Submitted by Marrie Miller
Nature has no choice spots for the birth of her great men. According to her needs and occasions the earth is all Athens, all Stratford-on Avon. When a man is required for any definite purpose, she produces him, apparently without regard to circumstances, flinging him into the crisis fearlessly. She knows her brood, and those whom she singles out for great events never d1sappoint. Sometimes, in her gladsome bounty, she produces at once a whole family of capable, then shoves them into the environments which develop them into what she intended. An impressive illustration of this truth is given in the life and record of the Henderson family, of which Alexander C Henderson, one of the prominent and successful farmers and stockmen of Crook county, Wyoming, is an honored member. This family record contains the recital of distinguished services to our country in peace and war. It is silvered with the white light of patriotic daring on many a bloody field of the Civil War, but darkened with the tragic touch of death at Shiloh, where one son sealed his devotion with his life, and in a hospital ward, where another son died from the effects of privations and exposure in the service. The record is enriched with faithful and unyielding devotion to duty along the beaten paths of life, when naught of public clamor or danger called our hosts to arms; and has been rendered glorious by conspicuous service along the line of great events in the person of one of its distinguished members, Hon David B Henderson, a brother of the subject of this writing, who, during the past three National Congresses has wielded the Speaker's gavel in the House of Representatives with eminent success, guiding the activities, concentrating the wisdom, stimulating the industry and smoothing away the acerbities of that great legislative body. He has a life story, which, of itself, is sufficient to give the name a lofty and lasting place in history; and his brothers have been no less faithful to duty in their several stations. Speaker Henderson is a product of our rural life in the Middle West, and passed his childhood, youth and early manhood on the paternal farm in Iowa. He enlisted in the Union army in September, 1861, as a private, was elected and commissioned first lieutenant of his company, and he served with it until he lost a leg in battle. He afterward reentered the army as a colonel and finished his term of service. He rose to distinction both as a lawyer and publicist, was many times elected to Congress, was three times Speaker of the House of Representatives; and, finally, when his blushing honors were thick upon him, disagreeing with the policy of his party on vital issues, rather than surrender his convictions he surrendered the scepter of power, voluntarily retiring to the sweet repose that comes only to the couch of private life. Alexander C Henderson was born on November 15, 1834, in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, the son of Thomas and Barbara L (Legg) Henderson, also Scotch by nativity. The father was a brewer in Aberdeenshire, but brought his family America in 1845, and, settling in Fayette county, Iowa, engaged in farming until his death in 1882. Three years later his widow died, and both are buried in the soil hallowed by their useful labors. Their family consisted of eight children, seven sons and one daughter. Three of the sons were members of the Twelfth Iowa Infantry in the Civil War, in which two lost their lives and the third a limb. Alexander was one of the family party which came to the United States in 1845, and the schools of Iowa he completed the education begun in those of Scotland. After leaving school, in company with his brother. David B Henderson, he conducted agricultural operations on the homestead for a number of years, and, after his brother went into other business, he had the entire charge of the farm and the care of his parents until death came for them. In 1892 he again sought the frontier life, coming to Wyoming and homesteading on the ranch he now occupies in Crook county, seven miles south of Sundance. Here he cast anchor and has since remained, fully engaged in cattle raising and farming, expanding his business from year to year, growing in the good will and esteem of his neighbors as his usefulness in their local affairs became more and more apparent. In politics he has been a lifelong Republican, beginning his allegiance to the party by voting for Lincoln for President the first time he was a candidate, and since adhering to the faith then adopted with unvarying steadfastness. In January, 1867, Mr Henderson was united in marriage with Miss Minerva Teeter, a native of Clayton county, Iowa, the ceremony taking place in Fayette county, that state. Her parents were Moses and Anna (Cook) Teeter, natives of Canada who moved into Iowa soon after their marriage and there conducted a prosperous farming industry until the death of the father in 1890, and the mother is still living in Clayton county. Mr and Mrs Henderson have six children, Winifred, Mortimer, Anna, David, Barbara and Allie.
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