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GEORGE M HENDERSON

Among the well-known and representative citizens of Benton township, Atchison county, is George M. Henderson, whose residence in this county covers a period of thirty-two years. He is a descendant of an old Scotch family who originally spelled their name Hendson, and for a number of generations his ancestors have been numbered among the inhabitants of this country. His paternal grandfather, John Henderson, was a native of Virginia, whose wife came of an old Pennsylvania German family. He removed from Virginia to east Tennessee and resided there several years, rearing his children there, and his wife died there. When the father of our subject came to Missouri the grandfather came with him and his death occurred in Platte county, that state. At an early day our subject's parents removed to Jackson county, Missouri, and later to Platte county, and in 1855 the family came to Leavenworth county, Kansas, and in 1867 to Atchison county, locating upon a farm in what is now Benton township, and here they continued to dwell, respected and loved until claimed by death. Both attained a ripe age, the father dying in October, 1888, when in his eighty-sixth year, and the mother in August, 1892, when eighty- two years old. She was a consistent member of the Christian church and the influence of her life, not only upon her children and immediate friends but also upon all others who knew her, was ennobling and incalculable. Mr. Henderson was a member of the Baptist church. Their names were Joseph and Hannah (McCoy) Henderson. He was born and reared in Tennessee, in which state his marriage was celebrated. She was a daughter of John McCoy, a native of North Carolina. Six sons and three daughters blessed the union of Joseph Henderson and wife. Their eldest born, James, now a resident of California, served as a captain of Kansas state militiamen during the Civil war. The other children were: Mary Ann, whose first husband was a Mr. Cook; he was a pro-slavery man and was killed during the troubles of 1856; she afterward married a Mr. Edwards, but is now a widow, residing near Effingham; Sarah J., the next in order of birth, married Milton Freeland and is now a widow residing in Topeka, Kansas; William, deceased; John, who is a resident of California; Gilbert, deceased; Joseph, of Effingham; George M.; and Nancy M., the wife of John Ryan, of Benton township.

The birth of George M. Henderson took place in Platte county, Missouri, June 5, 1844, and since he was a lad of eleven years he has lived in northeastern Kansas. In commencing the battle of life he had no capital save a strong constitution and a brave spirit, but not many years of his independent career had been passed ere he had amassed a snug little property and was on the high road to success. In 1878 he purchased eighty acres of land in Benton township and to this tract he subsequently added another eighty acres, placing the whole under a high state of cultivation and making substantial improvements. A windmill assures an abundance of water for the household and live stock on the farm, a modern house, good barns and other improvements adding to the value and desirability of the homestead. Mr. Henderson is a practical, thorough farmer and business man and enjoys the respect of a large circle of friends and neighbors.

On the anniversary of Washington's birth, in 1872, was celebrated the marriage of Mr. Henderson and Amelia J., a daughter of Parson and Ruth Ellen (Shrites) Stockwell, natives of Indiana and Kentucky, respectively. The Stockwell family removed to Ray county, Missouri, and there the father died. His widow afterward removed to Platte county, Missouri, afterward married and now resides in Nortonville, Kansas. Mrs. Henderson, who was born in Indiana, has two brothers, -- John W. and James -- now living in Jefferson county, Kansas. The latter married Miss Anna Graves, of Atchison county. Irene, the only sister of Mrs. Henderson, married J. Davis, died in Jefferson county and was placed at rest in Pleasant Grove cemetery. Parson Stockwell departed this life several years ago and his widow afterward. became the wife of J. Wallace and mother of Anna, Mrs. Ed Sharp, Lulu Kelley and Thomas Wallace.

Two sons and four daughters have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Henderson, namely: William, James A., Josie May, Luella, Etta Belle and Ivy Anna. James A. was married a few years ago to Estella Hurshman and is a promising young farmer of Benton township.

Like his father before him, Mr. Henderson has been in favor of the Democratic party platform until within the past few years, when he has given his support to the People's party. Fraternally he is identified with the Masonic order. Both he and his estimable wife are members of the Christian church and are noted for their liberality and generosity.