THE FRED HENRY FAMILY
By Jerry C. Henry
Our Mother and Father
Click on photos to enlarge them
The Henry Children
Taken at family reunion 1974-all 13 present
Our Great Great Great Grandfather was William Henry Sr. He was born in 1762 and died in 1837 in Gwinnett County Ga., and buried in the Henry cemetery at Sodom, Ala. This Headstone was placed at his burial site during a dedication service by the Sons of American Revolution, the George Walton Chapter on June 12, 1999.
We have lots of information on William II and III, but it contains as usual a lot of names, dates, births, marriages and deaths. I did not want to bore anyone with all this.
The linage continued down to my Great Grand Father, William III born in 1800. He died in 1888 in Heflin,
The Whitesboro News-Record (Most probably Thursday, May 21, 1931--- if this paper came out daily at that time--)
LIFE OF A CONFEDERATE SOLDIER AND PIONEER
Newberry Sanford Henry was born in Calhoun County, Ala., 1837, of English-Irish
extraction. He is the only-survivor of a family of thirteen children and the only one of nine brothers who came to Texas after Lee laid down his arms to Grant.
His father, William Henry, and his mother, Sallie Ragsdale Henry, pioneered from North Carolina to Alabama, when a very young couple.
William Henry, his father, became a wealthy land owner, slave holder and a leader in the affairs of his state. He organized the present county of Cleburn, Ala., and was for many years its commissioner. He was also its first mill and gin owner and purchased for his wife the first cook stove ever used in that part of the state. The ladies for miles around came to see the wonderful invention. This cook stove was discarded in a short while, however, and later sold. It did not prove as satisfactory as the great fireplace that had always served to cook food for the numerous family. He says his father at one time had collected 1400 dimes. His mother attended church at one place for 60 years. W. Henry was always keenly interested in the development of his county and community. He invested in, and lost ten thousand dollars, when the then famous Selma, Ala., and Dalton, Ga., railroad failed.
Berry Henry says the young folk of this hurly-burly age have nothing on their ancestors when it comes to real fun--and he loves, in his reminiscences, to relate stories that------(a sentence or two missing from newspaper clipping)-------He is often convulsed over the following story: Although held to the strictest rules in the matter of conduct, in the large log school-house where the young people of his day learned their three R's. If there was one who dared yell, "school-butter", it was a signal for all males, including the teacher, to spring to the chase, lessons, and what not. Anyone who tamely took this insult was a dunderhead and was in line for the hated dunce-cap. On a clear spring day, two youths were passing in lumber-loaded wagons; perhaps the bent heads, seen through the windows, proved the imp of temptation, at any rate they lustily called "school butter!, school-butter!" as one man, the boys and teacher sprang to the chase. The two guilty lads, frightened at this on-rushing, whooping, yelling, mischief-bent army, forsook wagon and teams and fled to the woods. They were overtaken near a deep creek and the larger one was ducked till his breath came in gasps. The younger, and less robust, was spared a like punishment at the behest of a woman, who lived near the stream.
The instructor of schools, at that time, was domiciled, at intervals of time, in the homes of school patrons, thus saving board bills and affording them of knowing each parent personally.
Although ball was not enjoyed by the youths of his day, they had the wide-spreading ponds and deep tangled wild woods of the happy "Old Oaken Bucket" days. The deep running streams that turned the huge mill wheels were their community swimming pools; the chase for wolves, foxes and other wild animals; the husking bees, where the swain was allowed to kiss the girl who found the red ear; the visiting of relatives and friends on Thanksgiving, Christmas and other feast days, together with music, dancing and fun of the negroes, furnished ample entertainment and excitement to satisfy the heart of the most exacting.
On William Henry's place, where wrestled and played nine boys, besides the slave help, work was always a paramount issue. Each lad had his definite tasks to perform, for it was held in that household that idle hands and brains were indeed, the devil's workshop.
Women took pride in excelling in fine needle-work. There were no sewing machines when Berry Henry was a lad, and a great deal of the clothes worn were spun and woven by hand. But for best wear, fine calico, the Dollie Varden type, could be had at 75 cents a yard, and silk at not a great deal higher price. Men, for best wear, wore broadcloth elaborated into swallow-tailed coats.
