Submitted by Anita Crabtree
CARPENTER - HENDERSON
thereafter, Rachael went to visit with her father's sister's family in
Kentucky. Both Rachael and her Aunt
loved to ride horses. Rachael had a
fiance who had joined the 49 gold rush to California. Both Rachael and her Aunt, being of an impetuous nature and
loving to ride horses, decided to ride to California. In April of 1850, Rachael, now a young lady of 22, joined with
her Aunt and Uncle, and their man and woman slave, and set out in a covered
wagon train, for California.
In the same
wagon train, Rachael met an attractive young man from Kentucky, Robert
Henderson. Upon arriving in California,
she spent some time in the gold fields looking for her fiance, and discovered
that he had died.
Traveling to the San Jose area,
where her Aunt and Uncle had settled, she met up with Robert Henderson. They were married by the first California
Governor, Governor Coleman, in a ceremony at her Aunt's home. Robert had accumulated some funds from the
gold fields, and purchased some property in San Jose, along Coyote Creek. There, in November of 1851, their son,
Lewis, was born. He was the first white
child born in San Jose. Robert and
Rachael spent some time in the gold fields near Hangtown and operated their
ranch on Coyote Creek in San Jose.
Robert made a trip back to Missouri.
The following year, 1855, with 4 year old son Lewis, Rachael made the
arduous trip back to Missouri to meet her husband. She took a ship to the Isthmus of Panama, and then by boat and
mule to the east coast of Panama. Then
by ship and horse to Missouri. In 1856,
their second child, a daughter, was born in Missouri. The following year, 1857, Rachael and Robert, along with their
two young children and her widowed mother and younger 17 year old brother, made
the overland covered wagon trip back to California. Her brother died at 18 years of age in San Francisco.
In 1858, they purchased a ranch,
near what is now Kelseyville, in Lake County.
They spent their time traveling between the San Jose ranch and Lake
County. Their family appears in the
1860 census, as living in Napa County, in Big Valley near Clear Lake. The mother, Sabra Eddy Carpenter also
appears on this census living with the Hendersons. Sabra Eddy married a William B. Elliot in 1861 and died soon
afterwards in 1863. Efforts to locate
her grave in Lake County have proven impossible.
In 1869, the Hendersons purchased a ranch, 12 miles south of Los Angeles in Pico Rivera, from Governor Pico. They now spent time commuting between the three ranches. Tragedy struck the family, when in 1871, at the Pico Ranch in Los Angeles, Robert died at the early age of 47. Rachael spent the remainder of her life with the children in the Kelseyville area and Pico Rivera. She died at her daughter, Fannie Henderson Barlow's Pico Rivera Ranch in 1904. Her son, Lewis Henderson, tired of commuting, remained in Kelseyville and became a prominent rancher and served as a Lake County Supervisor for 24 years. He died in 1917, at the age of 66. Descendants of his continue to live in Lake County.
SANTA CLARA COUNTY The Valley of Heart's Delight