Gender: Female - Starting with H

Hall-Trujillo, Kathryn

Kathryn Hall-Trujillo is a public health expert and advocate who focuses on healthcare for African-American women. Best known for founding Birthing Project USA, “Mama Katt,” as she has been affectionately called, was named a 2010 hero by the CNN television network for her work with at-risk mothers and babies. She is a member of the Arkansas Black Hall of Fame. Kathryn Hall-Trujillo was born on July 19, 1948, in Moscow (Jefferson County), a small town near Pine Bluff (Jefferson County). Her mother’s name was Corrine. She has said that her grandmother was her mentor. She said of her childhood, “Even though I came from a family that was poor, I came from a very good family; we loved one another …

Hall, Nancy Johnson

Nancy Pearl Johnson Hall was the first woman to be elected to a constitutional office in Arkansas. A staff member to several agencies and constitutional officers of state government, she was appointed to succeed her husband as secretary of state upon his death and went on to be elected state treasurer by the voters. Nancy Pearl Johnson was born in Prescott (Nevada County) on October 5, 1904, to George Sim Johnson and Minnie Bryan Johnson. When she was six years of age, her family moved to Little Rock (Pulaski County), where she attended Little Rock’s public schools. Her career in state government began in 1925 with work for the Legislative Council. She later served as a member of the staff …

Hamilton, Laurell K.

A pioneer for strong female protagonists crossing multiple genres, New York Times bestselling author Laurell K. Hamilton has written more than thirty novels, including over twenty in her “Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter” series and nine in her “Merry Gentry” series. Hamilton’s “Anita Blake” series has had more than six million copies printed in sixteen languages and has also been converted into a Marvel graphic novel series. Hamilton has also written numerous short stories, a Star Trek novel titled Nightshade, and a tie-in novel for the Ravenloft setting of the Dungeons and Dragons role-playing series. Hamilton’s work contains elements of gothic horror, detective fiction, and erotica. Laurell K. Hamilton was born Laurell Kaye Klein on February 19, 1963, in Heber Springs …

Hampton, Sybil Jordan

Sybil Jordan Hampton has served as a higher education administrator, leader in philanthropy, and political advisor during her career. She was inducted into the Arkansas Black Hall of Fame in 2005. Sybil Jordan was born on September 1, 1944, in Springfield, Missouri, to Leslie W. Jordan and Lorraine H. Jordan. Her mother was a longtime educator, and her father was a World War II veteran who worked for the U.S. Postal Service. Jordan grew up in Little Rock (Pulaski County) under the Jim Crow system of racial segregation, drinking from “colored” water fountains and attending segregated schools. After the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas decision ruling that racial segregation in public education was unconstitutional, Little Rock …

Handy, Delores

Delores Handy became an award-winning African-American journalist, reporter, and news anchor. In a career spanning over four decades, Handy won four Emmy awards for her television work in Washington DC and Boston, Massachusetts. She was inducted into the Arkansas Black Hall of Fame in 2009. Delores Handy was born in Little Rock (Pulaski County) on April 7, 1947, to the Reverend George G. Handy Sr. and his first wife. She is the oldest of fourteen children—nine girls and five boys. George Handy Sr. pastored a Baptist church in North Little Rock (Pulaski County). Handy attended Horace Mann High School, with her interests including flag football and track and field. She graduated in 1965 and began college in the fall at …

Harper, Tess

aka: Tessie Jean Washam
A Golden Globe and Academy Award nominee, Tess Harper has become a consummate actress known for portraying Southern women of grace and dignity. She is best known for roles in Tender Mercies and Silkwood. Tess Harper was born Tessie Jean Washam on August 15, 1950, in Mammoth Spring (Fulton County). She attended Arkansas State University–Beebe (ASU–Beebe), where she performed in several plays, as well as Southwest Missouri State University (now Missouri State University) in Springfield, where she graduated with a degree in education. She married Ken Harper in 1971; the couple divorced in 1976. In the late 1960s, Harper began acting in theater productions and made appearances in theme parks, dinner theater, children’s theater, and commercials. Her first feature film …

Harris, Charlaine

aka: Jean Charlaine Harris Schultz
Jean Charlaine Harris Schulz is a horror and mystery writer whose novels have a distinctive Southern setting and are often full of dark humor. Several of her “Southern Vampire” books have served as the basis for the HBO television series True Blood, which debuted in 2008. Charlaine Harris was born on November 25, 1951, in Tunica, Mississippi, to Robert Ashley, a school principal, and Jean Harris, a librarian. Harris received a BA in English from Southwestern in Memphis (now Rhodes College) in 1973. She married her first husband, an army veteran, immediately after college. The couple later divorced, and Harris married Hal Schulz, a chemical engineer, on August 5, 1978; they have three children. Harris worked many jobs before becoming …

