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Blue Bills

Blue Bills

This first picture is believed to be of a group that includes many of the members of a gang called the Blue Bills. This picture was taken at Henderson Springs Hotel located near Pigeon Forge Tennessee. We believe the picture was taken after the funeral of a young woman (picture near buggy wheel). The time this picture was taken was between (1887-1893). Books have been published about what went on in Sevier County Tennessee in the late 1800's. One book entitled "White Caps" was written by Ethelred W. Crozier, published in 1899 by Bean, Warters & Gaul Printers and Binders, Knoxville, TN pp. 1-217.

The story tells of a group or gang of well-meaning people of Sevier County TN who decided to take the law into their own hands and punish people who this gang thought were un-fit citizens. The gang called themselves the White Caps. They wore white caps that covered their faces while they carried out the punishment they decided need to be given. Many people knew who these men were, many being well-known businessmen of Sevier County. At first many people approved of this gang. But as time passed the gang started beating people who had done nothing wrong. Even so most of the non-gang members didn't like what was going on, they were afraid to speak up against the activities of the White Caps.

William and Laura Whaley were killed by the White Caps in the presence of their young child. The picture by the buggy wheel could be a picture of Laura Whaley or perhaps a member of the Henderson family who died about this same time, perhaps un-related to the activities of the White Caps. Never-the-less as things the White Caps did, like killing people, intensified, James Arron Henderson a young doctor living in Sevierville organized a gang to oppose the White Caps. This gang was called the Blue Bills. This name came from the caps worn by this gang that was blue in color, not covering their faces.

Many battles took place in Sevier County between these two groups and several of the Hendersons were mentioned in this book. In 1894 someone shot and killed James Arron Henderson as he sat in his living room reading a paper. A unknown person shot him through a living room window. No one was ever convicted of this killing. James Arron Henderson was accredited with being brave and fearless and for bringing terror to the White Caps and bringing about an ending to the activities of the White Caps. Some members of the White Caps gang were convicted sentenced and hanged for crimes committed by members of the White Caps.

This picture was taken to Kansas in the late 1890's by members of the Henderson family who lived in Sevier County and kept in an old trunk until discovered about 100 years later. Upon close examination of this picture, you can see that most men in the picture are holding either rifles or pistols. One person, who might have been James Arron Henderson is standing in front and has two guns, a rifle and a pistol, he is wearing a necktie.

Henderson Group
Group picture back row left to right George Marshall Henderson (1868-1927) Jerry Thomas Henderson (1874-1968), Alice Mae (McMahan) Henderson. Next row left to right James Decatur Henderson (1866-1945), Carroll Wilson Henderson (1876-1964), Nancy Thomas Henderson (1845-1927) James Carroll Henderson (1844-1921) Newton McMahan Henderson (1884-1938) Sallie Henderson Huddleston.

Chest This desk was a product of a slave. A bedroom suite of this furniture was owned by a Henderson of our line. The furniture had gold inlay native woods cut in Tennessee. The history of this furniture is as told to FRH in the 1980's on a trip to Tennessee.

Randal Bruster Henderson

Born in Sevier County TN and lived his life there. Fathered a large family, some descendants still live in East Tennessee. He is buried in Shiloh Cemetery, Pigeon Forge, TN.
Randal Henderson
Samuel & Sallie Henderson Samuel Henderson (1852-1934) and his 2nd wife Sallie Runyon (1865-1898). Samuel was a son of Eligah Henderson (1820-1898) and Sallie died the same day that Eligah died. Sallie died giving birth.
Elizabeth (Andes) Henderson (1827-1902) with husband, Eligah Henderson (1820-1898). Picture taken in the 1890's at Henderson Springs near Pigeon Forge, TN in Sevier County. Elizabeth & Eligah Henderson

Tennessee Henderson photographs

Courtesy Virginia Bengston

Henderson, Burns, Snapp
     Back Row:
     Bertie Chance
     John Henderson
     Steward Henderson
     Sally Burns

Front Row:
Mollie Burchfield
Martha Caroline Henderson
Laura Snapp
(Brothers & Sisters)  

1929 Reunion

1929 Henderson Family Reunion

Back Row:

1 Nell Chance (Bertie Stepdaughter)
2 Stewart Henderson
3 Jud Burns
4 Roy Chance
5 Mell Henderson
6 Viola Henderson
7 John Henderson
8 Tim Henderson
9 Amos Snapp
10 May Layman
11 Cleo? Snodgrass
12 Mack Brian Henderson (baby)
13 Flora Henderson
14 ? Chance Henderson (B's Stepson)
Middle Row:

1 Zelma Henderson
2 Baby Rowena
3 Sallie Henderson Burns
4 Betty Marie Burns (baby)
5 Bertie Chance
6 Mollie Burchfield
7 M. C. Henderson
8 Laura Henderson Sanpp
9 John Snapp
10 Mack Henderson

Bottom Row:

1 Rhea Thurman
2 Ruth Henderson
3 Virginia Henderson
4 Wayne Henderson  (front)
5 Sally Snapp
6 Louise Henderson (front)
7 Russell Snodgrass
8 Trula Spicer
9 Lucille Layman
10 Fern Spicer
11 ? Chance  (Bertie Stepson)

Robert (Upper Bob) Henderson
Robert (Upper Bob) Henderson
B: 30 Oct 1841     D: 27 Oct  1923
Martha Caroline Seaton Henderson
Martha Caroline Seaton Henderson
B: 28 Aug 1846     D 6 May 1932

Tennessee Henderson photographs

Courtesy Mrs. Ava S. Hornung of Sevierville, TN

Henderson House
Old Henderson home Douglas Dam Rd - where Leda Comatise lives.

Grandma Serah trotter Henderson seated

Standing left to right
Anna Henderson Cotes
Maude Henderson Lowe
May Henderson clexxx Waugh

Randle & Georga Henderson
Mule belonged to Isac A Henderson
Left, his son Randle Henderson
Right, his youngest daughter Georga Henderson

Robert Swann Henderson & son Ray

          Robert Swann Henderson and his son Ray Henderson. 
                      The horse's name was Ole Pet

Henderson Stokley Swann

(Sevier County)

Mary Henderson Stokley on the left and Lula Henderson Swann on the right

From Linda Rolen

Lula Henderson Swann

(Sevier County)

Courtesy Linda Rolen

Lula Henderson Swann


(Sevier County)

On the upper porch are from left to right: Mel Henderson, Lee Dukes, Arthur Henderson, Ida Mullendore, Mary Stokely; on the bottom porch are Corra McMahan Henderson, Lula Swann, Cora Henderson and Robert Swann Henderson. Ray Henderson wasn't born when the picture was taken. They are all the children of Corra & Robert Henderson.

From Linda Rolen



           From:       About 1909 in Forrest, Texas

Back Row - Left to Right

Front Row - Left to Rright :

1927 Henderson reunion - Sevierville, TN

Descendants of the George McLin Henderson
branch of the Sevier county, TN Hendersons

Can you help ID any of these people?

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