JUNE 11, 1814
200 years ago today, John Garrett and Richardson Hensley were executing their duties as the Co Administrators of the estate of Edmund Hensley who had died a resident of Washington County, Indiana Territory on Wednesday April 13, 1814. The records of the Washington Circuit Court indicate that Edmund Hensley had served on the first grand jury impaneled in Washington County on April 12, 1814. Presumably, he died of a heart attack the day after his grand jury duty. He was survived by his wife, Mary Garrett Hensley, and 3 children aged 14 to 1. Mary Hensley was also pregnant with their 4th child but did not yet know it. The location of Hensley's burial is not recorded. He was probably buried on his farm as his Sharon Baptist Church congregation had no church building or lot at the time of his death. His estate was quickly opened by Washington Circuit Court during its inaugural quarterly session in April of 1814. The administrators were the brother in law (Garrett) and the father of the deceased Hensley. The court also appointed 2 neighbors, Samuel Huston and Jacob Garrett, to act as appraisers of the estate’s property.
Edmund and Mary Garrett Hensley had settled on the western slope of a gentle ridge of high elevation between Spurgeon Hill and Smallwood Knob. Their land was located between 2 tributaries of the Harristown Branch of Royse’s Fork of Blue River about 2 ½ miles east of Royse’s Lick. They received their title to this 160 acre tract from the Federal Government on April 27, 1813. Edmund Hensley’s father, Richardson, had registered a claim to land nearby but assigned it to Samuel Herron who took title on December 18, 1813. Part of the Hensley farm was sold during the administration of his estate on November 22, 1817. John W. Coffey, Alexander Huston and William Herron were appointed commissioners to sign the deed to convey 60 acres to Reese Prichard for $400.
The Hensleys were both born in Spotsylvania County, Virginia. They moved to Shelby Co. Kentucky after the Revolutionary War where Edmund married Mary Garrett in 1797. The Hensley and Garrett families then came to the Indiana Territory about 1811 when Jacob Garrett served in the Indiana Militia. Edmund’s brother Jonathan became the first constable of Washington Township, Washington County, Indiana Territory. Richardson Hensley remained in Washington County for the duration of his life and was buried in the Old Sharon Church cemetery.
The oldest son of Edmund and Mary Hensley, William Richardson Hensley, was married in Bartholomew Co, In. in 1823 and then moved to the State of Coahualia y Tejas of Mexico in 1828. His mother and siblings moved there with him. W. R. Hensley was a surveyor and laid out part of the Stephen Austin colony. He was a close friend of William B. Travis who was the commanding officer at the Alamo. He became a successful merchant at Port LaVaca, Texas. Mary Garrett Hensley died in Austin, Tx.in 1847. William Richardson Hensley died in 1849 in a cholera epidemic that would eventually come to Washington County, Indiana in 1851.