Mose Henderson

April 24, 1915 - February 3, 1994
Role: Camp Cook
Nicknames: Rat

Mose was born in Goliad County but has no recollection as to whether it was on a ranch. His maternal grandfather, Green Brown, was three- quarters Indian and would go on the cattle drives, but Mose was too small to remember much. Mose’s family worked around on the McGills, Lamberts, and Foxes doing everything on the ranch--some cow work, building fences, and tenant farming. Mose loved to be on the ranch. He married into one of the famous cowhand families when he asked Emmaline Youngblood Henderson to be his wife. He was primarily a camp cook and took special pride in his camp bread. Mose’s compadres gave him his nickname, “Rat”, because he always seemed to be able to get whatever he wanted. Mose has fond memories of Lewis' Bend, the freedman community on the banks of the San‘tone River. Mose was a mysterious man not given to talking much. He was purported to have supernatural powers and his aura of mystery was noticeable. He mainly kept to himself in his community.

Introduction to Mose Henderson

Louise S. O'Connor
Voice of Mose Henderson
Mose Henderson – Them boys, after they set it up, you know, shooting dice and all this stuff. Quite naturally I was going to look. And I put on a pot of beans, they were cooking good; they cooked down good. Say, "Ohhh! Looky here! Ain't they cooked good?" I was going to rake some of the fire, throw that fire poker away and got to shovelin' and put more fire up in there. I went and laid back down and went to sleep again, and there wasn't but a little cup-full of beans left, all of them had done burnt plum up! All of them come in, "Where them beans?" "We didn't have none today!" We had corn. I had to go out there and rake them out. Yes ma'am, I done it myself. Tell you just like it was.


“I was no account on horseback and I didn’t know one end of a cow from another — but I looked at the rest of them cowboys. They was havin’ plenty of fun while I was helpin’ Nat [Nixon] do the cookin’. ”

Cryin' For Daylight: Ranching Culture in the Texas Coastal Bend