Girard Brown Henderson

February 25, 1905 - November 16, 1983

Jerry Henderson, founder of the Alexander Dawson Schools, was a philanthropist and entrepreneur. He was fascinated by technology, education, and innovation.

Important Facts
February 25, 1905
Girard Brown Henderson was born in Brooklyn, New York. He was the son of Alexander D. Henderson and Ella M. Brown. The family residence was listed as 171 Midwood Street in Brooklyn, New York. Source: Birth Certificate from the State of New York.

Brooklyn map

171 Midwood St.
Click on map

March 25, 1905 Girard Brown Henderson was baptized at the St. Matthew Church in Brooklyn. Source: Records from the Church of St. Luke and St. Matthew.
1905
His parents came to Suffern, New York as summer visitors and were boarders in a hotel downtown, which was on the property now owned by the Avon Products Company. Source: Mary's Family Connections, 1979, pg. 85.
1909
Jerry's father hired an architect, Mr. William Hoar, to draw up plans to build a fourteen-acre working farm and Georgian style house on the hill near the Nyack Turnpike in Suffern, New York. A butler, household cook, cow, large vegetable garden, lake stocked with fish, and a greenhouse, accommodated the household. Jerry lived in this house up to the time he was married. Source: Jerry's autobiography, So Long, It's been good to Know You, pg. 5.

Parents House in Suffern, NY
(Click on picture)

1910 The 1910 U.S. Census lists the Henderson family living in Brooklyn, New York: Alexander Sr. (45) and Ella B. (42) and at their two sons, Alexander Jr. (15) and Girard B. (5). Source: 1910 U.S. Federal Census.
1912
Jerry went to the Suffern Grammar School and later went to a Catholic convent school called the Sisters of the Holy Child Jesus. Source: Jerry's autobiography, So Long, It's been good to Know You, pg. 7.

1910 US Census
(Click on census)

July 1914 When Jerry was 9, the family took a two-month vacation-business trip to buy "essential oils from the french." The family visited the oil factories that made the perfume and saw beautiful fields of flowers while they were in France. Source: Jerry's autobiography, So Long, It's been good to Know You, pg. 6.
1916
His father invested $25,000 in the California Perfume Company, Inc. and acquired one-quarter of the entire stock of CPC.
1916 - 1923
Jerry was a boarder at the Storm School, later called Storm King School in Cornwall On Hudson, New York, which was a preparatory school through high school. He was captain of the football team and graduated in the class of 1923. Source: Jerry's autobiography, So Long, It's been good to Know You, pg. 9.
July 23, 1917 In a newspaper article entitled "Many Soldiers at the River Spend Sunday at Alexandria Bay" A.D. Henderson, Master Gerard Henderson, and Miss Mary Anthony, of Suffern were listed. Source: Watertown Daily Times (Watertown, NY).  
February 11, 1920 The 1920 U.S. Census lists Alexander D. Henderson (55), Ella B. Henderson (52), Alexander D. Henderson Jr. (25) and James their butler living on South Monsey Road in Suffern, N. Y. Source: 1920 US Census for Rockland County.  
1924
Jerry was accepted to Dartmouth College. He only attended his freshman year. Source: Jerry's autobiography, So Long, It's been good to Know You, pg. 11.
January 25, 1925
His father, Alexander D. Henderson Sr. died in Suffern, New York after a very short illness. He was mourned by his family and associates. Source: NY Death Certificate #5375 and the Suffern newspaper.
April 2, 1925 Ella Henderson (57) and her son Girard Henderson (20) arrived in New York City sailing from Puerto Colombia Col. on the ship Carrillo. Source: New York, New York Passenger and Crew Lists, 1825-1996, index and images, FamilySearch.
October 31, 1925 Girard B Henderson and his mother went from New York City on the ship Reliance, to Cherbourg, France. Source: New York Passenger Lists, 1820-1957.
1925
Jerry got his first commercial job as a shipping clerk at the Cheney Silk Company in New York City at 342 Madison Avenue. He got paid $15.00 dollars a week. Source: Jerry's autobiography, So Long, It's been good to Know You, pg 12.
1925-1927
Jerry sold pots and pans of cast aluminum door-to-door for the Club Aluminum Company. He learned to cook and did cooking demonstrations in his home for groups. He even borrowed his Mother’s butler to help in these presentations. He became very successful at it. Source: Louis Kilzer of the Denver Post.
February 14, 1927
Jerry married Theodora Gregson Huntington from Spring Valley, New York, a town five miles north of Suffern. Source: Jerry's autobiography, So Long, It's been good to Know You, pg 16.
February 14, 1927 Jerry and Theodora were on a ship Veendam, from New York City. Source: New York Passenger Lists, 1820-1957.
March 13, 1927
Mrs. Ralph A. D. Preston of Mount Vernon gave a tea for Mrs. Girard B. Henderson of Spring Valley, N. Y., the former Miss Theodora Huntington of Mount Vernon. Source: ProQuest Historical Newspapers The New York Times pg. E8.
1928
Jerry took a job with a stock brokerage firm in Patterson, New Jersey at $110 a week. Source: Jerry's autobiography, So Long, It's been good to Know You, pg 16.
January 25, 1928
Theodora G. Henderson was born in Brownsville, New York. Source: Conversation with Theodora.
1929
Because of the depression and the stock market crash, Jerry lost his brokerage job. He took a job selling life insurance for the Phoenix Mutual Insurance Company. He became very successful in the life insurance business. Source: Jerry's autobiography, So Long, It's been good to Know You, pg 17.
1929
While working for Phoenix Mutual, Jerry learned to fly at the Newark Airport and bought a three-place, open cockpit, low-wing plane called the Nicholas-Beasley. Jerry said the plane took off at 90 MPH, flew at 90 MPH and landed at 90 MPH. He was one of the nation's earliest pilots, earning his license in 1929. This was the beginning of his romance with aviation. Source Farrow J. Smith.
April 18, 1930 The US Census lists Girard B Henderson (25 - life insurance salesman), Theodora (26), and daughter, Theodora G. (2). Source: 1930 United States Federal Census at Ho Ho Kus, Bergen, New Jersey; Roll: 1314; Page: 7A; Enumeration District: 133; Image: 54.0.
1930's
Jerry flew a Stagger Wing Beechcraft airplane in the 1930's for the president of CPC, David McConnell. The company chartered the plane to transport executives going from Philadelphia and Albany on business. Source: Jerry's autobiography, So Long, It's been good to Know You, pg 22.
February 7, 1933
Dariel Henderson was born at home in Mahwah, New Jersey.
1933
Jerry opened the Henderson Motor Co. in Suffern, N. Y. According to Kenneth Burnham, Jerry's life-long friend, Jerry landed a contract to truck materials for Avon from New York City to Suffern.

