Wilbur Merritte Henderson, cashier and a director of the Wilsey State Bank, Wilsey, Kan., was born near Fairport, DeKalb county, Missouri, Sept. 21, 1866, the second son of Nathaniel H. and Abby J. (Blackford) Henderson. His grandfather, Nathaniel Holmes Henderson, was born in Ireland but emigrated from the old country and settled near Fredericktown, Ohio, where his son, also named Nathaniel, was born Sept. 16, 1835. He was reared on the farm and attended the schools provided by the pioneers for their children. He removed from Ohio to Illinois and ran a farm alone for a year before he was twenty-one years old. In 1860 he returned to Ohio and married Abby Blackford, whose parents were from New Jersey. Mr. Henderson began to farm in Ohio after his marriage, but at the call for volunteers at the outbreak of the war, enlisted in Company C, One Hundred and Thirty-sixth Ohio infantry, and served until peace was declared. After being mustered out of the army he returned to his farm and remained there until 1866. Two children were born to him and his wife in Ohio, both of whom died in childhood. Like so many farmers of the Ohio valley, Mr. Henderson became convinced that there was a better chance to get ahead in the new country west of the Mississippi and in 1866 came to DeKaIb county, Missouri, where he engaged in farming near Fairport. In 1884 the family located at Baldwin, Kan. While living in Missouri two children were born to Nathaniel and Abby Henderson: Wilbur M., and Carlton B., the latter born Oct. 14, 1871, is now a farmer near Wilsey. In 1891 they again moved, this time buying land in Morris county, about five miles northwest of Wilsey. Wilbur attended the public schools in DeKaIb county, Missouri, and after his parents came to Kansas graduated in the academic department of Baker University at Baldwin, Kan., but did not enter the university because of poor health. After leaving school he came to Wilsey and engaged in clerking, later becoming a hardware merchant. He was appointed postmaster of Wilsey in 1897 and filled that position for six years. In January, 1903, he became cashier of the Wilsey State Bank, which position he still holds and is also a director. Fraternally he is a Mason, and belongs to the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and the Modern Woodmen of America.
On March 20, 1894, he married Ida May, daughter of Joseph Deviney, a farmer of Ohio. Mrs. Henderson was born April 30, 1866, in Seneca county, Ohio. One child has been born to this union, Blanche May, born March 21, 1903. Since becoming cashier of the Wilsey State Bank Mr. Henderson has been the managing executive of the institution and is recognized as an able and discriminating financier. The institution has a capital of $10,000, an earned surplus of $10,000, profits of $2,000, deposits of $80,000 and has always paid satisfactory dividends to its owners.Pages 1386-1387 from volume III, part 2 of Kansas: a cyclopedia of state history, embracing events, institutions, industries, counties, cities, towns, prominent persons, etc. ... / with a supplementary volume devoted to selected personal history and reminiscence. Standard Pub. Co. Chicago : 1912. 3 v. in 4. : front., ill., ports.; 28 cm. Vols. I-II edited by Frank W. Blackmar. Transcribed December 2002 by Carolyn Ward. This volume is identified at the Kansas State Historical Society as microfilm LM195. It is a two-part volume 3.
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