Dr. Morriss Henry
Former State Senator, lawyer, physician and conservationist, Dr. Morriss Murphey Henry moved to Fayetteville in December of 1961. A graduate of Fort Smith High School, he attended Hendrix College before being admitted to the University of Tennessee medical school. Following his internship in Memphis, he began his residency in ophthalmology at Harvard Medical School and the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary. After his medical training concluded, he went into the Air Force where he was commissioned as captain and was chief of the Eye Clinic in Bitburg, Germany. Following his Air Force service, he located in Fayetteville where he began his private practice and began law school part time.
Henry was elected Washington County Coroner in 1964 and to the House of Representatives in 1966 before being elected to the Arkansas State Senate in 1972. During his 18 years in the legislature, he sponsored and passed bills creating Emergency Medical Services, expanding Arkansans Education Television for Northwest Arkansas, acquiring the 12,000 Hobbs Estate, Creating the area health education centers, creating the Arkansas State Medical Examiners Office and expanding Prairie Grove Battlefield Park for historic and environmental preservation. In addition, he supported education reform efforts and strengthened the law school in Fayetteville, Arkansas.
His service includes serving as President of the following: Washington County Medical Society, the Arkansas Medical Society, Jones Eye Institute Board and the UAMS NW Advisory Board. He was a board member of the Arkansas Community Foundation and Arkansas Nature Conservancy, and a 16-year trustee of Hendrix College. Awards include the Eagle Award from Washington Regional Medical Foundation, Asclepion Award for service to the Arkansas medical profession, Hendrix Distinguished Alumnus, Arkansas Wildlife Federation Forest Conservation Award and UAMS Distinguished Service Award.
Ann Rainwater Henry is a 1957 graduate of Springdale High School as well as a graduate from the University of Arkansas with a BA, MA and a juris doctorate. She was a public school teacher before she married Morriss in 1964, and they are the proud parents of three grown children: Dr. Paul Henry, Dr. Katherine Henry Baltz and Mark Henry, all graduates of Fayetteville Public Schools. They have eight grandchildren.
Ann taught business law at the Walton College of Business for 23 years and was assistant and then associate dean of the college before being elected chair of campus faculty. She also served the university by being elected to the Arkansas Alumni Board and was on a multitude of committees. She was appointed to the city board in 1977, and then was reelected and served again in 1990 when the Walton Arts Center was built.
She used her campaign skills for many issues important to Fayetteville - from several school tax issues to the hotel/motel/restaurant tax that jump-started new development downtown. Key issues included improvements to sidewalks, parks space, parking for the Walton Arts Center, sewer and trash disposal. In 2000, following the successful vote to build a new library, she served as chair to raise the rest of the money. She also served on the Chamber of Commerce board for a term.
She joined Central United Methodist Church when she married in 1964 and taught Sunday School, sung in the choir, was lay leader and chair of the administrative board. When her children were younger and interested in Scouts, she became a troop leader for a Girl Scout Troop and a Boy Scout Troop.
She served on many other boards at the local level. On the state level, she served on the Arkansas Commission on the Status of Women, Arkansas Local Services Board, Chair of the Arkansas Teacher Certification Education and Evaluation Committee, Arkansas Department of Pollution Control and Ecology, Arvest Bank Board and Arkansas Nature Conservancy Board, which has added thousands of acreage to Northwest Arkansas in the King River area and Beaver Lake are for the public to enjoy. She is currently involved with the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of Arkansas, her book club and her PEO chapter.