My Contribution: As a college professor and teacher, I aided the community’s commitment to education and self-reliance. Locally, my work in Steelton and Philadelphia specifically sought life improvements for African Americans through education. My life was dedicated to learning and sharing knowledge. I spent most of my career teaching at Wilberforce University, a historically Black A.M.E. institution in Ohio, but was rooted in Harrisburg, returning frequently to lecture and engage in local institutions and the A.M.E. church.
My Legacy: Through extensive education experiences, I devoted my life to the ministry and education of African Americans. I used my own time and energy to ensure that others received quality educational experiences equal to peers. This is still an issue that society continues to wrestle with.
About Me: “Professor Summers… was at the time of his death, professor of Greek and Christian Theology at Wilberforce University, Wilberforce, Ohio. He moved to Harrisburg at the age of 6 and was graduated from the public school here in 1885… He was a member of the American Academy of Political and Social Science; the American Historical Society and the Foreign Policy Association of the Domini- can and Haitian Republics.” — Harrisburg Telegraph, March 8, 1943.
Full Name: Henry Howard Summers
Birth Date: October 12, 1864
Death Date: March 5, 1943
Place of Birth: Hagerstown, Maryland
Race: Black (1880-1920 Federal Censuses), “Negro” (1930 Federal Census), and “Colored” (Certificate of Death)
Places of Residence: Harrisburg, Pennsylvania: 514 Strawberry Avenue (1880) and 1604 Elm Street (1900), 139 Linden Street (1943, home of sister-in-law); 1036 Elm Street, Franklin, Pennsylvania (1920); Clifton Pike, Wilber- force, Ohio (1930).
Connection to the Old Eighth Ward: A.M.E. Church
Family Members: Father: Richard Summers. Mother: Annie (Coney) Summers. Siblings: Clayton Summers, Clara E. (Cambel) Summers, Sarah “Sadie” Summers, Thomas Summers, Claigett Summers, and Annie Summers. Sister-in-Law: Sina Summers. Nieces: Gladys Summers, Sarah Summers Waters, Edith Summers. Nephews: A.C. Summers, Jr., Henry Howard Summers, Daniel Summers.
Education: Harrisburg High School, 1885. Professional certificate of teaching, 1892. Howard University, 1910. Oberlin College, 1913. Wilberforce University, Doctor of Divinity, 1924. Ohio State University, 1927.
Occupations: College professor of Greek and Religion at Wilberforce University, Ohio. Coachman (1880). Assistant to Dr. Matthew Anderson, Berean Manual Training and Industrial School, Philadelphia (1913). Pastor, Bethel AME church, Franklin, Pennsylvania (1920). A.M.E. Sunday School superintendent (Lancaster district). Principal of grammar school in Fort Deposit, Maryland. Pastor of college chapel, Wilberforce University (1936). Principal of Hygienic Grammar School, Steelton (1943).
Church Membership: Bethel A.M.E. Church
Activism: Foreign Policy Association of the Dominican and Haitian Republics, American Academy of Political and Social Science, American Historical Society, Douglass Association for Black graduates of Steelton High School (co-founder).
Connections: Annie M. Summers (sister).