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Current Issue Patch. Embroidered on a forest green twill, full size colored patch. After marrying in 1852, Francis Asbury Hendry and his wife Ardeline Ross Lanier were one of the first settlers in the area moving to Fort Meade, Florida. Hendry was a Florida cattle rancher, politician, and officer in the Confederate States Army during the American Civil War. By 1888, Hendry had moved his ranching headquarters to the vicinity of Fort Thompson. He also began to dispose of much of his range cattle in favor of Jersey and other breeds in an effort to improve the quality of his stock. He also acquired large tracts of marshland along the Caloosahatchee River for grazing. In 1893, Major Hendry was elected to represent Lee County in the state legislature, and served for more than a decade. In 1895, he platted the town of LaBelle, Florida, which he named for his daughters Laura and Belle Hendry. During his last years, Major Hendry retired to Fort Myers for better access to medical care. He suffered from chronic nephritis, a kidney disease. And, the state awarded him a monthly pension of twenty dollars. Hendry died at Fort Myers. On May 11, 1923, the state legislature honored him with the creation of Hendry County, Florida, designating LaBelle as its seat of government.

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