Frances Willard

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1873 Woman's Crusades.
Early WCTU.
Frances Willard.
Willard House.
National Presidents of the WCTU.

Frances Elizabeth Caroline Willard (1839-1898) was the  middle of three children born to Josiah and Mary Willard in Churchville, New York. The family moved to Oberlin, Ohio, so Frances' father could study for the  ministry. Due to the father's poor health, the family moved to a farm (Forest  Home) near Janesville, Wisconsin, where Frances "invested not spent" her childhood.

In 1858, the family moved to Evanston , Illinois, so her  older brother, Oliver, could attend Garrett Biblical Institute and Frances and her sister, Mary, could attend the Northwestern Female College. After graduation, Frances Willard held a series of teaching posts. She became President of the Evanston college for Ladies in 1871 and in 1873, the first Dean of Women at Northwestern University.

Frances Willard
Frances E. Willard
Second National WCTU President ( 1879 - 1898 )
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In 1874, she resigned her post as Dean to become the National Corresponding Secretary of the recently founded Woman's Christian  Temperance Union. From 1879 until her death she served as its second National President. In addition to temperance, Frances Willard promoted women's rights,  suffrage, equal pay for equal work, and an eight-hour day. She embraced the political arena , realizing the empowerment that women would experience if able to vote. Miss Willard was a teacher, an excellent speaker, a successful  lobbyist, and an expert in forming public opinion. Susan B. Anthony in 1895 introduced Miss Willard to a United States Senate Committee as a "general with  an army of 250,000."

We are planning to offer even more exciting historical information (including how she learned to ride a bicycle) on Frances Willard.

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