At the age of about twenty-two Berry Henry, together with four brothers volunteered and joined the ranks of the Southern Confederacy. Only two returned, Berry..........(couple of sentences missing from newspaper clipping)...........with the 10th Alabama regiment under Capt. Hanna to Virginia. After seeing some with the 10th Alabama regiment under Capt. Hanna to Virginia. After seeing some service, he became very ill and was in the hospital eight months before his father came and took him home to Alabama. Ten months elapsed before he was able to join the Tennessee army at that time camped on Lookout Mountain.
The morning following his arrival in camp, his command was drawn up in the line of battle. It was deemed wise to divide the army. One half was stationed on the mountain top and the half he was with occupied Lookout's rugged, wooded side.
Berry Henry, in describing his first real fight said: "the morning was dark with fog, and the tangled brush, stubby trees and rocks tripped us. The enemy could not be discerned. There was a call for pickets to go forward, locate and test the enemy. We knew we would meet them. With gun in hand, I crept stealthily along and as was expected I met a Federal picket and commanded him to halt. Refusing, he advanced and simutaneouly we fired. He fell, and I dodged behind a large tree to escape the rain of bullets hurled at me from the enemy's guns from somewhere in that awful fog. (And believe me, that tree was as full of bullets as a porcupine is of bristles). Providence oftentimes shields His children in strange ways and places, and I felt that protecting care then as at other times of seemingly unescapable places."
Taking an active part in numerous battles, he chose to speak only of those where carnage did not reign supreme, and these he thinks would not be tiresome by constant repetition.
The Battle of Missionary Ridge, or The Battle That Never Was
"After our skirmish with the enemy on Lookout Mountain, we retreated to Missionary Ridge. And there on the firing line, awaiting the attack of the Federal army that was being reinforced almost hourly, was seen the.........(words missing from newspaper clipping).........held. Fully......mile away, we could plainly see their tread of between twenty and forty thousand soldiers. Officers, on their horses, were galloping about, trumpeting their orders; the sounds of march kinds of music blended with the marching and thunderous tramp of those horses' feet. All the trappings of a resplendent army served to paint on my mind an indelible picture. Entrenched in our breastworks, we were watching with varing emotions. Easily outnumbered, ten to one, poorly equipped by comparison, we feared complete annihilation, but we never thought of surrendering. When one of the largest and bravest armies of that great war swept in grand style, to inspiring music, to within firing distance, General Hardy ran along our lines crying "Boys, Give'em Hell". Out we leaped like grim-faced martyrs going to certain death, but determined to do our best."
We ran about fifty yards, halted, then poured into their lines a death-dealing volley that broke their ranks. They did not close in, but scattered like thousands of leaves before a mighty forest tornado. We saw some dead and wounded before us, but not a man of us was lost. Such shouting and rejoicing must have almost stormed the gates of Paradise.
Although forced, later, to retreat to Dalton, Ga., it was a famous victory that day.
War, like everything else in life, is not without its humourous side. One time...............(sentences missing from newspaper clipping).................Tennessee, close on to the heels of the enemy, they were so hard pressed when crossing Duck River that they left their wagons, containing food, clothing and other supplies in mid-stream. The river was deep, its waters icy, but it takes more than such handicaps to balk hungry men. Capt. Hughes, later a resident in my old home town, Whitesboro, Texas, swam to the wagons and "snitched" a pair each of oil trousers and heavy overcoats. How we ever made it back through those icy waters with such a heavy load, we also managed to carry a quantity of food, we could never afterward tell."
He relates this story: "We arrived at Franklin, Tennessee, where the army had entrenched and great breastworks were thrown up. Horrible scenes met our vision as we saw both Federals and Confederates piled two and three deep. We marched to Nashville, Tennessee and there threw up breastworks and stayed several days. The weather was severely cold."
"I was selected to serve on picket duty. I walked all night long to keep from freezing. After that we had to dig pits to make fires in to keep from freezing to death. We were very hungry, and I said: "Let's get something to eat." We took a gun and hunted all day without success. Just before dusk we came across an old hog pen; at one end there were three hogs. Very soon an old man came to feed them. We talked with him and shortly he left us. With some difficulty we managed a small slip-gap, turned the hogs out, drove them to the big pen about 200 yards and shot one. We cut out all we could carry thrown over a pole and walked eight miles back to camp. We had six men in our mess and such a feast!"
