Women's Honor Court

Henderson County and the Ohio Valley Art League joined together to create a park honoring women. The park, located at 16 South Water Street, Henderson, KY, was dedicated as the "Women's Honor Court."

Landscape Designer Bradley Vowels and Architect Tim Skinner worked with the Design Committee on the plans for the landscape and honor pavilion for the park-like setting for the Honor Court.

Anyone who wishes to honor a woman who is significant in his or her life may submit that woman's name, which will be inscribed on a granite wall feature that will include a water feature, for a donation of $1,000 or above.

The WHC Committee is suggesting that family members or friends may go together as a group to recognize and honor any woman -- a mother, grandmother, or teacher -- with her name on the wall for a donation of $1,000 or above. The combined donations for a woman must be sent in with one form along with a total of $1,000 or above listing all persons making the joint contribution.

Those who wish to make contribution may download a form from this website.

The women's park committee has selected four women from Henderson's history for its initial recognition. A light especially designed for honorees will be placed in the courtyard landscape with the honorees' names and pertinent information to recognize their induction into the courtyard. The first four selected are: Lucy Bakewell Audubon (1787-1874)10:41 AM 6/13/2016, Mary Towles Sasseen Wilson (1860-1906), Mary W. Arvin Sissons (1879-1947), and Thelma Banks Johnson (1909-2012). Future recognitions will be determined by a committee formed for this purpose to honor deserving Henderson women who have made contributions to our nation and state as well as to Henderson.

Lucy Audubon, wife of John James Audubon, spent more than nine years in Henderson. She contributed to his success throughout their 43-year marriage by providing the encouragement, inspiration, and financial support he needed to complete the art represented in his book "The Birds of America." She was also a housewife, mother, and school teacher.

Mary Towles Sasseen Wilson, a Hendersonian, is credited with setting aside a special day for recognition of mothers. A school teacher by profession, she traveled extensively to promote this cause, and in 1893 published a pamphlet entitled "Mother's Day Celebration." She was the great, great granddaughter of Samuel Hopkins and Henry Dixon.

Mary W. Arvin Sissons, also a Hendersonian, was also the great, great granddaughter of Samuel Hopkins and Henry Dixon. She was a Red Cross nurse and the first woman in Kentucky to receive the Purple Heart. She also received England's and France's highest awards for bravery for her heroic efforts in World War I.

Thelma Banks Johnson lived in Henderson for 65 years and worked as a home extension agent for 23 years. She was the first African American to be elected to public office in Henderson County. She served on the Henderson County School Board for eight years and chaired the board six of those years. She was named Distinguished Citizen of the Year by the Henderson Chamber of Commerce in 1984.

Women's Honor Court Committee

OVAL Executive Director Jule McClellan
Charlene Beasley ~ Jim Davis ~ Scott Davis ~ Jennifer Keach ~ Marsha Logan
Lou Mahon ~ Bill Markwell ~ Jeremy Myers ~ Glenn Ridley ~ Tim Skinner
Pat Reeser Harvey, Member at Large

For Information Call:
Jule McCellan (270)860-1930
Jennifer Keach, Public Relations (270)860-2860