Micajah C. Henley

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Micajah C. Henley (1856–1927) was a Richmond, Indiana industrialist and inventor. He was a well known manufacturer of roller skates and bicycles[1] sometimes known as "The Roller Skate King."

The Henley Roller Skate Works could turn out 2,000 pairs of roller skates in one day. He was granted at least two (2 of several held by Henley & Company) U.S. Patents for improvements to the Roller Skate in 1880 and 1881. Henley's Roller Skates were perhaps the best selling Roller Skates of the late 1890s.

Under the leadership of Henley, the workers at Henley Bicycle Works manufactured bicycles; roller skates; scooters; lawn furniture and lawn swings; iron working machinery; tools; boring, milling and screw driving machines used in wood manufacturing; gas meters; fence machines and lawn mowers. The company also provided nickel plating services.

Henley lived at 201 N. 14th Street in Richmond. The Wright Brothers lived at 211 N. 14th Street for a time. Henley sold Wilbur his first bicycle for $10, which Wilbur borrowed from his brother Orville. Thus the Wright brothers migrated from an interest in kites (which they were manufacturing in their father's carriage house) to bicycles.

In 1904, Henley expanded his business to include the automotive industry. He built an auto agency and service garage on Main Street where he commenced selling and servicing vehicles. In 1906, he sold the business (the Auto Inn) and leased the real estate to a firm named of Draper & Whitsell.

M.C. Henley grew his business operation from a small outbuilding at the rear of his home, to a large modern factory which he built on North 16th Street in 1884. The buildings are still standing in 2009.

Micajah C. Henley and his wife, Addie W. (1856-1943) are buried at Earlham Cemetery in Richmond, Indiana.


M.C. Henley held several U.S. Patents, a partial list is included below, along with reference numbers.

  • 234,404 - 11-16-1880
  • 245,950 - 8-23-1881
  • 285,484 - 9-25-1883
  • 320,392 - 6-16-1885
  • 446,448 - 2-17-1891
  • 518,995 - 5-1-1894
  • 755,133 - 3-22-1904


  1. ^ Norma Carnes Schroeder. "Micajah C. Henley". WayNet. Retrieved 2011-06-05. Ready for Parade at the Henley Bicycle Works 
  • U.S. Patent Office Archives
  • Brief Sketch of Micajah C. Henley by Dan Tate; October 15, 2009

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