The Whitesboro News-Record Friday, May 22, 1931
LIFE OF A CONFEDERATE SOLDIER AND PIONEER
"In retreating from Tennessee, Pettus's Alabama brigade marched in a hollow square all day long, fighting the enemy's calvary from every side as they surrounded us. Just about day, they made a terrific effort to run, through our ranks and capture us. We were near a river, so plunged in, sometimes wading, at others swimming, we managed to get across. The weather was bitterly cold and we were almost frozen to death, but the advance had gotten over the river and built huge log fires and thus saved our brigade from what would have resulted in tragedy worse than capture."
"Next move we were ordered to Virginia to aid Lee, but on arriving we found that Lee's army had surrendered and was going home. I saw Jeff Davis and his cabinet running from the Federals."
Just after dark there was an iron box taken, from one of the cars placed on the ground near our
command; and I was one of the six men appointed to guard it. This box was about two feet square, and exceedingly heavy. Each of us tried to lift it but failed. We decided it contained gold or silver, possibly both, and that it belonged to Jeff Davis. Jeff Davis was captured on that trip and our conjectures were verified. General Johnson surrendered in the spring and we all returned home."
"We wanted to get back to normal living, and to work, but horses were scarce. There were not enough for all. We received information that the Federals at that time were turning loose thin, poorly conditioned horses near Atlanta, Ga., about eighty miles distant."
I walked that eighty miles but failed to find a loose horse; they had been picked up as fast as turned out. Just before night I saw a Federal regiment moving northward, and I decided that was my one chace for a horse. I followed them to a thicket where they staked camp. It was absolutely dusk and I maneuvered about their camps until I located where some horses were kept that I might secure. I stole near on my hands and knees, under cover of darkness, and was slowly making my way to where the horses were. Two fine horses, with halters on, tramped past me and into an old field. I was shaky but I caught them, made my get-away safely and rode all night, stopping at my Uncle's. The Yankees made chase. They were armed and told me they were going to have those horses if they had to bring in a regiment. I told them I hadn't seen the horses. At that very moment I had them tied out in a grove about 50 yards from the house.(............next few sentences or maybe more is missing from newspaper clipping)..............Pittsburg, Texas, and worked there one year. I then went to Winnsboro, Wood County. There I worked splitting rails at $1.50 per day. I hadn't been there long until the Federals established a bureau at Tyler, Texas."
My Last Battle
"Some time after my arrival in Texas, while residing near Winnsboro, a white man killed a negro. At this time there were a great many negroes living in Tyler, Texas. They heared of this death, and decided to avenge it. They organized and armed a company of forty of their number, and marched to Winnsboro to "get" the guilty party. The man of the house was away, but they terrified his family by various kinds of threats. They sent runners to inform the neighbors and we quickly got together a squad of eight men. The negroes getting wind of this became frightened and left. "During the pursuit we met a man who told us we were in the vicinity of the negroes and showed us a by-path by which we could head them off. We hid behind some large trees, and as they came in view we rushed out and halted them. The two forward horsemen fired at us. We then let go a terrific fire, mostly over their heads. Eyes rolling in terror, they fell from their horses like bullets, threw down their guns and took to the woods.
We were reported to Federal authorities at headquarters in Smith County, but the negroes received the rebuke, being told they had no business there."
Five years after Berry Henry's first marriage to Miss Mary Henderson he sold his farm near Winnsboro and purchased a place near Whitesboro, Grayson County, Texas. There he has resided for fifty years.
His second marriage was to Miss Nancy Hambright..........................rest of sentences and perhaps more missing from newspaper clipping.)......................eight miles without feeling fatigued. He will be 93 next November and physicians who know him, say that by reason of his strength he should add 25 more years to his present age. He also says that he knows work and trouble won't kill anyone. If so, he would have been dead years ago.
His life is unique in that he never had a lawsuit,,, never was sued, was never a witness in court, yet for more than 40 years was active in all progressive and worthwhile movements of his community. He never had a debt that he did not pay.
