James Henley. Among all classes and in every condition of life are those who excel in everything they undertake, whether of a commercial, agricultural or professional character, and no matter in what condition they start out in life they will eventually come to the front and make a name for themselves. Such is the case of the above-mentioned gentleman. Mr. Henley was born in Tennessee in 1817, was the eldest in a large family born to John and Elizabeth (Horton) Henley. John Henley came to Cole County, Mo., at an early day, entered and bought a large tract of land in Clark Township, and made many improvements. He was also a blacksmith by trade. James Henley was reared to farm labor, and at the age of twenty-five he bought a tract of forty acres, on which he built a blacksmith shop, having learned that trade from his father. On his twenty-fifth birthday he married Miss Nancy Duncan, whose father was also an early settler. Mr. Henley added to his original purchase from time to time, and with his growing family to assist, soon became one of the prominent farmers of the county. At the present time he is the owner of some 2,000 acres of land, 700 of which are under cultivation, most of it being in the creek bottom and very productive. Mr. Henley has surrounded himself with every comfort, and is now prepared to spend his declining years free from all care, since success and abundance have rewarded a busy life. Several years ago Mr. Henley was a large stock-raiser, feeding several hundred head of stock yearly. He has also been extensively engaged in bee culture, having sometimes several hundred stands. He has never been active in politics; has been school director for many years, and assisted in the organization of the school districts of the township. To his marriage have been born five children: John (deceased), Daniel (deceased), Jasper, married, and now living in Clark Township; Sarah J. (Simpson), married, and living in Spring Garden, Miller County, and Nathan, married, who makes his home with his father, and manages the large farm, is school director at the present time, and has two children, Marcus Clark and Barcie Lemuel. His wife, Miss Leona Shepherd, whom he married January 5, 1885, is a native of Miller County, and received her education in Jefferson City. Her parents, Joseph and Mary (Jenkins) Shepherd, are residing in Jefferson City at the present time. James Henley has seen many changes in Cole County since his advent in the State, and has contributed to a great extent in its development. He is one of a large family, who are known throughout Cole and Miller Counties as always being active in everything pertaining to the advancement and improvement of the country and its people.
History of Cole, Moniteau, Morgan, Benton, Miller, Maries, and Osage Counties, Missouri, Goodspeed Publishing Company (1889).
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