Samuel Henderson of St. Ola (near Kirkwall), Orkney, entered the service of the HBC on 16 June 1807 at the age of 19. He served as a labourer at several posts until the expiration of his contract in 1813, when he went home to Orkney for the winter. He re-engaged in the spring for three years and sailed to Moose Factory. He was then sent to inland posts, but he was discontented, and at the expiry of his 3-year term, he became a freeman. He spent the next year in the Red River area and then hired on again with the Company. After two years, he retired permanently and settled at Red River. (1)
Samuel married Flora Livingstone ca 1820. She had arrived at the settlement in 1819 with a Livingstone family group from Jura, Argyll, headed by Neil Livingstone. (2) The ship’s passenger list gave her age as 16.
Samuel and Flora raised a family of ten children. They resided on the west side of the Red River on Lot #4 in Kildonan until 1854, when they moved to Lot #39, on the east side of the river. (3) On July 4, 1864, Samuel went out to bring in the cattle and was never seen again. A headstone to his memory stands in Kildonan Presbyterian Churchyard, Winnipeg. Flora died in 1865 and is buried at the same site.
The Henderson family was very well known in the Kildonan area. Henderson Highway, on the east side of the Red River, was named after Samuel Robert Henderson, who was for many years chairman of the Good Roads Association. One of the Junior High Schools in East Kildonan is named after John Henderson. The Henderson family home has been preserved as a heritage building and has been moved to St. Norbert Park, south Winnipeg.
(1) Information taken from research obtained from the HBCA
(2) HBCA C.1/788: Prince of Wales log, outward bound to York Factory, 1819
(3) Information from a memoir by John Henderson, youngest son. Lot numbers according to the Dominion of Canada survey.