Hartman, Ena

Ena Hartman is an unsung trailblazer of Hollywood whose smaller roles in 1960s media productions helped create a path for African Americans in film and television. African-American actresses working in the 1970s benefited from the trail Hartman helped blaze. Ena Hartman was born on April 1, 1935, in Moscow (Jefferson County). The daughter of sharecroppers, she was raised by her grandparents. At age thirteen, she moved to Buffalo, New York, to live with her mother. She dropped out of high school to open a restaurant, handling the duties of cook and waitress as she tried to earn money to go to New York City to become a model. She was discovered by a photographer in the lobby of a modeling …

Helen Dunlap School for Mountain Girls

aka: Helen Dunlap Memorial School for Mountain Girls
The Helen Dunlap School for Mountain Girls, later known as the Helen Dunlap Memorial School for Mountain Girls, is considered one of the best early examples of a Mountain Mission School in Arkansas, according to historian Brooks Blevins. These schools were supported by churches of various denominations in northern states, and their purpose was to provide secondary academic and vocational education to children living in isolated mountain communities. The Helen Dunlap School for Mountain Girls was established around 1905 in Winslow (Washington County), a small mountain town on the St. Louis–San Francisco Railway. The building, known as “Boston Heights” and built by the original owners as a family residence, was donated to St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in Winslow by Dr. Albert Dunlap, …

Hendricks, Barbara Ann

Barbara Hendricks is an internationally recognized leading lyric soprano. Whether performing light soprano roles in traditional operatic repertory, demanding premieres of twentieth-century vocal music, song recitals, or jazz, Hendricks has been recognized as a leading artist since the mid-1970s. In addition, she is recognized internationally for her work for human rights and world peace. Barbara Hendricks was born on November 20, 1948, in Stephens (Ouachita County), the daughter of Malvin Hendricks, a minister in the Colored Methodist Episcopal Church, and Della Mae Hendricks, a teacher. She has three siblings. The family was living in Pine Bluff (Jefferson County), where her mother was teaching, in 1957, and relocated to North Little Rock (Pulaski County) that summer, as her father was preaching …

Henry, Natalie Smith

An artist of national significance, Natalie Smith Henry made her reputation as an easel painter and muralist during the Depression era. At the height of her career in 1939, the U.S. Treasury Department commissioned her to paint a mural for the Springdale (Washington and Benton counties) post office. In later years, Henry combined her interest in art with her business acumen, managing the Art Institute of Chicago School Store for twenty-three years. Natalie Henry was born on January 4, 1907, in Malvern (Hot Spring County). She was the eldest of five children born to Samuel Ewell Henry, circuit clerk and Hot Spring County judge, and homemaker Natalie Smith. After his wife died, Samuel Henry married Minerva Ann Harrison. They had …

Hensley, Violet Brumley

Known as the “Whittling Fiddler,” the “Stradivarius of the Ozarks,” or more simply, the “Fiddle Maker,” Violet Brumley Hensley, a fiddle maker and musician most of her life, was designated as the 2004 Arkansas Living Treasure by the Arkansas Arts Council. According to the Arts Council, this designation recognizes Hensley as an outstanding Arkansan who has elevated her work as a fiddle maker to the status of art and who actively preserves and advances the art form. Violet Brumley was born near Mount Ida (Montgomery County) on October 21, 1916, to George Washington Brumley and Nora Springer Brumley. The Brumleys had two other daughters. She followed in her father’s footsteps as a musician, and at the age of fifteen, Brumley …

Herndon, Elisabeth Chapline

Sarah Elisabeth Chapline Herndon was the only volunteer Red Cross nurse from Arkansas to serve in the Spanish-American War. Elisabeth Chapline was born on April 4, 1871, near Sweet Home (Pulaski County) to William Heros Chapline and Mary Murray Chapline. Her father was a landowner and planter. She had one brother and two sisters. Chapline attended the Arkansas Female College in Little Rock (Pulaski County) and nursing school at Chicago Baptist Hospital in Illinois. When war broke out in 1898, Chapline was too young for enlistment but was admitted as a contract nurse. She served in Fernandina, Florida, and at Camp Cuba Libre in Panama City, Florida. She was one of 1,700 volunteer nurses to serve in the war. Chapline …

Hess, Joan Edmiston

aka: Joan Hadley
A prolific writer from northwestern Arkansas, Joan Edmiston Hess was the author of dozens of mystery novels for adults and young adults. Known for her humor and use of regional flair, she wrote novels that feature a recognizable southern landscape of characters. The books are often narrated by wry, no-nonsense characters who are worldly in their knowledge and experience but also down to earth. Joan Edmiston was born on January 6, 1949, in Fayetteville (Washington County) to Jack D. Edmiston, a wholesale grocer, and Helen Edmiston, a building contractor. She attended high school in Fayetteville. She received a BA in art from the University of Arkansas (UA) in Fayetteville in 1971 and an MA in education from Long Island University …

