Frances Willard

Lived:September 28, 1839—February 17, 1898 (aged 58)
Career:President, World Women's Christian Temperance Union, 1891-1898
President, National Women's Christian Temperance Union, 1879-1891
Corresponding Secretary, Chicago Woman's Christian Temperance Union, 1874-1879
Education:Northwest Female College

Frances Elizabeth Caroline Willard was an American educator, temperance reformer and women's suffragist. Willard became the national president of Woman's Christian Temperance Union (WCTU) in 1879, and remained president until her death in 1898. During her lifetime, Willard succeeded in raising the age of consent in many states, as well as passing labor reforms including the eight-hour work day. Her vision also encompassed prison reform, scientific temperance instruction, Christian socialism, and the global expansion of women's rights.

Willard was born on September 28, 1839, in Churchville, New York. She graduated from Northwest Female College in 1859, then taught school until 1868. She left for a world tour with a friend and returned in 1870 to become the president of the Evanston College for Ladies. Later, she became the dean of women at Northwestern University.

In 1874, Willard became the corresponding secretary of the Chicago Woman`s Christian Temperance Union (WCTU). She traveled the world to meet with women and lecture on temperance, women’s suffrage and allied issues. In 1879, she was elected president of the National WCTU, then president of the World WCTU in 1891.

Willard on Feb. 17, 1898. She is considered one of the most influential women of her time.