Charles Wesley Hendry, a pioneer settler of Fort Myers, Florida, was a veteran of the Third Seminole War, Confederate officer, and cattleman.
Charles Wesley Hendry, son of John Hendry and Catherine (McFail) Hendry, was born July 11, 1825, Lowndes County, Georgia.
On January 10, 1847 in Thomas County, Georgia, Charles married (1) Jensie Alderman, born 1829 in Georgia, daughter of James Alderman (born February 19, 1801, Duplin Co., N. C.; died February 3, 1880, Manatee Co., Fla.) and Roxie Ann Holloway Alderman (born February 16, 1808; died March 6, 1868; buried Pelot's Cemetery near the Alafia River, Hillsborough Co., Fla.). Jensie was a granddaughter of David and Jemima (Hall) Alderman and William and Orpha Holloway. About 1848, the family moved to Hamilton County, Florida. Jensie Alderman Hendry died August, 1852.
In Hamilton County on December 2, 1853, Charles married (2) Vianna Clardy Watts, born 1828, daughter of Thomas T. Clardy (born ca. 1795, Laurens Co., S. C.; died ca. 1845, Hamilton Co., Fla.) and Anner Gore Clardy (born ca. 1800; died before 1840). Vianna was the widow of _____ Watts, by whom she had a son, Alwin Watts, born 1848. Mr. Watts died prior to 1850 as Vianna was listed with her brother and sister-in-law, James and Margaret Clardy, in the 1850 census of Hamilton County. On January 12, 1855, James Clardy sold to Vianna Hendry a 14-year-old Negro girl named Hannah for $800. Soon after the Hendrys moved to Hillsborough County, Florida.
During the Third Seminole War, Charles W. Hendry enlisted as a private on February 20, 1856 at Fort Brooke in Capt. William B. Hooker's Independent Company, Florida Mounted Volunteers and was mustered out August 20, 1856. On August 22, 1856, he enlisted as a private in Capt. Francis M. Durrance's Company and was mustered out on December 21, 1856. He also served in Capt. Jacob E. Mickler's Boat Company, which was sworn into service at Fort Brooke in July, 1857.
Vianna Clardy Watts Hendry died in April of 1858 and was buried at the Dusenberry Cemetery at Peru (Riverview). She was remembered as beautiful woman with long, black hair.
The 1860 census of Hillsborough County enumerated in dwelling house # 42 C. W. Hendry and daughters, Julia and Tampa Ann (daughters by Vianna), and J. Mant, a 46-year-old N. J. born
man, in the Peru (Riverview) area. Missouri Hendry, his daughter by Jensie, was living in household # 53 with her grandparents, James and Roxie Alderman.
By late October 1860, Charles had begun the Peas Creek Packet Line. In the Florida Peninsular of October 27, 1860 he advertised, "The Schooner Alafia will make regular monthly trips between Ft. Ogden, on Peas Creek, and Tampa, touching all intermediate landings. For Freight or Passage, apply on board or to Chas. W. Hendry."
Charles W. Hendry in 1861 joined the "Sunny South Guards," which was organized in Tampa, Florida as an independent unit for police protection in the Tampa Bay area during the harrowing days preceding the Civil War. Listed as captains were: John T. Lesley, Henry Mitchell, and Charles W. Hendry.
On July 1, 1861, the "Sunny South Guards," along with nine other companies, were organized as the 4th Florida Regiment. The Guards were mustered in as Company K of the 4th Fla., Confederate States Army. John T. Lesley was elected as captain, with Henry L. Mitchell as lieutenant, and Charles W. Hendry as 3rd sergeant. On October 24, 1861 at Shaws Point, Manatee, while loading cattle to ship to Cuba, Charles was mustered in as 3rd sergeant by Capt. Lesley. Co. K was stationed at Tampa Bay. In May, 1862, the 4th Fla. was reorganized and, as a consequence, Capt. Lesley was promoted to major, Henry L. Mitchell to captain, and Charles W. Hendry to 3rd lieutenant. The 4th was assigned to General Forrest's command of the Army of Tennessee, commanded by General Bragg.
The company muster rolls noted that from November 1862 to April 1863 Lt. Hendry was assigned to conscript duty in Florida. The roll of Nov. & Dec. 1862 listed him as promoted to 2nd lieutenant. The roll of July 1 to October 1, 1863 had, "Name appears in column of names present as C. W. Hendry and signs roll 2 lieut. commanding the company." He was promoted to 1st lieutenant on November 3, 1863. At the Battle of Missionary Ridge on November 25, 1863, the 4th carried in 173 men, and all, except 18, were either killed, wounded, or captured. Lt. Hendry was among those captured. Temporarily confined at Louisville, Kentucky, he was transferred as a prisoner of war on December 5, 1863 to Johnson's Island, Ohio. After signing an oath of allegiance, he was released June 13, 1865. The oath described him thusly: "Place of residence, Tampa Bay, Fla.; age 41; complexion, dark; hair, black; eyes, grey; height, 6 ft." It should be noted that Soldiers of Florida listed Charles W. Hendry as the final captain of Co. K but National Archives records list him as here given. On November 30, 1864, Henry L. Mitchell had resigned as captain.
