Old Family Photo Collections Van Zandt County Genealogical Society
The photos on these pages are generously contributed by Milda Mason of Alto, New Mexico. Her ancestors were early settlers in Van Zandt County and these wonderful old photos are much appreciated. In addition, there is a very interesting story on this family and the Bottoms family on our "Old Tales, Stories Page" that you don't want to miss. If you would like to share your old family photos by placing them on this web site, please contact Sibyl Creasey for instructions.
Submitted by Milda Mason of Alto, New Mexico
John R. C. Henderson was born in 1825 in Monroe County, Tennessee, the son of Mastin Henderson and Elizabeth Coltharp. John died in 1865, shot through his living room window, in Canton, by a man named Graham.
John was Van Zandt County Clerk, deputy District Clerk and Sheriff of Van Zandt County.
Mahala E. "Hayley" Moore was born in 1827 in Hardeman County, Tennessee, the daughter of James Moore and Cynthia Hardcastle. Hayley died in Canton, in 1870 of consumption.
John and Hayley had five children:
Perry Moore Henderson, born 1856
James Pickney Henderson, born 1860
Mary Ann Henderson born 1861
John R. C. Henderson, Jr, born 1864
Abraham Lincoln Henderson, born 1866, after his father's death.
The Moore family stories include this one about John and Mahala:
After supper one evening John and Hayley and the kids were all in the parlor. They had an ottoman that had fringe around the bottom. One of the kids kicked it with their foot, and under it was a very mad momma rattlesnake with a big litter of babies. Everybody screamed, jumped up, and looked for a weapon to kill them. They whacked around, but were only able to kill the momma that night. All the babies scattered everywhere... They just couldn't find them, and noone could remember how many babies were in the litter.... They all slept in the barn that night. They were scared to sleep there, too, because varmints were in everybody's barns, too... It was nearly a week before they decided the house was safe again. Noone slept very much for a good while.
This tinted tintype was graciously provided by Linda Kangas, a descendant.
I regret I was unable to remove the darkened area on Mahala's face.
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This page last updated 4 July 2007
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