Hill, Julia Lorraine “Butterfly”

Julia Lorraine “Butterfly” Hill is an environmentalist, poet, writer, educator, speaker, and founder of the organization Circle of Life. She earned international fame as an environmental activist by protecting an old-growth forest in northern California from clear-cutting by a logging company. To prevent the logging, she lived in one of the trees—a 1,000-year-old redwood known as “Luna”—for 738 days until an agreement was reached with the Pacific Lumber Company. Julia Butterfly Hill was born on February 18, 1974, in Mount Vernon, Missouri, to Dale Edward Hill, a traveling minister, and Kathleen Anne DelGallo; she has two brothers. Her parents later divorced. Until she was ten, Hill lived in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, where her parents had started a church called Freedom Chapel. …

Hinegardner, Verna Lee Linxwiler

Verna Lee Linxwiler Hinegardner was appointed the poet laureate of Arkansas in 1991 by Governor Bill Clinton and held the post until 2003. In addition to writing and publishing her own poetry, she was active in many literary societies and activities that promote a greater appreciation of poetry. Verna Lee Linxwiler was born on January 2, 1919, in Morrisonville, Illinois, to Fred and Retta (Hendricks) Linxwiler. Her father was a farmer. She graduated from Lichfield Community High School in 1936 and attended Lincoln Junior College in Lincoln, Illinois. She married Marshall Andrew Hinegardner on December 12, 1937. The couple had three daughters. After World War II, the Hinegardners lived in Meridian and Vicksburg, Mississippi, before moving to Hot Springs (Garland County) …

Hocker, Willie Kavanaugh

Willie Kavanaugh Hocker of Wabbaseka and Pine Bluff, both in Jefferson County, was a schoolteacher, poet, and active member of civic groups such as the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR), the United Daughters of the Confederacy, and the Colonial Dames Society. She was also the designer of the Arkansas state flag, one of only two women in the United States who have had state flag designs adopted. Willie Hocker was born on July 21, 1862, in Madison County, Kentucky. She was the youngest child of William K. and Virginia Brown Hocker, who moved their family to Arkansas in 1870, settling in Dudley Lake Township near Wabbaseka. Her father was a farmer/planter who, according to the Goodspeed history, had served with …

Hollander, Andrea

aka: Andrea Hollander Budy
Poet and teacher Andrea Hollander served as the writer-in-residence at Lyon College in Batesville (Independence County) from 1991 to 2013. The author of four full-length poetry collections and three chapbooks, Hollander has published more than 250 poems and essays in numerous literary journals, including Poetry, Georgia Review, Kenyon Review, Hudson Review, Doubletake, Shenandoah, FIELD, Nimrod, and Arts & Letters. In addition, she has written book reviews for Kirkus Reviews, Georgia Review, Harvard Review, and the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. Andrea Hollander was born in Berlin, Germany, on April 28, 1947, to Milton Henry, a physician stationed in France and Germany during World War II, and Blanche Rosalind Simon Hollander. She was raised in Colorado, Texas, New York, and New Jersey. Hollander received her BS from …

Hollis, Mary Cal

Mary Cal Hollis is a liberal political activist. A native of Arkansas who now lives in Colorado, she has run for national office on both the Socialist and Green Party tickets. Mary Cal Hollis was born on January 13, 1952, in Pine Bluff (Jefferson County), one of four children of Cal Hollis and Ruth Bylander Hollis. She graduated in 1970 from Pine Bluff High School. After graduation, she went on to the University of Arkansas (UA) in Fayetteville (Washington County), where in 1974 she earned a BA in special education, followed in 1978 by a master’s degree in specific learning disabilities. In addition, she has studied multicultural special education at the University of Colorado at Boulder. A self-described “bleeding-heart liberal,” …

Holt, Georgia

aka: Jackie Jean Crouch
Actress and singer Georgia Holt had small parts in the movies and on television, but she is best known as the mother of pop superstar Cher and actress Georganne LaPiere, as well as being the grandmother of musician Elijah Blue Allman and LGBT rights advocate Chaz Bono. Georgia Holt was born Jackie Jean Crouch on June 9, 1926, in Kensett (White County). She was born in poverty; her father, the teenage Roy Malloy Crouch, was a baker, and her mother, Lynda Inez Gulley, was reportedly thirteen years old at the time she gave birth. Crouch would later have a younger brother, Mickey. Her father taught her how to sing and play guitar during her early childhood. After her parents separated, …