Elizabeth Sparks Adams

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Elizabeth Sparks Adams
Born(1911-12-12)December 12, 1911
Died2007 (aged 95–96)
Alma materUniversity of Michigan
Occupation(s)Historian and non-fiction writer
Known forFirst woman president of the Michigan Historical Commission

Elizabeth Sparks Adams (December 12, 1911 – 2007) was an American historian. She served for 54 years on the Michigan Historical Commission, making her the longest-serving public official in Michigan history, and the first woman president of the commission.[1]


Adams was born on December 12, 1911, in Romeo, Michigan. She later graduated from Pontiac High School at 19, and four years later graduated from Eastern Michigan University. She graduated with an M.A. from the University of Michigan the following year. She was the first curator of the Michigan Historical Collections from 1938 to 1939. In 1936, she married Donald E. Adams. Adams was elected a Justice of the Peace in Waterford seven years after marrying Donald Adams, and in 1954 was elected to the Waterford Township Board of Education for two terms, later serving as president of the board for two years. She served on the Michigan Historical Commission for 54 years after her appointment by Murray Van Wagoner on March 20, 1941. During her service there, she was president for fourteen years and vice president for two years, serving until stepping down in 1995. Adams was president of Historical Society of Michigan and the Oakland County Pioneer and Historical Society.[2]


  • Out of Small Beginnings, a Bicentennial Historical Sketch of Oakland County, MI, 1815-1976
Contributed to
  • Encyclopedia Britannica
  • Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States
  • The University of Michigan, an Encyclopedic Survey.


  1. ^ "Elizabeth Sparks Adams" (PDF). Michigan Women's Hall of Fame.
  2. ^ "BHL: Elizabeth Sparks Adams papers". quod.lib.umich.edu. Retrieved 2017-11-18.