Henderson Motors

Henderson Motor Company
(Click on picture)

August 15, 1935 An airplane piloted by Jerry Henderson of Suffern, was forced down by minor trouble on the grounds of the Matteawan State hospital in Beacon, NY.. Henderson and Kenneth Burnham were not injured. They were inroute from Greensboro Vermont to Suffern. The engine of the plane suffered a cracked cylinder. Source: The Poughkeepsie Eagle News.
December 17, 1935 The Alexander Dawson, Inc. (ADI) was incorporated and the certificate of incorporation was filed with the Secretary of State of Trenton New Jersey. His mother transferred her securities in CPC stock to the newly formed holding company in exchange for all of ADI's stock. Source: ADI Certificate of Incorporation.

Jerry's airplane
1933, Spring Lake, New Jersey

December 18, 1935 The first meeting between the board members of the Alexander Dawson, Inc. was held at 111 John Street, Manhattan, New York. Three directors were elected: Ella B. Henderson, Alexander D. Henderson, and Girard B. Henderson. Source: ADI Certificate of Incorporation.
June 4, 1936 At age 31, Jerry departed from St Hubert, Quebec and returned to Albany Municipal Airport, Albany, New York. He was listed on the manifest as Pilot and owner. Source: New York Passenger Lists, 1820-1957.
Jan. 27, 1937 Theodora's father, Dr. Theodore Huntington died in Mount Vernon, N. Y. Source: New York Times.
1930's
Established an office and home in Mahwah, New Jersey. After Jerry moved to California, the house became a place for him to live during his monthly trips to his Avon board meetings. The house had double-wall insulated construction to provide a quiet and dark place to sleep in, and to make it as impenetrable as possible to avoid vandalism. Source: Conversation with Owen Patrick.
1939

Sailed a two-masted 77 ft. schooner from New Jersey to Beaufort, South Carolina. He formed a group of Sea Scouts to patrol the Carolina coast during World War II.

In Beaufort, Jerry built a house of concrete blocks, which were poured on site. According to Jerry's daughter (Terry), the doors and stain-glass windows from his parents' house in Suffern were used in this house. Alex Henderson said that Jerry also saved the wood panel walls from his mother's dinning room. The house had 7 fireplaces.

Jerry bought the Laurel Hill Plantation, which consisted of approximately 200 acres and is on Lady's Island. Click on Map for more details.

