The COGenWeb Project - Adams County: Forgotten Past of Adams County, Vol 2, Henderson
Location of Adams County within Colorado ADAMS COUNTY, COLORADO The COGenWeb Project

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Post Office, Henderson, Adams County, CO


Toby Meehlhause
Pete Herr


Location Description

The town of Henderson is located 16 miles north of Denver. Years ago Henderson was a small town community, but today the town is considered a farming community. About half of the original Henderson Island exists today, the other half has been covered up by the South Platte River.

History of Site

Henderson received its name from Jack Henderson who bought the island in a bar for the sum of two barrels of whiskey. Jack had ideas to set up a post where western bound people could pick up needed supplies and food.

When Jack bought the land he started building his trading post with the help of a couple of friends, Jim Saunders and William Roland. The post consisted of a cattle coral, a hotel, a bridge, and a ranch house.

In March, 1860, Jack sold his island for $10,000 to Major R. B. Bradford. On September 18, 1879, the Henderson Hotel caught fire, the cause is still a mystery. Around 1921 Mr. and Mrs. Bishop bought the burnt hotel and repaired the


damages to make the building usable again. Mrs. Bishop still owns the hotel and lives in Henderson.

Jack Henderson

Jack was a Colonel in the Boarder Wars of Bleeding Kansas. Moving to Colorado he set up the town Henderson which had two other names Henderson Island Station and Henderson Island.

Jack received instant fame the time he shot his friend’s mules which Jack had thought to be a couple of deer grazing on his land. Jack also had a better reputation for his thinking ability which was proven the time he made millions of dollars on his quick thinking. Henderson had lost a few of his cattle during the winter’s grazing, so Jack went looking for the few strays. Upon seeing four fat cattle Jack noticed that they carried his brand. After discovering that the natural pastures supplied more fattening ingredients he started grazing other farmer’s cattle for a portion of the profits. When Jack had made enough money at cattle ranching he made a move to the east to settle down for the rest of his life. Jack was an explorer, an


adventurer, and a man with a special ability to make money off of his thinking. The town of Henderson will always be remembered for the man he was. But Jack was a man of determination, so he bought a chain of gold mines and on one of his visits to Colorado he and eighteen others were slaughtered by a group of Osage Indians because they had crossed their territory with loaded weapons.

Henderson Today

Henderson has a population of about 150 people that mostly consists of elderly people and farmers. The most recent addition near the town was in 1959 when the Adams County Poor Farm was bought and built the Adams County Fairgrounds. This improved the reputation of Henderson because the town was located near the former Poor Farm. Henderson has had many changes since Jack first built his dream house and all the history of the past makes up the present farming community known as Henderson, Colorado.


Henderson, Adams County, CO
Henderson Today


Mrs. Bishop — Henderson, Colorado
Colorado State Historical Library
Dawson Scrapbook — Volume 9
History of Agriculture in Colorado (pg. 108-109)


Send Comments about this Adams County site to the Carolyn Golowka, Adams County Coordinator

I do not live in Colorado so I am unable to help with your personal research questions. All the information I know about Adams  County is posted promptly on this site. Please visit the "Research Resources" section of this site. I would suggest that if you don't find the information your looking for here, that you join the email list and post your question on the query board. The more places you ask the question, the better your chances of getting an answer.


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This Page Was Last Updated On: Monday, 10-Sep-2018 16:38:54 MDT