Robert Hendry 1815-1863
Robert Hendry

By Spessard Stone

Robert Hendry, a pioneer settler of Fort Green, Florida, was a farmer and cattleman.

Robert Hendry was born March 4, 1815, Liberty County, Georgia. With his parents, John Hendry and Catherine (McFail) Hendry), he moved to Lowndes County, Georgia about 1825.

On April 12, 1835 at the Taylor Creek Methodist Church in Liberty County, Georgia, Robert married Zilla Ann Moody, born January 12, 1813, Telfair County, Georgia, daughter of Benjamin T. Moody and Jane (Osgood) Moody. Rev. John B. Glenn officiated. Witnesses were Enoch Daniel, Ben Darsey, and Hugh Williams.

In 1848, the Hendrys moved to within a few miles of Jasper in Hamilton County, Florida. Robert Hendry and family were enumerated in the Second District, household # 119 in the 1850 census of Hamilton County. Residing with Robert and Zilla and their three children, John W., William F., and James M., were Archibald Hendry, and Barbara Herrin, a 69-year-old North Carolina native.

Robert appeared in a number of transactions of Hamilton County, including the purchase of a slave for $1,000 from his father, John Hendry, on September 23, 1855.

The 1860 census of Hamilton County, dated June 18, Jasper, recorded the family in dwelling house # 136. Robert, a farmer, had real estate valued at $2,000 and a personal estate of $3,535. "Zilphia," and children, Charles, Robt. C., Ellen C, plus William Haywood, a 31-year-old plowman, and Danl. Ferguson, a 22-year-old plowman, completed the household.

On December 3, 1861, Robert sold his property for $2,100, and probably in the same month, moved to Fort Green, Manatee (now Hardee) County, Florida. On January 1, 1862, James D. Green sold to Robert Hendry the 1/2 of the Southwest 1/4, Section 19, Township 33 South, 24 East, recorded on page 320 of Manatee County Misc. Book 1859-78 (Old Deed Book A), John W. Hendry witness. They homesteaded on Paynes Creek where they farmed and raised stock.

Robert and Zilla Ann were of the Methodist faith, and after moving to Fort Green, attended the Campground meetings at Fort Meade.

Zilla Ann and Robert Hendry died in a smallpox epidemic which struck the region. Zilla Ann died January 16, 1863. Robert died February 3, 1863. They are buried in Fort Green Baptist Cemetery.

Manatee County Probate Record 1, page 27, has an inventory and appraisement of the personal estate of Robert Hendry. The total estate was valued at $8,428.23, and included in part: 1 slave Nancy, aged 46 years, $850; 1 slave Lewis, aged 10 years, $1,400; 1 slave Abigail, aged 3 years, $550; stock cattle, $2,607; 22 head meat hogs, $240; 50 head stock hogs, $100; 8 ploughs, $57; 1 set kitchen furniture, $75; one man's saddle, $25; 4 beds and bed clothes, $200; 2 bedsteads, $10; 1 clock, $5; 1 grindstone, $5; 1 double barrel gun, $10; cash, $900; 9 notes for $1,283.23. Estate appraisers were Archibald Hendry and Daniel W. Carlton. John W. Hendry was the administrator.

(Nancy's surname was Hicks. After their emancipation, the Hicks remained with the Hendrys. The 1870 census of Manatee County listed in household 3/3, township 34 post office Manatee: Louis Henry, an 18-year-old Fla.-born black farm laborer; Abigal Henry, 16-year-old black, occupation keeping house. The 1880 census of Manatee County recorded in precinct 1, Pine Level, Lewis and Abigal Hicks. Aunt Nance Hicks, Abby Hicks, Abby's child and an Emma Hicks are buried in Section One of Joshua Creek Cemetery, Arcadia.)

Robert and Zilla Ann (Moody) Hendry had the dollowing children:

1. John Wright Hendry, born September 23, 1836; died February 4, 1907; married (1) Sarah Payne, November 12, 1857; (2) Civy V. Thompson, December 1, 1898.
2. William Francis Hendry, born 1838; drowned in the Alapaha River in Hamilton Co., Fla. ca. 1855.
3. James Madison Hendry, born July 23, 1839; died April 14, 1922; married (1) December 22, 1858 Mary Jane Payne; (2) August 9, 1899 Martha Frances Wingate.
4. Ellen Catherine Hendry, born October 9, 1842; died December 4, 1929; married on September 7, 1865 John Wesley Whidden.
5. Amanda Hendry, born 1843; died ca. 1857, Hamilton Co., Fla.
6. Charles F. Hendry, born January 12, 1846; died December 11, 1886; married on January 9, 1868 Sophia Whidden.
7. Robert Calvin "Cab" Hendry, born February 23, 1849; died April 3, 1904; married on January 19, 1868 Nancy Virginia McEwen.

References: Sarah Ann Moody Family Bible, courtesy of John Benjamin Moody III, September 9, 1991; Folks Huxford, Pioneers of Wiregrass Georgia, Volume V, 1967; miscel. military & pension records, National Archives; miscel. censuses & Manatee County records.

This profile is adapted from the author's John and William Sons of Robert Hendry, 1989.

January 16, 2001, October 17, 2001, August 1, 2011