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Below is a family biography included in The History of Greene County, Illinois published by Donnelley, Gassette & Loyd in 1879.  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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HENDERSON, S. M. farmer and stock raiser, Sec. 12, P.O. White Hall, his father, James Henderson, was born in Hunterdon County, New Jersey, March 9, 1783; at the age of 21, in 1804, emigrated to Virginia, residing there two years, then went to Ohio, when, near West Fall, was united in marriage to Mary White, who was born Oct. 25, 1787, near old Fort Pittsburg, Pa.; in May, 1818, in connection with his brother-in-law, Levi Beeder and family, embarked on a keel boat at the month of the Sciota, descending the Ohio to its mouth, then cordeling the boat up the Mississippi, via St. Louis, landing at the mouth of Wood River, in June, made their, home on the hills of the Piasas, that season; in August of that year, in company with a few others, made a tour of inspection of the fertile lands northward, of which they heard such glowing descriptions. Crossing Apple Creek the first day, camped on the bank of a small stream which bore his name for a number of years, and upon which he laid the first claim north of Apple Creek, and in 1819 they reached their wilderness home, although privations and hardships ended not for many years. Not having cotton nor flax they resorted to the nettle for lint, from which they made clothing. The nearest post office for many years was Alton. In Aug. 1819, thinking that a little wheat flour would be well to intersperse with turkey, venison and hominy, Mr. Henderson went with cart and oxen to St. Charles, Mo., to obtain some. He was absent three weeks; during that absence the following episode occurred: a former acquaintance was visiting them as usual, accompanied by the back woodsman’s friend, the rifle; himself must take his own true gun, the friend promised to stay with the lone family—the oldest child not eleven years of age. One night as the family lay in the new camp, without a door or shutter, the screams of a huge panther woke them as he came leaping on the branches of the lately fallen trees near the hut. The cautious mother called, “Aaron, do you hear that?” “Yes.” “Well, what is it?” “It’s a painter, and don’t make any noise or it will come into the camp and kill us all.” “If I get you the gun can’t you shoot?” “No; be still.” “Well, if it comes in I will have you killed first.” She got up and made a trick of bark and clapboards and moved it up and down till the shocking blood-sucker retired. That same Autumn their infant daughter Mary died; this was the first death in the settlement. They lived to rear ten children, nine of whom are still living. James Henderson was noted for his strong love for morality and temperance; was an energetic man, and had the interest of schools at heart as much as anyone in the neighborhood. Mrs. Henderson was a woman of strong mind, was sympathetic to the afflicted. Her mother’s maiden name was McGhee, whose father and two brothers were in the Revolutionary war, one of them seven years, and composed one of Gen. Washington’s body-guard, and rendered important service at the battle of Brandywine.

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This family biography is one of 744 biographies included in The History of Greene County, Illinois published in 1879.  View the complete description here: The History of Greene County, Illinois

View additional Greene County, Illinois family biographies here: Greene County, Illinois Biographies

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