John Nathaniel Henderson, lawyer, jurist, and legislator, the son of Thomas S. and Harriet (Red) Henderson, was born on February 26, 1843, in Abbeville District, South Carolina. In 1846 the family moved to Texas. Henderson attended Baylor University at Independence for a time before the beginning of the Civil War, when he enlisted in Hood's Texas Brigade. After the war he returned to Baylor, where he graduated from the law department. He was admitted to the bar in 1867 and began practice in Millican. He was elected district attorney of the Bryan district in 1874, state senator in 1880, and, after being appointed district judge of the Bryan district by Governor Lawrence S. Ross in 1888, was elected to that position in 1890. Henderson was made associate justice of the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals on November 6, 1894. His published work on The Lease System in Texas was an important attack on the abuses of the contemporary convict leasing system. Henderson had one child with his first wife, the former Hester Hubert, and three with his second wife, the former Kate Evans. He died on December 22, 1907.
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Dallas Morning News, December 23, 1907. Texas Bar Association, Annual Report, 1908.
Law, Law Enforcement, and Outlaws
Politics and Government
The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.
“Henderson, John Nathaniel,”
Handbook of Texas Online,
accessed June 29, 2022,
Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
Original Publication Date:
Most Recent Revision Date:
January 1, 1995