He says: "I joined the Methodist church during the war. I never sowed any wild oats and lived a virtuous life without any habit of any kind and used tobacco in no form whatsoever. I led the singing at Winnsboro for five years and served also in other capacities as Sunday School Superintendent, choir and prayer meeting leader and church steward."
He has a deep respect for all religious bodies, believing that all contribute to the happiness and spiritual welfare of the world.
Death has thinned the ranks of his old-time friends, but he readily makes new ones, and has a keen interest in all the affairs of life. He still possesses a geniality not often encountered in men much younger.
End of article.
Obviously pictures taken at different times. His hospital records, 1861- over 100 years old.
After the war he rode the horse he “requisitioned” from the Yankees to
We were farmers from the beginning. Our dad had been living in west
During his time in west
(As some may recall he managed our independent baseball team at Russett. We played Mannsville, Ravia,
After that he moved the family back to the home place. In 1921 he married our mother, Virginia Lee Isham, and started his second family of eleven children. By counting our two half sisters the total number of mouths to feed was thirteen. Thankfully we all didn’t have to be fed at one time. The spread from the oldest to the youngest was thirty years.
The great depression took its toll on our family as it did many others. There were lots of hungry mouths to feed and little or no income. We were not able to pay the taxes on the place. As a result we were forced to sell it for the amount of the taxes owed. It was sold to dad’s brother-in-law who worked for the rail road in Whitesboro. You might say it stayed in the family and still does, but of course of no benefit to the Fred Henry family.
We then moved about three miles east and began our first experience as share croppers. There were eight of us at home at the time of the move. Two sisters soon graduated from Whitesboro high school and were soon replaced at home by three more sisters, Gwendolyn, Carolyn, and Margaret Ann. That left nine at home and by now four had moved out and found work, got married and etc.
While living at the home place and the new house (new to us), dad was a school board trustee, church leader and Sunday school teacher. We went to church by a team of horses and wagon. The church was located about two miles from home. Every so often the preacher would spend Saturday night at our house and we would all go to church together. It goes without saying that we had to be on our best behavior at those times. Although I must say the change wasn’t that great as dad was very much a disciplinarian. By the way, guess what we had for dinner when the preacher came? That’s right—Fried chicken.
By then I was five or six years old. We rode a model T school bus that we called a cracker box. The two miles to school was on a dirt road and when it rained we would get stuck in the mud. That was always he highlight of our day. The school I went to was only a grade school; the older ones went to Whitesboro which was eight more miles.
We worked hard and played hard. We raised grain, cotton, and sugar cane. There was a neighbor that had a syrup mill where we took the cane and turned it into sorghum molasses. I’ll always remember that old red horse going in a circle with a long pole hooked to him then to some sort of apparatus that squeezed the juice into a heated vat that made the syrup.
OUR MOVE TO RUSSETT
One day while our dad was plowing in the field, a man came driving up in a new 1941 Chevrolet
World War II had just begun. It did not play a part in dad’s decision to move, but looking back I think it took a great deal of focus off our struggles and on to winning the war. I believe that to be true for
Dad got back from the trip to
Well first things first, we had to get things ready to get into school. We had to find our school clothes make lunches wrap them in newspaper and tie a string around them. I can’t remember what we fixed. I noticed that the school bus was much nicer than the cracker box back in
I don’t know what it was about a new kid coming to school, but it seemed that some of the boys wanted to see how tough this
As I recall the sports programs at Russett gave us pride and unity. We competed relatively well over the years. Especially when one considers that our coaches were teachers that were asked to coach. One might say that it was on the job training for them. However they were very dedicated and did a good job. They were probably better coaches than some of us were players.
