About This Place
Henderson is a city in Henderson County, Kentucky, United States, along the Ohio River in the western part of the state. The population was 28,757 at the 2010 census. It is part of the Evansville Metropolitan Area often referred to as "Kentuckiana", although "Tri-State Area" or "Tri-State" are more commonly used by the local media. Some travelers view it as the "gateway" to the South or Midwest. The city was named after Colonel Richard Henderson, by Gen. Samuel Hopkins and Thomas Allin.
Notable residents have included the ornithologist, naturalist, and painter John James Audubon, as well as blues legend W.C. Handy. For more than 100 years the city has been home to the Southern Cherokee Nation.
Henderson has its roots in a small, block-wide strip of land high above the Ohio River, currently the site of Audubon Mill Park (directly south of the city's riverfront boat dock). A village on this site was called "Red Banks" by the Cherokee who historically lived and hunted there, because of the reddish clay soil on the tall banks of the river. By the early and mid 1790s, Red Banks had a tavern and residents included several European-American families, as well as the Cherokee. On 16 Nov 1792, "Red Banks" resident Robert Simpson wrote to Colonel Alexander D. Orr in Lexington, requesting help to appoint a magistrate in Red Banks, as he believed that some of its 30 families were of dubious character and engaged in criminal activities, creating the need for a justice system. By late 1792, free male inhabitants (who did not include Cherokee, not counted as citizens) totaled 62 people in Red Banks or Charleston, Ohio, then part of Logan County, Kentucky.