Biography of Jefferson Davis Hendren

We wish to especially mention the subject of this sketch in the history of Nez Perces County, as he has been well known in the eastern part as a man of strong character and determination, and has led a remarkable career as an officer of justice, always accomplishing the dangerous and trying tasks in his service as deputy sheriff, even capturing noted criminals and handling them without irons, when others were killed in the attempt. Also in the seventeen years of his stay in these sections, Mr. Hendren has shown true qualities of integrity, uprightness and honor and his friends are numbered from every quarter.

Mr. Hendren was born in Arkansas, on July 29, 1861, being the son of William H. and Elizabeth W. (Bates) Hendren. The father was born in 1834, in Wilkes County, North Carolina, fought through the Civil War as captain under Price and experienced some thrilling times. The mother of our subject was born in Georgia in 1833 and her parents were also natives of that state. Mr. W. H. Hendren and his wife still live on the home place in Arkansas. Our subject was educated and reared in Arkansas, then followed stock business in Nebraska and Montana until twenty-three, at which time he visited home again and then came to Camas prairie, where he located and took up stock raising. Since then he has more or less devoted himself to this and is now handling a livery business in Kamiah, where he is successful. Mr. Hendren has the following brothers and sisters: John J., William I., James E., Evan L., Robert L., Napoleon P., Albert M., John T., Julia A. Bates, Frances P. Austin, Lizzie Vandevanter and Lottie. Mr. Hendren is a member of the I. O. O. F., Clearwater Lodge No. 68, at Mt. Idaho; of the Encampment, No. 18; and he and his wife belong to the Rebekahs.

On June 6, 1883, Mr. Hendren married Miss Martha J., daughter of William B. and Jane (Caughron) Austin, of Benton County, Arkansas, and on February 8, 1887, on Camas prairie, aged thirty-two, Mrs. Hendren was called from her home by death and left five children, Berna and Bertha, twin girls, George S., Mabel and Earl. In March, 1902, Mr. Hendren contracted a second marriage, Mrs. Mattie D. Montgomery then becoming his wife. Her parents are Joseph and Nancy J. McKinney, residents of Camas prairie. Mr. McKinney is an influential man and prominent in political matters, being a Democrat, and also in Oregon he was one of the leading men, being a heavy stock raiser and dealer. Mrs. Hendren was born in Linn County, Oregon, on October 24, 1870, and has two brothers and seven sisters, William and John, Annie, Clara Springer, Etta, Orpha Powell, Ollie Lieuellen, Rose Bush and Bertha Bryant. By her former husband Mrs. Henderson has two children, Francis R. and Ida M. Montgomery.

In the political field, Mr. Hendren is both popular and prominent, being at the County and state conventions at almost every sitting and a man of influence in these capacities as well as in his home position. Mr. Hendren was deputy sheriff for six years in Idaho County and County assessor there for one term, being deputy for four years in addition. Although the County was Republican, still he secured a majority of twenty-six at the time of his election. When deputy sheriff, Mr. Hendren captured the noted Oregon desperado who had killed two men in Oregon. He caught his man on the Salmon and took him forty-five miles without an iron.

Back to: Nez Perce Biographies

Source: An Illustrated History of Northern Idaho, Embracing Nez Perce, Idaho, Latah, Kootenai and Shoshone Counties, Western Historical Publishing Company, 1903

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