The following are biographies of each of us who went to school at Russett:
Freda Jane (Henry)
Freda Married Leonard Clifton before graduating from school. He was in the Army Air force at the time. He was a gunner on the B-24 liberator. Freda stayed with us and the Cliftons until the war was over and they moved to Calif. She later became a missionary to
Billie (Henry) Amyett:
Billie graduated from Russett and
Barbara finished school at Russett and attended
Claude Eugene Henry;
Eugene as is known by all his friends at Russett, Graduated and attended
Claude Eugene Henry started to school at Russett Feb. 1942 while in the 6th grade and at the age of twelve. He became interested in sports. He later played on the Jr. High championship team. While in high school he played on the district championship team. He was also very much involved in the softball and baseball programs. He graduated in 1948. After that he graduated from
The Korean War had just started and he joined the Air Force and took his training at Lackland Air Force base in
He then came home to help his dad harvest the crops. When that was completed, he left for
He was soon thereafter promoted to the detective division and then later to the city crime prevention office. During this time and on Oct. 31st his wife gave birth to a daughter, Millie Jean. He left the police dept. and accepted a position with the
In 1961 he left
In June 1997 they sold it and moved to
Gene and Millie have been married 52 yrs. And have four grand children and four great grand children. Gene is 77 and Millie is 69. During the fifty two years they were married they admit to never having argued or had any heated debate. Their motto is: A person doesn’t hurt the one that they love, for words that are said in anger can never be taken back and the hurt will always be there.
Guyman Crabtree Henry
Guyman went to west Texas to work in the oil field after graduation, in which he spent his entire career. He became a driller for a few years and then was promoted to tool pusher whose job it was to over see several rigs at once.
During that time he met and married Gail Cunningham in 1964. They had four children, 2 girls and twin boys. Candy his oldest girl attended Texas Tech Univ. and is now regional manager for American General Group. His youngest daughter, Toby graduated from the University of North Texas and is now teaching school at Chico, Texas where her husband is head football coach. One twin, Bobby has his own construction business in the DFW area. His other twin Robbie is in the Air and Heating business in
During his career he had intervals where his work took him outside the
Guyman retired a few years ago. He and Gail are living in
Jerry Charles Henry:
After my graduation from Russett, I joined Guyman and J. K. Biles in the oil fields of west
After three yrs. In the army, I enrolled at North Texas state college, now known as The
New Account Development…National Accounts
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WILSON SPORTING GOODS, Chicago, Illinois
Regional Promotion Manager, Dallas, Texas (1987-1991)
Worked closely with colleges, universities, and professional teams in promoting Wilson products in an eight state area-Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico, Colorado, and Wyoming. Overall responsibilities for creating demand for Wilson products and to coordinate activities between end-user, dealers, and Wilson sales/marketing staff.
- Led nation in gaining Incremental product distribution to colleges, universities, and pro teams.
- Gained 100% backing from pro football teams in region: Cowboys, Saints, Oilers, and Broncos. Successfully
Overcame major competitor who launched serious bid for NFL football five year adoption.
- Secured and negotiated product adoptions for SWC, Southland, Metro, American South, and W.A.C. Athletic
- Selected to make a special presentation to Colorado Governor Roy Romer.
Division Manager, Dallas, Texas,(1979-1987)
Responsible for all sales for the division which included Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Mississippi. Louisiana, and New Mexico. Supervised and trained six to eight sales representatives and sales manager.
- Increased sales from $14 million in 1979 to $22 million in1987.
- Managed division which finished #1 in the nation on sales index two years and #2 two years out of seven divisions.
- Developed four sales representatives who were promoted to greater responsible positions.
- Chosen to speak at the National Sporting Goods Association convention in Los Angeles, California 1986. Topic: “Customer/sales Rep Relationship.
Sales manager, Dallas, Texas, (1976-1979)
Responsible for developing and training sales representatives. Directly involved in developing national accounts-Oshmans, TG&Y, OTASCO, and A.A.F.E.S. (military national buying office).
Sales representative, Dallas, Texas (1962-1976)
Sold sporting goods to dealers, department stores, and Mass retailers in the West Texas territory. Created demand for Wilson products by working with colleges, high schools, and park and recreation departments.
National Sporting Goods Association---1979-present
American Football Coaches Association---1987-present
Fellowship of Christian Athletes---1989-present
B.B.A., North Texas State University, Denton, Texas -1961
Attended several professional sales and management development courses and seminars.
