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 Mary <I>Foote</I> Henderson

Mary Foote Henderson

Seneca Falls, Seneca County, New York, USA
Death 16 Jul 1931 (aged 88)
Bar Harbor, Hancock County, Maine, USA
Burial Brooklyn, Kings County (Brooklyn), New York, USA
Memorial ID 3302 · View Source
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Suffragist. Born in Seneca Falls, New York, the daughter of Eunice Newton and Elisha Foote, a prominent lawyer and judge, and the niece of Senator Samuel Foote of Connecticut. Mary was educated at Temple Grove Ladies Seminary (now Skidmore College), Saratoga Springs and at Ashgrove Seminary, in Albany, finishing at a French school in New York City. She was fluent in French and had a lifelong interest in painting and art collecting. In June 1868 she was married to John B. Henderson, Senator from Missouri 1862 to 1869 who introduced the thirteenth amendment to the Constitution that abolished slavery and one of seven Republicans who voted against the impeachment of President Andrew Johnson in May 1868. That unpopular decision ended his career as senator, and he and his new wife moved back to Missouri, living first in the town of Louisiana and then in St. Louis. The couple had one child, John Henderson Jr., who was born in 1870. Mary Henderson pursued many interests in St. Louis. Like her mother before her, she believed in woman's suffrage, and became president of the Missouri State Suffrage Association. She studied art at Washington University, and founded the St. Louis School of Design as well as the St. Louis Women's Exchange. Known as an excellent hostess, she wrote a guide to fine entertaining, Practical Cooking and Dinner Giving, in 1877. In 1889, after accumulating a fortune, the Hendersons moved back to Washington D.C., where they built a castle-like mansion on Sixteenth Street called "Boundary Castle" or "Henderson's Castle." The Hendersons bought up dozens of lots outside the northern boundary of the city in the area known as Meridian Hill. Mary Henderson's interest in the immediate neighborhood, which coincided with the City Beautiful Movement of the early 20th century, ultimately led to the construction of the Meridian Hill Park. Mary became a strong advocate for temperance and vegetarianism, and published a book on health and diet called The Aristocracy of Health. When her husband died in 1913, she had his entire wine cellar, a thirty-year collection of costly wines, emptied into the street. Following her death at Bar Harbor, Maine in 1931, the Commission of Fine Arts praised her efforts and her vision of Meridian Hill.

Bio by: Shock

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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 2 Aug 1998
  • Find A Grave Memorial 3302
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Mary Foote Henderson (21 Jul 1842–16 Jul 1931), Find A Grave Memorial no. 3302, citing Green-Wood Cemetery, Brooklyn, Kings County (Brooklyn), New York, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave (contributor 8) .