Thirty-five families comprised the original Mennonite settlement in York and Hamilton Counties, Nebraska. They were part of a large segment who left homes in South Russia in 1874 and began the trek that took them to the American plains. Originally from Holland, these people, who believed in peace as a way of life, had gone to Russia and finally to the Crimea in 1790. When their privileges of military exemption and religious freedom were threatened, thousands emigrated to North America.
The Mennonite immigrants purchased land from the Burlington and Missouri River Railroad. Generous in its services, the R. R. Company erected an immigrant house which provided shelter until individual homes were built. Its location is designated by a commemorative marker one mile east of this site. By 1878 approximately eighty families lived in the settlement, and a town established in 1887 was named in honor of David Henderson, an earlier homesteader. Faith in God and a spirit of perseverance sustained these settlers through difficult experiences.
When deep-well irrigation became widespread in this area in the 1930's, fields of corn replaced the famous Turkey Red hard winter wheat Mennonites had brought from Russia. A new era in agriculture and industry had begun.
Henderson Centennial Committee
Nebraska State Historical Society