Pioneer of Jefferson County

Perry Henderson

By Steve Lent, Crook County Historian

Perry Henderson was born at Kingsley, in Wasco County, Oregon on Oct. 30, 1885. His parents had a large family and his father struggled to support the entire family. His father asked Perry and an older brother to leave at an early age. Perry came to the Madras vicinity at the age of 17 in 1902. He worked at various ranches in the region, including the Hay Creek Ranch, until he was twenty one.

He then filed a homestead claim near Madras along the Ashwood Road. He patented his claim on January 24, 1914. He was hired to haul freight for the Oregon Trunk Railroad construction operations. This allowed him to acquire funds to support his homestead operations.

He met Blanche Herschner, who was a neighboring homesteader. Blanche was born on February 5, 1885, near Corvallis, Oregon. She had come to the Madras vicinity to homestead in 1911. Perry and Blanche became romantically involved and were married on June 26, 1915. They farmed for several years. They did not have any children.

Blanche began teaching at local schools and taught for eighteen years. Perry became active in local organizations and served as a director of the first Madras Union High School District and was a charter member of the Jefferson County Pioneer Association. He was selected as Pioneer Man of the Year in 1966. Blanche was also active in community affairs, and she was selected as Pioneer Queen in 1964. They also were both active members of local fraternal organizations. Perry had a keen interest in local roads and worked as a road supervisor for seven years.

They moved to Madras in 1952. Perry passed away on April 12, 1976. Blanche lived on for several years and passed away on Oct. 2, 1982. Both are buried in Mt. Jefferson Memorial Park in Madras.