Elizabeth Georgiana Barratt Wells

Inductee Name

Elizabeth Georgiana Barratt Wells

Date of Birth

Born 1854 Died 1921

Year Inducted






Marianne Egeland Neifert, MD, MTS
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Elizabeth Barratt Wells was the founder, inspiration and driving force behind the Mother’s Congress and Parent Teacher Association (MC&PTA) branch in Pueblo from July 1910 until near her death in December 1921.  Through Wells’ extraordinary hard work, innovation, determination, leadership and convening of parents, teachers, and other like-minded people, she built the Pueblo Chapter into the strongest, most active, and innovative MC&PTA district in Colorado and perhaps the nation. 

Elizabeth Georgiana Barratt was born in England in 1854.  She was sixteen when she emigrated to Canada with her parents in 1870.  Frank Appleyard Wells was already established in Pueblo when he and Elizabeth were married in Canada in 1878 and he returned to Colorado with “an accomplished bride.”  They went on to have eleven children, three of whom died in infancy.

Although only four women attended the first meeting Wells called to establish a “Mother’s Congress” in July 1910, she persisted.   Within a year membership in the MC&PTA had grown to more than six hundred representing thirteen Pueblo schools.   As word of her success in Pueblo grew, Wells was frequently asked to travel to outlying Colorado towns to speak and help organize new branches of the MC&PTA.  Wells was passionate about child welfare and under her leadership as President the MC&PTA established many innovative programs including hiring a physician to examine babies free of charge, working with the City of Pueblo to establish six school playgrounds, and adding window screens and proper ventilation to school buildings.

In 1917 Wells declined to continue as President of the Pueblo MC&PTA Council so that she could pursue other child welfare projects – she did accept the position of First Vice President.  Governor Julius C. Gunter appointed Wells the Pueblo chair of the nationwide “Save the Babies” campaign in March 1918 that was focused on reducing infant mortality.  With no funding or equipment, the objective was to measure and weigh all babies between three months and five years of age.  Through organizing about fifty women and community support, Wells was able to reach 95% of the approximately 3,000 children in Pueblo.  

Over the next several years, Wells led the Child Welfare Committee in Pueblo, served as Vice President of the Colorado State MC&PTA and was on various State and City committees.  She was adept at gaining the participation of the Pueblo newspapers to aid in the success of her various initiatives.  Through her work, Wells gave women a voice in their community and the opportunity to learn new skills such as public speaking and project management.  Because of her work, the City of Pueblo funded a permanent child welfare department resulting in measurable improvement in the health of women and children.

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