AMOS HENDERSON, Justice of the Peace, may usually be found at his office, on the north side of the square, in Jacksonville, fulfilling the duties of the position to which he was elected by the Republicans of the county in 1884. He has spent the greater part of his life in this locality, and Jacksonville in its early days, while it was an unpretentious village, was his birthplace. Here he was cradled forty-eight years ago, having begun life Nov. 20, 1840.
Smiley H. and Mary E. (Henderson) Henderson, the parents of our subject, were natives of Ross County, Ohio, the father born Jan. 5, 1801. He came to this part of Morgan County in April, 1826. He had been reared a farmer's boy, but, upon his removal to the Prairie State, changed his occupation somewhat, and engaged in general merchandising until 1853. He was the first merchant of Jacksonville, and put up the three-story brick building which may still be seen on the northeast corner of the public square. This was probably the first brick store in the place, and was patronized by people within a radius of sixty miles. The elder Henderson was successful in his business transactions, and upon retiring, in 1853, was master of a competence. He lived at his ease over thirty years, passing away on the 10th of April, 1886, at his home in Jacksonville.
The father of our subject in the early days purchased ten acres of land, which was afterward included in the corporate limits of the city and duly laid off into lots, which sold at a good figure. Originally he had been a Whig in politics, and after the abandonment of the old party affiliated with the Republicans. The old Cumberland Presbyterian Church, of which he was a member, the most thoroughly realized his ideas of religious duty. The parents were married in Jacksonville in 1827, their family consisted of twelve children, six of whom are living, viz: Betsy, Mrs. Hamilton; Minerva, Mrs. Lee; Elizabeth, Mrs. Howard; and Amos, all of Jacksonville; Charity, Mrs. McConnell, of Omaha, Neb., and Smiley, Jr., in Los Angeles, Cal. The mother, a member of the same church as her husband, departed this life in October, 1862.
Amos Henderson spent his boyhood days in school, and later attended the Berean College, of this city until 1860. The second year of the war, 1862, he enlisted as a Union soldier in Company D, 101st Illinois Infantry, but, after serving eighteen months, was obliged to accept his discharge on account of disability. In the engagement at Holly Springs, Miss., Dec. 20, 1863, he was captured by the rebels, but was released in June following. At once returning to Jacksonville, he re-enlisted in Company B, 133d Illinois Infantry, with the 100 days men, and served five months.
Upon retiring from the army, Mr. Henderson returning to Jacksonville, engaged in general merchandising, and during the period of four years thus occupied, built up a large and lucrative trade. For the next four or five years he was engaged as bookkeeper for the firm of Howard & Thompson. He then became interested in insurance, at which he continued until being elected to his present office. The married of Amos Henderson and Miss Ermine Miller, of Jacksonville, was celebrated at the home of the bride, Oct. 12, 1866. Mrs. Henderson was born in October, 1843, in Morgan County, and is the daughter of Henry and Mary Miller. Her parents were natives of Kentucky, and are now deceased. Herbert, the eldest son of Mr. Henderson is engaged in the printing business in Jacksonville. The Squire belongs to the Republican party and the G. A. R. His pleasant and comfortable home occupies No. 339 East North Street.