Born in Clackmannanshire, he received a primary education before migrating to Australia in 1885. He was a coal miner in New South Wales and general secretary of the Illawarra Miners" Union. He moved to Western Australia around 1900, becoming a coal miner at Collie and serving on Collie Municipal Council.
In 1903, he was elected to the Australian Senate as a Labor Senator for Western Australia.
He left the Labor Party in the wake of the 1916 split over conscription, joining the new Nationalist Party. He remained a Nationalist Senator until his defeat in 1922.
Henderson died in 1933.