Beautfort

Greater Beaufort
(Click on Map)

May 8, 1939 Mrs. G.B. Henderson, Theodora, and Dariel Henderson were portrayed in a 1939 Press Photo on their sloop, "Julia," at the Sea Island Yacht Yards in Georgia. Source: Historic Images, Inc., 1939 Press Photo.
1940
Jerry was elected to serve on the board of directors for Avon Products and served for 35 years. Source: Profile Board of Directors Who they are, what they do,1972.
January 17, 1940
Mr. Henderson's mother, Mrs. Ella Brown Henderson died suddenly, at her home, Nyack Turnpike, Suffern, New York. Funeral services were held at her home Jan. 19, 1940, at 2 PM. Obituaries report Jerry living in Cragmere, N. J., and Ruxton, Maryland. Source: ProQuest Historical Newspapers The New York Times, pg. 23.
March 1, 1940 A special meeting of the board of directors for Alexander Dawson Inc. was held at room 2707, 111 John Street, Borough of Manhattan, New York City. At this meeting it was announced, “With deep sorrow, the death of Mrs. Ella B. Henderson on January 17, 1940, was recorded.” The board voted that Alexander D. Henderson was elected President of the Corporation and Girard B. Henderson was elected as Vice President and Treasurer.
Source: 1940 ADI Board Minutes.



Henderson Home in Suffern

1941 Jerry's brother, Alexander D .Henderson Jr. and wife Lucy, came to Jerry's 600 acre farm on Lady's Island.
November 1, 1941 His parents home in Suffern Park caught fire as workmen were engaged in tearing it down. The Suffern and Tallman fire departments saved the partly demolished building from complete destruction. Source: The Rockland County Journal News.
December 7, 1941 The attack on Pearl Harbor prompted the US to declare war on Japan.
December 31, 1942 G. B. Henderson was listed as a Director in the 1942 Avon Allied Products, Inc., Annual Report. Source: Avon Annual Report, 1942.

1942

1942 Annual Report

January 14, 1943 The annual meeting of stockholders for Alexander Dawson Inc. was held at room 2707, 111 John Street, New York City. The minutes note a motion that was made and seconded to elect four directors for one year: A. D. Henderson, G. B. Henderson, Lucy B. Henderson, and Theodora Henderson. In addition the minutes stated the amount of shares each stockholder owned. Source: 1943 ADI Board Minutes.
January 13, 1944 The annual meeting of stockholders for Alexander Dawson Inc. was held at Colony Gardens, Beaufort, South Carolina. The minutes show that the bylaws were amended to provide that meetings of the stockholders could be held anywhere in continental United States. The Corporation accountant was noted as Mr. Adolph Manson, who prepared the 1943 balance sheet and the Profit and Loss statement. Source: 1944 ADI Board Minutes.
1944 G. B. Henderson was listed as a Director, along with his brother, A. .D. Henderson, in the 1944 Annual Report. Source: Avon Annual Report, 1944.
January 9, 1945 On of the annual meeting of stockholders for Alexander Dawson Inc. was held at Colony Gardens, Beaufort, South Carolina. The minutes state that that the Chairman announced that he and the Secretary had acted during the past year as the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors. That they had declared dividends to be paid on the preferred and common stock and had attended all the Stockholders meetings of Allied Products Inc. and Avon Products Ltd. of Canada and voted the stock held by the Corporation. The Chairman authorized G. B. Henderson to vote all the Stock held by this Corporation at such stockholders meetings. Source: 1945 ADI Board Minutes.
1945

Sometime after 1945, Jerry’s brother resigned from the ADI. The two wanted to go their separate ways. Jerry moved to California and his brother stayed in New York and later moved to Florida. Jerry became the sole owner of ADI.

April 30, 1945 Girard Henderson left Toronto, Ontario and arrived in La guardia Airport, New York, New York. Source: New York Passenger Lists, 1820-1957.
August 15, 1945 Japan surrendered, ending World War II.
1945
When the war ended, Jerry left Lady's Island in 1945 and headed for California.
December 31, 1945 G. B . Henderson and his brother, A. D. Henderson, were listed as Directors in the 1945 annual report for Avon Allied Products, Inc. Source: Avon Allied Products, Inc Annual Report.
December 31, 1946

G. B. Henderson and his brother, A. D. Henderson, were listed as Directors in the 1946 annual report for Avon Allied Products, Inc. Source: Avon Allied Products, Inc Annual Report.

December 31, 1947 G. B. Henderson and his brother, A. D. Henderson, were listed as Directors in the 1947 annual report for Avon Allied Products, Inc. Source: Avon Allied Products, Inc Annual Report.
1947
Jerry bought the Melvin Douglas house near Mission Ranch, on Dolores and Franciscan Streets, in Carmel, California. He lived there with his wife (Theodora G. Henderson) and his two daughters. Source: Nephew, Alexander D. Henderson's recollections.

