are 94 women who have been inducted into the Contemporary Division of the Michigan Women's Hall of Fame and 76 women who have been inducted into the Historical Division.
Contemporary Honorees - 1983-2001
Virginia R. Allan (1916-1999) of
Yolanda Alvarado-Ortega, of Lansing, a journalist at the Lansing State Journal, has pioneered the way for Hispanic youth and women to enter the newspaper industry. She has promoted diversity at community, statewide, national and international levels. She has been an advocate for 12 years for the rights of people with mental illness to quality treatment.
Harriette Simpson Arnow (1908-1986) of Ann Arbor, nationally known author of "The Dollmaker", which has been termed an American Masterpiece.
Irene M. Auberlin of Detroit, a humanitarian who founded World Medical Relief in 1953. In 1994 the organization shipped $16,000,000 worth of medical supplies and equipment to 28 countries. The organization also provided $400,000 worth of prescriptions and supplies to the elderly indigent of the Detroit area.
N. Lorraine Beebe of
Lucile E. Belen of
Jan BenDor of
Connie Binsfeld, Lieutenant Governor has distinguished herself as a leading advocate on behalf of children, family life and women as well as the natural environment. She introduced the state's first domestic violence legislation in 1978. She was the key figure in rewriting the state's Juvenile Code, requested the creation of a Special Commission on Adoption and introduced the nation's first bill successfully banning commercial surrogacy.
Catherine Carter Blackwell, of Detroit, is an Instructional Specialist in the Detroit Public Schools and a pioneer in the field of African/American Studies and an internationally recognized authority on Africa.
Mamie G. Neale Bledsoe (1900-1991) of Detroit, a political activist who retired in 1970 as Director of Equal Employment Opportunity Division of M.E.S.C.
Patricia J. Boyle of Detroit, relinquished lifetime tenure on the federal bench to accept appointment to the state Supreme Court in 1983. She was then elected in 1984. As a member of the Michigan Women's Task Force on Rape, she helped to draft Michigan's law on criminal sexual conduct, the most successful rape law reform in the nation.
Carrie Frazier Brown of Detroit, is a fearless champion for compassionate and modern medical care, who helped found a free community clinic within Pontiac General Hospital. Brown was named 1996 Nurse of the Year by the National Black Nurses Association.
Louise L. Brown of Detroit, was a pioneer in the development of programs of early childcare education. As Director of the Council on Early Childhood in the Center for Urban Studies, WSU, she initiated programs that support positive family life and optimum child development.
Patricia Hill Burnett of Detroit, an accomplished artist and a pioneer feminist. Her work appears in galleries in the United States and in London, Paris, and Rome. As an individual committed to the advancement of women, she convened and chaired Michigan's first National Organization for Women chapter.
Ellen Burstyn of Detroit has achieved fame as a leading actress on both stage and screen. She originally appeared with Jackie Gleason on TV during the 1956-57 season. She was elected the first woman President of the Actor's Equity Association in 1982 and has been devoted to improving career opportunities and roles for women in film and theater.
Mary Lou Butcher of Bloomfield Hills, is an outstanding journalist, who initiated a lawsuit against the Detroit News that led to more equitable hiring in the media for women. She co-founded WINGS, Women Involved In Giving Support, to combat sex discrimination and sexual harassment in the workplace.
Ethel Calhoun (1898-1989) of Birmingham, a physician who pioneered use of the rehabilitative techniques of Sister Kenny for the treatment of polio at a time when the accepted treatment of polio was the application of splints and packs.
Jean W. Campbell of Ann Arbor was a major force in the creation of the University of Michigan Center for the Continuing Education of Women, now known as the Center for the Education of Women.
Alexa I. Canady of West Bloomfield, serves as Chief of Neurosurgery at the Children's Hospital in Detroit, is recognized for her contributions to pediatric medicine, especially in the field of neurological illness and trauma in children. She is the first, youngest, African-America woman neuro-surgeon in the U.S.
Ruth Carlton (1911-2001) of
Helen J. Claytor of Grand Rapids, the first black woman to serve as President of the National YWCA. She also served as a member of the World Council of the YWCA and was responsible for the policies to eliminate "racism wherever it exists and by any means necessary."
