Entries - 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 child of a Methodist minister, she lived in various small towns in Arkansas and Tennessee. She graduated from Horace Mann High School in Little Rock (Pulaski County). She enrolled at Lane College in Jackson, Tennessee, and transferred to the University of Nebraska as a chemistry major. She graduated in 1969 with a BS …

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 County) 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 two children. …

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, …

Holt, Maud Spiller

Maud Spiller Holt was an avid traveler and painter who painted in every American state and throughout much of Europe. The Works Progress Administration (WPA) guide to 1930s Arkansas cited Holt as one of the state’s most accomplished women artists. Today, her paintings are on display at the Arkansas State Capitol, Historic Arkansas Museum, and in various other public and private collections. Maud Spiller was born in Carbondale, Illinois, on November 1, 1866, the daughter of James W. Spiller and Sarah Patrick Spiller. On December 22, 1886, Spiller married Winfield Scott Holt at Albion, Illinois, and moved to Little Rock (Pulaski County). Winfield Holt became one of the most progressive businessmen of Little Rock and served many years as postmaster under …

Holy Angels Convent

The Holy Angels Convent located near Jonesboro (Craighead County) is home to the Community of Olivetan Benedictine Sisters in Arkansas. These sisters have provided education and health care to northeast Arkansas for over a century. The Community of Olivetan Benedictine Sisters at Holy Angels had it origins in Convent Maria Rickenbach high in the Swiss Alps near Engelberg in Canton Unterwalden. In response to requests from early missionaries for sisters to teach in the mission fields of America, five sisters were sent to establish a base in Conception, Missouri, in 1874. Additional sisters followed in succeeding years. Because many German-speaking immigrants were coming to northeast Arkansas, Father E. J. Weibel, an early missionary in northeast Arkansas, requested sisters from Missouri …

Home Demonstration Clubs

Home demonstration clubs were an integral part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture Cooperative Extension Service, which was established during the early twentieth century as an experiment in adult education, providing agricultural demonstration work for men and home demonstration work for women. The home demonstration work taught farm women improved methods for accomplishing their household responsibilities and encouraged them to better their families’ living conditions through home improvements and labor-saving devices. Beyond just the realm of the individual family, the clubs also became sources of education and charity in communities. On January 1, 1912, Emma Archer organized the first canning club work for girls in Mabelvale (Pulaski County). In 1916, Archer became Arkansas’s first state home demonstration agent. As such, she …

Honorable, Colette Dodson

Colette Dodson Honorable is an Arkansas lawyer and public official. A longtime member—and ultimately, chair—of the Arkansas Public Service Commission (APSC), she was appointed to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) in 2014 by President Barack Obama, beginning her service on January 5, 2015; her term ended on June 30, 2017. She was inducted into the Arkansas Black Hall of Fame in 2014. Colette Dodson was born in 1970 in St. Louis, Missouri, to Joyce and Harold Dodson. She and her twin sister, Coleen, have three older brothers and a half-sister. The family moved from St. Louis to California when the twins were young. After her parents divorced, Dodson moved to Little Rock (Pulaski County), where she attended Forest Heights …

Hoover, Dorothy McFadden

Dorothy M. Hoover was a pioneer in the field of aeronautical mathematics and research. The granddaughter of slaves, she overcame the significant obstacles facing African-American women in the early part of the twentieth century to earn advanced degrees in physics and mathematics. One of her greatest achievements in aeronautical research was her contribution to the development of the “thin swept-back tapered wing,” which revolutionized flight. Her life story was essentially unknown until she was briefly mentioned in the highly acclaimed book Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race (2016), by Margot Lee Shetterly. Hidden Figures, which was made into a major motion picture in 2016, told the …

Hoover, Theressa

Theressa Hoover worked for human rights and unity through the United Methodist Church for nearly fifty years. Born in Arkansas, she represented those who, in the words of her 1974 monograph, were in “triple jeopardy”: female, African American, and Christian. Hoover worked for justice and empowerment for women and children around the globe. Her influence has been far-reaching, as she provided inspiration for others through her words and actions. Theressa Hoover was born in Fayetteville (Washington County) on September 7, 1925. She was one of five children of James C. Hoover and Rissie Vaughn. Her mother died when Hoover was a small child, and she was reared by her father, who worked for many years at City Hospital in Fayetteville. …

Horn, Robyn Hutcheson

Robyn Hutcheson Horn is a full-time, self-employed sculptor and native-born Arkansan whose work has drawn regional and national recognition and is shown in galleries throughout the United States. Her art is regularly illustrated in craft and woodworking magazines. Horn is the founder and first president of the Collectors of Wood Art, an organization set up in 1997 for the purpose of fostering interest in wood art. She has befriended and supported many craft artists whose work she has acquired while also amassing an impressive collection of wood art, furniture, metal, glass, and ceramics. Robyn Hutcheson was born in Fort Smith (Sebastian County) in 1951 to Bill and Dede Hutcheson; she has a brother, Richard, and a sister, Karen. Her early …