Carmel House
Dolores St. and Franciscan St.

1948
Jerry met Ruben Tice who owned an electrical supply store in Monterey. Jerry worked for Tice Electric "for free" where he met Owen Patrick, who worked as a radio repair technician.
December 31, 1948 G. B. Henderson was listed as a Director, along with his brother, A. .D. Henderson, in the 1948 Avon Allied Products, Inc. Annual Report. Source: Avon Allied Annual Report, 1948.  
1949
Created the Alarm Corporation because somebody had stolen a potted geranium from Jerry's front porch in Carmel. Source: Edward M. Allen interview. Jerry and Owen Patrick developed a burglar alarm system that would phone the police and a prerecorded message would tell the police that a burglar had just entered.

MPTV

MP-TV staff
(Click on picture)

December 31, 1949 G. B. Henderson was listed as a Director, along with his brother, A. .D. Henderson, in the 1949 Avon Allied Products, Inc., and Subsidiaries Annual Report. Source: Avon Allied Annual Report, 1949.
December 31, 1950 G. B. Henderson was listed as a Director, along with his brother, A. .D. Henderson, in the 1950 Avon Products, Inc. (formerly Avon Allied Products, Inc.) Annual Report. Source: Avon Annual Report, 1950.
December 31, 1951 G. B. Henderson was listed as a Director, along with his brother, A. .D. Henderson, in the 1951 Avon Products, Inc. Annual Report. Source: Avon Annual Report, 1951.
1950-1952
Jerry had another idea. Television was just coming in at this time but Carmel could not get a good picture. The Monterey Peninsula Television (MP-TV) Company was created in Carmel, located on 7th and Lincoln Street. The company soon provided underground cable service to Carmel residents. MP-TV had its receiving antenna site on the high ground of Pebble Beach. Source: Conversation with Owen Patrick.
December 31, 1952 G. B. Henderson and his brother, A. D. Henderson, were listed as Directors in the 1952 annual report for Avon Products, Inc. Source: Avon Products, Inc., Annual Report.
May 3, 1953 Girard Henderson (48) and his wife Theodora (49) were listed as passengers arriving in the port of San Francisco on the ship, President Cleveland. Their address was listed as Mahwah, New Jersey. Source: San Francisco, California Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at San Francisco, 1893-1953. Micropublication M1410. Rolls # 1-429.

Jerry playing the Wash Board
Grizzly Rider Band

(click on picture)

December 31, 1953 G. B. Henderson and his brother, A. D. Henderson, were listed as Directors in the 1953 annual report for Avon Products, Inc. Source: Avon Products, Inc., Annual Report.
1954
MP-TV moved to Monterey next to the Monterey airport. A street in Monterrey is named for Jerry called "Henderson Way". It is near the airport and went to the MP-TV headquarters.
December 31, 1954 G. B. Henderson was listed as on the Board of Directors, along with his brother, A. .D. Henderson, in the 1954 Annual Products, Inc. Report. Source: Avon Annual Report, 1954.
January, 1955
Girard B. Henderson and his then wife, Theodora G. Henderson, entered into a separation agreement looking towards a divorce. They divorced in 1960.

Jerry Henderson
June 1957
(Click on picture)

December 31, 1955 G. B. Henderson was listed as on the Board of Directors, along with his brother, A. D. Henderson, in the 1955 Annual Products, Inc. Report. Source: Avon Annual Report, 1955.
1957
Jerry created the Alexander Dawson Foundation. It was named after his father, Alexander Dawson Henderson. He dropped "Henderson" from the foundation's name to deflect attention from him. The Foundation is a non-profit organization and is dedicated to education. The mission is "to support its educational organizations that prepare young adults to excel in college and society by providing the highest quality academic instruction and by developing self-respect, self-discipline and self-reliance through hard work,
personal responsibility and respect for authority. By so doing, we strive to cultivate future leaders."
December 31, 1957 G. B. Henderson was listed as on the Board of Directors, along with his brother, A. .D. Henderson, in the 1957 Annual Products, Inc. Report. Source: Avon Annual Report, 1957.
Jerry was commodore of the 85-foot yacht called the Roosterfish. The yacht featured spacious luxury for entertaining or relaxing in the "Deck House" plus a 21" Color TV set.
1958
Jerry met Mary Hollingsworth around 1958. They both traveled to Colorado Springs. According to Kenneth Burnham, Jerry was looking for a permanent place in Colorado. With Burnham's help, they bought a 350-acre ranch at Stapps Lake near Ward, which also became the site for Jerry's underground house. Source: Louis Kilzer of the Denver Post.

