Completed in 1910, the Herndon Home was the residence of Alonzo Herndon and his family. Herndon was the first Black millionaire in Atlanta and one of the first in the United States. He built his wealth by running several successful barbershops in Atlanta and starting the Atlanta Family Life Insurance Company.
Herndon was born into slavery in 1858 in Social Circle, Walton County, Georgia. After Emancipation, he left Social Circle and began work as a farmhand, and learned how to barber in Jonesboro, Georgia.
He eventually moved to Atlanta, where he began his barbershop business. He helped save a mutual aid association, which eventually evolved into the Atlanta Life Insurance Company.
Designed by Adrienne Herndon, a professor at Atlanta University and Alonzo’s first wife, the two-story, 15-room Classical Revival mansion with Beaux-Arts influences was built by local Black craftsmen. It was added on the National Register of Historic Places and designated as a National Historic Landmark in 2000.
Upon his death, Herndon’s son Norris took over Atlanta Life Insurance and built upon his father’s success by turning it into a multi-million-dollar business.
The Herndon family is buried in Southview Cemetery.