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James Edward Hendry

By Spessard Stone


James Edward Hendry was a stockman, who sought a new life for his family in Florida.

James Edward Hendry, son of William Hendry and Nancy (McFail) Hendry, was born September 29, 1808, Liberty County, Georgia. In 1829, James married Lydia Carlton, born April 4, 1812 in Sampson County, North Carolina, daughter of John Carlton and Nancy Ann (Alderman) Carlton. They settled near Thomasville in Thomas County, Georgia. There James ranged his cattle, hogs, and sheep. As the country turned more to the development of large slave-labor plantations, James' range became more restricted, and he sought a new location.

James E. Hendry selected a site on the Alafia River, 22 miles east of Tampa in Hillsborough County, Florida. In 1851, leaving his herd of cattle he had driven there, he returned to Georgia for his family. In a three-week journey via covered wagon, the family migrated to the site near the Alafia River. After settling his family, James returned to his former home for the rest of his cattle. There he contracted diptheria and died January 3, 1852 at the home of his brother, Robert McFail Hendry, about three miles southeast of Ochlocknee, Thomas County, Georgia. He was buried in the Hendry Cemetery near there.

On March 17, 1856, Alderman Carlton, as administrator of James E. Hendry, deceased, instituted suit against Henry L. Parker, John H. Hollingsworth, William B. Hooker and John Parker to obtain payment of a note given for a sum of $1844. The writ was served on the defendants, William B. Hooker and John Hollingsworth on March 25, 1856. Henry L. Parker acknowledged service. John Parker, not being in the county, was not served. On September 10, the process was served on H. L. Parker and on John Parker on September 14. At the October Term, 1856, the defendants entered their appearance by their attorneys to prevent a default. James Gettis was the attorney for the appellants and James T. Magbee for the appellee. At this term a suggestion was made of the death of the plaintiff Carlton, and scire facias ordered. On February 5, 1857, a scires facias issued in favor of Francis A. Hendry, who in the mean time had been qualified as administrator de bonis non, of the estate of James E. Hendry. This was served on the defendants on February 13 and 18 and March 11, 1857. On April 1, the plaintiff entered his motion for default, and again on April 6 gave notice of a motion to make the new administrator plaintiff, which was served on April 7. On calling the case at the April Term, Hendry was made plaintiff, and no plea having been filed, a judgment was ordered for $2095.09 on April 8, 1857. An appeal to the Florida Supreme Court was made. At the term held in 1858 at Tampa, the judgment was affirmed.

Francis A. Hendry from Thompsonville, Fla. on June 9, 1900 recalled for “Tampa in Ye Olden Times,” The Tampa Weekly Times, June 14, 1900:

“I am a regular subscriber and reader of your valuable paper. It keeps fresh my memory of Tampa and its environments away back in the early fifties. My father James Edward Hendry moved from that good old county of Thomas, in the state of Georgia, during the winter of 1850 and 1851; settled in Hillsborough county, twenty-two miles east of Tampa on the Alafia river, then a wild frontier country. I was a line conductor of an ox train, landing at the objective point without collision or smashup, stopping at many stations along the line, and the old sandy roadbed and the watering places, as well as names of old timers along the way are fresh in my memory. Tampa was my father’s trading point. In Tampa we purchased our supplies.

“Many incidents connected with myself and Tampa may be recorded. My father on occasion sent me to Tampa. It was in 1851. He handed me some change with a list of articles to purchase. One was an ounce of quinine to break the chills then putting in their work, as was common to all new settlers in that day, and said, ‘Go to the post office and get my mail.’ Letters in those days were paid for when taken from the office, and it cost ten cents to take a letter out. Before reaching the office I had spent all my money. Mr. [Alfonso DeLaunay] Delaney was the postmaster. I called for letters for Mr. J. E. Hendry. He turned to the box and drew out several and threw them on the counter, stating the amount due. I did not take them up readily and stated my case. ‘Young man!’ said he, ‘You should not call for mail matter without being prepared to pay for it.’ He had a piercing eye; could look through a person at a glance. I told him he could do as he liked--send my father his letters or keep them. ‘Young man, you have an honest face. Take the letters to your father and tell him to send me the money soon.’ I remember so well my feelings produced by the rebuke, and the nice compliment. Walking back to Mr. Ferris’ store it flashed to my mind that Mr. Ferris was my father’s merchant, would have gladly given me the money to take out the letters. Stepping in, I asked Mr. Ferris for the change. He handed it to me, and I returned and handed it to Postmaster Delaney. These little incidents make lasting impressions on the youthful mind and I mention it in connection with old-time events of that day...”