This was a good experience; this was at the pep rally in Bronco stadium in
After retiring from
I retired in 2004 and enjoying my four grand daughters. Janet and I pick two of them up daily—6th grader and a 2nd grader, from school. We help them with their home work. I think I’m learning more about history, literature and etc than when I was in school. We have a blast and thank the Lord for all my grand daughters.
I get to play a reasonable amount of golf and fish in the lakes close to our house. I love to trout fish in
Gwendolyn Henry Marschall
Dad moved our family to Russett in 1942. Carolyn and I being twins and two years old do not recall the big adjustment being made by our family. Some of my first memories included the time that we were 4 years old and were sent to the fields with older ones, not so much to work, but play. Mother made us a little sack to wear over our shoulders in case we wanted to help out with the cotton picking. We mostly played!
As we got older chores were assigned to us. Starting school was a bjig step and we soon learned that we were to stay the whole day and not have Jerry walk us home because we were crying so much.
In 1953 our mother passed away and dad found it difficult to run the farm with just three little girls, Carolyn, myself and Margaret Ann. In 1954 he applied for a job in
Carolyn and I joined the basketball team there and in our junior year we made it all the way to the state championship tournament.
After graduating in 1957, we moved to
My husband Walter passed away October, 2006. This finds me selling our home of 35 years and preparing to move to be with our daughter and 2 grand children, ages 4 and 8. I am sure my life will not be boring with the young ones around. Also I will be near Carolyn, Jerry and two older sisters, Sylvia and Billie who all live in the DFW area.
Carolyn Henry Massey
Carolyn (Henry) Massey
My family moved to Russett, Oklahoma in January 1942. My twin, Gwendolyn and I were two years old. My Mother died when I was in the 8th grade. In October 1954, Dad, Gwen, Margaret and I moved to Addington, Oklahoma. Dad drove the school bus there and worked part time at the Dimery Pecan Orchard to help put us through school. I graduated from High School there and moved to Fort Worth, Texas and went to work for an Insurance Company. During that time I met my husband. We married in 1959 and Herschel was transferred to Duncan, Oklahoma with Cummins Diesel Company. We lived there two years and the company transferred my husband back to Ft. Worth. I then went back to work for the Insurance Company that I left. In 1964 our son, Chuck was born. Eight months later my husband's company transferred us to Maracaibo, Venezuela South America. While living there, our daughter Pamela was born.
After six years, we were transferred back to the United States.
My husband passed away in 1999.
Both of our children graduated from schools here in Ft. Worth. They both are married and Chuck and Dora have one son, John, who is 12 years old and Pamela and Stephen have two children, Tristan 4 years old and Devon 3 years old.
I have very fond memories of growing up at Russett. They were my formative years. I accepted Jesus as my savior at a Revival held at the Baptist church there, by Bro. Montgomery. Gwen, Margaret and I all three were saved then.
I remember being baptized out in a tank somewhere not far from the church.
I can remember back to that day I walked down the isle, along with several others, and told Bro. Montgomery I wanted to invite Jesus in my heart. I reflect back to that day lots of times. It was a special event in my life. I also loved going to the tacky parties we use to have there to raise money for the school, along with the pie suppers. Another fond memory is at Christmas time, The day we turned out school for the holidays, Mr. Portman would go around and pass out an apple, orange and a hershey bar to everyone. It was a very exciting time.
I am still living in Ft Worth and am enjoying retirement.
Margaret Ann Henry Cohen
My family moved from Sandusky, Texas to Russett Oklahoma in January 1942 when I was two weeks old. Mother died when I was in the 6th grade. We moved from Russett to Addington, Oklahoma in October 1954. I lived there until I graduated in 1959 and moved to Ft. Worth, Texas and went to work for a Finance Company. After a couple of years I quit and went to Stewardess School and became an Airline Stewardess. I was employed with American Airlines from 1961 to 1969. After moving to Connecticut I worked with my husband in his medical electronics business in Stamford, Connecticut until his death in 1991. In 1995 I was employed by a private equity Investment firm in Stamford for seven years. I moved back to Texas in 2003 to be near my family.
I hope that you have enjoyed reading a snapshot of the Fred Henry family background as much as I have reading about those of you who have posted yours on the website. As you have seen we are a large family and there should be updates periodically. From our family to yours: May God bless each of you! Jerry