Herndon, Alonzo Franklin
- Alexa Benson Henderson
barber and businessman, was born in Social Circle, Georgia, the son of a white father (name unknown) and a slave mother, Sophenia Herndon. Born on a farm in Walton County, forty miles east of Atlanta, he was a slave for the first seven and a half years of his life and, in his own words, “was very near it for twenty years more.” After emancipation, he worked as a laborer and peddler to help his family eke out a living in the hostile rural environment, where he was able to acquire only a few months of schooling. In 1878, with eleven dollars of savings, Herndon left his birthplace to seek opportunities elsewhere.
Settling in Atlanta in the early 1880s he obtained employment as a journeyman barber and soon purchased his first barbershop He began to build a clientele composed of the city s leading white lawyers judges ...
A version of this article originally appeared in African American National Biography.