Perry J. Henderson Family
Perry J. Henderson was born on August 17, 1898 to John and Martha Henderson near Blanch and Centre, Alabama. He was part Cherokee. His parents were farmers, only they called it homesteading in those days. His parents cleared all the land they could take care of and the government gave it to them. Perry and his sisters and brothers helped out on this farm.
At a very young age, Perry got a job on the railroad; the old TAG railroad is what they called it. He also worked for Southern Railroad. He met a beautiful young lady, Miss Leila Holcomb, and they were married on October 28, 1917. She was seventeen and he was nineteen. Leila was born April 26, 1900. Sometime between 1922 and 1926 they moved to Dade County and started to work as share croppers. One year during WW II, people were needed to work packing food for the soldiers and Perry would work nights at the Patten Foods factory and would work in the fields during the day time.
Some of the farms he worked were those of Gus Forester, Gene Bates, George Forester, Clint Cooper, Pyron Lambert, Grady Hawkins, Grady Forester, the old Allen farm, the Williams farm in Dade County, A. J. Brown’s farm in Alabama and the Greeson farm in Cohutta, GA. There were more, but these are the ones I remember best. These farms were around Rising Fawn, New England, Cloverdale, and Johnson’s Crook.
Perry and Leila had eleven children, but still had time for play and visiting friends. Perry was very musical; he played the banjo, guitar, fiddle, and mandolin. He played in a small band and on Saturday nights they would play at barn dances and Fiddler’s Conventions. He had lots of fun with his music and there was always music and play at our house. Dad and the boys would play and Mom and the girls would sing.
Dad and Mom encouraged music and playing games. He would make our game boards himself. Some of our games were anti-over, checkers, Fox and Geese, and marbles. We all played together, but you never won when you played my Dad, but it was still fun. He taught us to do our best in whatever we did, work or play.
He was so good in his work that he could look at a field of corn or cotton and tell how many bushels or bales it would produce. I believe he was the best farmer in Dade County, GA. Every landowner wanted Perry Henderson to work their farm. His hobbies were music, fishing, hunting, whittling, and playing with his children.
Each child was special in our Mom and Dad’s eyes and was loved and cared for in a special way according to each need. There was always love at our house.
Perry and Leila retired around 1963. In 1969 they bought a small place in the Piney Community and lived there until they died. Leila died on July 8, 1983 at the age of 83, and Perry died Nov. 25, 1987 at the age of 89. Both are buried in Lake Hills Memorial Gardens in Trenton, GA, and are missed by their children and grandchildren.
The Hendersons’ children are James L. Henderson, born Jan. 28,1920; Maggie L. Henderson, born Nov. 23, 1922; John D. Henderson, born June 7, 1926; Nellie J. Henderson, born April 25, 1928; Lula A. Henderson, born March 12, 1930; Edna L. Henderson, born Nov. 6, 1932; Louise M. Henderson, born Dec. 28, 1934; Estelle G. Henderson, born May 24, 1938; Eugene J. Henderson, born May 8, 1940; Bessie M. Henderson, born May 1, 1942; Flora M. Henderson, born Nov. 12, 1946.