HENDERSON, AMOS, who is one of the oldest and most prominent citizens of Jacksonville, and Morgan County, Ill., as he is also one of the worthiest, was born in that city, November 20, 1840, the son of Smiley H. and Elizabeth Henderson, natives of Ross County, Ohio, who came to Greene County, Ill., in 1824, before Morgan County was surveyed. Smiley Henderson passed through Jacksonville in 1826, when that city was being platted, on his return from the Indian trading station of Beardstown. During the same year he made another trip to Jacksonville and for $75 purchased the corner lot where the opera house now stands. There he engaged in the packing business, together with Col. Dunlap and Ira Davenport, and continued thus for several years. He then opened a general store, which he conducted for a number of years, or until he retired from active life.
Amos Henderson received his early mental training in the public schools, and subsequently graduated from Berean College, after which he read law for three years with Judge Berdan and Richard Yates. In 1861 he made a trip through the new territory of Minnesota, which was then being opened. He visited St. Paul when that city was being laid out, and hunted throughout the Territory. On the site of Minneapolis stood only five slab shanties. He returned to Jacksonville, and the day after his arrival, in July, 1862, enlisted in Company B of the One Hundred and First Regiment Illinois Volunteer Infantry. In that regiment he was engaged mostly in skirmishing; was mustered out in 1864, and reenlisted in Company B, One Hundred and Thirty-third Regiment Illinois Volunteer Infantry, in which he served until the end of the war. On December 20, 1862, he was captured at Holly Springs, Miss., and released by Grant's forces. After the war Mr. Henderson returned to Jacksonville, and for several years conducted a grocery and confectionery on the corner of West State Street and the Public Square, being afterward engaged in the real estate and insurance business.
On October 16, 1866, Mr. Henderson was united in marriage with Emeline Miller, a daughter of Henry Miller, who, at an early period, migrated from Kentucky to Morgan County. Two children resulted from this union, namely: Herbert J., born in 1867, and engaged in the printing business in Jacksonville; and Ruth, born in 1870, now the wife of Clarence Depew, who is associated with his brother-in-law Herbert Henderson, in the same line of business. Mr. Henderson is now serving his twenty-fifth year as Justice of the Peace. Fraternally he is a member of Illini Lodge, No. 4, I. O. O. F., and in 1876 was elected Grand Master of the order in the State. In 1878-79 he served with J. H. Oberly as Grand Representative of the State. He is also a member of the G. A. R.