Biography of John O. Henderson
Howard County, IN Biographies





JOHN O. HENDERSON, the senior editor of the Kokomo Dispatch, was born on the 1st day of September, 1847, in the town of New London, this county. His father and mother are both living, to rejoice in the success of their son. His father, John F. Henderson, is one of the old settlers of this county and a pioneer physician of much more than ordinary ability. His mother's maiden name was Cynthia A. Whitson. New London is noted for its good schools. Here the youthful editor of the Dispatch received much more than ordinary advantages in education. In 1861, he removed to Kokomo with his parents, where he has ever since resided. He attended the city schools from 1861 until 1865, when he commenced clerking in his father's drug store, where he remained until 1868. He taught two terms of district school, between 1865 and 1868, and is thus a member of that grand army of men who began a successful career, in life by starting as " a common school teacher." In the fall of 1868, he entered Asbury University, then under the Presidency of Bishop Bowman, where he was graduated in 1872. In the summer of 1873, he purchased an interest in the Kokomo Democrat, a little sheet founded by his father, as the organ of the Democratic party of Howard County. The paper was struggling for an existence on the journalistic sea. There was a party majority against the paper of 1,200. The Tribune, at that time, was at the zenith of its power, edited by T. C. Philips, one of the brightest, most trenchant and powerful writers ever upon the Indiana press. Here, our youthful editor had to contend for success or failure, with a foeman worthy of any man's steel. He could not have had a better schooling. It was soon seen that he had made no mistake in his choice of a profession. The paper at once began to show signs of improvement. In August, 1875, the paper was greatly enlarged and its name changed to the Kokomo Dispatch. From the time that J. O. Hendersons name appeared as one of the editors, he has been the chief writer for the paper. The office and job rooms are all well supplied with best materials, and the facilities for first class work are the best. Today, no list of leading weekly papers would be made without placing the Kokomo Dispatch near the top of the list. Mr. Henderson is everywhere recognized as one of the most polished and brilliant of the young editors of the State. In the campaign of 1876, he made his paper felt as a power upon the Democratic side of that fierce contest. In each campaign since that, the Dispatch has been regarded as the leading political paper of this Congressional district. During the last campaign, the Dispatch articles written against L. P. Milligan, in the Huntington Wells Senatorial district, were widely copied. Oscar Henderson is a thorough newspaper man, popular with the craft. As a writer, he is vigorous and powerful. He has the humorous strongly developed in his nature, and he has the faculty of hitting off an opponent in a few humorous sentences, which prove more effective than a labored article would be. He recognizes the duty he owes to journalism, and no man is more thoroughly discriminative in his duties as an editor, and his relations as a friend. He never allows his social or business relations to interfere with his duties as a journalist. One thing can be said of him, that he is no trimmer, and no stickler for the favor of public opinion. Some of the best known writers of Indiana journalism commenced their careers as authors in the columns of the Dispatch. In May, 1879, he was married to Miss Mary George, daughter of William W. George, who resides a few miles west of this city, and is a prominent farmer of Clay Township. One boy, about one year old, has come to brighten their home.

Also see Howard E. Henderson

From:
Counties of Howard and Tipton, Indiana
Historical and Biographical
Charles Blanchard, Editor
F. A. Bettey & Co.
Chicago 1883.


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