Biography - L R Henry

L. R. HENRY. No member of the farming class that forms so important a proportion of the citizens of Johnson County is more worthy of representation in this biographical work than L. R. Henry, who has reclaimed a valuable farm from the forest wilds that once abounded in Cache Township and elsewhere in this region, now a smiling and well-improved agricultural country.
The subject of this life record is a native of Morgan County, Ohio, and was born February 26, 1848. His father was Charles Henry, who was born in one of the early pioneer homes of Ohio, and was reared in that State. He had but little opportunity to attend school, as he had to encounter the stern realities of life when but a child in years, but he had a keen wit, always kept his eyes open, and in later years learned much from his contact with people of various classes while in pursuit of his business on the rivers, so that he was very well informed, considering his environments. He was a cooper by trade and a steamboat man. While yet in the prime and vigor of manhood his career was brought to an untimely end by his death from cholera at New Orleans during the epidemic of 1854. He had married in his native State Emily Dearborn, who continued to reside in Ohio until her youngest son, our subject, who was not born until after his father died, was two and a-half years old, and then she concluded to move to Illinois with her family. Coming down the Ohio River to Copeland's Landing, she found a home with her step-father, Nathan Sidewell, until her marriage with Alexander Smith. She is now spending her declining years with her son of whom we write, surrounded by every comfort and tenderly cared for. She was the mother of five sons by her first marriage: Luther, who was born in Ohio and is deceased; Charles M., who was born in Ohio and gave up his life for his country, having enlisted while the war was raging in the One Hundred and Twentieth Illinois Infantry, and dying while in the service; I. E., who was born in Ohio and is now a resident of Johnson County; J. F., a resident of Johnson County, who was born in Ohio; and L. R., our subject.
Mr. Henry has passed the most of his life in southern Illinois, as he was a little child when he was brought here by his mother. He was trained to habits of industry, and when his mother was left alone by the enlistment of her husband and sons he became her mainstay and chief support, boy as he was. This early assumption of the responsibilities of life doubtless strengthened his character, and gave him manliness, resolution and self-reliance with which to fight its battles. While working for others he could make but little headway towards securing an independence, but after his marriage, in 1871, he set vigorously about the task of building up a home for himself and bride, Sarah Worrell, a native of Johnson County, whose parents are both dead. Farming was his chosen calling, and in due time he was enabled to buy a tract of timberland on section 13, in the township where he was living (Cache), which he has transformed into one of the best farms in this locality, felling and clearing away the forest trees of primeval growth that cumbered it, fencing it into convenient fields, which are tilled by a good system of cultivation, and erecting substantial buildings for all needful purposes. In his work he displays an intelligent comprehension of the fundamental principles of agriculture, is full of vim and vigor in carrying out his plans for tilling the soil and making improvements, and is regarded as one of the most competent farmers in the precinct.
Our subject has been abundantly blessed in his domestic life by a good wife, who has cheerfully co-operated with him in his labors, and by children, of whom these seven still brighten their home: William (who married Arista Gurley), Mary, John M., Annie B., Almeda, Rachel and Thomas Arthur. Death has bereft our subject and his wife of four children.
Mr. Henry is endowed with the characteristics of a true Christian gentleman, who is steadfast in his adherence to honor and truthfulness, and can be depended upon to follow the right course in the performance of his duties as a man and a citizen. Thus, we find him to be a devoted husband and tender father who has the dearest interests of his wife and children at heart, a kind and considerate neighbor and friend, and in his citizenship favoring whatever will raise the standard of morality, religion and education. He and his wife are members of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, and are influential in the good work in which it is engaged.

Extracted 01 May 2016 by Norma Hass from 1893 Biographical Review of Johnson, Massac, Pope, and Hardin Counties, Illinois, pages 241-242.

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