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Dexheimer, Florence Chambers, 1866-1925 / Sketches of Wisconsin pioneer women
([1924?] )

Kent, Antoinette Cowles
Frances E. Willard,   pp. 26-29 PDF (953.0 KB)


Page 26


             FRANCES E. WILLARD
          Author-Antoinette Cowles Kent
                       Beloit
 .......... .............
    Frances Elizabeth Willard was born September 28,
1839, in Churchville, New York. Her parents were Jos-
iah Flint Willard and Mrs. Mary Thompson Hill Willard.
Her brother, Oliver, was five years her senior.
    In 1842 they removed to Oberlin where her sister,
Mary was born. In April, 1846, the family started for
the West, reaching Janesville May 20th and settling in
June at Forest Home, four miles from Janesville.
    In 1848 Mr. Willard was a member of the legislature
at Madison. The mother taught the children in the bright
warm kitchen by the light of the candles she made with
her own hands. In 1853 a school house was built. There
the children went to school until in 1857, Frances and
Mary attended the Milwaukee Seminary where Mrs.
Willard's sister, Sarah Hill, was teacher. In 1858,
Frances and Mary attended the Evanston College for
ladies. Frances taught the home school during the sum-
mer. The two sisters returned to the Evanston school
in 1859. Frances so overburdened herself with study at
this time that she fell asleep with her head buried in
Butler's "Analogy." She was appointed valedictorian of
her class. Because of her illness, she received her di-
ploma in bed.
    In the autumn the family removed to Evanston.
After her graduation Frances taught continuously until
1868. This year she and her friend, Miss Kate Jackson
made an extended tour of the world. Miss Willard
climbed the Pyramids of Egypt, and far above the others
on an eminence she said: "Let us have plain living and
high thinking."
    Returning to Evanston in 1870 she became Precep-
tress of her Alma Mater. In 1873 she became the Dean
of Women of the Woman's College of Northwestern
                         26


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