Robert Wayne Henderson, Sr.
May 30, 1995 my father Bobby Henderson took me on a memorable drive with his older brother John Dayton Phillips that changed my life. We toured five family landmarks.
My father was adopted, I learned, about this time. His birth mother Gertrude (Gertie) Henderson Phillips died just two days after dad was born. Robert Wayne Phillips, was the fourth child of Gertrude* and John Korman Phillips. To make matters worse, he was born with the near fatal condition of infantile hypertrophic pyloric stenosis (projectile vomiting). In 1926 this was usually fatal. His uncle, William Eugene Henderson (W.E.), stepped in and provided for a recently developed life-saving surgery procedure in Nashville. W.E. and his wife Jean subsequently adopted him from their brother-in-law (the original terms of this adoption have been contested by some of the Phillips I have spoken with).
Following her mothers death, the oldest J.K. Phillips sibling, Lucile Phillips (Ceil), was separated from her father John to live with her grandparents: Bettie and Robert Hatton Henderson at the Malone-Henderson home. According to Dayton’s wife Thelma, the 13 year old Lucile desperately wanted to raise her infant baby brother (the photo above breaks my heart). The two other boys, Ed and Dayton, remained with their father Johnny, who eventually remarried and had three more children.
*My paternal grandmother Gertrude, has two marked grave sites: one next to her husband John, in the Roselawn Cemetery in Murfreesboro, and the other in the Malone-Henderson Cemetery on Powells Chapel Road. The latter is where she is interned.
Growing up in Nashville, I had no knowledge of my Phillips ancestory. In 1995, I was moving to Denver, and my father took me out to meet them for the first time in my life. This video captures that experience. It’s a priceless record of family history from Uncle Dayton, Aunt Ceil and my father.
All three parts were shot May 30, 1995.
Part 1 – The Preston Henderson Cemetery on Puckett Road in Norene (formerly Henderson Crossroads) Tennessee. Bobby Henderson and Dayton Phillips:
Part 2 – Lucile Phillips Johns at her home on Mercury Boulevard in Murfreesboro, TN Aunt Ceil displays several family antiques and their history.
Part 3 – The Old General Store. As I recall, this was on Mona Road somewhere. I don’t think it’s still standing. There is a short clip of Eulalia Hewgley at the old Malone home on Powells Chapel Road.
The featured photo is at the Malone-Henderson Old Homeplace: right to left: Ed, Lucile, Bobby and Dayton.