Flossie Cohen, M.D. of Birmingham is revered for her contributions in the field of research and pediatric medicine and for her contributions to the research and treatment of pediatric AIDS.
Mary S. Coleman of Battle Creek, a former Chief Justice of the Michigan Supreme Court and the first women to be elected to that court, in 1972.
Marion Corwell of Flat Rock is a broadcast pioneer. She is thought to be the first person in the country to write, produce, and star in her own syndicated television series (1954-1962). She was the highest ranking woman at Ford Motor Company in 1974. She created an industry model for affirmative action for women and replacement of gender specific job titles.
Hilda Patricia Curran as director of the landmark Office of Women and Work (1977-1991) was instrumental in establishing one of the nation's first Women in the Skilled Trades Programs and displaced homemaker programs. She was a founding member of Women in State Government, a trustee of the Michigan Women's Foundation and a founder and president of the Greater Lansing Food Bank, the first of its kind in the United States.
Bertha A. Daubendiek of Avoca has pioneered in the establishment of 142 nature sanctuaries in 51 Michigan counties. She founded the Michigan Nature Association in 1970 and authored the Michigan Natural Beauty Road law.
Anne R. Davidow (1898-1991) of Detroit is a pioneer woman attorney who served with her brother as general council to the Reuther brothers. The UAW was organized around the conference table in her office. In 1948 she argued before the United States Supreme Court, the significant women's rights case of Goesaert v. Cleary, a case contesting women from working as bartenders unless their father or husband owned the bar.
Marguerite Lofft De Angeli (1889-1987) of Lapeer, was a celebrated illustrator and author of children's literature, perhaps best known for her award-winning book of Mother Goose and Nursery Rhymes.
Doris DeDeckere of Detroit has assisted institutions and individuals into standing on their own, supporting her advocacy of human rights and charity. At age seventeen she became a union organizer and achieved many social and financial benefits for working women. Her work and assistance to many organizations including the Eastwood Clinic and the Detroit Zoological Society has earned her much recognition and honors.
Bernadine Newsom Denning of Detroit, an educator, civil rights leader and advocate for women. She was Assistant Superintendent for School Community Relations of the Detroit Public Schools, Director of the Human Rights Office for the City of Detroit and chair of the Michigan Women's Commission. President Jimmy Carter appointed her Director of the U.S. Office of Revenue Sharing for the U.S. Department of Treasury.
Genora Johnson Dollinger (1913-1995) of Kalamazoo, known as the Champion of American Workers, organized the "Women's Emergency Brigade" to aid the auto workers in the 1937 sit-down strike in Flint. She advanced the cause of civil liberties, civil rights and women's equality.
Wilma T. Donahue (1900-1993) of Ann Arbor, was an internationally recognized authority on gerontology and past Director of the Institute of Gerontology at the University of Michigan and Wayne State University.
Margaret Drake Elliott (1904-1999) Nature education and civic leadership were her lifelong commitments. Margaret wrote a nature column for the Muskegon Chronicle for 62 years. For 39 years she observed and tagged monarch butterflies to collect data that has been internationally recognized. She also developed and wrote a folder entitled, "ABC of Indian Herbs" to instruct Indian children in their native heritage.
Marcia Federbush of Ann Arbor, conducted the first study of sex discrimination in a school district, documenting the inequities and demonstrating the need for passage of Title IX of 1972. She focused her talents on the achievement of equal opportunity in education.
Betty Ford of Grand Rapids,
devoted herself to public causes such as the Equal Rights Amendment and helping
people having drug dependency problems. The funds she has raised through her
speaking engagements and other public appearances have served to build the
Aretha Franklin Among the “Queen of Soul’s” many accomplishments, Ms. Franklin was the first female inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and has been given a Lifetime Achievement Grammy Award for her career that includes 15 Grammy Awards.
Gwen Frostic (1906-2001) of Benzonia, is an author, artist, lecturer, founder and sole proprietor of "Presscraft Papers". Her commitment to nature and design is reflected in her home, studio and print shop which draws thousands of visitors each month.