MPTV

Mary Hollingsworth

December 31, 1958 G. B. Henderson and his brother, A. D. Henderson were listed as a Directors, in the 1958 Annual Report. Source: Avon Annual Report, 1958.
December 31, 1959 G. B. Henderson and his brother, A. D. Henderson were listed as a Directors, in the 1959 Annual Report. Source: Avon Annual Report, 1959.
  Jerry was the second owner of Stapps Lake Ranch, which was named for the Stapps Brothers who acquired it through a Federal Land Grant signed by the then President of the U. S. The ranch had a lodge, several cabins, lakes, and acres of forestland.
  Jerry and Mary had a picture taken on the tail of their Convair 580 turbo prop airplane for a Christmas card. Click on the picture to see the stencil on the tail, which stands for "Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort". The number and letters on the tail were for Mary's name and birthday, January 23. Source: Farrow J. Smith.

Jerry & Mary on
Convair 580 airplane
(Click on picture)

December 31, 1960 G. B. Henderson was listed as a Director, along with his brother, A. .D. Henderson, in the 1960 Annual Report. Source: Avon Annual Report, 1960.  
June 5, 1964
Jerry Henderson married his 2nd wife, Mary Hollingsworth in Clark, Nevada. Source: Louis Kilzer of the Denver Post; Nevada Marriage Index, 1956-2005.
Henderson Family

Alexander D. Henderson III"s Family
(Click on picture)
1964
Jerry and Mary visited Jerry's nephew, Alexander D. Henderson III, and his family in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. He also brought the Roosterfish yacht to Florida and took the family for a ride.
1964
Jerry built and lived in an elaborate underground house on his 320-acre mountain property near Boulder, Colorado. There was a helicopter pad on top for quick getaways. The house was completely underground and included 4 bedrooms, a swimming pool, and murals of San Francisco and New York. The murals painted done by Jewell Smith.


Multi-section foldout describing
The Underground Home
New York World's Fair 1964-1965
December 31, 1965 G. B. Henderson was listed as Director (Investor and Member of New York Stock Exchange) in the 1965 Annual Report. Source: Avon Annual Report, 1965.
1964-1965
Jerry pioneered underground living and sponsored The Underground Home exhibit at the New York World's Fair. The exhibit covered such topics as Why live underground? and How to build underground. The underground home had a garden, terrace, wood floors, with a living room and three bedrooms. The Underground World Home Corporation was located in Mahwah, New Jersey. Source: The Underground World Home by Bill Cotter.
1965

Jerry’s good friend, Johnny Mann, wrote the album “At the bottom of the fair”. On the back side of the album, Johnny Mann wrote: "The first time I was in an underground home was in the Colorado Rockies under a mountaintop 9500 feet above sea level! And it was here that I met the owner, Mr. Jerry Henderson. As his guest, I soon became aware of the fantastic possibilities of underground living, and at the same time struck up a lasting personal friendship with Jerry. Source: The album The greatest of the Jonny Mann Singers a the bottom of the fair.

underground

Johnny Mann Album
At the bottom of the fair
1964-1968

In 1964, Jerry became involved in the Blue Channel seafood company in Port Royal, SC and acquired full ownership in 1968. Sterling Harris, the founder and president, was looking for financial assistance and contacted Jerry in California. They had become acquainted while Jerry was living in Beaufort during WW II. Source: Farrow J. Smith.



Jerry Henderson
Bronze Statue
(Click on picture)
June 9, 1966 G. B. Henderson sold 271,455 capital shares of Avon Products, reducing his indirect holdings to 1,035,410 shares. Source: ProQuest Historical Newspapers The New York Times, pg. 96.
June 17, 1966 TIME magazine published an article about Jerry Henderson titled, "Avon Paying", which talked about Jerry being a director of Avon and his recent sale of stock. Source: From the Jun. 17, 1966 issue of TIME magazine.
December 31, 1966 Henderson was listed as a Director and Investor and Member of New York Stock Exchange in the 1966 Annual Report. Source: Avon Products Inc., Annual Report, 1966.
December 31, 1967 Henderson was listed as a member of the Board of Directors and and as an Investor and Member of New York Stock Exchange in the 1967 Annual Report. His picture appeared along with Hays Clark (Director) and Paul Peyton (Director). Source: Avon Products Inc., 1967 Annual Report.
1967
Jerry's Foundation established the Colorado Junior Republic School (CJR) at Stapps Lake, Colorado. The school started as a summer school for underprivileged children. It was later expanded into a year-round school, and then converted to a college preparatory program.