George W. Hendry in 1900 eulogized his father:

"James E. Hendry was a quiet, sedate man, seldom laughed, but indicated his pleasure with a pleasant smile. He was retiring in his habits; his words were few, but well-chosen. He never sought or held office. His doors were always open to the traveler, especially to ministers of the Gospel, but no one was ever turned away hungry or empty-handed. He had many reverses in early life by standing security for others, yet he accumulated seven or eight thousand dollars worth of property beginning with nothing and dying in his 43rd year. He was always, and by all men, noted for his honesty. It was proverbial wherever he was known; he was never accused of a dishonest act, his every act being based on the Golden Rule. He was a praying man and trusted God, humble and condescending to men of low estate."

In Hillsborough County, Florida on November 5, 1854, Lydia married Benjamin Moody, born April 15, 1811, Telfair County, Georgia, son of Samuel and Sarah Ann (Lee) Moody. They lived at Alafia (Riverview) until 1869 when they moved to Homeland, Polk County.         

Benjamin Moody died October 13, 1896. Lydia Moody died May 24, 1898. They had both been devout members of the Methodist Church. They are buried in the Homeland Cemetery.

Issue of James Edward Hendry and Lydia (Carlton) Hendry:

1. Martha Ann Hendry, born Aug. 9, 1830; died Aug. 27, 1903 at Homeland; married Simpson Singletary.
2. Adeline Hendry, born Feb. 4, 1832; died Nov. 8, 1895; lived at Homeland; married on Oct. 19, 1848 James Thomas Wilson.
3. Francis Asbury Hendry, born Nov. 19, 1833; died Feb. 12, 1917, Fort Myers, Fla.; married on March 25, 1852 Ardeline Ross Lanier, daughter of Louis Lanier.
4. Albert James Hendry, born Sept. 24, 1836; died Aug. 8, 1901, Fort Green, Fla.; married on Oct. 5, 1854 Sarah Jane Moody, daughter of Benjamin Moody and Nancy (Hooker) Moody.
5. George Washington Hendry, born Dec. 3, 1838; died March 2, 1914, Fort Meade, Fla.; married (1) Nov. 17, 1859 Frances Varn; (2) April 30, 1891 Mrs. Sarah Elizabeth (Kantz) Knight Titus; (3) July 20, 1904 Mrs. Annie Hughes.
6. Eli Hendry, born Feb. 1, 1840; died in infancy.
7. William Marion Hendry, born Dec. 12, 1842; died Dec. 23, 1914, Fort Myers, Fla.; married (1) Dec. 1865 Susan C. Wall; (2) May 22, 1905 Mrs. Laura V. Craig.
8. Mary Jane Hendry, born Jan. 7, 1845; died March 18, 1930, Alva, Fla.; married on Jan. 16, 1862 Jehu Jacob Blount.
9. Lydia Oregon Hendry, born April 14, 1847; died Nov. 12, 1933, Bartow, Fla.; married on Feb. 1, 1866 Benjamin Franklin Blount.
10. Cornelia Alice Hendry, born Aug. 10, 1849; died Oct. 22, 1938, Lakeland, Fla.; married on Aug. 10, 1865 Edward Gross Wilder.
11. Missouri Hendry, born July 10, 1851; died in infancy.


References: George W. Hendry, Family Record of Lydia Moody Nee Hendry Nee Carlton, 1900.

This profile is adapted from the author’s John and William Sons of Robert Hendry (1989).



March 14, 2001 & links = October 16, 2001