Henry Augustine Washington, a leading realtor of Memphis, conducting business under the name of the Washington Real Estate Company, was born at Somerville, Fayette county, Tennessee, on the 29th of March, 1870, and is a son of Dr. James S. and Ella V. (Jackson) Washington. Through the paternal line the family is connected with the Washington family of which George Washington was a representative, and through the maternal line is identified with the same family as General Andrew Jackson. Dr. James S. Washington was born in Fayette county, Tennessee, at Newcastle, February 24, 1838, and died on the 29th of June, 1921, in his eighty-fourth year. He was a physician and surgeon, who served throughout the Civil war as an army surgeon in Dobbin’s Brigade. He had been graduated from the Jefferson Medical College of Philadelphia in 1861 and had thus thoroughly qualified for important and onerous professional duties. With his return from the war he entered upon the private practice of medicine and remained strong and vigorous to almost the time of his demise. He left a large estate, which he had accumulated throughout a period of fifty-four years of medical practice. As his financial resources increased he had made investments in land. He had enjoyed a remarkable record as a physician, particularly as an obstetrician, never losing a single case in all of the half century and more of his practice. Prospering as the years passed by, he acquired valuable property holdings and one of the features of his estate was forty-three hundred acres of good farm land in Tennessee and Arkansas, of which twenty-seven hundred acres bordered the White river in Arkansas. When land values were at their height during the World war, he could have sold at two hundred dollars per acre, but he refused to dispose of a single acre, as he owed not a dollar and recognized that after all land is the basis of all values and no matter what happens to the country the man who owns good land is on the safe side. It was his rule from which he never deviated that not a dollar of mortgage should be placed upon any of his property and he advised his sons and daughters, who still own the land, to follow his example in this respect, which they have done. It was on the 24th of December, 1865, that Dr. Washington wedded Miss Ella V. Jackson of Monroe county, Arkansas, who still survives and is in excellent health, at the age of seventy-six years. She yet lives in the old home at Somerville, Tennessee, in which her son, Henry A., was born. Besides him there were four other children in the family: Dr. Clarence J. Washington, who is a dentist practicing in Memphis: Loulah, the wife of R. W. Sessums of Somerville, Tennessee; James G., also living in Somerville; and Emma, who is the wife of W. T. Cartwright of Memphis.
Henry A. Washington was educated in the public schools of Somerville and afterward pursued a commercial course in Eastman’s Business College at Poughkeepsie, New York. During ten years of his early manhood he was employed in the Peoples Savings Bank at Helena, Arkansas, holding various responsible positions and winning promotion from time to time. In 1905 he came to Memphis, where he embarked in the real estate business, which he has since followed uninterruptedly, building up a business of large and gratifying proportions. He now has many clients and has negotiated many important realty transfers. His judgment concerning realty values seems at all times of the soundest and his purchases and sales have been most judiciously made.
On the 5th of June, 1890. Mr. Washington was married to Miss Olive Oates, a native of Helena, Arkansas, and they have five children: Edith, now the wife of E. E. Bailey; Jane; Benjamin; James S.; and Ella V., the youngest, being now twelve years of age. Mr. and Mrs. Washington attend the Episcopal church, in which they hold membership and to the support of which they make generous contribution. Mr. Washington belongs to the Knights of Pythias and to the Woodmen of the World. He is fond of hunting and fishing and on one of his farms, a tract of six hundred acres in Monroe county, there is a fine fishing lake bordering his land and he there derives much pleasure in luring the finny tribe. Hunting is also good in that district and he not infrequently brings as trophies of the chase, deer and wild turkeys. He wisely mixes pleasure with business, maintaining an even balance in their relation and his friends find him a most congenial campanion on trips into the open, while his associates and contemporaries in the business world recognize him as a most alert and energetic man, ready for any emergency and for any opportunity, handling the former wisely and making use of the latter to the extent of substantially enhancing his fortune.
Source: Moore, John T, and Austin P. Foster. Tennessee, the Volunteer State, 1769-1923. Chicago: S.J. Clarke Pub. Co, 1923.