Cozad was born to John and Theresa Cozad in, we now believe, Spence's Station,
which later became Cozaddale, Ohio. John founded the town of Cozaddale in 1871.
Between 1872 and 1873 John founded and settled in Cozad, Nebraska.
In their youth, Henri and his brother John Jr. only lived in Cozad during the
summers and attended the Chickering Classical and Scientific Institute in
lived in Cozad for approximately ten years until an altercation with a local
rancher, resulting in the death of the rancher, necessitating the family to
assume new identities. Mr. Cozad became Richard Henry Lee, Mrs. Cozad became
Tessa Lee, John Anthony Cozad became Frank Southrn (correct spelling) and
Robert became Robert Henri (pronounced Hen-rye).
Fearing for his
life, John J. Cozad left town the night of the shooting in October 1882. John
Jr. was already in Colorado conducting family hay business so Robert and
Theresa remained in Cozad long enough to sell the family home in 1883 to
Mr. & Mrs.
Lee and their sons (who they said were adopted nephews) eventually all reunited
in Atlantic City, NJ where Mr. Lee had purchased property on the Boardwalk. The
oldest son then went to medical school and Robert enrolled at the Pennsylvania
Academy of the Fine Arts.
years Henri studied at several institutions and become a renowned artist, art
teacher and author (The Art Spirit). His influence on art in America greatly
impacted art – he introduced impressionism to America. This museum is dedicated
to preserving the memory of Robert Henri through vast research material, the
museum which was his home for a time and more original sketches housed here
than any other place in the United States.