Biography of Mordecai W. Hensley
Adams County, NE Biographies





Mordecai W. Hensley is well known in Kenesaw, where he is living retired, and throughout the county is held in high respect and esteem. Although at the time of the Civil war he was living in Kentucky, where the sympathy with the Southern cause was very strong, he served in the Union army as he believed that the north was right. His birth occurred in Carter county, Kentucky, on the 10th of November, 1842, and his parents, Madison M. and Elizabeth (Williams) Hensley, both passed away in that county. He attended a subscription school for a few months a year but much of his time as a boy was given to helping with the work of the home farm. On the 11th of June, 1861, when not yet nineteen years of age, he enlisted in Company F, Fourteenth Kentucky Volunteer Infantry, which engaged in several skirmishes with bushwhackers in Carter county before it was mustered into the United States service in November of that year. Mr. Hensley participated in fighting around Middle Creek, Kentucky, and Kingston, Georgia, and subsequently took part in the Atlanta campaign and witnessed the fall of that city. He was often in the thickest of the fight and saw General McPherson killed. After the fall of Atlanta he fought in the battle of Nashville and in the engagements on the Tennessee river. On the 31st of January, 1865, he was discharged at Louisa, Kentucky, and returned home. For a long period after the close of hostilities feeling ran high in that locality against all who had served in the Union army but Mr. Hensley remained there five years in spite of the iliwill which most of his neighbors bore him. At length, however, fifty men banded together and attempted to capture him and it was with difficulty that he escaped into the timber, reaching the Ohio river, which he crossed. He decided never to return to Carter county and went to Andrew county, Missouri, where he purchased land, which he operated for ten years. His next removal was to Clay county, Kansas, where he farmed for five years, and at the end of that time he located in Kearney county, Nebraska. After carrying on agricultural pursuits there for a similar period he took up his residence in Kenesaw, where he still lives. While actively engaged in farming he gained recognition as an efficient and successful agriculturist and the competence which he accumulated now enables him to enjoy a period of leisure.

Mr. Hensley was married on the 15th of October, 1865, to Miss Selah Ann McGinnis, of Boyd county, Kentucky, who was born on the 6th of August, 1843, and died in Kenesaw on the 16th of January, 1892. To their union were born four children, of whom three are still living, namely: Madison M., who is operating the lighting plant at Kenesaw; Joseph D., at home; and Mordecai W., a resident of Grafton, Nebraska.

Mr. Hensley has always supported the republican party, believing firmly in its principles. He is identified with the local Grand Army post and greatly enjoys meeting with other Union veterans. In March, 1865, he was given the entered apprentice degree in Cannonsburg Lodge, No. 383, A. F. & A. M., in June of that year became a Fellowcraft Mason and on the 31st of August was made a Master Mason. At that time there was much feeling against the Masons in his locality and the meetings had to be held in secret. He now holds membership in Iienesaw Lodge, No. 144, of which he is a charter member. He exemplifies in his life the teachings of Masonry and, moreover, has always been characterized by a strong public spirit which has led him to promote the general welfare in every way possible.

From:
Past and Present of
Adams County, Nebraska
Supervisong Editor: Judge William R. Burton
Assistant Editor: David J. Lewis
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company
Chicago, 1916


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