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History


Henderson’s Restaurant was founded by Clarence Reece Henderson and Frances Johnson Henderson.

Henderson’s Restaurant first opened its doors to the public in the spring of 1948 on Emory Street across from what is now the City Hall.  It was called The Annex – a Chinese restaurant is presently there.

On opening day, other business prevented Clarence from being there.  Frances opened for lunch serving hot dogs and hamburgers.  The hours were from 5 A.M. to 12 P.M., serving three meals a day.  After that, Frances only worked when help was needed since her first born, Clarice was only a few months old.  The Annex had 4 tables and 6 counter stools and curb-side service.

Around 1954 they purchased a grocery store from Bryant Steele, which is now the largest dining room.  Mr. Johnson, Frances’ father ran that with Frances helping occasionally, as need arose.  The store was known as Johnson’s Trading Post.  In 1956 Clarence after talking with his friends and customers decided it was time to move to the country. 

What is now the entrance room was added to the side of the store, which became the Henderson’s Restaurant.  They had 4 tables on the left side – 4 booths on the right side, (the booths, which are now gone, were bought in North, Georgia and delivered by Sam B. Hay, Jr. in his silage truck).  The kitchen was from the back counter to the wall.  Catfish became their specialty.  It was only served occasionally at the Annex.

During the first few months, Clarence cooked and Frances waited tables, but soon more help was needed.  All of their five children helped out as the business grew and the need arose, the grandchildren as well. 

Clarence, Jr., who worked at the restaurant full time all of his life passed away in April, 2006.  David, the oldest son, is an attorney and also helps at the restaurant. His wife Sandy runs the grocery store and Henderson’s Banquet Room.  Clarice, the oldest child is a retired school teacher, and continues to work at the restaurant almost daily.  Deborah is retired from the Newton County Board of Education and you are likely to see her helping out as well.  Mary Ann is currently working at the restaurant and waiting tables full time.

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