SCIO – The family of Stuart and Jean Henderson gathered at the Conotton Creek Trail last week to donate a bench in the honor of their late father and mother. 

Stuart Henderson, a long-standing pillar of the community, advocated for the county’s purchase of the land to build the trail during his 12-year stint as a county commissioner. He felt the trail was one of the the most valuable fruits of his work so many years ago. The bench sits across the train tracks at the trail’s staging area in Scio near the intersection of Route 646 and East College Street.

“Every time I would cross this road with dad, he would smile. He was so proud of this even so many years later, and it wouldn’t have happened without him,” said Mike Henderson, Stuart Henderson’s son. 

Henderson’s children live in the area and take time to enjoy the trail. Mike helps to maintain the trail by clearing beaver dams and downed trees from the creek and performing other general maintenance. Stuart Henderson’s daughters Peggy Freund and Vickie Chrisman enjoy walking and riding bikes. 

“I bring my grandson down to the trail to ride bikes,” Chrisman said, “and we talk about great grandpa.”

Stuart and Jean lived on a farm in the Tappan/Scio area and served Harrison County in many capacities, including the positions Stuart had as county commissioner and township clerk; he was also involved in the American Legion (Army), the Ruitans, driving bus and supporting 4-H, among many other things. Jean was a homemaker who enjoyed a jewelry business and antiques. 

“It’s a great thing,” said Freund, “to see the bench become a permanent reminder of my mom and dad here on the trail.”