IAGenWeb logo

Delaware County, Iowa

 Biography Directory


James Henderson


Adams Township



     JAMES HENDERSON, a wealthy farmer of  Delaware county,  Iowa, was born in St. Ramie Parish, Canada, March 4, 1840, and is a son of William and Alice (Bursell) Henderson. William Henderson was born in Scotland and his wife in England, but were married in Canada. He is a self-made man, having, through industry and thrift, acquired competency.  He came to Iowa in 1854 with about $1,000, and this sum he increased and multiplied, and at one time was owner of nearly two thousand acres of land, gained through his foresight and his keenness of observation as to the prospective, his vocation of of farming not preventing him from studying the possibilities of the future that was then before him. After his arrival in Iowa he was recog­nized as one who would  make a useful citizen, and also as one who would be of avail in the management of the affairs of Linn county, where he had cast his lot, and for that reason the voters of his township elected him as supervisor,  the duty of which office he filled to the great satisfaction of his fellow-townsmen.   He is now eighty-three years of age and still holds the respect of all  who know and have known him, not only for his venerableness, but for the moral life he has led.  For thirty years he has been a deacon in the Congregational church, of which his wife was also a member until her death, which occurred about 1875, at the age of sixty-three.  The children born to this couple were six in number, and of these, William, a gallant soldier and a member of Company A, Sixth Iowa volunteer infantry, died while in the service at St. Louis,  Mo.; the second  child is James, the subject of this sketch ; the third is Peter G.,  in the creamery business at Central City, Iowa; the fourth, Robert, is a farmer in Linn county; the fifth is Henry, who still clings to the old home; the sixth is Hannah J., the wife of Peter T. Henderson, a farmer in Linn county.


     James Henderson, whose name stands at the head of this sketch, came from Canada, at the age of fourteen, in company with his parents, and assisted his father on the home farm until he was twenty-five years of age, when he came to Delaware county, Iowa, and bought a farm in 1865 but did not settle on it till 1867.  In the meantime, from 1862 until 1867, he was in the milling business at Coggon, Linn county.  In 1882 Mr. Henderson established a creamery on his farm, and, being a gentleman of thorough business habits and of genuine enterprise, has made more than a success of it.   His annual output of butter now amounts to ninety thousand pounds, and in addition to his dairy business he superintends his farming interests, carries on a trade in lumber and is a raiser and heavy dealer in live stock. In 1887 the Iowa Central railroad was built through, and Ehlers Station was established at his place and this fact has been of great aid to him in the prosecution of his business and has greatly en­hanced the value of his real estate.  He now owns a total of four hundred and fifty acres of land, towit: three hundred and twenty acres in sections 26 and 27 in Adams township, on section 26, on which he makes his residence; ninety acres in section 4 and 10, in Jackson township, Linn county, forty acres in Wheeler township, Sac county, Iowa.  With the exception of one hundred and sixty acres reserved for his homestead, he rents out his land for a very fair return.  All this estate and all these business interests have accrued to Mr. Henderson through his own excellent management, he having received but little assistance from his father at his starting in life.


     Mr. Henderson was married August 28, 1863, to Miss Mary Sheldon, a daughter of William Sheldon, and born in Linn county, Iowa, about the year 1844. Their household has been made happy by the birth of three children:  William, Albert J. and Ella M., all of whom are still single and reside with their parents, and have received first-class educations in neighboring educational institutions and at Mount Vernon, Iowa.


    Mr. Henderson is not a member of any religious denomination, but he freely gives of his means in their aid and maintenance, as he fully recognizes their great moral influence in the community. In politics he is a republican.

~ source: Biographical souvenir of the counties of Delaware and Buchanan, Iowa; Chicago : F. A. Battey, 1890. Page 432; LDS microfilm #985424

~ contributed by Thom Carlson