Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Workday Wednesdays - Arthur Cole Hennings

Arthur Cole Hennings (cira 1950's)

My first entry for Workday Wednesday is my paternal great grandfather, Arthur Cole Hennings.  He was born in Corning, New York in 1892.  I'm not sure yet what brought his family down to Washington, DC, but the first census he shows up on is the 1900 U.S. Federal Census.  At that time he was 8 years old and living in Nanjemoy, Charles County, Maryland.  Of course, being 8 years old, his only occupation was going to school.  I looked at what his father's occupation was, and he's listed as a machinist and owning a farm.

According to the 1910 U.S. Federal Census for Washington City, District of Columbia, Arthur was 17 years old and working as a Stenographer in an office.

In 1917, he registered for the WWI Draft, and on his registration card he's listed as 24 years old and the Manager of the Mail Order Dept. at Andrews Print Company in Washington, DC.

In the 1920 U.S. Federal Census  for Washington Magisterial District, Alexandria, Virginia, Arthur was 27 years old and working as a Wholesale Manager for a paper company.

In the 1930 U.S. Federal Census for Fresno, California, Arthur was 37 years old and working as a salesman for a paper company.  His earnings were listed at $4,590.

In the 1940 U.S. Federal Census for Fresno, California, Arthur was 47 years, and was a Printer at a print company.

In 1942, he registered for the WWII Draft, and on his registration card he's listed as 49 years old, and owning the Advertising Specialty Company in Fresno, California.  The census also shows that the highest grade of school that he completed was 7th grade.

He died in 1966, and in his obituary it says that he operated an envelope company and a wholesale print company for 30 years, which he sold in 1959.  What I found particularly interesting was it also said that he was a one-time actor.

Last weekend while I was searching through some old Washington, DC newspapers online using "Hennings", I found references to a Hennings, and an Arthur Hennings performing around the city.  I didn't think that this was my great grandfather, so I ignored them.  Now I'm going to go back and take a look at those listings again and save them.

I wondered what brought him out to California.  Did he go thinking of maybe trying to break into acting there and becoming a "star".  Did he do any acting in California?  I'll have see what I can find out with further research now that I have this new clue about my great grandfather.


  1. Betsy,

    Good luck in your search for more information on your Grandfather. I started posting the letters of my Great Great Grandfather and I keep finding more history around those letters.

    Regards, Grant

  2. Thanks for commenting Grant. I know nothing about my great-grandfather. He left his wife and two daughters (one of whom was my grandmother) when the girls were very young. I mean, one was born in 1917 and the other in 1919. He's with the family on the 1920 census, but by the time the 1930 census came around, he was in Fresno, California. My dad knows nothing about him either. So anything I find out about him is news to me. I do wish I had asked my grandmother about both sides of her family before she dies in the late 80's, but I never did.


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