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Stephen S. Henson, a highly respected citizen, belonging to the old school of gentlemen, and who is probably as well and favorably known as any man in the County, was born near Cynthiana, Harrison County, Kentucky, in October, 1827, and is a son of Gideon and Nancy Shumate. His father was a native of Virginia and his mother of Kentucky. The former emigrated from Kentucky to Vermillion County, near Indianola, in 1834, and, with his wife and children, located in the vicinity of Villa Grove, where he entered a large tract of land. His children were: George W. (see sketch), Stephen S., and two daughters, who were the wives of James Richards and Cole-man Bright, respectively. All the children are now dead except Stephen S.
Mr. Henson was about fifteen years old when he arrived in Douglas County. He has always been engaged in farming and at present owns a beautiful farm of two hundred and eighty acres, part of which is in Douglas County and part in Champaign. In 1853 he was united in marriage to Miss Nancy E. Williams, who was a native of Vermilion County, Illinois, and a daughter of Elijah Williams, an early settler in Vermilion County.
Mrs. Henson was born in 1830 and died in 1893. Of this marriage there are seven children living: Franklin, who resides just across the road from his father; Mantie, who is the wife of Dr. E. S. Smith, of Urbana; Lula, wife of Charles Ammon, of Carthage, Missouri; Ward, who resides east of Villa Grove on a farm; Burt, deceased; Flora, at home, and Kitty B., wife of S. W. Love, of Urbana, editor of the Daily Courier. Mr. Henson is a consistent member of the Methodist Episcopal Church at Villa Grove, in the affairs of which he takes an active interest.