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George Washington Hendry

By Spessard Stone

George W. Hendry, a pioneer settler of Riverview, was a Confederate soldier, cattleman, and farmer.

George Washington Hendry was born February 14, 1832, Lowndes County, Georgia. He was a son of John Hendry and Catherine (McFail) Hendry and a grandson of Robert Hendry and Ann (Lee) Hendry and James McFail and Judith McFail.

According to Soldiers of Florida, George W. Hendry as a sergeant and George W. Hendry, Jr. as a private were mustered into service on January 3, 1856 in Capt. William B. Hooker's Company, Florida Mounted Volunteers. The company was mustered out of state service and into the service of the United States at Fort Meade on February 21, 1856. It was mustered out August 20, 1856. According to military/pension records of George W. Hendry who lived 1838-1914, he, despite his younger age, was the sergeant in Hooker's Company. On January 11, 1858 George (born 1832) enlisted as a private in Capt. William H. Kendrick's Indpt. Co., Fla. Mtd. Vols. and was mustered out May 10, 1858 at Fort Brooke.

George settled in Peru (Riverview) where he was a farmer. G. W. Hendry, age 28, was recorded in household 62/46 in the 1860 census of Hillsborough County, dated June 7, 1860. Among his neighbors were: Gideon Hague, Charles W. Hendry (his brother), William B. Moody, Archibald Hendry (his brother), J. D. E. Riggs, Timothy Bryant, Michael Alderman, Isaac Carlton.

On September 24, 1862 at Tampa, he enlisted as a private in Capt. Chambers' Independent Company, Florida Volunteers (Gulf Coast Rangers). Chambers' Company subsequently became Company A, 6th Battalion, Florida Volunters. The 6th was formed of seven independent companies by S. O. No. 216, dated Sept. 11, 1863, and was consolidated with three independent companies by S. O. No. 99, dated April 28, 1864, to form the 9th Regiment Florida Infantry, C. S. A. The seven companies that formed the 6th before organizing as such, had served as independent volunteer companies in different parts of Florida. With his company, George participated in the Battle of Olustee (13 miles from Lake City) on February 20, 1864. On May 25, 1864 the 9th arrived at Richmond, Virginia. The company muster roll for April 30 to Aug. 31, 1864 remarked of George, ""Furlough from Hospital Richmond, Va. July 19, 1864." He had been admitted to General Hospital, Howard's Grove, Richmond on July 1 and was furloughed for 40 days on July 22. "Descriptive List" described him as: blue-eyed, with light hair, light complexion, 6 feet 1 inch, and a farmer by occupation. At Lake City, Fla. on September 8, 1864, he received $48.90 for monthly pay from 1 March to 30 June 1864. The roll for Sept. & Oct. 1864 remarked, "Absent without leave since Oct. 10, 1864."

Forty-five years later in October 1909, Private Hendry's record was cleared when Alfred Asbury Hendry and Elizabeth Hendry (Mrs. Archibald W. Hendry) of Fort Green, Fla. gave the following affidavit:

"This is to certify that we the undersigned were acquainted with Geo. Hendry who served in Company A, 9 Fla. Infantry, C.S.A and that John Hendry (his brother) got him from the hospital at Alligator (known now as Lake City) 1864 and carried him to his house at Jasper, Fl. & cared for him and at Lee's surrender the following April, he was not able to walk 100 yards. He was so feeble that he could not protect himself from the body vermin which was so plentiful in the hospital at the time. We also certify that he did not desert the cause in anyway. His being absent Oct. 10, 1864 without leave is fully stated above."

George returned to Peru. In Hillsborough County on February 7, 1867, he married Sarah Ann Hague, born October 17, 1847, daughter of Gideon and Amanda (Lepsey) Hague. Rev. Leroy G. Lesley officiated.

George was a cattleman and farmer but never completely recovered from his injuries sustained in the war. George W. Hendry died on March 30, 1882 and was buried in Brandon Cemetery. His body was later exhumed and relocated to Providence Baptist Cemetery, south of Brandon, Florida, five miles from the Big Alafia River.

