“Georgian Revival Style”
125 SUTHERLIN AVENUE
A. & Rebecca Lea Johnston Henderson’s home was built in 1882 on the corner
of Main St. & Sutherlin Ave. James moved to Danville from Yanceyville
NC in 1882 and purchased over
twenty parcels of land along the Dan River, Craghead St, Sutherlin Ave, Chestnut
St, and others. James was a Craghead St. Tobacco Broker & Dealer in
1882. They lost four of their six
children; two to the “Typhoid Fever” epidemic in 1898.
James A. Henderson’s (mat.) great grandfather was the infamous Bartlette Yancey, Sr.; founder of Yanceyville, NC and “Clarendon Hall”. Bartlette was a schoolmaster and the Caswell County Coroner. James's grandfather was congressman Bartlette Yancey, Jr.
Rebecca Lea Johnston Henderson was the daughter of Thomas Donoho Johnston, "Clarendon Hall", President of the Bank of Yanceyville, NC.
The First Presb. Church’s founding members bought James & Rebecca’s Henderson’s original home located on the corner of Main St, and Sutherlin Ave. in April 1909; and tore it down to build their church in 1909. . The church “recycled” much of the materials to construct their “manse” (parsonage) on Sutherlin Avenue next to the church. The “manse” was torn down in favor of the courtyard .
1899 James & Rebecca Henderson sold the adjacent Sutherlin Ave. lot to the founding members of the “Temple Beth Sholom”. “The Reform movement in Judaism was transplanted to Danville from its birthplace in Germany by the immigrants who settled here in increasing numbers after the Civil War in 1879 known as the Beth Sholom or House of Peace”. They moved their members into the new building next door upon it’s completion in 1900.
Upon the death of her husband in 1907; Rebecca Henderson sold all their Danville properties and moved to Louisiana. She sold this lot to John T. & Mary Green Watson in 1904. John & Mary began building and moved into this “Georgian Revival” home in 1907. They lived here 54 years.
Rebecca Henderson died in 1915. Her body was returned to Danville and laid to rest next to her husband’s and her children in the Green Hill Cemetery.
John T. Watson Jr. grew up in his father’s house located on the corner of Pine St. & Chestnut St. At age 18 John worked at the Cabell Tobacco Warehouse between Loyal & Newton Streets. 1939 he was President of "Swain-Watson Corp". on Craghead St. which later became "Link-Watson". His father; John T. Watson, Sr. was the “U.S. Registrar of Bankruptcy” in Danville in 1880’s. He was also a brick manufacturer and a coal supplier in Danville
The house had several other owners: In 1957 H.C. Gruff had the original “Carriage House” torn down and replaced by a modern garage. During the Korean War the house was converted into three apartments to house the influx of people employed by the local mills to make uniforms for our soldiers.
The house was purchased in 1968 by the Temple Beth Sholem Congregation for the Rabbi and his family. Albert Koplen a member of the Temple removed the second floor’s front porch of this house in 1969. The house was sold to the First Presb. Church in 1972; which submitted a request to tear the house down in favor of a parking lot. We’re still standing so it must have been denied!
October 2004 the house was purchased by Jerry & Wanda Dunlap. It is now our home and we are carefully and lovingly restoring it to its original grandeur.