Arkansas Historic Preservation Program
Captain Charles C. Henderson House
Captain Charles C. Henderson House

CAPTAIN CHARLES C. HENDERSON HOUSE, ARKADELPHIA, CLARK COUNTY

SUMMARY

The Captain Charles Henderson House, constructed in 1906, is located at 10th and Henderson Streets on the Henderson State University campus in Arkadelphia.  The home is an ornate example of Classical Revival architecture with Arts and Crafts additions and remnants of its original Free Classic Queen Anne details.  The building is linked with Captain Charles Henderson, prominent Arkadelphia  businessman, financial savior and member of the Board of Trustees of Arkadelphia Methodist College.  During his residency in Arkadelphia Captain Henderson was a moving force in many local interests including cotton, lumber, railroads and banking.  His civic interests benefited the Methodist Church , YMCA, YWCA and the city park.  The Henderson House is being nominated to the National Register under Criterion B with local significance for its tie with Captain Henderson.  It is also being nominated under Criterion C with local significance as a distinguished example of a mixture of Neo-Classical and Queen Anne architecture with later Arts and Crafts renovations.

ELABORATION

The Captain Charles Henderson House began its history on the outskirts of Arkadelphia southeast of  the Arkadelphia Methodist College , now Henderson State University .

 

  Captain Charles Henderson worked for a St. Louis livestock commission as a cattle buyer in Arkansas .  It was in this capacity that he earned the unofficial title of “captain,” a moniker given to cattle buyers.  Henderson moved to Arkadelphia in 1879 in order to manage his aunt’s estate, and in 1892 bought several lots by the college.  A local newspaper reported in 1906 that Captain Henderson was beginning construction on his home.

 

 

 

Charles Henderson’s business ventures were numerous and of a broad nature.  Some of his positions included founding member of the Arkadelphia Oil Company, partner and major stockholder in the Arkadelphia Lumber Company and the Nashville Lumber Company, co-owner of Brown-Henderson Improvement and Timber Company, co-owner of the Ultima Thule, Arkadelphia and Mississippi Railway and President of the Elk Horn Bank.  His community interests enveloped the Methodist Church , the YMCA and the YWCA.  He also made donations of land for the Arkadelphia City Park .

 

 

 

The Methodist College benefited from the Henderson family through Charles’s wife Laura’s enthusiastic financial and moral support.  Henderson began a long relationship with the College when he was appointed to the Board of Trustees.  In 1901 he helped liquidate the College’s debts and returned it to the Methodist Little Rock Conference from the ownership of its first president, George Childs Jones.  He then took on the position of Chairman of the board.  The College was renamed in honor of Henderson in 1904, at which time he was named to a committee of trustees who supervised the educational and fiscal affairs of the College when Jones’s tenure as President ended.  Over the years Henderson made many contributions to the College which secured its standing in the community and enabled the institution to add buildings and support students.

 

 

 

In 1911 Henderson sold his house to T.N. Wilson and moved to El Paso , Texas two years later because of a lung condition.  Henderson succumbed to the disease in 1923.  The Wilson family only lived in the house for eight years.  The property was sold to Claud Phillips, local grocery wholesaler in 1919.  Phillips is the resident responsible for the renovations that gave the house its current appearance.  Phillip’s daughter, Eloise Stone inherited the building in 1947 at which time the family began renting out rooms upstairs, the reason for some of the refurbishment.  Mrs. Stone’s daughters moved after their mother’s death and sold the house, three surrounding houses and six city lots to Henderson State University in 1979.  In 1981 the home was converted to offices and laboratories for the Arkansas Archeological Survey and also serves as the Henderson State University Museum .

 

SIGNIFICANCE

The Captain Charles Henderson House has endured, despite its proximity to a major university, and remained a major landmark.  The many changes wrought upon it through the years have failed to detract from its grandeur, however it has begun to show its age through deferred maintenance.  The home is an outstanding example of Neo-Classical, Queen Anne and Arts and Crafts architecture, thus qualifying it for eligibility for the National Register under Criterion C with local significance.  The builder, Charles Christopher Henderson, sustained a strong philanthropic relationship to the community and the College for many years.  These associations enable the home to be nominated to the National Register under Criterion B .

 

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Materials submitted by Dr. Ann Early, Arkansas Archeological Survey, Arkadelphia , Arkansas .