Letters, Migration, Paternal Kin

Where we lived: Caswell C. Henderson’s New York City.

It’s not clear when Caswell Henderson arrived in New York, but 1890 is a good guess. In the 35 or so years that he lived in the city, Caswell claimed at least eight addresses in two boroughs and Westchester County, most during a decade in which he and his wife seemed to move almost yearly.

This is Caswell’s New York:


1. 326 West 37th Street. When Caswell married Emma Bentley in 1893, he reported this address. He is listed there in 1896 in Trow’s New York City Directory. It’s a bit south of the 1 on the map, between 8th and 9th Avenues in the overlap between Hell’s Kitchen and the Garment District, and is now a parking deck.

2. 47 West 66th Street. By the 1900 census, Caswell and Emma had moved north to an address just outside the notorous San Juan Hill neighborhood. Caswell was still living here when he married his second wife, Carrie Lowe, in 1907.  Address located in the block off Central Park West, now occupied by ABC headquarters.

3. 247 West 143rd Street. By 1909, Caswell and Carrie had moved way uptown to Harlem. Block between Adam Clayton Powell and Frederick Douglass Boulevards, now the site of basketball courts in the Drew-Hamilton housing project.

4. 901 Grant Avenue. Per the 1910 city directory, Caswell and Carrie lived in Morrisania in the Bronx, a few blocks west of current Yankee Stadium, now the site of the Bronx School for Law, Government and Justice.

5. 527 East 167th Street. In 1912, a little deeper into the Bronx, a few blocks from Bronx-Lebanon Hospital Center, now a parking lot.

6. 446 West 163rd Street. By 1915, the Hendersons were back in Manhattan at an address they held for the next ten years. Washington Heights, between Edgecombe and Amsterdam Avenues near Highbridge Park and the Harlem River, a few blocks southeast of Columbia University Medical Center.

7. 3777 Third Avenue. In 1926, they returned to the heart of the Bronx to an address that is now Gouverneur Playground. (Or did they? Caswell wrote his sister a letter from this address, but his widow was living on West 163rd when he died. Were they separated? He mentions the health benefits of living in “the country” — what did Third Avenue look like in the early 1920s?)

8. 6 Belknap Avenue. Caswell died at this home in Yonkers in 1927, though his death certificate lists his wife’s address as 446 West 163rd. It’s not clear who owned the Belknap Avenue house, but in 1930, it is occupied by French West Indian chef Marshall Mingo and family.


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