Charles returned home, and at Bartow, Polk County, Florida on January 9, 1866, he married (3) Mrs. Jane Louise Brown Mansfield. Rev. J. M. Hayman officiated. Jane, daughter of William and Sabra (Scott) Brown and granddaughter of Rigdon Brown, was born September 13, 1837, Columbia County, Florida. Jane had married (1) in Hillsborough Co. on August 30, 1856, William [Willard?] Henry Mansfield, who was born ca. 1822, S. C., and died May 30, 1864. They had two sons, George Henry Mansfield (Aug. 26, 1854 - Oct. 28, 1918, who md. Mary Ellen Underhill) and William R. Mansfield (1864 - Aug. 11, 1949, who md. Docia Cross).
Charles and Jane moved to Manatee County, Florida where they were recorded in household 26/26, township 34, (Fort Hartsuff), in the 1870 census, dated July 19. Included, besides the children, William, 6, Esther Ann, 3, James, 1, was Julia Ann Driggers, an 18-year-old domestic servant. Jane's brother and sister-in-law, William and Nancy Brown, were neighbors. Living with them was 12-year-old George Mansfield. Julia Hendry was living with her sister and brother-in-law, Missouri and Daniel K. Gillett, while Tampa Anna Hendry was residing with the Leroy G. Lesley family, all in Hillsborough County.
In 1872-73, Charles joined his cousins, Francis A. Hendry and W. Marion Hendry, in driving cattle herds below the Caloosahatchee River. In the winter of 1872-73, he lodged his family in a small cabin near what is now Immokalee. After the death of their daughter, Esther, Jane insisted on moving to Fort Myers so she would have neighbors. In June, 1873, they moved to Fort Myers, first settling on Billy's Creek. After the hurricane of October 6, 1873, they moved to the fort and bought the squatter's rights of Billy Clay to land east of what is now Monroe Street. Two acres of this tract was sold for $2,250 on September 4, 1889 as a site for the courthouse of
Lee County. After several moves, the family took up a homestead south of the river and acquired title Feb. 10, 1883.
From 1883 to 1893, Charles continued in the cattle business. He spent much time in Key West where he handled cattle shipped in by the Hendrys and Dr. T. E. Langford. His family made their home in Key West for a number of years. The 1880 Monroe County census, page no. 25, Key West, 25th day of June, 1880 [barely legible] had in household 224/235 [?] Hendry Chas., butcher, Jane, William, James, Alice, Roean, Annie, and three unrelated individuals, ______ Thomas, a butcher; _____ Lucinda, a cook; and her son John. Charles was also engaged in shipping and owned schooners, which sailed into and from Caribbean ports.
In 1890 Charles served as a councilman of Fort Myers. He, reputedly, played the violin at social events.
Charles Wesley Hendry died July 14, 1893 with burial in Fort Myers Cemetery. 1824 is on his tombstone, but 1825 is the correct year according to a descendant, Mary Louise Pritchard Council (1924-1998).
Jane Hendry, occupation orange grower, was enumerated in Precinct 4, Myers town in the 1900 Lee County Census. Included in her household were as follows: James A., son, telegraph operator; Alice Took, daughter; Amie, granddaughter.
On July 16, 1902, Jane L. Hendry applied for a pension as the widow of Charles W. Hendry from his service in the Seminole Indian War. She gave her address as Fort Myers. W. H. McLeod of Buckingham and T. T. Henderson of Fort Myers acted as her witnesses. Continuing her claim, William M. Hendry, who gave his age as 60, residence as Fort Myers, and P. O. address as Myers, Fla., gave an affidavit in her behalf on May 5, 1903. Her claim was approved at the rate of $8.00 per month.
Jane Louise Hendry on September 4, 1907 applied for a pension as the widow of Charles W. Hendry of Capt. John Lesley's Company and the 4th Fla., C. S. A. On September 12, 1907, John Lesley and H. L. Crane, both of Tampa, gave a joint affidavit that they served in the same company and regiment with Charles W. Hendry. She was granted $120.00 per annum.
