By Matt Reese
John Henry was born in Derry County, Ireland in March 1763. In his mid-20s, Henry sailed to America and settled near Philadelphia where he worked on a farm and saved his money. He invested his hard-earned funds in flax seed and sailed back to Ireland and his family. In sight of the shore of his homeland, though, the ship wrecked and sent his flax seed to the bottom of the ocean, according to the Genealogy of the Descendants of John Henry by Heber Homer Henry of Amesville, Ohio.
After the flax seed fiasco, Henry returned to the Philadelphia area 2 years later, this time with his wife and youngest son, Matthew. The Henrys then moved to Washington County in 1801 where Henry made some money as a wheel-wright building flax-wheels. Most every family needed flax-wheels for making cloth and demand for his services was strong. He could make two wheels per week and charge $4 per wheel.… Continue reading