He has ever been a faithful minister, never missing his appointments on account of secular business, though some of his churches are more than twenty miles from his home. He is moderator of Saline association of Baptists, consisting of the counties of Saline, Hot Spring, Garland, Montgomery, and churches of other counties.

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This family biography is one of 100 biographies included in Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Saline County, Arkansas published in 1889.  For the complete description, click here: Saline County, Arkansas History, Genealogy, and Maps

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