Oswald Clayton Henderson son of Robert James Henderson and Annie Helena Cox, was born 29 Jan. 1888 in Lake Bird, Taylor County, Florida. He was the second child of a family of eleven children - seven girls and four boys. Oswald's Father and other ancestors played an important part in the pioneering of North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Florida. Among them were Legislative Representatives, Superintendent of Schools, School Trustees, Tax Collectors, Members of the Armed Forces, and his own Father was Deputy Sherriff for Taylor County, Florida, and acted as School Trustee. Oswald had many fond memories of his boyhood days in Florida where they raised corn, cotton, peanuts, and sugar cane. They also hunted wild cats, opossum, raccoons, wild turkey and alligators for their hides. They made their own cane syrup and sugar.
Missionaries of the Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latter Day Saints were welcomed at the Henderson home the first time they came. Oswald's grandmother Sarah Minton McMullen was the second person to join the Church in Taylor County. Because of hostility of the people against the Church, the missionaries encouraged people to leave that part of the country and live where the Church was more firmly established. And in 1904 his Father sold most of their belongings and moved to Canada. Oswald was then 16 years of age. They first settled in Raymond, Alberta, and in the spring of 1907 his Father took up a homestead in Purple Springs.
Oswald joined the Church when he was twenty one years of age and was baptized 2 January 1909 in the "Old Bishop's Office" in Raymond. It was 25 degrees F. below zero that day and Oswald built a fire to warm the water so he could be baptized.
Oswald loved good music and by correspondence learned to play the violin. His brother Lucius also played the violin and a friend Kenneth Jardine played the organ or piano. These three made the orchestra that played for many dances at the Reliance school between Taber and Purple Springs. It was at one of these dances that Oswald met his first wife Callie Haycock, daughter of William Joseph Haycock and Orpha Elzetta Adams. Callie was born in Kanab, Kane County, Utah, on the 15 September 1898. Her parents also pioneered this part of the country, taking a homestead at Purple Springs. Oswald and Callie were married 23 December 1914 in Iona, Idaho, and on the 5 April 1916 were sealed in the Salt Lake Temple.
Four children were born to this union, one son and three daughters.
Callie H. Henderson passed away 22 April 1922 and is buried in the Taber cemetery.
Oswald continued to farm in Purple Springs until 1925 when he moved to Magrath. He rented the Roy Coleman farm west of Magrath and a widow lady Mrs. Margaret McAdam, who later married William Anderson, kept house for him and took care of his family. She was a faithful woman to her duties.
In 1925 Oswald met Frieda Rosa Senn, daughter of Fredrick Johann Senn and Rosetta Gross. She was born 27 May 1905 in Birsfelden, Basel, Switzerland. She was converted to the Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latter Day Saints, in Switzerland, and came to Canada 7 September 1925. She came to Canada because of her strong testimony and love of the gospel, and she wanted to be near the temple. It took a lot of courage for a young lady twenty years of age, to leave her mother and sister, and travel so many miles by boat and train to a strange land. But with her mother's consent and blessings she bid them farewell and came to the little town of Magrath. She was warmly welcomed into the home of friends she had previously known in Switzerland, Mr. and Mrs. Earnest E. Reithman.
On March the 3rd 1926 Oswald and Rosalie as she was called in Magrath were married in the Cardston Alberta, Temple and were sealed for time and all eternity. They lived on the farm for three years. At this time Father bought a small farm on the west edge of Magrath. It was known as the "Forsyth" place.
To this union 6 children were born, four sons and two daughters. Robert Senn, an infant son lived only one day and died shortly after he was given a name.
Times were hard and pennies were scarce. Oswald and Rosalie worked hard to maintain their home and support a large family.
They always raised a good garden and Rosalie's flower garden was indeed a beauty spot of the farm.
Their main source of income was sugar beets, grain and hay raised on the farm. In order to supplement their income and provide for their family, Oswald hauled coal for the school and other people of the town. Many a cold winter day he rose long before daylight and hitched his horses to the wagon and started on his 10 mile trip to the coal mine north of town.
He was also drill man for the Sugar Beet Company for 20 years. He was well known throughout this part of the country for the straight rows he drilled in the beet fields. He drilled many years with horses. Old "Dick and Patch" as we called them. The last few years he drilled with a small Tractor. The whole family worked together in the beet fields and assisted whenever possible with the hay and other farm duties. They shared experiences together that helped everyone and was indeed an experience very worth while.
Oswald and Rosalie were active Church members and encouraged their family to live good honorable lives and attend their Church regularly. They indeed set a good example for their children to follow. Oswald served in various Priesthood capacities and for a while acted as Ward Clerk. Rosalie was especially interested in Relief Society serving on the Stake Board as well as teacher of Theology and other classes. Oswald and Rosalie were both very interested in Genealogy and Temple work and they spent many hours working together doing this work.
One of their greatest desires was to see their children obtain a good education, and in December 1947 they moved to Rexburg, Idaho, so they could be near a college. Their children took advantage of this opportunity and they all have a good education.
All these children accomplished much in their lives and owe a great deal of their success to kind, loving parents who helped them by wise guidance and encouragement throughout their lives.
Oswald and Rosalie moved to Salt Lake City in March 1955 where they enjoyed life together for many years. On the fourth of October 1957 Rosalie graduated as a "Registered Practical Nurse" from the Salt Lake Area Vocational School in Salt Lake City. She worked for many years at the L.D.S. Hospital in Salt Lake City. This was a great accomplishment for her and a work she thoroughly enjoyed.
In 1972 they moved to Las Vegas, Nevada, to be near their son. On 7 March 1974 Oswald passed away in Las Vegas. He loved Canada and the people he knew here and other parts of Southern Alberta. He was buried 12 March 1974 in the Magrath cemetery. He lived a good honorable life. Throughout his life his patience and understanding have been an outstanding part of his character. He was always honest and just with his fellow man. He was loved and respected by all who know him.
Rosalie continued to live with her son. But many years of hard work raising a large family, and caring for Oswald for many years through his failing health contributed to her own failing health. But she kept on with a head held high doing and caring for those around her. In 1976 she passed away in Canada at the hospital in Magrath. She is buried in the Henderson cemetery plot in Magrath. How fortunate we have been to have her for a mother, for each one of us remember her with a great deal of love and admiration. And we respect her for the great person that she was.
Return to Individual Histories