Hilda R. Gage of Pontiac, has made enduring contributions to law and government, health and human services, law education and broken many gender barriers in the legal profession, such as being elected Chairperson to the National Conference of State Trial Judges. As a sufferer from multiple sclerosis she inspires others by her service as a Trustee at Children's Hospital of Michigan and by her busy contributing life.
Genevieve Gillette (1898-1986) of Lansing, was the first graduate of MSU's School of Landscape Architecture in 1920. She was the founder and first President of the Michigan Parks Association and greatly influenced the development of Michigan's state park system.
Janet K. Good of Farmington Hills, is a modern-day crusader in the feminist and civil rights movements, a driving force in the establishment of the Older Women's League (OWL) in Michigan and the Michigan Hemlock Society. In 1965 she worked against the war on poverty and then went on to become acting director of E.E.O. for the Michigan Employment Security Commission.
Francea (Francie) Kraker Goodridge of
Della Mae McGraw
Rosa Slade Gragg (1904-1989) of Detroit, is a civic leader who accomplished numerous first achievements by a woman. She founded the Slade-Gragg Academy of Practical Arts in 1974, the first Black vocational school in Detroit. In 1941 she founded a building for the Detroit Association of Colored Women's Clubs and in 1958, she succeeded in preserving the Frederick Douglass home as a national shrine.
Martha W. Griffiths of Romeo, is a former Congresswomen from Michigan's 17th District, sponsor of the ERA Amendment, and made the argument that added "sex" to the 1964 Civil Rights Act. She is the first woman to be elected to the office of Lt. Governor in the state's history.
Dorothy Haener (1917-2001) of Trenton, an International Representative with the UAW's Women's Department. She helped found the National Organization for Women, the Michigan Democratic Women's Caucus, the National Women's Political Caucus and CLUW.
Fran Harris (1909-1998) of Westland, was Michigan's first woman broadcaster both in radio (WWJ) and on television. Holder of the Peabody Award, she went on to many groundbreakings in broadcasting as a program producer and at the corporate level.
Katherine G. Heideman, the first female superintendent of the Houghton County Schools and subsequently the first superintendent of the Copper Country Intermediate School District was instrumental in the 1974 passage of House Bill 5013 (known as the Heideman bill) which allowed intermediate school districts to own and operate schools for the handicapped.
Erma Henderson of Detroit, was the first African-American woman to serve on the Detroit City Council. She is the first Black to become Council President. Henderson is noted for organizing the Michigan Statewide Coalition Against Redlining and for organizing the Women's Conference of Concerns.
Elizabeth Homer noted for her work to achieve educational and vocational equity for girls and women. Former Director of the National Organization for Women's Legal Defense and Education Fund's Project on Equal Education Rights (PEER Michigan). Former educational director for the Michigan Women's Historical Center and Hall of Fame and currently supervisor of the Turner Dodge House
Flora Hommel of Detroit has been instrumental in changing practices and our views about childbirth through the organization she founded, Childbirth Without Pain, and her advocacy of the Lamaze Method of childbirth.
Icie Macy Hoobler (1892-1984) of
Marian Bayoff Ilitch, of
Jo Jacobs of
Mildred Jeffrey of
Eleanor Josaitis together with Father William T. Cunningham, in 1968 founded Focus: HOPE. Since 9171, Ms. Josaitis has provided leadership and advocacy for Focus:HOPE Food Prescription Program. She has made significant contributions to public awareness of hunger and malnutrition and to the formulation of national policy regarding this issue.
Isabella Lugoski Karle of
Cornelia Groefsema Kennedy, a lawyer and jurisist,
was the first
Jean Ledwith King of
Odessa Komer of
Margaret Muth Laurence (1916-1996) of
Chuan-Pu Lee, Ph.D., a professor of biochemistry at
former member of the State Board of Education, is past president and CEO of
Matrix Human Services (formerly known as the League of Catholic Women) whose
mission is to end the cycle of abuse, neglect and delinquecy
of adolescent females. Ms. Lundy developed Project Transition, a
community-based corrections center for women in
Olga M. Madar (1915-1996) of
Maryann Mahaffey President of Detroit Common Council since 1990, and a member since 1974, has been an effective leader for peace and for the elimination of sexism, racism and classism during her long career in social work and politics. She is an advocate for the cities, senior citizens and for the poor and disenfranchised.
