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Theodore C. Henry

Agricultural pioneer. Born: 1841. Died: 1914.

T. C. Henry came to Kansas in 1867 and settled in Abilene. He jumped into real estate promotion and was successful. He and his partners also became involved in local politics. Henry became an advocate of the cattle trade which was in its infancy in Kansas in 1868. However, not much later, for various reasons, he began opposing the cattle trade, which was very unpopular with many for a variety of good reasons.

Henry and others thought it would be better to re-focus on farming. Restrictions, many of them quite reasonable, eventually brought an end to the wide-open cattle drives that had Abilene as a terminus. Henry pushed hard for winter wheat farming. He invested in land and farming operations which were successful. However, after early success Nature did not cooperate and by 1883 he had left Kansas for, literally, greener fields. He began denouncing what he had said before about what were the best agricultural practices for Kansas.

Henry died in 1914 nearly penniless from his long efforts at developing irrigation in Colorado. However, some still remembered him as the "Wheat King" who encouraged the adoption of winter wheat. He was, as some have said, "a booster and a pioneer."

Entry: Henry, Theodore C.

Author: G. Joseph Pierron

Author information: Judge Pierron serves on the Kansas Court of Appeals and has an interest in Kansas history.

Date Created: November 2012

Date Modified: November 2012

The author of this article is solely responsible for its content.