Francis E. Willard
American Educator and Temperance Reformer
1839 – 1898 A.D.
Frances E. Willard, an American educator and temperance reformer, born at Churchville, NY. She was graduated from the Northwestern Female College, Evanston, IL, in 1859, taught in various western towns, and in 1971 became the dean of the Women’s College of the Northwestern University. In 1874 she resigned this position, was elected secretary of the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union in that year, and in 1879 she became its president, an office she held until her death.
In her management of the association she displayed great executive ability and a remarkable genius for organization. She declared herself in favor of woman’s suffrage and lectured occasionally upon the subject, deeming the ballot a production to women from the miseries caused by drink.
In 1883 she founded the World’s Christian Temperance Union, and in 1888 she became its president. When she visited England in 1892 she addressed a mass meeting at Exeter Hall, consisting of one of the largest audiences ever held there. From 1892 – 1898 she ws editor-in-chief of the Union Signal, the official organ of the temperance movement.
In her work Miss Willard displayed an untiring energy, and for ten years she averaged a meeting a day, meanwhile continuing her literary labors. She wrote a number of books, including Woman and Temperance,” and Glimpses of Fifty Years. In one of her books, she says:
“If the story of my life has any force at all, I pray that it may help to hasten the coming of Christ’s Kingdom, whose visible token is universal brotherhood; the blessed time drawing nearer to us every day, when in the most practical sense and by the very constitution of society and government, all men’s weal shall be each man’s care.”
Reference: Famous Women; An Outline of Feminine Achievement Through the Ages With Life Stories of Five Hundred Noted Women By Joseph Adelman. Copyright, 1926 by Ellis M. Lonow Company.