Leonard Elmore Henderson, M. D. The medical profession of Wilson County numbers among its skilled and careful practitioners Dr. Leonard Elmore Henderson, who since 1907 had been located at Coyville, an enterprising community in the northwest part of the county. Prior to locating at this place, Doctor Henderson had valuable and comprehensive experience both in Kansas and Indian Territory, and this, combined with a thorough training in his calling and a natural predilection therefor, gave promise for a successful career in his professional work. That this promise had been fulfilled is shown by his excellent standing in medical circles and by the confidence in which he is held throughout the locality in which his professional activities are centered.
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Leonard E. Henderson was born in Marshall County, Kansas, March 23, 1873, the only son of Isaac and Elizabeth (Shearer) Henderson. He is of Irish descent, but the family had long resided in America, whence the original emigrant came prior to the Revolutionary war. Eli Henderson, the grandfather of Doctor Henderson, was born in Tennessee and became a pioneer farmer of Missouri, in which state he died prior to the birth of his grandson, and little more is known of him save that he was a sturdy and industrious tiller of the soil. Isaac Henderson was born in 1832, in Tennessee, and was still a small child when taken by his parents to Missouri. There he was reared amid pioneer surroundings, securing his education in the primitive public schools of the sparsely-settled state and being instructed in the rudiments of farming by his father. He was married at Pleasant Hill, Missouri, following which he located on a farm of his own, but in 1860 left Missouri and came to Kansas, first locating at Leavenworth. He did not remain long in that city, however, but in 1870 settled in Atchison County, where he engaged in farming. There he developed a claim of 160 acres, which he had pre-empted, and on which he lived until his retirement, when he took up his residence at Muscotah. There his death occurred in the fall of 1914. Mr. Henderson’s whole life was devoted to farming, and his energetic and persevering labor enabled him to accumulate a modest property, which allowed him to secure a comfortable home for his old age. He was a republican, but never sought political honors, being content to devote himself to the business of his farm. His only fraternal connection was with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, of which he was a member for many years. Mr. Henderson was married at Pleasant Hill, Missouri, to Miss Elizabeth Shearer, who was born in Missouri, in 1842, and who still survives him and now lives in Denver, Colorado. Their only child was Leonard E.
While being reared on his father’s farm in Atchison County, Kansas, to which he had been taken as a child of two years, Leonard E. Henderson attended the rural schools. Later this period of study was supplemented by attendance at the Horton (Kansas) High School, from which he was duly graduated, and he then returned to his father’s farm and assisted the elder man until he was eighteen years old. Mr. Henderson then secured a position as teacher in the rural schools of Atchison County, which he had formerly attended, and of which he was a teacher for three years, and in the meantime devoted his spare hours to the study of medicine, a subject in which he had taken great interest from his youth. His medical studies were furthered by attendance at the University Medical College, Kansas City, Missouri, from which he was graduated in 1898, with his coveted degree of Doctor of Medicine, and following this he added to his stock of knowledge by acting as interne in the Kansas City General Hospital for one year. Doctor Henderson entered upon his professional duties at Bancroft, Kansas, where he remained from 1899 to 1901, following which he went to Indian Territory, and for two years was engaged in practice at Vera. Following this, he returned to Atchison County, Kansas, and, locating at Muscotah, entered into partnership with Doctor S. M. Riggs, the pioneer physician of that place, who is still practicing there after fifty years of service, and who was Doctor Henderson’s preceptor. After two years with Doctor Riggs, Doctor Henderson went to Eureka Springs, Arkansas, but after one year, in October, 1907, came to Coyville, Kansas, where he had since been engaged in a general medical and surgical practice. He had made steady advancements in his calling, and his practice now includes not only the most representative professional business of Coyville, but extends far into the surrounding country, where the fame of Doctor Henderson’s abilities and talents had reached. He had a well appointed office in his residence on Main Street, where he had a large medical library and instruments for the handling of even the most complicated cases. As a property holder, in addition to his Coyville residence, the doctor owned a forty-acre farm 2½ miles north of Coyville and another farm in Arkansas. He had not been an office seeker, but supports the republican party and wields more than an ordinary influence in his community. Fraternally, he belongs to Coyville Lodge No. 57, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, and to the Knights and Ladies of Security. He is a genial man, whose professional experience had given a keen insight into human nature, and whose natural sympathies are easily aroused. As a citizen his support is always looked for in matters of importance regarding the community’s welfare.
Doctor Henderson was married in 1901, at Collinsville, Oklahoma, to Miss Ada Payton, daughter of Nathan and Harriet (Shannon) Payton. Mr. Payton, who was a lifelong farmer, is now deceased, but Mrs. Payton still survives and is a resident of Skiatook, Oklahoma. Doctor and Mrs. Henderson have one son: Ray Allen, who was born May 14, 1914.