In the Hendrick family graveyard on the Meadows Brothers farm in Henderson County lies the grave of a nearly forgotten man in Tennessee politics, Colonel Obediah F. Hendrick.

His relation, Jeremiah Hendrick, arrived in Henderson County in the early 1820's from his birthplace in Halifax County, VA., and erected one of the first mills in the area. His grave, marked Jan. 28, 1828 is one of the earliest in the county.

As a young man, Obed busied himself at the Mill and the plantation and found time to dabble in local politics. He was elected to the State legislature in 1843 and served until 1849, and was again electe din 1855. Upon his return to Henderson County in 1857, he was made the first permanent president of the Henderson County Fair Association.

In 1860, one of the most brutal mruders of that time took place near the then Henderson County village of Jacks Creek. A slave, by his own confession, had murdered his master over a disagreement about a split-rail fence, enraging hundreds from aroudn the county, many who wished to torture the young man on the spot. The father of the murdered boy want no lynching or tortures on his conscience, however, and called for the laws of the great state of Tennessee to run their course - in this land both slave and free were guaranteed a fair and speedy trial by jury. Twelve of the most respected and honored men of the county were called forward to serve, Obed F. Hendrick was among them. The strength of Colonel Hendrick and the others sent a pervasive calm among the citizenry and the trial ensued. After listening to teh rather blunt but repetitive confession, the jury found the accused guiltyof murder and pleaded the Almighty to have mercy on his soul upon his execution.

Times continued to trouble in the SOuth, and before long Colonel Hendrick and his folk were called to take up arms against an invading foe. Kinsmen and neighbors fought bravely, shedding their blood for the sake of Southern Independence. One passed away untended by family in a Union prison camp, others came home crippled and broken to begin life anew in a reforged nation. Near the end of Reconstruction, Colonel Hendrick once again became lawfully eligible to hold public office and served the Legislature a final time from 1877 to 1879. He passed away on December 14, 1897 at the age of 83 years and 3 months.
History Notes by Clay Crook, Henderson Couty Historian, Lexington Progress July 13, 1988
Tennessee General Assembly Biography

Back Home