Jane Hendry lived at present-day First and Broadway Streets, Fort Myers. Jane died June 27, 1908 with burial in Fort Myers Cemetery.
The Fort Myers Press of Thursday, July 2, 1908, carried her obituary:
"DEATH OF A GOOD LADY
"After Seventy Years of Faithful Service Has Gone to her Reward
"While many had been expecting it, the death of Mrs. Jane L. Hendry which occurred last Saturday, June 27th, fell upon our quiet city like a pall [?], and many of her friends were made sad by the announcement.
"'Aunt Jane' as she was lovingly called by all who knew her well has lived in this city many years, more than a quarter of century, and during that time she had drawn about her a large circle of friends. She was a woman that had many noble traits and was always ready to lend a helping hand to those in affliction. She was a noble, Christian woman and though an invalid for the past many years of her life, she bore her suffering with Christian fortitude, never complaining of her lot.
"Mrs. Hendry was born on the Suwannee river on September 13, 1837, and at the age of 71 died at Fort Myers. She lived for many years in Key West, where she had a large number of friends. In young womanhood she married G.[?] H. Mansfield. Two sons blessed this marriage, one now living here and the other in another section of the state. Later in life, having lost her first husband, she married C. W. Hendry. To them were born six children, four of whom are now dead. Three grand-children, all of whom are now living in Fort Myers, are left to mourn a loving grand-mother.
"'Aunt Jane' came to Fort Myers in 1873 but moved to Key West where she spent several years, again returning to this city, where she resided until her death. She was a member of the Baptist church, and as long as she was able to attend was a regular worshipper, but when age overtook her she would sit upon her front porch and rejoice in being the child of a King.
"The funeral took place from the church [?] building [?] and was conducted by Rev. _ _ _____ [?], pastor of the Baptist church. The interment was at the city cemetery, under charge of Roberts & Widerquist [?], undertakers.
"To those who mourn, THE PRESS extends condolences and points them to him who said: 'Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord.'"
Charles W. and Jensie (Alderman) Hendry had child # 1, while he and Vianna (Clardy) Hendry had children 2 & 3, and he and Jane (Brown) Hendry had children 4-9:
1. Missouri Hendry, born December 7, 1848; died June 24, 1934 Mango, Fla.; married on March 31, 1864 in Hillsborough Co., Fla. Daniel Kara Gillette.
2. Julia Amanda Hendry, born August 31, 1854; died on January 19, 1922, Palmetto, Fla.; married on July 8, 1880 in Manatee Co., Fla. Charles Thomas Purvis.
3. Tampa Anna Hendry, born December 2, 1857; died on February 21, 1940, Palmetto, Fla.; married (1) on June 23, 1878 William Burton Turner; (2) on January 1, 1889 Wade Hampton Harrison.
4. Esther Mae Hendry, born September 12, 1866; died May 17, 1873, Immokalee, Fla.
5. James A. Hendry, born September 29, 1868; died August 14, 1941, Fort Myers, Fla.; married Winona Thompson.
6. Emma Alice Hendry, born September 30, 1870; died March 15, 1968, Fort Myers, Fla.; married (1) April 21, 1891 John Judson Tooke; (2) in 1907 J. B. McCann.
7. Frances Roean Hendry, born October 29, 1873; died on April 20, 1896; married Tillit T. Henderson.
8. Nancy Ann Hendry, born April 13, 1875; died on March 29, 1896; married in Lee Co., FL on July 20, 1889 Bryan E. Henderson.
9. Mary Louise Hendry, born December 17, 1879; died March 5, 1880.
"Death Of A Good Lady," Fort Myers Press, Thursday, July 2, 1908
Tombstone of Charles W. Hendry, Fort Myers Cemetery Note: Louise Council (1924-1998), a descendant, advised me Charles was born in 1825.
Tombstone of Jane L Hendry, Fort Myers Cemetery
References: Milton D. Wilson, The Hendry Family, 1944; Kyle S. VanLandingham, "James Alderman," South Florida Pioneers, Oct. 1977; Louise P. Council, Ruskin, Fla.; Helen Y. Harrison, Bradenton, Fla.; military records of C. W. Hendry, National Archives; Seminole Indian War pension application of Jane Hendry, National Archives; C. S. A. pension application of Jane Hendry, Florida Archives; Soldiers of Florida, 1903; Fort Myers Press, July 2, 1908; Canter Brown, Jr., Floridas Peace River Frontier, 1991, p. 125; Joshua Creek Cemetery, DeSoto Co., FL.
This article is adapted from my profile in South Florida Pioneers 35/36 (Jan./Apr. 1983).
February 08, 2001, June 10, 2004, March 14, 2011 (tombstones, May 25, 2011 (1900 census).