At midnight of September 20, 1915, Waldron and Scott County citizens were saddened by the death of a respected
Christian citizen whom they had fondly called "Professor" Henderson during his years of teaching.
Mr. C. Henderson was born November 19, 1854, on his father's farm in Haywood County, North Carolina. In December
1865 he moved with his father and family to another farm in Cobb County, Georgia where he worked on the farm and
attended the public school. At the age of 19 he professed Christ and joined the Missionary Baptist Church where he
soon became active in teaching Sunday School class and holding occasional prayer services. As soon as he was able
he entered North Georgia Agricultural College of Dahlonega, Georgia, graduating from that institution in 1882. He
began teaching school in 1879, prior to graduation, at Pauling County, Ga. After graduation he studied law in Dallas,
Georgia and following he was admitted to the Bar of the Courts of Georgia at Rome, Georgia and also of Arkansas and
the U.S. Courts. Mr. Henderson practiced law in Dallas until he returned to his first love, that of teaching, and
moved to Waldron to accept such a position.
"Professor" Henderson established the first High School in Waldron in 1889 and due to the steady growth it became
necessary, in 1905, to build a modern two story brick high school with six rooms and a large study hall at the
tremendous cost of $10,000.00. This building in the west part of town, where part of our present school buildings
are, was further enhanced by a two story frame building adjoining. The lower floor was used as an assembly hall
and the upper floor was a well equipped gymnasium. Additional courses were added as needs of the pupils demanded
until a four year high school course was established in 1911 and time records many prominent graduates which have
passed through its doors.
On April 11, 1894, he was married to Lela Leming (whose news article was written previously) who was one of the first
graduates of his new high school. To this union 8 children were born and almost all of them taught at some time or
other with the two oldest, Mrs. Luretha Pinnell and Mrs. Ayline Sturdevant, of Paris, Ark. making it their life work
of many years and recently retired. Other children are three sons: Leming of Escondido, California, Wendell of
Waldron, and Curtis of Indianapolis, Ind.; two younger daughters, Mrs. Ana Dean Johnson of Hackett, Ark., and Mrs.
Rebecca Crawford, Paris, Ark., died only recently, and several years previously they were preceded in death by a son
Gordon of Fayetteville, Ark.
After 7 years teaching in Waldron, Mr. Henderson and family moved to Greenwood where he taught a short time. There
he was County Superintendent of Sebastian County and later filled the same position in Scott County and many teacher's
examinations were given by him here. The family returned to Waldron and he resumed his position as Superintendent of
He was a Deacon and Sunday School teacher in the First Baptist Church of Waldron and was Sunday School Superintendent
for several years. Almost all of this family have always been affiliated with this denomination.
In his youth, Mr. Henderson was one of several boys stricken with dread typhoid fever and consequently was one of the
few who recovered but he was much weakened and ill health shadowed all of his years. In 1915, the school lost its
greatest friend and benefactor in his passing. In this year he also established an athletic program in the schools.
Of local interest, perhaps, his last graduating class in 1915 consisted of Charlye Forrester, Nina Schell, Marie Bird,
Anna Bird, Douglas Smith, Ethel Pollard and Ayline Henderson. Most of these will be remembered by older citizens of
Of the new school's twenty six year history, "Professor" Henderson had served 14 of them. Life does not command success
but Mr. henderson exemplified in his life that the Lord expected man to strive for it and this he did. Many who knew
him well state that he was unexcelled as an educator and a understanding handler of students. Little did he realize
that his work would be so shortly cut off by death and separation from his beloved family, and students who held him
in great esteem.
In sorrow he once wrote an eulogy for a student who had suffered a tragic death and he gave these words: "This world
has been so blessed with an ideal specimen of God's perfect work in the person of our dear sister who was so good,
so true. She began right, lived right, and in grand triumph, left us gazing thoughfully into the heavesn, as we all
are witnesses." His own words written some years before seem to be a fitting benediction of his life and his days
ended in the darkness of midnight only to be received immediately by his Lord in the never ending dawn of Eternity.
Happy Birthday U.S.A.
17 June 1976
The Scott County Bicentennial Committee Salutes:
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Copyright 2008-2009 by Delaine Edwards.
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