Agnes Mary Mansour of
of Onaway, was the first woman in the more than 200 year history of the
Helen Milliken of
Claudia House Morcom of
Virginia C. Blomer Nordby of
Jane Kay Nugent of
Jeanne Omelenchuk of
Rosa M. Parks of Detroit, is known as the "Mother" of the modern civil rights movement for her action in refusing to move to the rear of the bus in Montgomery, Alabama in 1955. She continues her work through the Rosa Parks Institute in Detroit.
Marjorie Peebles-Meyers of Detroit is the first African-American woman to graduate from the Medical School of Wayne State University. Her career included many firsts for women and for blacks. After her retirement from private practice, she was named Chief Physician of Ford Motor Company, a position she occupied until 1985.
Elly M. Peterson of Charlotte, was the first woman in Michigan to serve as Chairperson of a major political party and as a candidate for the United States Senate, a National Co-Chair of ERAmerica and Vice Chair of the National Republican Committee.
Sister Ardeth Platte, O.P. a Grand Rapids Dominican sister, Ardeth has committed her life to working for non-violence and social justice. From 1967 to 1977 Sister Platte initiated and directed St. Joseph's Alternative Education Center in Saginaw. While in Saginaw she also served for 12 years on the City Council as Mayor pro-tem. In 1995 she joined Jonah House, a faith and resistance center in Baltimore.
Clara Raven (1909-1994) of Detroit, a true pioneer for the advancement of medical knowledge and for the achievement of women. She was among the first five women physicians commissioned to serve in the U.S. Army. She conducted out-standing research into the cause of Crib Death, or SIDS.
Dorothy Comstock Riley of Detroit, has opened many doors for women in the legal profession. Becoming the first women appointed to the Michigan Court of Appeals was just the beginning, as she later became a member and then Chief Justice of the Michigan Supreme Court.
Mary Ellen Riordan, President Emerita of the Detroit Federation of Teachers, Local 231, AFL-CIO, blazed the trial for collective bargaining rights for teachers. This action resulted in the Legislature adopting the 1965 Public Employee Relations Act that gave teachers and all public employees the legal right to collective bargain.
Dorrie Ellen Rosenblatt is an M.D. and a Ph.D. and one of
the leading geriatric physicians in
Shirley E. Schwartz Ph.D., of Warren, a research scientist at General Motors Corporation, developed numerous products to protect the environment and facilitate the conservation of the earth's resources, including a water-based lubricant and air-conditioning system that uses environmentally safe chemicals.
Martha Romayne Seger of Bloomfield Hills, is an economist, the first woman to be appointed to the Federal Reserve Board in 1984 for a full term. She served in the Milliken administration as Commissioner of Financial Institutions.
Mary P. Sinclair of Midland, her work over the past twenty-five years has established her as one of the nation's foremost lay authorities on nuclear energy and its impact on the natural and human environment.
Jessie Pharr Slaton (1908-1983) of Detroit, was the first woman referee in the 43 year history of Detroit's Recorder's Court Traffic and Ordinance Division. She was later appointed a Common Pleas Judge and served as Chair of the Michigan Crime Victims Compensation Board.
Martha Jean "The Queen" Steinberg (deceased 1999) was a radio personality and activist. Her involvement in local and national services groups has been recognized by the NAACP, has prompted her induction into the Black Women's Hall of Fame and earned eleven "Keys to the City" from cities across the nation.
Kathleen N. Straus, a native of New York, became active in Michigan politics through the PTA and League of Women Voters. In 1976 a federal district judge appointed Straus to the Detroit School District Monitoring Commission to assure safe implementation of school desegregation. She served as lobbyist for the Michigan Association of School Boards and co-founded the Michigan Tax Information Council. She served on the State Board of Education and was elected president of the Board in 1997.
