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Edward C. Henderson


Centurion, 1901–1923

Full Name Edward Cairns Henderson

Born 9 April 1857 in New York (Manhattan), New York

Died 11 May 1923 in New York (Manhattan), New York

Proposed by S. Sidney Smith and Henry Rutgers Marshall

Elected 2 November 1901 at age forty-four

Century Memorial

Edward Cairns Henderson’s greatest professional activity was in railroads and reorganizations. He was an uncommonly wise lawyer; a careful and thorough adviser in banking and security matters. His industry was enormous. The younger lawyers who worked with and under him had a rare training in precision from a man who knew his subject with a mind both broad and acutely critical. But he was also versed in other subjects. His long service on the library committee of the Bar Association was only the outer garment of his knowledge of and interest in books. At the University Club particularly, the library was Henderson’s objective. He read widely. He liked to follow the work of younger writers, especially if he knew them or of them. His fellow-centurions well knew that the slow nod of the head and the glance of the sleepy eyes was introduction to a cordial exchange of conversation.

Henderson was keenly interested in art. It is told of him that he once had his office astir for a whole day, getting complicated papers ready for a weighty conference at 4 p. m. After much turmoil, he prepared to start for the conference with the papers under his arm. But on the desk of a younger associate Mr. Henderson’s alert eye caught sight of an art publication, then new. Putting down his papers, he perched on the desk and examined the magazine attentively. Then he asked, “Have you any more of these?” The young lawyer dug four or five other numbers from his desk. Henderson took them, went back into his room, and examined them at leisure for an hour or more. What became of the conference has never been known.

The incident suggests the man. His observation and warmth of heart led him in all directions, and kept him abreast of the times in many topics and abundantly supplied him with friends with whom to share his sagacious, often sharp but always kindly expression of views. Of high character himself, he set the utmost value upon high character in others. He was not only a scholar and an accomplished lawyer, but to his intimates a well beloved friend.

Alexander Dana Noyes
1924 Century Association Yearbook