Mr. Hendry - St. Louis Carpenter, Husband of Jane

That trunk, that trunk. If you have been following my blogs or websites, you'll have heard about it before, and can expect to hear about it again.   It's a cliché, yes, but that trunk is truly a treasure trove of family history.

Among the letters in the trunk, were mentions of a man named Hendry married to Jane. From whence he came, other than Tennessee, has not been further researched.  However, after searching the St. Louis marriage records for a Hendry married to a Jane, I found a Mary Jane (Pilcher) married to an Elihu Emory Hendry in St. Louis on 14 Feb 1860.  Finally, I had his given names. His wife Jane, was as I had expected, the oldest sibling of my 2nd great grandmother, Clarissa (aka Clara) Pilcher. They were the daughters of Ezekiel Pilcher and Louisa (Ballard), and both girls were born in Springfield, Illinois where their mother was a “staunch” friend of Mrs. Lincoln prior to the war and the family's move to St. Louis.

I liked his given name - Elihu Emory Hendry.  It had a nice rhythm to it, and since he was referred to in the letters as "Hendry" or more formally as Mr. Hendry, my curiousity had been piqued.  Perhaps he was given this respectful title on account of the age difference  between Jane (the eldest child born in 1829) and Clarissa (youngest child born in 1845), or perhaps Elihu was a man upon whom Clarissa and others could depend.  In any case, he is never once referred to in the letters as Elihu or Emory, but in one instance a letter is addressed in care of "E.E. Hendry."  Had I not located his marriage and death certificates, I might not have been able to confirm him to be the subject of the letters - but this was definitely the same Hendry.

I then located him in the 1860 St. Louis city directory where he was listed as a carpenter (as were the Pilchers and Clara's husband Tom) on Locust between 5th and 6th, and boarding off Montgomery between 9th and Broadway.  He was then located in the military index files as having enlisted in 1861 for three months at Washington, Vernon Co., Missouri, serving with Co. I, 4th Missouri Infantry and/or with the 4th U.S. Reserve Corps, Missouri Volunteers.

After locating his death certificate at FamilySearch.org, I searched backward using his approximate age, place of birth and occupation, and was able to find an Elihu Hendry living in the household of Alex and Nancy Sutherland* in Union, Brown Co., Ohio in 1850. Since Elihu's father died in 1843, it would seem likely that this young twenty year-old might have left Tennessee to go live with family in Ohio.  Further research between the Sutherland and Hendry family has not yet been undertaken, but it should be noted that like Hendry, Sutherland is also a name of Scottish origin.

Chronologically, Elihu first appears in the Moore & Pilcher family letters in 1862 when Thomas A. Moore writes his wife Clara from Houston Texas County, Missouri while serving with the 33rd Missouri Volunteers. He writes: “... tell Hendry we will think about that mariage and let him know if every thing is favorable.” Considering Elihu was already married to Jane, and his father Edward Hendry had died in 1843, this snippet of information has yet to be clarified; but indicates a close bond between two men who respected the other's opinions.

In 1863 there are two more mentions from Thomas of Hendry while he is in Helena, Arkansas with his regiment and writing to his wife Clara toward the end of April.  “I sent you a small package of money by a person iknew but I am afraid he cant find you as you have moved I told him to be certain and git it to you it may be that he wont give it to Mr. Hendry until he delivers it so that you will get it.”   And again in June Tom simply writes: “Respects to Jane and Mr. Hendry and all the rest.”

In post-war 1865, Elihu is listed among the registered voters and is living at St. Charles Rock Road where their daughter Clara Eleanor Hendry is born on the first day of January.   Not knowing much about the Hendry ancestry, I am still able to speculate that the couple most probably named their daughter for Jane's sister Clara, and her grandmother Eleanor (Mossman) – the latter also being of Scotch descent.   In 1869 Elihu and Jane had another daughter, Sarah Louise, who was born on the 8th of April and most likely named after Elihu's mother Sarah (Hess), and Jane's mother Louisa (Ballard).

The Hendry family moved about a bit, but remained in Missouri.  They appeared in Springfield, Greene Co., Missouri in 1870 and Lincoln, Dallas Co., Missouri in 1880 where Elihu is then listed as a dealer in marble.  Included in their household at this time is Charles Kalb, the son of Jane's deceased sister Caroline.

By 1900 the Hendrys had returned to St. Louis where they were residing in Central Township.   Both daughters were included in their household, and both were single. Clara (aka Dolly) was a school teacher, and her younger sister Sarah (aka Lulu) was a music teacher and organist. Neither of the girls ever married and both appear to have continued residing with their father after the death of their mother Jane in December of 1901 as they were listed with him in Central Twp., St. Louis County, in the 1910 census.

Elihu Emory died of bronchitis at the age of 80 years, 5 months and 11 days. He was buried beside his wife at Forever Oak Hill Cemetery in Kirkwood, outside St. Louis. Their daughters were both buried at Bellefontaine.

Despite the fragmented pieces I've found on Elihu, the man himself still remains a bit of a mystery.  If you are able to shed any further light on Mr. Hendry or care to exchange information, please feel free to email me.   For additional information on Elihu's wife and daughters, you may be interested in viewing my Pilcher ancestry.  For information on the ancestry of Elihu E. Hendry, you may be interested in visiting Mike DeLoach's "Javan Genealogy."

Another big thank you to Connie Nisinger for calling the Forever Oak Cemetery to verify the burial of Elihu's wife, Mary Jane (Pilcher).

Thanks for spending some time with me today.  As always, I look forward to your comments, suggestions and emails.

NOTE: A marriage was recorded in Brown Co., Ohio for Alexander Sutherland and Nancy McCoy, married on 26 Jun 1846.  According to the ages of his children in the 1850 census, this suggests she was not his first wife.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

thank you so much for this information. i am a descendent of James T. Kalb and Caroline Pilcher and this information really filled in some holes for me.

brett barger