Charles Riley Henderson
Submitted By: Luke Lucas
This information is from a artical in the Bellingham,
newspaper, Watcom, Co. Washington. I am not postive of the source, since
they didn't know either. If I find out more information I will send it
to you. I do have names and dates of birth and death of children,
grandchildren plus great grandchildren and greatgreatgrandchilren, and
greatgreatgreatgrandchildrean, plus 1860 censes of Monre Tenn. that
lists his father, sister, brother, and stepmother. Luke.
Charles R. Henderson, a well known carpenter now living retiered in
Bellingham, Wa. and one of the honored octogearians, is a veteran of the
Civil War and of the Indian wars and is one of the oldest surviving
pioneers of the northwest country now living in Whatcom county.
As a yong man he began mining in Montana, and went from there into utah, thence
into Nevada and in 1875 became a member of the Pendleton settlement in
Oregaon. In 1886 he arrived in the Sound country and in 1898 became a
resident of the Bay settlements so that he has been a witness to and a
participant in the development of the city of Bellingham since the days
before the pesent corporate name was adopted. His His pioneering brought
him an unusual variety of experiences and when in reminiscent mood he
has most interesting stories to tell of the days when the northwest
county was being made fit for settlement.
Mr. Henderson is a native of Tennessee, born July 4th 1846 in Monroe
County. His father Samul H. Henderson was also a native of that state, a
member of one of the pioneer families there, and the mother, Mary Jane
Riley was born in Georgia. A step-mother Sarah born in Maine, plus a
brother John O. born in 1833, and a sister Janace L.born in 1840. both
members of old colonial families in America. The Hendersons of this line
in America are of Yankee stock, early established in the Connecticut
colony, and during the war of the Revolution Mr. Henderson's
great-granfather rendered service in the command of gallant Israel
Putnam, one of the most conspicuous heros of the Revolution.
Though but fifteen years of age when the Civil war broke out. Charles R. Henderson
got into the fight long fefore that struggle between the states was over
and a member of Company A, Seventh Regiment, Tennessee Mounted Infantry,
served as a soldier until the comse of the war. I 1868, not long after
he had attained his majority, he joined the adventurers then flocking
into the mining reagions of Montana and there remained a a miner and
teamster until 1871, when he went to the Utah mining fields and thece
In 1875 he settled at Pendleton, Oregon, where four years
later he married and where he remained for about twelve years or until
1886, whe he came into Washington Territory, During the time of his
residendce in Pendleton Mr. Henderson again become a soldier, taking
jpart in the Indian wars, volunteering as a member of the military
contingent rased to put down the last of the Indian uprisings in tht
state , and in the service was five times wounded.
At one time the dommand to which he was attached, a company of forty-five men, was
surrounded by a greatly superior force of Indians and a fierce battle
ensued. A battle in which the Oregonians finally were victorious, but not
until two of their men had been slain, nine wounded and forty hourse
left dead on the field of battle.
On coming to Washington Mr. Henderson settled on a sheep ranch in the
Ellensburg neighborhoodd in Kittitas county, but the depredations of
prowling bands of Indians against his flocks proved disastours to that
venture and after the redskins had killed or carried off all his sheep
he came to the conclusion, after a year or more of effort, that this was
not the place for sheep raising, give up his ranch and went into the
Roslyn mining field.
In 1889 he made atrip to the bay settlements and became established as a carpenter in the
Skagit county, where he remained unitl 1898, when he returned to Whatcom and engaged in
building operations. Here he has since resided, now living at 1018 Liberty
With the exception of the two years in which he was trying to
raise sheep Mr. Henderson was engaged in the carpentering from the time
he settled at Pendleton in 1875 until his recent retirement and he thus
has been a useful and subtancial factor in the upbuilding of the region
to which he become so definitely attracted in the days of his
adventurous young manhood.
He is a continuing member of the Bellingham local of the Carpenters Union, is an active
member of the local post of the Grand Army of the Republic, a member of the Congregational
church and a republican.
On November 23, 1879, at Pendleton. Mr Henderson was united in
marriage to Miss Cozbi Carden who died at her home in Bellingham in
1924. She was a member of one of the pioneer famailies of Oregon, The
Cadend having become settles at Pendleton in 1852, coming into the
northwest county fist from Virgina, then Wisconsin.
Of the nine children born to Charles R. and Cozbi (Carden) Henderson all are livng
save one. Mr. Henderson having three sons. Charles now living in Portland: Samuel, a rsident of
Sedro Woolley , and Ralph, who coninures to make his home in Bellingham, associated with the
operations of the Northwest Lumber Company. His five daughters are Mrs. Cecil Isadorea
Goldsbury of Kent, Mr. Edith Ione Benner, ruth, Mrs Cozbi Sterling and Grace, all of Bellingham.
Mr. Henderson also has siteen grandchildren, in whom he takes much pride and delight.
Charles is my GGrandfather. 1860 census, page 181 Monroe Co. lists the