Mrs. Hannah Randall Henry was born April 8, 1913 in Odessa, Delaware to the late Thomas and Hannah Whittington Randall. Her father was a Methodist Minister, her mother a housewife. She was the fifth child of five girls and four boys. Hannah was married to the late Mr. Colbert Henry. They helped raise two nieces, Mrs. Constance Wilkerson of Goldsboro, MD and Mrs. Betty Coles of Ridgely, Md. They also raised two nephews, Mr. George Randall of Baltimore, MD and Mr. Marvin Henry of Philadelphia, Pa.
Hannah’s elementary schooling took place in Olivet Hill, Galena, and Kent County, Md. She graduated from the Garnet High School in Chestertown, Maryland. In 1930, she attended Bowie Normal School graduating in 1932 with a teaching certificate. After attending Summer School and taking management extension courses, she received her Bachelor of Science Degree in Elementary Education from Morgan State College in 1952. Most of Hannah’s teaching was done in Caroline County beginning in 1934 in a one-room school in Ninetown, Maryland. The following year she was transferred to Federalsburg, MD, where she taught in the Primary grades for four years. She was then transferred to Ridgely Elementary School in the Trinity subdivision of Ridgely. When the schools were integrated she was the first black teacher assigned to the previously all-white Ridgely Elementary School where she taught until she retired in 1975. She had given a total of 41 years of dedicated service to the Caroline County School System.
While Hannah was committed to her career she never lost sight of Christian training. She has been an ardent worker at Trinity African Methodist Episcopal Church in Ridgely, Maryland. She served as a Steward, Choir member, Sunday School teacher, Lay member, Missionary Society Member that bears her name, and as the Church Secretary for over 36 years. She was the First Vice President of the Cooper, Sampson, Wayman, Greene Area of the Women’s Missionary Society, Board member of the Conference Branch Women’s Missionary Society, and Chairman of the Turner-Tanner Memorial Committee of the Baltimore Conference Branch Women’s Missionary Society. Hannah Randall Henry now holds the Emeritus status of the Steward Board because of her long-time and dedicated service for the spiritual uplifting of the pastor, church, officers, and members.
Her community involvements included member of Board of Directors of Mental Health, American Cancer Society, and Caroline County Library. She has been or continues to be a part of membership in the Negro Business and Professional Women’s Club, NAACP, Caroline County Retired Teachers Association, and the Maryland Retired Teachers’ Association. Hannah received the Outstanding Elementary Teacher Award in 1974. She is listed in the 1974 Edition of Outstanding Teachers of America Annual. In 1978, she was given the Ridgely Little League Award for Contributions to Youth of Ridgely, Honor Day. She received the Sojourner Truth Award from the Car-Ken-Tal-Que-Dor Negro Business and Professional Women’s Club in 1986. In 1989, she received the Charity Outreach Club Award in appreciation for social concern. The first Minority Scholarship Fund for Caroline County was named in her honor by the Chesapeake College Minority Task Force Committee.
The Trinity African Methodist Episcopal Church Family in Ridgely, Maryland hosted her 100th Birthday Celebration on April 6, 2013. Mrs. Hannah Randall Henry is the mother of the church and continually supports her church with wisdom, stewardship, and prayers. She is now 104 years young and is a blessing to all. She continues to write her legacy by her witness and for the lives she has touched in her service to education, community, church, friends, and family.
Lastly, she is a lifetime citizen of the Town of Ridgely, Maryland. There is a sign from the Town of Ridgely on the corner of the church property bestowing this honor.