Henderson Hardware and Hotel
© 2007 by Jean Leeper and the Lewelling Quaker Museum Board
Updated September 26, 2011
New counter on September 13, 2011
Henderson Hardware/hotel was on the south side of the square and across the street west of the Beehive. It burned when the south side of square burned in the 1887. Duvall Henderson owned the building and his wife was a Garretson. A family history says the large bedroom closets in their home had dropped ceilings to hide slaves. In the 1850 census D. W. Henderson is called a cabinetmaker.
One of the escaped slaves who came to Salem was concealed in the hotel, kept by D. W. Henderson. Some clothing of Rachel Hobson was secretly taken to the hotel and the negro was carefully dressed in these garments, which were of plain Quaker design, including shaker bonnet and veil. Peter Hobson then drove his buggy up in front of the hotel and said to the landlord, "I wish thee would tell Rachel to make haste or we will be too late for the meeting." The supposed Rachel soon appeared and stepping into the buggy was driven to safety while his pursuer stood in front of the hotel quietly watching the departure of the Quaker and his pseudo-wife. This negro was taken to the woods on Fish Creek, four miles northeast of town, where he was concealed and cared for until he could be transported in safety to another station on the road. (Garretson 1924:426)
Picture used with the permission of Joel Garretson
Added April 25, 2007
You can see it was on that corner (Lot 1, Block 18) before and during the Civil War so this well can be where he hid the runaways.
I copied three land records that are summarized below.
A. H. Pickering to D. W. Henderson October 14, 1856 and filed November 1st 1856 Town Lots Book A page 263
For the consideration of thirty-five hundred Dollars we herby convey to Duvall W. Henderson of the County of Henry and State of Iowa the following described Real Estate situated in Henry County and State aforesaid To whiz Lot Number One (1) in Block Number Eighteen (18) according to the Original Plat of the Town of Salem known as the California House. And we warrant the title against all persons whatsoever in testimony whereof we have hereunto set our hand this the 17th day of April AD 1856
Signed A. H. Pickering and Ruth M. Pickering
I presume this burned in the fire that burned the south side in 1887. "Lightening struck the brick Congregational Church on July 27, 1887 and along with the entire row of business buildings south of the park was destroyed by fire." From red history book.
He is selling to Elma M Mitchel (his daughter) dated 24 December 1887 pt Lot 1 Block 18 Town Lots Book 43 page 434
For the consideration of One Thousand dollars herby convey to Elma M. Mitchel of the County of Henry and State of Iowa the following described Real Estate situated in the County of Henry and State of Iowa to-wit:
Commencing Thirty Eight feet and nine inches (38'9") west of the NE corner of Henderson brick Block being Lot one (1) in Block Eighteen (18) as the same appears upon the original Plat of the Town of Salem in the County and State thence South Thirty-five feet (35), thence East Three feet and three inches (3'3") Thence South to the Alley thence west Thirty eight feet and three inches (38'3") to the South West corner of Said lot thence North to the North West corner of Said lot, thence East Thirty five feet and six inches (35'6") to the place of its beginning
Signed D. W. Henderson Widower
He sells to Eliza A. Lewis (his daughter) dated 13th August 1869. Town Lots Book 43 page 496
For the consideration of One Thousand dollars herby convey to ELiza A. Lewis of the County of Henry and State of Iowa the following described Real Estate in the County of Henry and State of Iowa to-wit:
Commencing at the North East Corner of Lot One (1) in Block number Eighteen (18) running thence west thirty eight feet and nine inches (38’9”), thence south thirty-five feet (35’), thence East three feet three inches (3'3"), thence South to the Alley. Thence East thirty-five feet six inches (35'6") thence north to the place of beginning being a part of lot one (1) Block Eighteen (18) as the same appears upon the Original Plat of the Town of Salem in said County.
Signed D. W. Henderson Widower
I have since seen the whole abstract of title for Lot 1, Block 18 and am in the process of summarizing it.