From NKAA, Notable Kentucky African Americans Database (main entry)

Penn, Anna Belle Rhodes

(born: 1865  -  died: 1930) 

Anna Belle Rhodes Penn was born in Paris, KY, the only child of William and Sophia Piland Rhodes. [Her birth location is also given as Virginia and Charleston, WV in the U.S. Census and her marriage record.] The family moved to Lynchburg, VA, when Anna was a small child.

Educated by private teachers, Anna graduated from  Shaw University. She was a school teacher, noted essayist, and poet. Her published works include "Grief Unknown," and her handwritten collection includes "Light Out of Darkness."

Anna was the wife of I. Garlan Penn, with whom she had seven children: Anna, Marie, Louise, Elizabeth, Georgia, Irvine, Jr., and Wilhelmina. The family moved to Cincinnati, where Anna was a well-known social worker.

For more see "Anna Belle Rhodes Penn" in Noted Negro Women: their triumphs and activities, by M. A. Majors; and The Life and Times of Irvine Garland Penn, by J. K. Harrison and G. Harrison.

Kentucky County & Region

Read about Bourbon County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Kentucky Place (Town or City)

Read about Paris, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Outside Kentucky Place Name

Item Relations

Cited in this Entry

NKAA Source: Noted Negro women: their triumphs and activities
NKAA Source: The life and times of Irvine Garland Penn

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Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Penn, Anna Belle Rhodes,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed July 25, 2024,

Last modified: 2021-06-02 16:21:13