Dr. Thomas J. Henry, M. D., physician and surgeon, was born in Apollo Nov. 3, 1858. His early education was secured in the public and select schools of Apollo and at Eldersridge Academy. Before taking up medical work he taught school in Apollo and was principal of the Franklin school at Conemaugh, Pa. Beginning the study of medicine under Dr. W. B. Ansley, he completed his course at the medical department of the University of Wooster, located in Cleveland, Ohio. Later he took a post-graduate course at the Philadelphia Polyclinic. In 1884 he settled in Penn Run, where he practiced three years. In 1887 he located in Apollo. Dr. Henry belonged to the Armstrong County Medical Society and the Pennsylvania State Medical Society, and was a member of the American Medical Association. He was an official examiner for the United States Marine Corps. Fraternally he was a Mason, being connected with Blue Lodge No. 437. In politics he was a Republican. He had served on the council and school board several years, and was a director of the First National bank of this city. During his long practice Dr. Henry was eminently successful and justly regarded as one of the prosperous physicians in the locality.
Dr. Henry’s family consisted of his first wife, Cora Cochran Henry.
He had three sons with her, Arthur, Edwin , and little Harold who tragically died when he was two years old with Cora on the old train bridge. He remarried Margaret Elder and had another son, Leland who became a doctor. His oldest son Arthur served during World War I and has quite a story which follows. Dr. Henry died on May 30, 1945 and is buried in the Riverview Cemetery in Apollo, PA.
Dr. Henry is the author of “The History of Apollo 1816-1916”, a definitive history of Apollo’s first hundred years. You can read the book online.
Arthur Henry’s Story
Arthur Henry was born on April 19, 1886 in Penn Run, Indiana County, the oldest son of Dr. T.J. Henry and his first wife Cora. They moved to Apollo when he was one year old. He graduated from Apollo High School and entered Allegheny College. On account of his health, he couldn’t finish his freshman year there so he entered Elders Ridge Academy to make up for this lost time. Then he went to Ft. Morgan, Colorado and traveled through a number of states. When he returned to Pennsylvania, he became a chemist in the United Engineering & Foundry company at Vandergrift. He wanted to travel so he went to Mexico as a chemist for a refining company. War broke out in Mexico while he was there & he witnessed several serious battles. He was able to write some letters home describing these events.
About this time in 1917 the great European war broke out and he considered joining the Canadian forces. His father convinced him not to do this as the United States might be drawn into the war and if so his services for his own country would be needed. War was declared by the United States and he came up immediately from Mexico and enlisted in the First Arizona Infantry, April 9, 1917. This regiment did duty on the border for over six months. Since he could speak Spanish and German, he was frequently used as an interpreter.
He was sent to France on June 27, 1918 and was in a military specialist company. Rather than stay in the rear with a lieutenant’s commission, he asked to be sent to the front as a private.
He was one of the 32 soldiers who captured 80 Germans in a cut, disarmed them and sent them back under a guard of four. During the night one of his number was killed by a shell and he was gassed. He was taken to a hospital the next day and after remaining for some weeks in various hospitals, was again with his company in the Argonne, November 6. After participating in this drive, he was gassed again and was in several hospitals in France and the United States. He never really did recover from the gassings.
After the war, he started a course in journalism and art in Columbia University in New York. . Had his health permitted, he expected to receive his degree in the summer term. He came home on vacation from New York on June 2, 1922 and was taken down with pneumonia the next day. He died at his father’s home on North Fourth Street on Friday, June 9, 1922, about 3:15 o’clock. He was only 36 years old. Apollo Lodge No. 437 attended the funeral in a body and conducted their impressive service at the grave. A salute of three volleys was fired by the American Legion firing squad after which taps were sounded.