Henderson Hall
Alexander Dawson School
in Colorado
(Click on picture)
  Jerry became interested in the Pritikin Health Diet and this building was called the Colorado Health Education Center (CHEC). It had a staff of doctors, lab for blood work, etc. They had classes on food preparation and the proper diets, etc. Following Jerry's death, this was closed and converted to school use. The campus is approximately 77 acres. Source: Farrow J. Smith.
December 1, 1968
His brother's wife, Lucy E. Henderson donated money to build the, Alexander D Henderson University School in Boca Raton, Florida.
December 31, 1968 Girard B. Henderson was listed on the Board of Directors and as an Investor in the 1968 Annual Report. Source: Avon Annual Report, 1968.
1969

Jerry moved his headquarters from Mahwah, N. J. to Las Vegas, Nevada. Source: Farrow J. Smith.

 

September 1969

Theodora Holding Corp. (THC) initiated a lawsuit against ADI, Henderson and another corporate officer. The complaint alleged mismanagement regarding investments and charitable contributions to the Dawson Foundation. The court upheld the validity of the charitable contributions, but Henderson had to account for any profit on the sale of a seat on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and on brokerage commissions. Source: Theodora Holding Corp. v. Henderson, 257 A.2d 398 (Del.Ch. 1969).

November 21, 1969 G. B. Henderson, a director of Avon Products, sold 228,981 shares, leaving him with 570.229. Source: ProQuest Historical Newspapers The New York Times, pg. 78.
December 31, 1969 Girard B. Henderson was listed as on the Board of Directors and as an Investor in the 1969 Annual Report. Source: Avon Annual Report, 1969.
1970 The school moved to Lafayette. Colorado, where construction began on several new buildings.
December 31, 1970 Girard B. Henderson was listed as on the Board of Directors in the 1970 Annual Report. Source: Avon Annual Report, 1970.
1971
Jerry built a home in Las Vegas that was partially underground. It later became the office for ADI. Source: Farrow J. Smith.
December 31, 1971 Girard B. Henderson was listed on Avon's Board of Directors as Investor in the 1971 Annual Report. Source: Avon Annual Report, 1971.

 

 

December 31, 1972 Girard B. Henderson was listed on Avon's Board of Directors as an Investor in the 1972 Annual Report. There was also a section showed a picture of each of the directors along with a short bio. Source: Avon Annual Report, 1972.
July 1, 1973 Henderson appears in an article about Avon in Forbes Magazine. The article talks about Avon and Henderson as the biggest individual shareholder next to the founding family. Source: Forbes Magazine, Wall St. Loves Avon.  
August 13, 1973
In 1973, Jerry and four others flew to Europe on his King Air 300 airplane. For safety reasons, they made refueling stops half the range of the airplane. They started August 13, 1973 and returned home August 25, 1973. They started in Denver, Colorado with the following stops: Montreal, Canada (where we met up with Lucy and Tex); Sept-Îles, Canada; Frobisher Bayand Baffin Island, Canada; Søndre Strømfjord, Greenland (where they had to chase a caribou off the runway so they could land); Reykjavík, Iceland; Inverness, Scotland; Zürich, Switzerland; Naples and the Isle of Ischia, Italy. Source: Farrow J. Smith.



Trip to Europe
Kingair 300 airplane
Bill Falconer, Mario Borini, Jerry Henderson, Farrow Smith, Oz Gutsche

August 25, 1973 The return trip was from Frankfort, Germany; Hanover, Germany (where Jerry met with Dr. Hans Nieper who was in alternative medicines such as Laetrile and had cured Mary of throat cancer after M D. Anderson Hospital in Houston had given up); Dundee, Scotland; Reykjavík, Iceland; Narssaq, Greenland; Sept-Îles, Canada, New York City (to drop off Mario Borini); Denver, and home to Las Vegas. Source: Farrow J. Smith.
October 2, 1973
An Article appeared in the New York Times, which said: "Girard B. Henderson, a director, made a series of small trades in March and April, catching the top of the Avon market with a 400-share trade at 140 on March 7th." Source: ProQuest Historical Newspapers The New York Times pg. 60


The Dawson Buildings
4045 Spencer St.
December 31, 1973 Girard B. Henderson was listed as an Investor on Avon's Board of Directors in the 1973 Annual Report. Source: Avon Annual Report, 1973.
December 31, 1974 Girard B. Henderson was listed as on the Board of Directors in the 1974 Annual Report. It also said he was CEO of Alexander Dawson, Inc. (Financial services, land development, seafood processing and distribution). Source: Avon Annual Report, 1974.
1975
Jerry built the Alexander Dawson Building, an office complex on 4045 Spencer Street and Flamingo Road in Las Vegas, Nevada. It was later expanded and renamed as the Dawson Buildings. Source: Southern Nevada Geographic Information System.

