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Below is a family biography included in the book, Portrait and Biographical Record of Johnson and Pettis County Missouri published by Chapman Publishing Company in 1895.  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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THOMAS HENDERSON, an influential farmer of township 47, range 27, Johnson County, is a self-made man, as he started out in life with nothing except health and an indomitable will. His success has been noteworthy, and now, as a result of years of toil, he finds himself in possession of a secure fortune, a pleasant home, and with little need to worry over what the future may bring.

The sixth in a family of ten children, all but four of whom yet survive, Mr. Henderson is the son of J. W. and Lena (Houx) Henderson, and was born October 17, 1855. The father was born in Bourbon County, Ky., and was reared on a farm, following the same business as did his father before him, that of farming. After he had made a start in life he bought hogs, and driving them to New Orleans there found a good market. In 1836 he removed to the vicinity of Jacksonville, Ill., where he drifted into railroad construction work and was boss of a large force of men employed in building the first railroad ever put through to that city. Two years afterward he settled in this county and was numbered among its most enterprising citizens. He was an extensive raiser and feeder of hogs, being particularly successful in that line. His death occurred March 15, 1894, he having attained a good old age.

Thomas Henderson was brought up to habits of industry, honesty and activity by his esteemed parents, and having always been accustomed to farming, chose that as his future occupation in life. Leaving home at the age of twenty-two years, he herded cattle for about a year in order to obtain money with which to make a start. Securing a team and necessary implements, he rented a farm and turned his attention to feeding cattle. They were ready for the market at a favorable time, and, being a choice lot, commanded an unusual price. In 1881 he went to Indian Territory and after some two years of trading and prospecting, settled about four miles from the Kansas line, being one of the first white men to obtain a lease of land in the Osage Indian Reservation. During the ten years he spent there he met with some serious drawbacks, but on the whole prospered financially. In December, 1891, he purchased his present farm of one hundred and seventy-two acres. He continues to raise and feed cattle and hogs and is doing well.

About two years ago Mr. Henderson built a handsome country residence. It is presided over by his charming and accomplished wife, who was formerly Miss Delia V. Stotts and whose birth occurred in Indiana. They were married April 13, 1884, and have three bright children, Joseph W., Archie and Victor.

By his ballot our subject supports the nominees of the Third party, though he was formerly a Democrat. His success in life is due to the fact that he perseveres in whatever he undertakes and attends strictly to his own business.

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This family biography is one of the numerous biographies included in the Johnson County, Missouri portion of the book,  Portrait and Biographical Record of Johnson and Pettis County Missouri published in 1895 by Chapman Publishing Co.  For the complete description, click here: Johnson County, Missouri History, Genealogy, and Maps

View additional Johnson County, Missouri family biographies here: Johnson County, Missouri Biographies

View a map of 1904 Johnson County, Missouri here: Johnson County, Missouri Map

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