Carroll Henderson


Carroll County IL Biography



This well-known farmer of Woodland Township, is a son of Robert and Nancy (Wooten) Henderson; the father a native of Virginia, and the mother of North Carolina. After their marriage Robert and his wife settled in Tennessee, near Nashville, where he bought a farm. They lived in Tennessee until 1816, when with their family they removed to Illinois, Jackson County. Here both parents died, and on the homestead both are buried. They were the parents of eight children, three boys and five girls, of whom our subject was the fifth in order of birth.

Carroll Henderson was born in Jackson County, Ill., Jan. 24, 1820, and remained in his native State ever since, helping his father in the labor of the farm. There were no public schools there in that day, and he received little or no education. In his younger days he was personally acquainted with the late Gen. John A. Logan, with whom he often played when a boy. When seventeen years of age he started in life for himself, by taking the job of driving cattle to Peoria. After completing that work, he made his way to Rockford, where he rented a farm for three years, farming in summer, and rafting in winter. He then came to Carroll County, and for a year kept bachelor’s hall, doing such work as he could find to do. The next year he “squatted” on 160 acres. His father on the adjoining 160 acres, which became the homestead, and his brother Berry took the 160 acres east of his father. They worked hard to improve their wild farms; clearing, grubbing, and fencing them. During this time they found it difficult to make both ends meet, and our subject worked out part of the time for $10 a month to procure the necessaries of life.

Mr. Henderson was married Sept. 17, 1849, to Miss Elizabeth Price, daughter of William and Rachel Price, of Pleasant Valley, Jo Daviess County. Both of her parents are dead, and are interred at Pleasant Valley. They had ten children, of whom Mrs. Henderson was the seventh in order of birth, and was born Oct. 4, 1830, in Virginia. After his marriage our subject built a small log house, and there he and his wife began their married life in a humble manner.

The marriage of our subject and his wife has been blessed to them by the birth of five children. Their eldest child, Nancy, died at the age of twelve years; Mary is the wife of Samuel Smith, lives in Jo Daviess County, and has five children; Isora is wedded to Elias Myers, is the mother of three children, and lives one mile west of her parents; Robert is married to Miss Josie McLaughlin, and they are the parents of three children; Johnnie, the youngest, died when two years old.

Our subject is a fine example of what can be accomplished by any man of energy and pluck, who has ordinary good judgment. He started in life extremely poor, and with no education whatever, but he has made himself well-to-do in life, and has by reading and observation, become well-informed, and occupies an honorable position in the world. He has from time to time added to his possessions until he is now the owner of 256 broad acres, which bring to him a golden tribute. On his estate there are two good houses; his own residence, and one occupied by his son Robert. His farm is very rich, being mostly all bottom land, and about 200 acres of it are cultivated. Mr. Henderson has suffered much from a limb which in earlier years was accidentally injured by a blow from an ax. This was forty years ago, when it gave him much trouble, and he was compelled to spend nearly all which he then possessed, to pay for medical treatment. He is even now much disabled by it. Notwithstanding this, he is now, at the age of sixty-nine years, so hale and vigorous that he can jump from the ground onto the back of any horse he owns.

The very first property which was ever owned by our subject, was an Indian pony, for which he cut and split 2,000 rails. He has ever been a lover of fine horses, and has owned some very good running stock, and formerly took great delight in the sport. He was the owner of such noted horses as Bulger Dick, the Bald Hewlin mare, Democrat, Robin, and others equally well-known. He is also an exceptionally fine shot, and his special pride is an elegant Kentucky rifle which he has owned for some time. Another of his possessions in which he takes great pride, is his magnificent English mastiff, Juba, which is one of the noblest specimens of the canine race in the United States, and weighs over 100 pounds. Mr. Henderson is also a great lover of music, is a good performer on the violin, and has a fine organ in his home. In politics he is a Democrat on all Presidential and State issues, but in local contests votes for the man he considers best qualified for the position. Feeling his own lack of early education, he takes a warm interest in educational matters, and for more than twenty years has served upon the School Board. He is a man of genial and companionable nature, of a strictly upright character, and has many warm friends, especially among those to whom he is best known.

Transcribed & Contributed by Carol Parrish from Portraits and Biographical 1889 Pg 917

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