Alexander D. Henderson (businessman)

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Alexander Dawson Henderson
A. D. Henderson
Alexander D. Henderson ca. 1920
Born (1865-02-28)February 28, 1865
Brooklyn, New York
Died January 5, 1925(1925-01-05) (aged 59)
Suffern, New York
Nationality American
Known for Vice President and Treasurer of the California Perfume Company
Spouse(s) Ella M. Brown (1892–1925)
Children Joseph Dawson Henderson
Alexander D. Henderson Jr.
Girard B. Henderson

Alexander Dawson Henderson (February 28, 1865 – January 5, 1925) was an American business executive and philanthropist. He became vice president and treasurer and founding investor of the California Perfume Company (CPC), which later became Avon Products.[1]

Early life[edit]

Henderson was born February 28, 1865, in Brooklyn, New York. He was the sixth child of Captain Joseph Henderson and Angelina Annetta Weaver. On February 17, 1892, Henderson married Ella Margaret Brown.[2] His wife was listed as a prominent resident in the New York Social Blue Book as Mrs. A.D. Henderson, Nyack Tpke, Suffern, N. Y.[3]

Professional background[edit]

In 1890, Henderson worked for the Union Warehouse Company in New York City, for which he held the position of private secretary to Edward B. Bartlett.[4]

On May 30, 1895, he became the bookkeeper for David H. McConnell of the California Perfume Company. He went on to become Vice-President and Treasurer of CPC. According to The Story of the CPC, "Mr. Alexander D. Henderson, our Vice-President and Treasurer, joined the company and helped to shape its policies and assist in its growth."[5]

As early as 1901, Henderson and McConnell were listed in the Trow Copartnership and Corporation Directory as "The California Perfume Co., (RTN) David H McConnell, Alexander D Henderson, at 126 Chambers Street."[6]

On June 16, 1909, Henderson and David H. McConnell signed an agreement of Corporation for the California Perfume Company in the state of New Jersey.[7]

In January 1912, it was published that Henderson was involved in the incorporation of the Hatfield Auto Truck Company of Elmira, N.Y. with capital of $1,500,000; the incorporators were D. H. McConnell, A. D. Henderson, and Arthur S. Hoyt." [8]

On July 22, 1914, in a letter to William Scheele and the CPC, Henderson described the "process of Perfumery and extracting odors from flowers". In this letter Henderson said, "It is these pomades which we import direct from Grasse for the making of our perfumes, and thus we have the true flower base which makes our floral odors so true to natural flowers and so lasting."[5]

In June 1915, Henderson took the train to San Francisco, California to help set up a booth to advertise the perfume products at the 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition. The perfume won the Gold Medal at the Exposition for the quality of the products and the beauty of the packages.[9]

On January 28, 1916, the California Perfume Company was incorporated in the state of New York. Henderson, McConnell, and Scheele were listed as company officials.[10]

Henderson and McConnell attended the American Perfumer annual meeting from May 9–11, 1916 and were on the Entertainment and Nominations Committees. The review included the Trade Notes: "California Perfume Co of New Jersey has filed a certified copy of its charter to manufacture and deal in perfumery, toilet articles, and flavoring extracts in San Francisco. Capital stock $5,000, 50 shares at $100, each amount subscribed $1,000. Place of business Jersey City, NJ. Subscribers AD Henderson 8 shares, Wm Scheele and Wm H Carey 1 share each."[11]

His son, Alexander D. Henderson Jr., also worked for CPC and became Vice-President in charge of purchases. According to the article, "Introducing You to the CPC", "Mr. Henderson buys the ingredients from which everything in the CPC line is made. As such, he is, of course, a most important factor in the maintaining the high quality and low prices of the products you sell."[12] In 1940, his second son, Girard B. Henderson was elected to serve on the board of directors for Avon Products and served for 35 years.[13]

Suffern New York[edit]

Residence of Mr. A. D. Henderson, Suffern, N.Y.

The Henderson family came to Suffern, New York as summer visitors and were boarders in the Tilton Hotel downtown, which was on the property now owned by the Avon Products Company. In 1906, Henderson built a large Georgian type house on the hill at Campbell Avenue and the Nyack Turnpike (Route 59) in Suffern, New York. A postcard was made of the Henderson Suffern home. The printing at the top of the postcard reads: "Residence of Mr. A. D. Henderson, Suffern, N. Y." [14]


Henderson, according to the Suffern newspaper, was President of the Rockland Country Branch of the State Charities Aid Association and Chairman of the Red Cross drive for funds during World War I in Ramapo Valley, New York. He also actively assisted in the designing and building of the Lafayette Theatre in Suffern, New York.[15] Henderson believed in a good local newspaper and he became treasurer and director of the Ramapo Valley Independent when the old Suffern Independent was sold in 1922.[16]


When Henderson died on January 25, 1925, a resolution adopted by the Board of Directors and the officers of the California Perfume Company, attested to the invaluable work done by Alexander Dawson Henderson.[17] The resolution was signed by D. H. McConnell (President) and Alonzo Williams (Secretary). Henderson was cremated at the New York and New Jersey Cremation Company [18]


  1. ^ "Company Officials". Hagley Museum and Library. 1896. Retrieved 2012-12-19. 
  2. ^ "Henderson-Brown". The Brooklyn Daily Eagle. 1892-02-18. p. 4. Retrieved 2013-01-02. 
  3. ^ "New York Social Blue Book". The Brooklyn Information Page. 1930. Retrieved 2013-01-03. 
  4. ^ "Verdict For $30,300". The Brooklyn Daily Eagle. 1897-12-15. p. 16. Retrieved 2013-01-02. 
  5. ^ a b "The Story of Perfumery and the CPC". Hagley Museum and Library. 1924. Retrieved 2016-02-22. 
  6. ^ The Trow Copartnership and Corporation Directory. Trow Directory, Printing & Bookbinding Company. March 1901. Retrieved May 21, 2014. 
  7. ^ "Agreement of Incorporation for California Perfume Company". Hagley Museum and Library. Retrieved 2012-12-17. 
  8. ^ Operations & Maintenance magazine, Vol. 7. Chilton Class Journal Company, provided Google Books. January 1912. Retrieved 6 Mar 2013. 
  9. ^ "1915 Panama-Pacific Exposition Gold Medal Award". Hagley Museum and Library. July 1915. Retrieved 2013-01-02. 
  10. ^ Weekly Drug markets, New Incorporations, Volume 2, Page 26. University of Michigan. 1915. Retrieved 2012-12-17. 
  11. ^ The American Perfumer and Essential Oil Review. Google. March 1916 – February 1917. Retrieved May 21, 2014. 
  12. ^ "Introducing You To The CPC". California Perfume Company. Retrieved 2012-12-17. 
  13. ^ "Avon Annual Report 1975". Hagley Museum and Library. Retrieved 2012-12-17. 
  14. ^ "Residence of Mr. A. D. Henderson, Suffern, N.Y.". Library Association of Rockland County. 2007-01-31. Retrieved 2013-01-11. 
  15. ^ Suffern Newspaper; Mary’s Family Connections, 1979, Mary Antony Lathrop
  16. ^ "Suffern Independent Sold To Corporation", Nyack Evening Journal, Wednesday, September 6, 1922.
  17. ^ "Alexander D. Henderson". 1925-01-25. Retrieved 2012-12-17. 
  18. ^ Death Certificate #5375, State of New York Dept. of Vital Statistics, Village of Suffern, Town of Ramapo, County of Rockland, 1925-01-06 

External links[edit]