Stephen F. Austin State University

Mrs. Emma Henry (1871-1955) (August 2011)

Mrs. Emma Henry (1871-1955) and her twin sister Mrs. Ella Ballew moved to Rains County with their parents, Mr. and Mrs. S.P. Elliott, as little girls in 1880. Mr. Elliott had a contract to do blacksmith work for the railroad gang that were putting in the M.K.& T. Railroad. They lived in a tent city which was located on what would become the lots of the George Alexander Gin and home. Emma lost her husband after 1894 when the children were small but became a business woman in her own right, as well as her son, John. Many will remember the Henry Building that was torn down several years ago and a park area has been built where it stood across from the old drug store on the corner of Texas St. In June 1904 Mrs. Henry contracted the building of a brick business house on the southeast corner of the square with front plate glass windows and a cement floor. She also owned land on Lake Fork where she raised livestock.
Mrs. Henry contributed to the social life of Emory, especially since she had three children, John, Josie and Mary. In late March 1904, "The young people report a nice time at a 'tacky' party at Mrs. Emma Henry's last Monday night." In late August 1904 "Mrs.Emma Henry and family, B.Q. Evans and family of Greenville and Mr. Pete Crasheer and wife, also of Greenville, spent Thursday night at the railroad tank about five miles below Emory, not fishing very much but having a general good time. Dr. Adams and wife, Misses Bettie Elliott,Odessa White and Ida Adams, Messrs. Hendricks, Rider, W.T. Neilon, Horace Wylie and Hassie Green and T.W. Hill and family, all went down in time to get their names in the 'stew pot' and it was certainly a feast they had. Mesdames Henry, Evans and Crasheer are princesses in the art of entertaining and all are glad they were there."
Thanks to my good friend, George "Junior" Humphrey, I was pleased to see that the railroad tank still exists in Rains County as a reminder of times past when the MK&T would stop on its way to & from Mineola to fill up the steam engine with water at the tank. Below is a picture that was taken about two weeks ago of the tank, being fed by an underground stream that runs under present-day Hwy. 69. Thanks to Junior, I'm now able to picture in my mind this outing of over 100 years ago, which was reported in the "Local News" of the Rains County Leader.