Biography of William J. Henley
Rush County, IN Biographies





WILLIAM J. HENLEY, former judge of the Appellate Court of Indiana and for many years a member of the bar of the Rush Circuit Court, now living at his old home at Carthage, this county, where he is the owner of valuable farming property, was born at Carthage on October 15, 1864, a son of Thomas W. and Hannah C. (Williams) Henley, natives of Greensboro, N. C. Elias Henley, father of Thomas W. Henley, was born in North Carolina and in 1827 brought his family to Indiana, settling on a part of the property on which his grandson, Judge Henley, now makes his home. He followed farming and was a man of influence in his community. Thomas W. Henley was a child when brought by his parents to Rush county, where his subsequent career was passed as a tiller of the soil. He was successful in his operations and at the time of his death was the owner of 600 acres of valuable land. He and his wife were the parents of six children, R. Edgar, Abbie J., Eunice, William J., Annie W. and Thomas B. (deceased). William J. Henley received his early schooling in the schools of Carthage, and after his graduation from the high school with the class of 1881 decided upon a career in the law. Accordingly, for two years he read law in the office of Mellete & Bundy, at New Castle, Ind., and when about twenty years of age went to Rushville, where he served for one year as deputy clerk of the court. At the age of twenty one he formed a law partnership with Ben L. Smith, at Rushville, the firm being known as Smith & Henley. This association was dissolved after several years and Mr. Henley formed a connection with Lot E. Griffin, as Henley & Griffin. In 1896 Mr. Henley was elected to the office of Judge of the Indiana State Court of Appeals. representing the First district, the youngest man ever elected to that high office. After serving eight years on the bench. Judge Henley resigned, although he had been elected for a third term. In 1903 Judge Henley accepted the position of president and general counsel of the Chicago & Western Thdiana railroad and retained that post for nine years, following which he went to Indianapolis and became a member of the law firm of Henley, Fenton & Joseph. He remained with this concern until 1917, when, acting upon the advice of his physician, he retired to the farm upon which he now makes his home at the southwest edge of Carthage. Judge Henley is a Republican and is a birthright member of the Carthage Meeting of Friends. He is a member of Phoenix Lodge, No. 62, Free and Accepted Masons, of Rushville, and Rushville Lodge No. 1307, Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks. In 1912 Judge Henley was united in marriage to Myrtle Robinson, who was born at Marion, Indiana, daughter of William A. and Anna Robinson, and to this union there has come one child, Mary Elizabeth, born on November 6, 1913. By a former marriage Judge Henley has three children: Mrs. Gladys Mauzy, of Rushville; William J., Jr., and June.

From:
Centennian History of Rush County, Indiana
Edited by: A. L. Gary and E. B. Thomas
Historical Publishing Company
Indianapolis 1921


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