Horton, Zilphia Mae Johnson

Zilphia Mae Johnson Horton was an influential educator, folklorist, musician, and social justice activist who collected, adapted, performed, and promoted the use of folksongs and hymns in the labor and civil rights movements, notably “We Shall Not Be Moved” and “We Shall Overcome.” These two, respectively, became labor and civil rights movement anthems. She served as the first cultural director of the Highlander Folk School in Tennessee—the precursor of today’s Highlander Research and Education Center, founded by her husband Myles Horton—until her untimely death in 1956. Zilphia Johnson was born in Paris (Logan County) on April 14, 1910, the second child of Robert Guy Johnson, a coal mine superintendent, and Ora Ermon Howard Johnson, a schoolteacher. She was the eldest of …

Huckabee, Janet McCain

Janet McCain Huckabee is the wife of Mike Huckabee (the forty-fourth governor of Arkansas) and was the state’s thirty-ninth first lady. Outside of politics, she became best known for her work with Habitat for Humanity and the American Red Cross. Janet McCain was born in Lake Charles, Louisiana, on July 16, 1955, to Angus Bouie McCain, who was an oilfield worker, and Pat Potter McCain, who was a homemaker, a businesswoman, and later a politician. She moved to Hope (Hempstead County) as an infant, where her mother raised her and her siblings after her parents’ divorce. Her mother later married Johnny House. She had two brothers, Tal McCain and Mike McCain; two sisters, Susan McCain Hinger and Kathy McCain; and …

Huckaby, Elizabeth Paisley

Elizabeth Paisley Huckaby, who served as an instructor of English for thirty-nine years, was vice principal for girls at Central High School in Little Rock (Pulaski County) during the desegregation of Central High School. The author of Crisis at Central High: Little Rock 1957–58, Huckaby documented events within the school as the first black students, the Little Rock Nine, were admitted. Charged with protecting the six female members of the Little Rock Nine, she earned hostility and anger from segregationists within the school and in the community. She wrote her brother in October of that first year, “Things go on peacefully at school, if enforced peace is meant. The force isn’t needed for most of the children… but for the …

Hudgins, Mary Dengler

Mary Dengler Hudgins was a prolific writer of regional history in Arkansas. Her research and writing led her to amass an exceptional collection of publications and historical materials that document the history of Garland County, its county seat of Hot Springs, and the state of Arkansas. Mary Hudgins was born in Hot Springs on November 24, 1901. She was the only child of Jackson Wharton and Ida Dengler Hudgins. Her father worked in the real estate business, and her mother was a teacher. She attended public schools in Hot Springs and then attended the University of Arkansas (UA) in Fayetteville (Washington Couny), where she majored in English and served as a reporter for the Arkansas Traveler, UA’s student newspaper. After graduating with …

Huie, Janice Riggle

Janice Riggle Huie was the first woman to serve as United Methodist bishop in Arkansas and the second female bishop in the eight-state South Central Jurisdiction, which includes Arkansas. Janice Kay Riggle was born on December 15, 1946, in Beeville, Texas, to Frankie Rosalie Luthringer Riggle and James Riggle. She is the eldest of three sisters, all of whom were raised on the family’s farm and ranch. Huie attended First United Methodist Church in Beeville with her family. After graduating cum laude from the University of Texas at Austin with a degree in English in 1969, Huie enrolled in the Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, despite having never encountered a female clergy member. She …

Hutchinson, Susan Burrell

Susan Burrell Hutchinson is the wife of Asa Hutchinson, the forty-sixth governor of Arkansas, and the state’s forty-first first lady. Outside of politics, she has been best known for her efforts in children’s advocacy and Alzheimer’s awareness. Susan Harriett Burrell was born on April 11, 1950, in Atlanta, Georgia, the second of seven children of a tire dealer and a homemaker. She was the product of an urban working-class household. Although she was her high school valedictorian at Fulton High School in Atlanta in 1968, she found college scholarships hard to come by. She enrolled at Georgia State University but was unhappy there, later saying, “People just weren’t serious about their studies, and the professors; one in particular, tried to …

Hynson, Hazel Shanks

Hazel Shanks Hynson was a classically trained pianist who served as the choir director at Arkansas Baptist College in Little Rock (Pulaski County) and taught many musicians in her studio who went on to be well known. Hazel Shanks was born on August 8, 1903, in Atlanta, Georgia, to Christopher Columbus Shanks, who worked as an insurance auditor, and Luna Craig Shanks; she had one younger brother. She attended private schools, studying music, and she received her bachelor’s degree in music, with a major in piano, from Atlanta University. She later traveled to England to pursue further musical studies at Oberlin College in Ohio and at the University of London. She also studied at the renowned Juilliard School in New …