Sharon E. Sutton is professor of architecture and planning a the University of Michigan, the first African-American woman to be promoted to full professor of architecture in the United States. A scholar, journalist and activist, Dr. Sutton has demonstrated leadership in architecture and urban planning, the arts and as founder of the Urban Network, environmental education for youth.
Merze Tate of Blanchard, is a descendant of Negro pioneer settlers in Isabella County in Michigan in the 1800's. Dr. Tate became an internationally known scholar by publishing five volumes on international affairs.
Helen Thomas of Detroit, is known as the Dean of the White House Press Corp. She is White House Bureau Chief for United Press International and, as senior wire service correspondent, officially closes all presidential press conferences.
Lily Tomlin (Mary Jean) is a woman of major accomplishments on stage, screen and television. She has also achieved acclaim for hr script writing and for her strong stand and support on civil rights issues, especially the rights of women. Gilda Radner said of her, "...Lily Tomlin is a role model and a 'change agent'. Because of her work, the consciousness of Americans has been raised to the concern and problems of women in all walks of life."
Delia Villegas Vorhauer (1940-1992) of Lansing, was the first Hispanic to chair the Michigan Commission for the Blind. She was the founder of "Mujeres Unidas de Michigan" and author of the Department of Education's first report on "Minorities in Higher Education."
Reverend Charleszetta (Mother) Waddles (1912-2001) of
Jacquelin E. Washington of Detroit, has devoted her life and career to service to women and humanity. She served as a NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund Board member for 12 years and was co-founding mother and President of the Sojourner Foundation. She has been a pioneer in affirmative action and employment discrimination, a co-founder in Detroit of New Options, and later Human Resources Manager for the Bendix Corporation.
Joan Luedders Wolfe of Grand Rapids, was instrumental in creating the landmark Michigan Environmental Protection Acts of 1970. Recognized around the world for her many contributions to environmental protection, she has played a vital role in the passage of Michigan's Inland Lakes and Streams Act.
Mildred Irene Clark Woodman (1915-1994) of Ann Arbor was a Colonel in the Army Nurse
Corps and the only nurse on General Douglas MacArthur's
staff, won changes in regulations and codes that discriminate against women.
HISTORICAL HONOREES - 1983 - 2001
Edith Vosburgh Alvord (1876-1962) of
Cora Reynolds Anderson (1882-1950) was the first woman elected to the
Michigan State House of Representatives, serving one term, from 1925-1926. She is also believed to be the only
Native American woman elected to the Michigan House or Senate, and remains the
only woman ever elected to the State Legislature from the
Rachel Andresen (1907-1988) of Ann Arbor, was recognized by a Nobel Peace Prize nomination in 1973, founded and developed Youth for Understanding, an exchange program for high school students in 1951.
Clara B. Arthur (1858-1929) of Detroit, was President of the Michigan Equal Suffrage Association. In 1912 she began the campaign for women's suffrage that resulted in a state amendment in 1918. Widely acclaimed as the mother of the playground movement, her work created a system of 138 playgrounds and 17 swimming pools in Detroit with a budget of more than $1,000,000 by 1929.
Isabella Baumfree (Sojourner Truth) (1797-1883) of Battle Creek, the former slave who became a nationally known crusader for human rights and a member of the National Women's Hall of Fame.
Marion I. Barnhart (1921-1985) of Detroit, was a distinguished scholar, scientist and outstanding researcher who made many scientific discoveries which led to a better understanding of treatment for such diseases as stroke, cardiovascular disease, sickle cell anemia and hemorrhagic disorder. Dr. Barnhart was a member of the faculty of the Medical School of Wayne State University for 35 years.
Mary V. Beck (1908-) of Detroit, was the first woman to be elected to the Detroit Common Council, worked to fluoridate drinking water, to preserve Old City Hall and to establish the Youth Commission to combat juvenile delinquency. She also worked ceaselessly to reveal the plight of the Ukrainian people as a captive nation under Soviet rule.
Patricia Beeman (1923-1996) as a member of the Southern African Liberation Committee, she played a pivotal role in removing Michigan's complicity with apartheid in Southern Africa. Through her unparalleled tenacity, grass roots organizing skills, and commitment to human rights, Patricia helped shape a new sociopolitical and economic policy for Michigan, the U.S., and ultimately, the rest of the world.
