CHARLES HENDERSON, Alabama’s 37th governor was born in Pike County, Alabama, on April 26, 1860. He received his academic education in the schools of Troy, and entered Howard College in Marion, Alabama, but left prematurely due to his father’s death. Henderson was a respected businessman who served in many civic, political, and business arenas. Some of his positions included: inspector general on Governor Samford’s staff; aide-de-camp on Governor Jelks staff; mayor of Troy for 13 years; and director of the Standard Chemical and Oil Co., the Farmers and Merchants National Bank of Troy, and the Troy Compress Company. Henderson was appointed president of the Alabama Railroad Commission in 1906, and was reelected in 1908, serving until 1912. He was one of the founders and trustees of the Troy State Normal College. He was elected Governor of Alabama on November 3, 1914, and was sworn into office on January 18, 1915. During his term, the state legislature passed a tax revision law; a primary election law; and a prohibition law, which kept Alabama dry from 1915 to 1933. The State Child Welfare Department was formed, the State Board of Purchase was established, and a Workmen’s Compensation Measure was enacted. Also during Henderson’s administration, the state prison system was improved, educational reforms were adopted, and the Insurance Department was established in 1916, becoming one of the best revenue-producing agencies of state government. During World War I, Henderson also helped mobilize Alabama’s resources for the war effort. He left office on January 20, 1919, and returned to his business ventures in Troy. Henderson died on January 7, 1937, and is buried at the Oakwood Cemetery, Troy, Alabama.
Sobel, Robert, and John Raimo, eds. Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978, Vol. 1, Westport, Conn.; Meckler Books, 1978. 4 vols.