The Hossack Case
John Henderson (Defense Lawyer)
John Henderson was born in 1848, reportedly the first white male child born in Warren County. His father, Paris P. Henderson—known as “The Colonel”—organized and ran the county almost single-handedly in its early years, serving as sheriff, judge, justice of the peace, legislator, treasurer, and mayor of Indianola.
John Henderson began his law practice in 1870 and took William Berry as a partner two years later. For ten years, Henderson served as a District Court judge. He was practicing with Berry again when the two were hired to defend Margaret Hossack, and he worked for the defense at both trials. Henderson was active in the community; he served as President of the Iowa Bar Association and, for more than fifty years, as a trustee of Simpson College. He later went into practice with one of his sons. He retired in 1935, at the age of eighty-seven, and died in California at the age of ninety-two.