Bedford County TN Biographies


Howard Douglas Henderson, a member of one of the oldest and most prominent families of Tennessee, is serving as treasurer and credit manager of the firm of Henry King & Company, wholesale grocers of Murfreesboro, Tullahoma and McMinnville, which firm is allied with Tregg Dobbs & Company of Chattanooga, forming one of the largest wholesale grocery concerns of the south. He has risen to his present position of prominence in business circles of the city through industry, ability and concentrated effort. He was born near Wartrace, in Bedford county, Tennessee, August 16, 1884, a son of Albert Gallatin and Mattie (Holt) Henderson, the latter also a native of that section, while the former was born in Rutherford county, both being representatives of pioneer families of the state. The great-great-grandfather, Samuel Henderson, was a soldier of the Revolutionary war, serving as a lieutenant in Colonel Anderson's Regiment of South Carolina Militia. He was the founder of the family in Tennessee, moving to this state from Laurens county, South Carolina, in 1805. He built a log cabin in the forest, about eight miles from Murfreesboro, and near his dwelling was a landmark known as Bear Wallow, to which the animals came in large numbers to disport in the stream. In this primitive home he lived with his son and in this section the grandfather, Albert Gallatin Henderson, subsequently erected a modern two-story residence of ante-bellum days. He was one of the successful planters of the county and a man of influence in his community. For many years he served as justice of the peace, settling law suits in this section of the state and rendering decisions of the utmost fairness and impartiality. His son, Albert Gallatin Henderson, Jr., acted for many years as buyer for one of the large cotton mills of Tennessee and at the time of the outbreak of the Civil war he was but six years of age. The home of his parents was situated almost on the edge of the Murfreesboro battlefield and he witnessed many of the scenes enacted during that memorable struggle. He passed away on the 14th of January, 1920. The mother is still living, having reached the age of sixty-five years, and resides in Nashville.

John Holt, the great-great-grandfather in the maternal line, came to Tennessee about 1810 from Orange county, North Carolina, settling about a mile west of the present site of Wartrace, and the log cabin which he built in the woods in those early days is still standing. His son, Henry Holt, inherited the home, in which he spent his later years, and durng the War of 1812 he served under the famous general, Andrew Jackson, formerly the nation's chief executive. Mrs. Henderson's father, Berry D. Holt, was a successful farmer and planter, while he also took a prominent part in public affairs, holding several county offices, and prior to the Civil war he was a colonel in the state militia. Mr. Henderson is related to several of the former families of Virginia and the Carolinas, the McGuires, Loves, Harts and others. William McGuire, great-great-grandfather, fought in the Revolutionary war from Virginia and rose to the rank of lieutenant. The Harts were a very prominent colonial family in Orange county, North Carolina. The public schools of Nashville afforded Howard D. Henderson his early educational opportunities and he afterward attended Bowen Academy, subsequently spending one year as a student at Vanderbilt University. His initial business experience was obtained in the local offices of the Nashville & Chattanooga Railroad Company and for several years he remained in their employ, working in a clerical capacity. In 1907 he tendered his resignation and came to Murfreesboro as head bookkeeper and credit man for the wholesale grocery house of King-Ragland & Company. On the 1st of June, 1915, the business was reorganized and incorporated under the name of Henry King & Company and Mr. Henderson's faithful and efficient service was rewarded by promotion to the offices of treasurer and credit manager, in which capacities he has since been retained. He gives his close personal attention to every detail of the business and has labored effectively to broaden the scope of the undertaking, which has greatly prospered under his progressive administration.

Mr. Henderson was married on April 17, 1912, to Miss Mamie Weems of Shubuta, Mississippi, belonging to a pioneer family of Abbeville county, South Carolina. Mr, and Mrs. Henderson have become the parents of a daughter, Sarah. They are members of the Methodist Episcopal church, South, and Mr. Henderson is serving as treasurer of the Sunday school. He is also a member of the Murfreesboro Commercial Club, the Rotary Club, the Murfreesboro Golf & Country Club and the Sons of the American Revolution. Fraternally he is identified with the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks, having membership with Murfreesboro Lodge, No. 1047. He is also prominent in Masonry, belonging to Mount Moriah Lodge, No. 18, F. & A. M.; Pythagoras Chapter, R. A. M.; Murfreesboro Commandery, No. 10, K. T.; and Al Menah Temple, A. A. O. N. M. S. Mr. Henderson has never feared that laborious attention to business which must precede ascendancy and throughout his business career he has been a persistent, resolute and energetic worker. The years have chronicled his steady progress and he is now numbered among the successful business men of Murfreesboro, while his individual qualities are such as have gained for him warm and enduring regard.

Source: Tennessee the Volunteer State Vol 4

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