CARROLL HENDERSON

Daily Point of Light # 1989 Sep 18, 2001

Carroll Henderson’s accomplishments are many, from his years on the hospital board, as a Red Cross volunteer and eventually Montana State Red Cross Chairman, member of the Methodist Church Board, to member of the Boys and Girls Club of Southwest Montana. He has spent 17 years on the Bozeman City Planning Commission as a volunteer and was instrumental in the present layout of the city of Bozeman, including road design and the trail system that will run from mountain range to mountain range.

He has served on the Cemetery Board and was elected to the Bozeman City Study Commission to study the city government and give recommendations back to the voters. He was cofounder of the Gallatin Association of Realtors, SCORE (Senior Core of Retired Executives of the United States Small Business Administration), Montana chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution, and the Montana chapter of the Huguenot Society.

Henderson purchased, in his own name, 417 acres on what was then the outskirts of Bozeman with the vision of a new, larger hospital complex for the growing community. The proposal was met with skepticism and derision. The hospital board eventually purchased the property from Bozeman, and they are now financially well off because of this decision. This has happened time and time again in the city of Bozeman, with his finding land for the Methodist Church, Christus Collegium (the university campus interfaith center) and the Boys and Girls Club.

Bozeman and his wife come from a long line of people who struggled to find this country as a place where the community worked together to solve problems. One particular story typifies the actions that Carroll Henderson would take for others. In the mid-fifties, when the small town of Bozeman had no African-Americans, the Army sent an African-American recruiter to work at Montana State University. The young family, with a baby, could find no one who would rent to them and found themselves with no place to live. Henderson found out about this and, as a member of the hospital board, persuaded the board to rent them a home that the hospital owned.

In another instance, Henderson attempted to rescue two small girls who had fallen into a river. While spectators watched, he jumped in not once, but twice, to bring the girls safely to the shore. Unfortunately, the girls lost their lives, and Henderson suffered a permanent hearing loss. Stories of kindness and compassion of Carroll Henderson could fill a book.

Henderson lifelong list of achievements include helping develop the Bozeman Deaconess Hospital and its foundation, volunteering as Bozeman’s first city planner, and volunteering service to the Gallatin County Commissioners in planning for a new county jail. The creation of “Safe Havens’ is his mandate.

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