Anna Sutherland Bissell (1846-1934) of Grand Rapids, was a successful business woman in an age when the manufacturing business was considered a field for men only. After her husband's death, Bissell became Chief Executive Officer and by 1899 she had created the largest organization of its kind in the world.
Cora Mae Brown (1914-1972) of Detroit, became the first black female state senator in this state's history when she was elected to the Michigan Senate in 1952. In April of 1953, Brown became the first black woman president of the Senate.
Olympia Brown (1835-1926) was the first woman minister in the United States to be ordained with full ecclesiastical authority by the Universalist church in 1863. She became a friend of Susan B. Anthony, and a charter member of the American Equal Rights Association.
Emily Helen Butterfield (1884-1958) of Algonac, who became Michigan's first licensed woman architect in 1907, was known statewide in the 1930's as an artist and architect. In 1912 she helped found the Detroit Business Woman's Club, the first Professional Women's Club in the United States.
Marie-Theresa Guyon-Cadillac (1671-1746) of Detroit, courageously defied the rules and prejudices of the 17th Century world to become a leading settler, pioneer and businesswoman at Fort Pontchartrain during the French colonial period.
Katherine Hill Campbell (1868-1942) of Detroit, the first superintendent of the Detroit House of Corrections in 1929, she was a lifelong fighter for women's prison reform, a pioneer clubwoman, an idealist, and a non-conformer.
Elizabeth Margaret Chandler (1807-1834) of Lenawee County, the first woman writer in America to make the abolition of slavery her principal theme.
Anna ("Big Annie") Clemenc (1888-1956) of Calumet, risked her won well-being for social and economic justice during the 1913 strike by Upper Peninsula mine workers. While the strike was broken, Clemenc's words and deeds later helped bring safe and fair working conditions, vastly improving the lives of Michigan's miners and workers.
Lenna Frances Cooper (1875-1961) of Battle Creek, was an author and pioneer in the development of dietetics as a profession, an early proponent of the link between nutrition and health.
Caroline Bartlett Crane (1858-1935) of Kalamazoo, while serving as Pastor of the Unitarian Church of Kalamazoo, became nationally known as "America's Housekeeper" for her work in civic sanitation and public health.
Ethelene Crockett (1914-1978) of Detroit, was Michigan's first Black woman to specialize in obstetrics and gynecology. She was instrumental in establishing Detroit's Model Cities health programs.
Elizabeth C. Crosby (1888-1983) of Petersburg, was an inspired teacher and authority on the anatomy of the brain. Despite not having a medical background, she became pre-eminent in neuro-anatomy and was the first woman to receive the University of Michigan's Distinguished Faculty Achievement Award.
Waunetta Dominic (1921-1981) of Petoskey,
endeavored to bring equality and justice to Native Americans in Michigan and
throughout the United States. As co-founder of the Northern Michigan Ottawa
Association, she was in the forefront of the struggle to obtain justice and
compensation for lands taken from
Theresa Maxis Duchemin (1810-1892) fought the
patriarchal, racist, and sexist Roman Catholic hierarchy of her time to become
a crusader for humanity. Born Marie
Almaide Maxis Duchemin to a
Hatian refugee and a British military officer, she
co-founded the Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary Sisters (IHMs) with a Redemptorist priest
to educate girls of the
Marie Dye (1891-1974) was the first woman
with a Ph.D. degree to be appointed to the faculty of
Sarah Emma Edmonds (1841-1898) of Flint, was inducted into the United States Army, Company F, Second Michigan Volunteer Infantry Regiment in 1861 disguised as a male (Pvt. Franklin Thompson). She served as a Union spy, field nurse, mail carrier and soldier.
Georgia Emery (1867-1931) of Gailen, was recognized nationally as the Dean of American Business Women, Ms. Emery was a civic leader and educator of vision and courage. She steadfastly supported and promoted the education of women. She was a pioneer in organizing associations of business and professional women in all parts of the United States.
