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Saturday, February 26, 2011

1849 :: Birth of Jeff Henry

On this date in our extended family history . . . the 26th day of February . . . in the year 1849 . . . James Jefferson Henry is born in Cedar County, Missouri . . . this "Jeff" Henry is a 1st cousin four times removed to the Keeper of this family history blog . . . and while Googling for information about my Henry kith 'n kin, I found the following information at Google Books . . . from History of Kentucky by Charles Kerr, William Elsey Connelley, Ellis Merton Coulter . . .

Jefferson Henry may consistently be designated as the honored dean of the bar of Green County, and during the course of his long and successful professional career he has been identified with much of the important litigation in the various courts of this section of the state.

Though he is not a native of Kentucky, he is a scion of one of the old and honored families of Green County, this state, his paternal grandfather, Belfield Henry [my 4th great-grandpa], a native of Virginia, having been comparatively a young man when he came to Kentucky and numbered himself among the pioneer settlers of Green County, where his death occurred a number of years prior to the birth of the subject of this review. He became one of the extensive land-holders and farmers of the county, and prior to the Civil war owned a large number of slaves. He was of Scotch-Irish lineage, and the original representatives of the family in America came from Ireland to Virginia in the Colonial era of our national history. Belfield Henry married Miss Elizabeth Kirtley [my 4th great-grandma], likewise a native of Virginia, and both were well advanced in years at the time of their deaths.

Jefferson Henry, who is familiarly known by the abbreviated name of "Jeff," was born in Cedar County, Missouri, on the 26th of February, 1849, and is a son of James L. and Margaret (Brownlee) Henry, both natives of Green County, Kentucky, where the former was born in 1811 and the latter in 1810. The father died at Canehill, Arkansas, in 1871, and the mother subsequently passed to the life eternal at Burnet, Texas.

James L. Henry was reared and educated in Green County, and here became a successful agriculturist and stock-grower. In 1840 he removed to Cedar County, Missouri, where he became the owner of a large farm estate, including a stock ranch, and where he maintained a force of thirty or forty slaves in his extensive operations as an agriculturist and stock-grower.

He continued his residence in Missouri until 1862, when he removed with his family to Grayson County, Texas, where he became the owner of a large ranch near Kentuckytown, and where he took his slaves, who there remained with him until the close of the Civil War, which effected their emancipation.

In 1865, shortly after the close of the war, Mr. Henry removed to Canehill, Arkansas, with the primary object of giving his children the advantages of Canehill College, and there he remained until his death, in 1871. He was an uncompromising advocate of the principles of the democratic party, was more or less active and influential in political affairs in Kentucky, Missouri and Texas, and served as county judge of Cedar County, Missouri, from 1840 until 1860. Both he and his wife were zealous members of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. Of their children . . .

  • the eldest was C. M., who was a prominent and extensive agriculturist in the vicinity of Canehill, Arkansas, for many years prior to his death, which there occurred when he was seventy-three years of age. He served as colonel of a Confederate regiment in the Civil war, near the close of which he received the brevet rank of brigadier general.

  • Elizabeth became the wife of James T. Moore and both passed the remainder of their lives in Texas, where Mr. Moore was a prosperous farmer. He was captain of his company in a Confederate regiment in the Civil war, and was severely wounded in an engagement at Froggy Bayou, Louisiana.

  • Martha died at Burnet, Texas, when forty years of age.

  • Malvina became the wife of Dr. A. J. Culberson, a leading physician at Burnet, Texas, and there her death occurred.

  • Jefferson, immediate subject of this review, was the next in order of birth.

  • Malvina [sic] became the wife of William E. Culberson, and both died at Burnet, Texas, where he had been engaged in a mercantile business for a long period.

  • William was drowned in a cloudburst in Wyoming when twenty-five years of age.

  • T. A., who was for many years successfully identified with the banking business, died in 1919, at Red Fork, Oklahoma.

The above record shows that the subject of this sketch is now the only surviving member of this family of children.

The rural schools of Missouri and Texas afforded Jefferson Henry his preliminary education, and after the removal of the family to Canehill, Arkansas, he there attended the high school two years and the Canehill College for an equal period.

In the meanwhile he had applied himself also to the study of law, and on the 22d of January, 1872, he was admitted to the bar of Kentucky. In that year he established himself in practice at Greensburg, where he has since continued as one of the leading members of the Green County bar and where he has long controlled a large and representative law business, which has extended into both the civil and criminal departments of law and recorded the winning of many court victories of important order.

Mr. Henry is a man who has ever been a student, and his reading and study have covered a remarkably wide range, with the result that his cultural powers are of the finest type and his intellectual horizon very wide. At his pleasant home, known for its generous and unpretentious hospitality, he has one of the best private libraries in Kentucky.

His law offices are maintained in the Henry Building, of which he has been the owner since 1878, and which is situated on the west side of the courthouse square in Greensburg, his modern residence being at the corner of Main and Cross streets and being one of the finest in the city.

In addition to these urban properties Mr. Henry is the owner of a well-improved farm on the rich bottom lands at the mouth of Big Russell Creek, Green County.

He has always adhered to the ancestral political faith and is a leader in the ranks of the democratic party in this section of the state. He served eight years as county attorney of Green County, but in the main has had no desire for public office, as he has preferred to give his undivided attention to his large and representative law practice. Both he and his wife are active members of the Presbyterian Church in Greensburg.

The perennial youth of Mr. Henry has been largely due to his vital interest in men and affairs, and the questions and issues of the hour receive his appreciative attention. Thus it was to be naturally assumed that he would take a prominent part in the various local war activities when the nation became involved in the great World war. He was chairman of the advisory board of Green County, served on other war committees in the county, aided in the various campaigns in the sale of war bonds and savings stamps, and to the full limit of his means he subscribed to these issues and gave earnest support to Red Cross and Salvation Army service.

December 12, 1872, recorded the marriage of Mr. Henry to Miss Josephine L. Perry, daughter of Joseph and Elizabeth (Tebbs) Perry, of Green County, where both continued to reside until their deaths, Mr. Perry having long been a substantial capitalist and leading banker of Greensburg. Mr. and Mrs. Henry have but one child, Claudia, who is the wife of Early Vaughan, a successful farmer near Greensburg.

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