Jerry & Mary in front of their
Hustler Fanjet

(click on picture)

  ADI leased the entire bottom floor to the Summa Corporation, which was owned by Howard Hughes. They liked it for security reasons.
December 31, 1975
Mr. Henderson retired as a member of the Avon Board of Directors. In his 35 years on the board, he participated in many important, far-reaching decisions, which helped shape Avon. Source: Avon Annual Report 1975.
Sept 1, 1978
Jerry invested in the American Jet Corporation, a holding company formed by Allen Paulson, which acquired the Grumman American Aviation Corporation for $32 million and $20.5 million in preferred stock. The company, was a subsidiary of the Grumman Aerospace Corporation, that manufactured and sold the Gulfstream series of executive aircraft. Source: GULFSTREAM AEROSPACE PLANS BIG-STOCK OFFERING, By AGIS SALPUKAS, Published: April 4, 1983

 

Jerry & Mary in front of their
Gulfstream III jet

(click on picture)

1978
Jerry played the Wash Board with the Grizzly Rider band in Missoula, Montana. He was a member of the Grizzly Riders, which was part of a Foundation associated with the University of Montana. They would camp and ride in the wilderness for several days each year and would invite alumni and supporters. Jerry was also a member of the Roundup Riders of the Rockies in Colorado. Source: Farrow J. Smith.
1978
Jerry built a 6,000 square foot luxurious underground home near the Alexander Dawson buildings in Las Vegas where he lived. You took an elevator down into the underground home 25 feet below ground. There was a main house, heated swimming pool with cascading waterfall, a guesthouse and "outdoor" walkways. It had a remote-controlled lighting system, which could turn a starry night sky into a beautiful sunrise - all with a push of a button! The underground home was featured on the Travel Channel in 2003. Jewell Smith painted the murals.

Jerry's underground house in
Las Vegas

1979

Jerry bought the Cecil Peak Station, which is on Lake Wakitipu across from Queenstown, New Zealand. The only access was by boat or small airplane. Jerry's built an octagon shaped house on the Cecil Peak Station prior to ADI acquiring it.

To get around a law, that a foreigner could not own a permanent home, the house was built on skids and was not attached to pillars. The property was sold in 1986.

Cecil Peak Station
Queenstown, New Zealand

August 1979
Jerry's grandnephew, Greg Henderson and his wife visited Jerry in Las Vegas. Jerry came to the airport to pick them up in his white Cadillac. They had dinner and went to a Las Vegas show. The couple spent the night in the guest house in the underground home. Going to San Francisco the next day on business, Jerry offered to fly Greg and his wife back home. They flew back on Jerry's Citation II jet.

Jerry takes nephew home on a
Citation II jet

1979
Henderson's first wife, Theodora Gregson Huntington-Henderson died in New York. She was 75 years old.

Bust of G. B. Henderson

1980 The school changed its name to Alexander Dawson School after Henderson's father, Alexander Dawson Henderson. Click here to read a speech about Jerry, given by the chairman at the school's 30th anniversary celebration.
1981
Jerry wrote the book Turn the Clock Back Sam, which is about having less federal government and fewer taxes. Jerry's long time friend, Norman Vincent Peale, wrote the Foreword to the book.
1981
Jerry's daughter, Dariel Ann Henderson-Firestone, died in Sedro Woolley, Washington.
November 16, 1983
At age 78, Girard B. Henderson died at his home in Las Vegas, Clark, Nevada of a heart attack. Source: Social Security Death Index.
November 18, 1983
Services were held at the Palm Valley View Chapel in Las Vegas and also at the Laurel Hill Plantation near Beaufort, South Carolina. Jerry Henderson is buried inside a chapel on a one-acre plot of land on Laurel Hill Plantation, which is in the name of the Alexander Dawson Foundation. On the bottom of Jerry's headstone reads: "If your hands are clean your cause is just, and if your request is reasonable you cannot be denied."

Jerry's Chapel
(Click on Thumbnail)

1980's After Jerry died, Mary Henderson had the boulders on the surface of their underground home in Las Vegas removed and a regular-style house built on top of the underground home. Source: Weird Las Vegas and Nevada: Your Alternative Travel Guide to Sin City, by Joe Oesterle, Tim Cridland, Mark Moran.

Donna Henderson at Jerry's underground house in Las Vegas

October 1, 1988 Mary Franklin-Henderson died in Las Vegas, Nevada. She was 83 years old.
October 15 1988
The Sacred Mountain Ashram bought the Stapps Lake Ranch. Source: Nederland Reality. 10-15-88.
March 31, 1999

The Alexander Dawson Foundation built a private $22 million Alexander Dawson School in Las Vegas, Nevada. The school offers a rigorous, traditional liberal arts curriculum. Click here to see newspaper article.



