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Henry & Anna Bennett Henderson

Henry Henderson was born 16 Feb 1824 near North Harpersfield, in Delaware County, New York. His parents were Robert and Margaret (Harkness) Henderson. He was baptized on 04 Jul 1824 at the Gilchrist Presbyterian Church.
Henry grew up in Delaware County, and most likely attended school for a time. He learned to be a carpenter, and probably worked as a hired laborer for neighbors until he was old enough to be on his own.
Henry was a carpenter and farmer. His carpentry needs may have taken him to a nearby sawmill that supplied logs for the area. This sawmill was located on the farm of Joseph Bennett in nearby Delaware County. Perhaps this is where Henry met Joseph’s daughter, Anna Bennett, whom he married in 1853.
Anna Bennett was born 27 Aug 1837 on the family farm south of Worcester, Otsego County, New York. She was the daughter of Joseph and Lydia (Birdsall) Bennett. Anna’s family can be traced back to Robert Bennett, a tailor who came from England to America in 1639. Anna was a Mayflower descendant; her great great grandfather John Bennett was married to Thankful (Soule) Bennett, a great great granddaughter of George Soule. George Soule was one of the Mayflower passengers who landed on Plymouth Rock in 1620. At least two of Anna's direct ancestors fought in the Revolutionary War.

Henry and Anna (Bennett) Henderson

On 27 April 1853, Henry Henderson and Anna Bennett were married. Henry was 29 years old; Anna was 15. They farmed near Davenport, New York. Their first child, John Ira, was born there on 10 Apr 1854, followed by George, born 13 Oct 1855. Between 1855 and the spring of 1860, Henry and Anna relocated to Jones County, Iowa, as the 1860 Federal Census shows them living in Castle Grove Township, at least by July 1860. They settled in Section 20 of Castle Grove Township, about 10 miles west of Monticello. William Henderson was born 09 Jul 1862, and Emma was born 10 Oct 1865.
Henry continued to make a living by farming and working as a master carpenter. The household includes two men who were boarders. Robert Henderson is a brother of Henry. Information in the 1860 Census is as follows:
Henry Henderson, age 36, Master Carpenter, Born in New York.
Anna  “  , age 24, Born in New York.
John  “  , age 6, Born in New York.
George  “  , age 5, Born in New York.
Robert Henderson, age 28, carpenter, Born in New York.
Jasper Cruikshank, age 21, carpenter, Born in Nova Scotia

Between late 1860 and 1862, Anna’s mother, Lydia, came to live in Iowa with her son, Phineas. This occurred sometime after the 1860 Census was taken. Later, she came to live with Henry and Anna. Lydia Bennett died on 13 Dec 1862, and was buried in a small cemetery, the Castle Grove Baptist Cemetery, about 7 miles west of Monticello.
The 1870 and 1880 Federal Census records show the Henderson family living in Castle Grove Township. The 1870 Federal Census includes:
Henry, age 46, Occupation: farmer.
Anna, age 35
John, age 15
George, age 14
William, age 8
Emma J., age 5

The 1880 Federal Census shows:
Henry, age 56, carpenter, born in NY, father/mother born in Ireland.
Anna, age 44
William, age 17
Emma J., age 14

The 1885 Iowa State Census lists these family members:
Mrs. H. Henderson, age 47, born in NY.
William Henderson, age 22, farmer, born in Jones Co., Militia, voter.
Henry Henderson, age 61, carpenter, born in NY, voter.
George Henderson, age 28, carpenter, born in NY, Militia, voter.

The 1890 Census was largely destroyed; therefore there is no census information for Jones County for 1890. Henry Henderson died on 22 Nov 1891, and was buried in the Castle Grove Baptist Cemetery near Lydia Bennett.
In the spring of 1892, a few months after Henry’s death, Anna was admitted to the Iowa State Institution at Independence, Iowa. According to medical records, Anna had been experiencing symptoms of mental illness for about 20 years. She was admitted to the institution, and remained there from March until October of 1892. She then returned to her home. The family cared for her as best they could for the next three and a half years.
Anna was living with her family at the time of the 1895 Iowa State Census. In 1896 the family made the difficult decision to place Anna in the institution again, as her symptoms had become more intense, and they could no longer take care of her at home.
For the next 18 years, Anna was a resident at the institution in Independence, Iowa. The 1900 and 1910 Federal Census records show her as a patient there. There is no doubt that her family maintained contact and visited on a regular basis, documented by the institution’s records.
Anna died at 12:10 p.m. on 06 Jan 1914. She was 77 years old. Her death certificate states that the cause of her death was “uraemia due to chronic nephritis, senility.” She was buried in the Castle Grove Baptist Cemetery between her husband and her mother. A tall granite headstone marks the final resting place for this courageous pioneer family.

Written and submitted by: Jane K. Wendell

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Last updated on Monday, 23-Jun-2014 13:18:59 MST