(Judge Clifton Newman presided over a swearing-in ceremony for Williamsburg County Coroner Ivori Henryhand as family and friends looked on. Photo by Michaele Duke)
The rain held back long enough to permit Ivori Henryhand to be sworn-in as Williamsburg County’s first female Coroner. The ceremony took place January 2, on the steps of the Williamsburg County Courthouse. Judge Clifton Newman presided over the ceremony as her family and friends looked on.
Born in Athens, Georgia, she and her family moved to Kingstree in 1997, where her father W.C. Henryhand, assumed ownership of Henryhand Funeral Home that was established by her grandfather, Clauddie Henryhand.
Growing up, Ivori had aspirations to be a dentist but changed her course when she realized she didn’t want a job looking into a person’s mouth all day. She graduated from the College of Charleston and went on to teach seventh and eighth grade history but her passion was always in the funeral industry.
In 2012, the family opened a second business in Berkeley County. She would become funeral director and flourished at her position. In 2016, her father ran an unsuccessful campaign for Williamsburg County Coroner but the process ignited something inside the mother of three. “I started educating myself on the actual duty of a coroner and got interested in it,” she said. “With him running for that position, it opened my eyes and made me think about the coroner’s position.”
With the encouragement of her father, she found the courage to run in 2016, but lost to long time Coroner Harrison McKnight. She would have another chance in 2019 and made good through a positive platform. She said her goals are to provide service to the citizens, not only to the living but to the deceased as well. “The position was looking for new direction,” she said. “I felt like my ideas would really benefit the Coroner’s Office.”