Henington Family

James William Henington

James W. Henington (1861-1896) married Sarah Rosetta (Etta) McCarty (1860-1950), daughter of Orange McCarty, Jr. in 1886. James was a son of Green William Hennington and Melissa Matheny Hennington. They had the following children:

The Heningtons owned a farm in far north rural Burke in the swath of land originally owned by the McCartys. It is likely that Mrs. Henington inherited it from her father. The author's grandparents, the Virgil Murrah family, rented the farm during the 1930s. About 1960 the author's father Elroy Murrah and uncle Hubert Murrah leased the farm from Mrs. Henington's grandson, Jack Tucker and ran cattle on the property. The old Henington house was still standing at the time. The Spiveys also owned land very near the Heningtons to the east. It is likely that this land was inherited by Lillie Spivey from her McCarty grandparents.

Mrs. Henington lived in a large house adjacent the south side of Burke School. She tragically burned to death in the field in front of her home in a grass fire in 1950.

The following article was contributed by Dr. Dan Spivey, grandson of Etta Henington:

The Heningtons in Burke, Texas James William Henington, the son of Green William Hennington and Melissa Matheny Hennington, moved to Burke from Crystal Springs, Copiah County, Mississippi in 1880. He was a farmer and grew many types of crops and livestock. He met and married Sarah Rosetta "Etta" McCarty, daughter of Orange Jr. and Catherine Walker McCarty on November 10, 1886. The wedding was performed at the bride's home three miles from Burke, Texas and a description of the wedding was published in The Huntington Clarion.

The family of Jim and Etta Henington started their home near Redland, Texas on a farm that had been given to them at the time of their marriage. Lillie Etta was born at this home on September 2, 1887. Two years later the family moved to a much larger family farm three miles north of Burke, Texas. James Emboden was born August 2, 1891 and Alma on June 12, 1895.

In the mid-eighteen nineties the economy began to change in Angelina County and farm prices began to fall. In order to send their children to one of the best schools in Angelina County they moved to Burke and established their residence just south of the Burke School. Everything seemed to be going well until James William developed typhoid fever and suddenly died on March 31, 1896 at age thirty-five. Three months later the same fate was dealt to James Emboden and he died of the same disease on June 25, 1896 at age five.

With two young girls to mother and all the responsibilities of their welfare Etta was blessed to have inherited more than three hundred acres of land and many cows and hogs from the Orange McCarty Sr and Orange McCarty Jr. Estates. She assumed an active role in managing the farms and livestock. The land was about three miles southwest of the present day Angelina College near Hoshall. There were two rent houses on the acreage in which tenants lived. The people who rented the houses worked the farms. The main crops grown were corn, cotton, and sugar cane. The farm had its own mill where ribbon cane syrup was made. Most of the corn and cotton were sold at the market.

Lillie Etta Henington married Maddin C. Spivey on April 21, 1912 and they lived most of their married life in Lufkin, Texas. Alma married Claud Tucker on July 14, 1915. Jack Wilson Tucker their only child was born April 11, 1917. The Tuckers lived in Diboll, Texas until Claud contracted a chronic illness. He had to retire from his job as an employee of Southern Pine Lumber Co. in Diboll, Texas. The family then added a room to Etta Henington's house and moved to Burke. After a courageous battle with the disease Claud died November 3, 1941 at age 47 years.

Etta Henington lived the last years of her life in a quiet atmosphere. Her daughter, Alma Tucker, lived with her during this time and provided much needed attention and assistance. At age ninety a tragedy struck on December 11, 1950. A neighbor's grass fire got out of control and was approaching Mrs. Henington's home. A good friend who was a teacher in the adjacent school saw the fire and attempted to lead her to safety. She fell and was overcome by the fire.

It is a family mystery how the spelling changed from Hennington to Henington after the move from Mississippi to Texas.

The following members of the Henington family are buried in Ryans Chapel Cemetery in Burke, Angelina County, Texas:

Melissa Matheny McKewen (mother of James William Henington, wife of Green William Hennington, second wife of R.E.McKewen)

James William Henington

Sarah Rosetta McCarty Henington

Emboden Henington

Claud Tucker

Alma Henington Tucker

Mack McCarty, below is further information about him:

D. Alonzo "Mack" McCarty
Parents: Berry T. McCarty and Molly McCall
Born: March 8, 1871
Died: January 5, 1933 at Burke, Texas. Buried in McCarty Cemetery, Angelina County, Texas.

  1. Mrs. M.E. Stegall, Archer City, Texas
  2. Mrs. Laura Eckhart, Knox County, Texas
  1. J. M.. McCarty, Archer City, Texas
  2. B.C. McCarty, Wichita Falls, Texas
  3. O. M. McCarty, Megargol, Texas

Mack lived at the home of cousin, Etta Henington, near the school in Burke, Texas for many years. He worked for her as a cowboy. His duties were to care for the cattle and hogs. Other chores were done if he had time between snores and snorts. After lunch his ritual was to nap on the front porch with his hat rolled for a pillow. Yes, he loved home brews and always kept a jug handy. No one remembers him being drunk. He chewed tobacco, "Cotton Boll Twist," and could spit with the best of them. If you decide to try a chaw, please plan to take the rest of the day for recovery. I tried a very small piece as a lad and suddenly everything started to turn green. In fact, I felt green and my mother said for some reason I looked green.

Mack's favorite meal was cornbread crumbled in a big glass of clabber. For anyone not familiar with clabber I must tell you it doesn't taste like ice cream. No, it is curdled sour milk - yucky tasting to kids but powerfully yummy to "men."

The children and young adults had a special affection for him. I suppose his most important trait was the ability to relate. He had time for them and was able to make their day happier for being with him. Jack Tucker, Christine and Sherwood Spivey have told many tales of the good times with Mack. All in all he was a lovable character who enriched the lives of those he touched


  1. 1900 Census, Angelina County, Texas, Precinct 4, Page 20, Dwelling 187 (Etter Henington/O. McCarty)
  2. 1910 Census, Angelina County, Texas, Precinct 4, Page 8, Dwelling 70 (Sarah R. Henington)
  3. 1930 Census, Angelina County, Texas, Precinct 4, Page 7, Dwelling 85(Etta Henington)
  4. M. Lee Murrah, Personal Recollections.