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Champaign County, Illinois
Biography of William Henderson
SOURCE: "Portrait and Biographical Album of Champaign County, Illinois," Chapman Brothers, Chicago, 1887
SURNAMES: BARNETT, CHAPMAN, FRUITS, HENDERSON, HENDRICK, HOFF, LYNCH, MACOMB, MILLER, MUNN, NIXON, QUICK, THOMAS
William Henderson, of our sketch, is a native of Parke County, Ind., and was born Feb. 17, 1841. He received thorough training in agricultural pursuits, and, considering his early education and associations, it is not to be wondered at that time he is more than ordinarily skillful in his tilling of the soil and the breeding of fine stock, to the latter of which he has given much attention, especially of late years. The youth and boyhood of our subject were passed mostly upon the farm and in attendance at the district schools. The pleasures of the young people of those days were simple and few, but it is probable that they reaped fully as much enjoyment as do the sons and daughters of the present age, with their more expensive tastes. He was employed as a teacher at intervals for a period of ten years, making an excellent tutor and instructor.
After the breaking out of the late war, and while in Indiana, resolving to become a Union soldier, Mr. H. enlisted in the 72d Indiana Infantry, and served three years in Company B. In the meantime he was promoted Corporal. He participated with his comrades in many important battles, including the fight at Chickamauga, and served with the Army of the Cumberland the greater portion of the time. Although experiencing many hairbreadth escapes, enduring wearisome marches and other hardships connected with a soldier's life, he escaped without serious injury, and received his honorable discharge on the 6th of July, 1865.
Our subject then came to Illinois, and after teaching school a part of one season returned to Indiana, where he was married. He had already become proprietor of 150 acres of land, upon which he now located, and occupied his time in improving his farm during the summer seasons, while in the winter he added to his income by teaching. His present homestead embraces 110 acres of land, which by constant and careful cultivation will now compare with the soil of any farm in its vicinity. All the farm stock is well cared for and in good condition, together with the machinery, fences, buildings, and everthing about the place.
In his various enterprises Mr. H. has been attended by his faithful wife and companion, who became the sharer of his home and fortunes on the 28th of March, 1867. This lady, formerly Miss Nancy J. HOFF, is also a native of Indiana, born Oct. 15, 1848, and the daughter of James and Hannah (BARNETT) HOFF, of Ohio. The ceremony which united her with William Henderson was preformed by Squire J. T. Miller, of Waynetown, Ind., the wedding taking place at the home of the bride's parents near that city. Her father, James Hoff, was born in Ohio, June 27, 1823, and is still living on his farm near Waynetown. His wife, Hannah, a native of the same State, was born Sept. 18, 1826, and died very suddenly of heart disease, on Sunday morning, July 11, 1886, on the old homestead. The four children of this household were, Nancy J., the wife of our subject; Jerusha A., who married Ambrose FRUITS; Mahala, who became the wife of Samuel NIXON, and Emma, who died of typhoid fever on the 25th of November, 1882.
The six children of Mr. and Mrs. William Henderson are recorded as follows; Minnie was born Feb. 24, 1868; Edgar, born Oct. 20, 1869, died Oct. 6, 1870; Alice, born Feb. 23, 1871, died Aug. 19, 1872; Oscar was born Sept. 1, 1872; Emma, Oct. 22, 1877, and Alma, Nov. 20, 1881. Mr. Henderson, with his wife and children, attends the Methodist Episcopal Church at Lost Grove, where our subject is Steward and Trustee, and for several years has been Superintendent of the Sunday School. He is especially active in all matters pertaining to religious work, and has been one of the first in organizing societies and encouraging the erection of church buildings. He was a member of the first committee appointed to undertake the erection of the Methodist Church in Lost Grove, and has contributed liberally toward the support of the society, keeping up the Sunday school and assisting in furnishing the house of worship with the conveniences necessary to make it an attractive resort for the young and a place of comfort for the old. Politically he affiliates with the Republican party, and has served as School Trustee in Homer Township for a period of fifteen years.
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