The Henning Family
Area Pioneers, Community Leaders, Business & Industry Stalwarts
The Henning family arrived in Calcasieu Parish in approximately 1875 and began to lay the foundation for a remarkable tenure as community, business and industry leaders.
Reverend John Henning and Family, including son John Thomas Henning, arrived in Calcasieu Parish in approximately 1875 after the Civil War from Alabama, taking a circuitous route to British Honduras and East Texas. The end of their journey marked the beginning of a truly historic partnership between the Hennings and Southwest Louisiana.
Reverend John Henning organized a Methodist Society at Rose Bluff, Dutch Cove and Toomey and served as a circuit rider at the Sulphur Mines, Westlake and Sulphur.
John T. Henning homesteaded land along the Calcasieu River and farmed prior to moving to Sulphur in 1885.
John T. owned a Boarding House and Transfer Company that hauled the first sulfur from the Union Sulfur Company to the railroad and was postmaster and ticket agent. He was also instrumental in the construction of three Methodist Churches in Sulphur in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s culminating in the Henning Memorial Methodist Church that exists to this day on Huntington Street in downtown Sulphur.
Mr. Henning also owned the largest mercantile store in Sulphur also along Huntington Street. (Later his son, W.T. Henning owned a general mercantile store along the Huntington Street.) The
Henning store was nestled among other noteworthy early Sulphur community leaders businesses such as J.J. Koonce, George Serice, W.T. Burton, Dr. Richard Vincent and Dr. Samuel Lyons.
In Circa 1911 John T. constructed the Henning House where the family resided until approximately 1923. William T. Henning, son of John T., continued in his father’s footsteps as a prominent business leader. William T. was on the first City Council of Sulphur and was president of the School Board. Mr. Henning created what came to be known as Cameron Telephone Company in 1928. Cameron Telephone forded rivers, marshes and streams to bring the first phone service to Hackberry and Cameron Parish.
William T. Henning’s sons, John T. and William L. Henning, continued and expanded the phone company and all of its offerings to include some first time communication services to the offshore oil & gas industry. Later, the Henning family also introduced cellular wire service to Southwest Louisiana. The Henning family continues to provide community and business leadership to Sulphur and Southwest Louisiana as we begin to approach one & one-half centuries since their arrival.