Dr. Agnes Wells was a Saginaw-born woman who was one of the nation's leading educators and an ardent support of women's equal rights. After being a principal in a high school in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and then at teacher of mathematics at Duluth High School, Wells became a faculty member at the University of Michigan in 1917. She was also the dean of women for two years. Wells left U of M to serve as Dean of Women at Indiana University and taught mathematics and astronomy after retiring from her administrative post. She founded a $1 million fellowship fund for the American Association of University Women and also belonged to the American Association of Deans of Women, and the American Association of University Professors. In 1949, she became chair of the National Woman's Party. The NWP had fought successfully for a constitutional amendment enfranchising women and after passage of the 19th amendment sought an Equal Rights Amendment. Upon reading a newspaper editorial which advised women that the 14th amendment doesn't mention sex (it does mention persons), she reportedly replied, "Women are persons, aren't they?" (Saginaw Hall of Fame, 2000).
Saginaw Hall of Fame, biographical sketches by Ed Miller and Jean Beach, published by The Saginaw Hall of Fame, 2000.
Link to archival collection on Wells: http://oasis.lib.harvard.edu/oasis/deliver/~sch00957