Mrs. May Wright Sewall (1844-1920) of Indianapolis, Indiana, was an educator, founding the Girls’ Classical School of Indiana in 1882 with her husband, writer, lecturer, reformer, pacifist, and feminist. She was President of the National Council of Women (NCW) of the United States, 1897-1899, President of the International Council of Women (ICW), 1899-1904, chair of the Committee for Peace and Arbitration, 1904, a Commissioner to the Paris Exposition, 1900, and Chair of the Executive Committee of Women’s Suffrage Association, 1882-1890. An ardent suffragist, May co-founded the Indianapolis Equal Suffrage Society in 1878. She traveled extensively to most European countries in the course of her duties in various officer positions. May presided over the International Conference of Women Workers to Promote Permanent Peace in 1915. Also she was involved with numerous club and educational activities in Indiana.
May was the head of the girls’ school until June 1907, during which time she introduced dress reforms, physical education, and prepared hundreds of young women for college through rigorous ancient and modern language and mathematics courses.
She also edited several volumes dealing the woman’s movement and wrote newspaper articles in her column “Women’s Work.”
In 1872, May married Edwin W. Thompson (died 1875) from Paw Paw, Michigan. They later moved to Indianapolis. After Edwin died, May married Theodore Lovett Sewall (died 1895) in 1880. She did not have any children from either marriage. After 1907 May made her home in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She died in 1920 and was buried in Indianapolis. (This information is from Notable American Women 1607-1950, 269-271.)