Located on the campus of Henderson State University, this spectacular house was built for Captain Henderson and his family on their return to Arkadelphia in 1903 from Ruston, Louisiana, where he had been managing the Arkansas Southern Railroad. The house was built on the family’s property purchased in 1892, and during its construction they lived in one of the two cottages on the site. Henderson’s house was a Queen Anne design, but it was radically altered by its next owner. Henderson lived in his new house only four years. In 1910, he moved with his family to El Paso, Texas, and sold the house the following year. In c. 1920 a subsequent owner, Claud Phillips, expanded it to its present-day appearance, rebuilding the main portico with classical columns rising two stories to support a balustraded roof and a balcony. The wrap-around porch was retained from the original design, and both of its rounded corners have conical roofs. The first floor features elaborate wood paneling and ornate fireplace mantels. Henderson House was sold to the university in 1978, where it served as the university museum for twenty years. In 1999 it was restored for use as a bed-and-breakfast.
Henderson’s unofficial title of “Captain” may have referred in his time to a buyer of cattle, signifying one of his involvements in Arkansas. Or it could refer to “captain of industry,” recognizing his multidimensional commercial activities. He was a founding member of the Arkadelphia Oil Company, a partner in the Arkadelphia Lumber Company, a co-owner of two other timber-related industries, and a co-owner of an Arkansas–Mississippi railway named Ultima Thule. Appointed in 1891 to the board of trustees of Arkadelphia Methodist College, Henderson became the board’s chairman. After a donation of $20,000 to the college, it was renamed Henderson State College.