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 into Nevada.

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 street.

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 family.

back arrow Monroe County Biographies

back arrow Return to Monroe County Records

back arrow Return to Monroe Home Page