Woman of the Century/Mary Sears McHenry
McHENRY, Mrs. Mary Sears, president of the National Woman's Relief Corps, born in New Boston, Mass , 30th December, 1834. She is a daughter of David G. Sears and Olive Deming Sears. She is descended from an old English family that can be traced back through a long line of preachers, scholars, patriots and nobles. The Sears family is of Saxon origin, and the family line extends back to Edward III. The American branch comes directly from Richard Sears, who was married to Lady Anne Bonchier Knyvet. Their only son, John Bonchier Sears, was married to Elizabeth, daughter of Sir John Hawkins, the distinguished navigator and admiral. MARY SEARS McHENRY. Their great-grandson. Richard Sears, came to America and was called "the Pilgrim." He married and settled in Plymouth, and his descendants have distinguished themselves as patriots, scholars, statesmen and philanthropists. Some of their descendants were foremost in resenting the unjust Stamp Act. Isaac Sears led the company that marched to the house of the lieutenant-governor to demand the stamps. Such was the energy of Isaac Sears and his influence in the Colonies that he was named "King Sears," and the British offered ^500 for his capture. Two of this remarkable family fitted out at their own expense war vessels, which did great execution in battles on the sea. One of them established the first bank in America. Barnas Sears, D.D., LL.D., an uncle of Mrs. McHenry was a professor in Hamilton College, N. Y., later ptesident of Newton Theological Seminary, then president of Brown University, and afterwards superintendent of the Peabody fund. Her father, who had been in the mercantile business in Hartford, Conn., and New York City, moved to Ogle county. III., bought a section of land and engaged extensively in farming. The daughter, Mary, received a liberal education in the female seminary in Rockford, Ill. She became the wife of William A. McHenry on 28th January, 1864, while he was home on a veteran's furlough, after serving three years in the Union Army. Mr. McHenry returned to Washington and joined his command. Mrs. McHenry accepted the position of deputy treasurer of Crawford county, Iowa, in the office of her husband's brother, who was treasurer of that county. When Mr. McHenry returned from the war, he settled in Denison, Iowa, where he has resided ever since. He is engaged in farming, stock-raising and the banking business. Mrs. McHenry has been the mother of five children, four of whom are living, two sons and two daughters. Although she is a woman who shrinks from public duties and prefers the quiet of home life, her readiness to assist in every benevolent and patriotic movement has drawn her into prominent public positions, and, as she has a considerable fortune in her own right, her charities are numerous. She has been in the work of the Woman's Relief Corps from the first. She was in the Denver convention, where the Woman's Relief Corps was organized, and soon after her return a corps was instituted in Denison. She has served with acceptability as corps, department and national president, and in various other offices. After serving her department as president, she accepted the office of treasurer.