Rita Ownby Holcomb Author

Bringing my ancestors to life.


The Hendricks House, built in about 1863 on land given Jesse Elvis Hendricks by his father John, was built near the Shannon church northeast of Sherman. It originally was a one-room cabin with a loft, but Hendricks and his wife, Susan, added several rooms making it two stories in about 1870. The original cabin was moved to the village in 1978 and restored. However, only the downstairs rooms could be salvaged.

After serving five terms of enlistment in the Continental Army, Albert settled in Rockingham County. In 1845 John Hendrix, who had changed the spelling of the family name to Hendrix, the original Dutch form, headed for Texas partly due to the influence of his wife, Ruth’s cousins, James B. and Thomas Jefferson Shannon. John had married Ruth Strader and with their children and the seven other families, they arrived in Texas.

The wagon train with the Hendrix, Jennings and Collingsworth families were two days from Colbert’s Ferry when they heard the cannonading from Old Fort Washita celebrating Texas joining the United States.

On Jan. 3 the wagon train camped on a site four miles northeast of the present site of Sherman. Next morning, John discovered that one of his horses had thrown a shoe. The others moved on out and he stayed to shoe the horse. The Hendrix family never left the site. A large boulder in the family cemetery marks the site of that overnight camp.

According to the Hendrix Cemetery Historical Marker, Hendrix ran successful farming and nursery operations and became a prominent and influential citizen of Grayson County.

When the Texas legislature met in its intial session February 16-19, 1846, John Hendricks, John Shannon and James Vaden were appointed as the commissioners to lay off Grayson County – then still known as the Fannin district – and the city of Sherman, which was to be the county seat. The site was six miles west of the present city.

Courts were organized, and the first session of the county court was held under an old elm tree on the Hendricks farm.

Some time later, because of a scarcity of water, the county seat was moved to the area that is known as Sherman today.

John Hendricks also constructed the first jail in Grayson County. It was located where the Sherman Central fire station stands today. The bars were of poles that were placed a few inches apart.

When Hendricks died, he was believed to be the oldest citizen of Grayson County. He was 93.

His father served four years under George Washington in the Revolutionary War, and Mr. Stephens still has in his possession legal papers to a plot of ground in Kentucky that were drawn only a few years after the colonies declared their independence.

When John Hendricks died, he left a large acreage of fruit trees and other plants to his son, Jesse Elvis Hendricks.

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