Four Sisters of Charity: Loyola Ritchie, Rebella Delone, Felecia Fenwick and Rosalie Brown are honored for their pioneering work during the early years of Detroit, dating from 1844. In little more than two decades, they founded the first hospital in the Northwest territory, a psychiatric hospital, a home for unwed mothers and children, an orphanage and three schools.
Josephine Gomon (1892-1975) of Detroit, who, as Executive Secretary to then Mayor Frank Murphy, helped to organize the original "New Deal" concept for Detroit during the Great Depression.
Loney Clinton Gordon (1915-1999), born in Arkansas, graduated from Michigan State Collegein 1936 with a bachelor's degree is Chemistry and Home Economics. When she was told no white male chefs would be willing to take instruction from a Black female dietician, she went on to work with two women doctors to develop the best Whooping Cough vaccine available at that time.
Roberta A. Griffith (1870-1941) of Grand Rapids, a champion for persons with sight disabilities, and blind herself, she founded the American Association of Workers for the Blind and the Association for the Blind and Sight Conservation.
Lucia Voorhees Grimes (1877-1978) of Detroit, was a suffragist, participant in the campaign for women's rights, and chair of the Michigan Branch of the National Women's Party. She received national recognition for the State and Congressional lobbying systems she developed. Her leadership was instrumental in making Michigan the second state to ratify the Federal Suffrage Amendment.
R. Louise Grooms (1902-1984) of Detroit, founded the Detroit Institute of Commerce in 1941 as a means for Black students to receive training in fundamental business courses. The institute is still thriving and has trained more than 10,000 students. She was also instrumental in founding the Victory Loan and Investment Company, an early step in the creation of responsible financial institutions for Black people.
Alice King Hamilton (1869-1970) "The Mother of Industrial Health", was a physician and social reformer. She combined her expertise in bacteriology and pathology with her experience with workers at Hull House in Chicago to win better working conditions, worker's compensation laws, and workplace safety laws. She studied and later worked at University of Michigan and spent the summers of her youth at Mackinac Island.
Laura Smith Haviland (1808-1897) of Adrian, who established the first Michigan station of the Underground Railroad and organized one of the first schools in the nation to admit Black children, Raisen Institute.
Eleonore Hutzel (1885-1978) was the first woman to head the Detroit Police Department Women's Division. Eleonore was a pioneer not only for the advancement and acceptance of women within law enforcement, criminal justice and social work, but also in addressing the needs of society's forgotten women and children.
Dauris Gwendolyn Jackson (1933-1979) received bachelor's and master's degrees in education from Wayne State University and went on to become the first African-American woman to be elected to the WSU Board of Governors - in fact, the first ever elected to any Michigan University. In 1977, Dauris was selected as one of ten authors nationally to initiate multi-racial textbooks focusing on non-stereotypical depictions of African-American children.
Sarah Van Hoosen Jones, Ph.D. (1892-1972) of Rochester, became the first woman in the United States to earn a Doctorate of Animal Genetic. Called a "Master Farmer," she was influential in the development of agricultural education and animal husbandry.
Dorothea Leonard Judd (1898-1989) of Grand Rapids, was the President of the Grand Rapids League of Women Voters, state chair and national leader of the League, became a nationally recognized expert on civil service reform and leader of government reform.
Ella Eaton Kellogg (1853-1920) dietitian, writer and advocate for children created a new field which would come to be called dietetics. She also made major contributions to home economics by founding the School of Home Economics and a School of Cooking for the Battle Creek Sanitarium.
Pearl Kendrick (1890-1980) & Grace Eldering (1900-1988) of Grand Rapids, internationally recognized bacteriologists who researched whooping cough in the 1930's and developed the first successful vaccine against the dreaded child killer.
Emily Burton Ketcham (1838-1907) Anna Howard Shaw called this Grand Rapids woman the greatest [suffrage] worker that Michigan has produced. Foremost among the founders of Grand Rapids suffrage groups, Emily was a charter member of the state organization, served as its President four times and traveled nationally for the cause.