According to family sources, Sarah, after George's death, was left with exactly a quarter and hired out as a laundress to support her family. As her sons reached adulthood, they soon were able to take hold. The brothers had a grocery store at Seventh Avenue and Twenty-Second Street, Tampa. They later became cattle ranchers with Joel "Joe" eventually owning about 75,000 acres of range in Hendry and Glades counties and in the process was at one time the largest individual cattle owner in the state. Joe also helped to establish the Florida Packing Co. on the Palm River.

On December 12, 1902, Sarah A. Hendry applied for a pension as the widow of George W. Hendry of Kendrick's Co. She gave her address as Gary, Hillsborough County. C. W. McMillan and W. L. Hendry attested to her application. On December 14, 1903, W. P. McGriff, 48 of Gary, stated that he had known George for ten years. On October 24, 1903, Reuben Hague, 59 of Riverview, gave an affidavit of George's military service and also stated that he had attended his funeral. On February 11, 1904, certificate no. 6449 for Sarah A. Hendry was issued at the rate of $8.00 per month commencing June 27, 1902. She was last paid $12.00 per month to December 4, 1922.

On May 15, 1909, she applied for a pension as the widow of George W. Hendry of Co. A, 9th Fla. She gave her post office address as Riverview and listed her property to consist of: real estate located at Archie Hammock, Hillsborough Co., $700.00, and a horse valued at $75.00. Sarah's claim was on November 16, 1909 not allowed due to George's being carried on the rolls as absent without leave Oct. 10, 1864. An appeal was filed by her on November 20, 1909 in which her son, W. L. Hendry, forcefully pointed out that his father's absence had been explained (see earlier affidavit of Alfred Asbury Hendry and Elizabeth Hendry). On March 14, 1910, her claim under pension no. 5520 was approved, with pay from September 13, 1909 at the rate of $120.00 per annum.

Sarah Hague Hendry died December 19, 1922. She is buried in Providence Baptist Cemetery, Riverview, Florida.

Issue of George W. and Sarah (Hague) Hendry:

1. Laura Louise Hendry, born January 20, 1868; died May 23, 1900; married on January 21, 1883 Frank L. Henderson.
2. Gideon J. Hendry, born August 12, 1869; died on August 25, 1905; married Ella Henderson.
3. Elbert Jehu Hendry, born March 1, 1871; died October 19, 1918; married Myra King.
4. Frances Angie Hendry, born January 10, 1872; died ca. 1901; married on December 3, 1891 John William Brandon, son of James Henry and Johanna (Covacevich) Brandon.
5. James Reuben Hendry, born December 8, 1874; died October 12, 1961; married on November 25, 1900 Sadie Chapman.
6. Joseph Bartholomew Hendry, born December 23, 1876; died August 30, 1953, LaBelle, Fla.; married on November 4, 1900, Ella Chapman, daughter of M. C. and Coatney (Guy) Chapman.
7. William Lawrence Hendry, born May 10, 1879; died December 30, 1959; married Ruby Hewett.
8. Ellen Florence Hendry, born August 30, 1881; died in 1965; married Jesse McMillan.

Family of George Washington Hendry from berween pages 62-63 of Joe B. Hendry's Hendry, Joe B. Jr. Florida Cattle Baron & Land Developer, 1989



References: Milton D. Wilson, Pioneer Families of Polk County and South Florida Historical Commission; Soldiers of Florida, 1903; military and pension records of George W. Hendry & Sarah A. Hendry, National Archives; CSA pension application of Sarah A. Hendry, Florida Archives; 1850 and 1860 censuses of Hillsborough County; Joe A. Akerman, Jr., Florida Cowman A History of Florida Cattle Raising, pp. 135, 137, 1976; D. B. McKay, Pioneer Florida, Volume 111, p. 373, 1959; Joe B. Hendry, Jr., Hendry Joe B. Jr. Florida Cattle Baron & Land Developer "Hendry Family Tree," 1989.

This profile is adapted from my profile in South Florida Pioneers 47/48 (Jan./Apr 1986).

February 8, 200, January 16, 2002, June 24, 2004 (photo), March 22, 2011 (obits)