Alexander Dawson School in Las Vegas
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Sept 6, 2000
The Alexander Dawson School in Las Vegas opens for grades K-5 with 160 students and is located at 10845 West Desert Inn Road, Las Vegas, Nevada. The Board of Trustees of the Alexander Dawson Foundation governs the Alexander Dawson School. Click here to read Jerry's biography from the Chairman, Mario Borini.
2003
Trustees of the philanthropic Alexander Dawson Foundation continue to run the Alexander Dawson Schools from the Dawson Buildings at 4045 South Spencer Street in Las Vegas, Nevada.


School board in Las Vegas

Back row: Oz Gutsche and John
O'Brien. Front row: Farrow Smith, Mario Borini, Charles Silvestri
and Joe Borini
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June 20, 2003
Jerry's grandnephews, Greg and Scott Henderson meet Farrow Smith, the Dawson Buildings, and the Alexander Dawson School at Rainbow Mountain. Click here to see pictures of their visit.
July 24, 2003
An article in the Las Vegas Mercury appeared entitled Tales of Vegas Past: Going underground. Click here to read this article.
2003 The Travel Channel / HGTV did a segment on the home.
2004 Ken Lowman, owner of Luxury Homes of Las Vegas, placed the underground home for sale fully furnished for $2,999,900. Source: Ken Lowman of Luxury Homes of Las Vegas.
January 25, 2005 The Alexander Dawson School's celebrated the 100th anniversary of Jerry's birthday at the School in Colorado.
February 25, 2010

The Las Vegas School celebrated their 10th anniversary and also Jerry’s 105th birthday.  Please watch the video narrated by Mike Imperi, the headmaster for the Las Vegas School. Go to www.adsrm.org, and click on “News and Events” then on the drop down, click on “Dawson’s 10th Anniversary”.

 
June 20, 2013 Boulder County panel approved more students and more space for the Alexander Dawson School. Source: Daily Camera Newspaper in Boulder, Colorado.  
April 7, 2014 Jerry's underground house at 3970 Spencer St., Las Vegas was sold. The headline said: "Underground house used as Cold War hideaway sold for $1.15M". The buyers have chosen to keep their identity concealed. Source: Las Vegas Review-Journal.  

Other points of interest:

  • Favorite poem: "IF" by Rudyard Kipling
  • The book Life of an Unknown Man by Ernest Gordon Pratt has a chapter devoted to Jerry Henderson and the Alarm Corporation (MPTV)
  • One of Jerry's favorite movies was "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang"
  • The Henderson Outdoor Program at Storm King School is named for Girard Henderson (Class '23) and generously supported by Alexander Dawson, Inc., anchors the School's recreational athletic program.
  • Jerry Henderson's motto: "Nothing without labor."
  • There is a memorial to Jerry in the Beaufort County Library, which was presented on February 1993 along with one for Walter Zachowski, who was the president of Blue Channel Corporation in Port Royal, SC. Source: Farrow J. Smith.
  • Jerry wrote the paper "So Long - It's been good to Know You," which is about Joseph Henderson, his father, and his life leading up to the 1930's.
  • Saturday Evening Post article “There’s More to Crabbing Than You Think” Article “
  • Bob Lengyel:The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Sailor” talks about sailing on the Dawson 26
  • Pamphlet “Story of the Windship ‘Prodigal’” is about sailing on the Dawson 26
  • Dawson 26 Sail Boat brochure

Other business ventures by Jerry Henderson:

  • Alexander Trust Company, Zurich, Switzerland
  • American Jet Industries, Inc., Van Nuys, California
  • Blue Channel Company, Port Royal, South Carolina
  • Clearwater Communications, Inc. - Coeur d'Alene, ID. This was also for cable TV, which Jerry became involved with around 1980
  • Cecil Peak Station in Queenstown, New Zealand - 33,000 acre sheep ranch
  • CJR Health Education Center, Lafayette, Colorado
  • Colorado Aero Tech in Broomfield, CO - airframe and power plant school
  • Dawson Yacht Corporation in Las Vegas, Nevada
  • Dawson Aviation in Las Vegas, Nevada - aircraft broker as well as buying and selling used airplanes
  • Gulfstream American Corporation, Savannah, Georgia
  • High Country Helicopters - Lafayette, CO. (personally owned by Jerry)
  • Monterey Peninsula Cable TV - Monterey, CA. (Alarm Corp.)
  • Roosterfish Yacht - Dawson Boat Sales, Mahwah, New Jersey

Click here to see a Wikipedia article about Girard B. Henderson.


Last update: Sunday, April 19, 2015