History of Captain Henderson House
The Captain (Charles Christopher) Henderson House is named for its former owner and namesake of Henderson State University (Henderson is Arkansas’s only public university named for an individual). This magnificent 9,000 square-foot mansion began as a small cottage built in 1876. In 1906, however, this small cottage was incorporated into what was then known as the “Big House.”
In the 1920s, the “Big House" was again expanded, creating the present structure. The Captain Henderson House contains what is arguably the best collection of interior wooden fretwork in the state of Arkansas.
The mansion remained in the Phillips family until 1979, when Mary Jo Mann and Ruth Stone, granddaughters of Claude Phillips and graduates of Henderson, sold the house and property to the university. Their mother, Eloise Phillips Stone, was the last owner and resident.
In 1998, the house was named to the National Register of Historic Places. Until its renovation in 1999, it served as the university’s museum, showcasing the school’s rich history. This most recent renovation has restored the mansion to its former majesty.