Madeline LaFramboise (1780-1846) of Grand Haven & Mackinaw Island. Born of French and Indian ancestry, she achieved remarkable success as a fur trader, rivaling the influence of John Jacob Astor's American Fur Company in the northern and western reaches of the Michigan Territory.
Marjorie J. Tillis Lansing (1916-1998), co-authored (with statistician Sandra Baxter)
Women and Politics: The Invisible Majority,which
feminist Gloria Steinem hailed as a "landmark study."
Marjorie's book, which coined the term "gender gap," published in
1980 and significantly revised as Women
and Politics: The Visible Majority in
1983, was based on her 1971 doctoral dissertation for the Political Science
program at the Unviersity of Michgian.
Marjorie served for twenty years on the faculty of
Violet Temple Lewis (1899-1968) of Detroit, an educational pioneer, provided the leadership skills, direction and necessary resources which enabled Lewis Business College to progress from a nine month stenographic college, to a fully accredited two-year Junior College.
Martha Longstreet (1870-1953) of
Nancy Harkness Love (1914-1976) of Houghton, was the
first woman air ferry pilot in the
Elmina R. Lucke (1889-1987) of
Aleda E. Lutz (1915-1944) of Freeland,
is one of the most celebrated war heroes of World War II. As a First Lieutenant
Army Flight Nurse, she flew 196 missions, losing her own life in an evacuation
Luise R. Leismer
of Petoskey, was a founding member and first elected
President of the Michigan Women's Press Club. She was an award winning reporter
and a Detroit Free Press correspondent. She was a champion of Indian land
claims and concerns in
Helen Martin (1889-1973) of
Mary Anne Mayo (1845-1903), a pioneer woman born
in a log cabin in
Helen Walker McAndrew, M.D. (1826-1906) of
Katharine Dexter McCormick (1875-1967),of Dexter, was Vice President of the National American Woman Suffrage Association and co-founder, with Carrie Chapman Catt, of the League of Women Voters. A generous philanthropist, McCormick worked with Margaret Sanger and provided funding for the development of the birth control pill. She was inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame in 1998.
Bina West Miller (1867-1954) of
Laura Freele Osborn (1866-1955) of
Sarah Goddard Power (1935-1987) of
Gilda Radner (1946-1989) of
Betsy Graves Reyneau (1888-1964) of
Fannie Richards (1840-1922)
Emelia Christine Schaub (1891-1995) of
Ann M. Shafer (1916-1991) of
In the early years of the twentieth century Ella
Merriman Sharp was known throughout the state for her work in forestry and
civic improvement as Chairman of the Michigan Federation Forestry Committee.
Sharp led a statewide effort to garner support for establishing state
forests preserves and a fire patrol system. She willed her sizeable farm
property and home to the city of
Anna Howard Shaw (1847-1919) of Big Rapids, an ordained minister and physician, who became Susan B. Anthony's chief lieutenant in the national women's suffrage movement and led the successful political struggle which resulted in passage of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution.
Mary C. Spencer (1842-1923) of
Sylvia M. Stoesser (1901-1991) of
Lucinda Hinsdale Stone (1814-1900) of
Mary Chase Perry
Edith Mays Swanson (1934-1989) of
Ruth Thompson (1887-1970) was the first woman
U.S. Congressman from
Lucinda (Lucy) Thurman (1849-1918) of
Bertha Van Hoosen (1863-1952) of
Sippie Wallace (1898-1986) of
Josephine Stern Weiner (1912-2000) of Detroit, devoted nearly 70 years to community service, successfully establishing programs to help women achieve independence and to assure children of a secure future. President of the National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW), Greater Detroit Section, from 1942-1944, and its national organization from 1967-1971, Jo was instrumental in establishing Orchards Children’s Services in 1962 and Women in Community Services (WICS) in 1965, for which she served as president from 1975-1977.
Edna Noble White (1879-1954) of
a philanthropist, contributed the famed Meadow Brook Hall and a $2 million
building fund to found
Clarissa M. Young
of Shepherd, was hired in 1946 by the Lansing Police
Department as a policewoman, the first sworn position available to a
woman. Moving up the ranks as sergeant and then
lieutenant. Clarissa became, in 1962, the first female police captain in