Educated Women – Part One

By Lori Osborne, Frances Willard House Museum Director 150 years ago, Evanston was at the center of an experiment in education that would define it for generations. Though Northwestern University is the best known today, it was two small women’s colleges that established Evanston as “a paradise for women.[i]” As we start the school year … Read more

Knowledge is Power: Frances Willard’s Early Education

By Fiona MaxwellDirector of Museum Operations and Communications, Frances Willard House MuseumHistory PhD candidate, University of Chicago In recognition of the 150th anniversary of Frances Willard’s role as President of the Evanston College for Ladies (1871-1873) and Dean of Women at Northwestern University (1873-1874), the Frances Willard House Museum and WCTU Archives is exploring the history … Read more

Becoming the “Frances Willard of China”: The Life of Liu-Wang Liming

By Janet Olson, Archivist Feminist, social reformer, writer, and WCTU leader Liu-Wang Liming (1898-1970) was born and raised in rural China. As a child, with her father’s support, she resisted the sexist custom of foot-binding. She attended an American mission school for girls many miles from her home. Upon graduation in 1916, she came to … Read more

“Look Up and Off, and On and Out”: Frances Willard and Women’s Oratory

By Fiona Maxwell, Director of Museum Operations and Communications; PhD candidate in History at the University of Chicago “Look up and off, and on and out; it is the curse of life that nearly everyone looks down.”  – Frances Willard By 1874, Frances Willard had acquired a local reputation as a public speaker. Yet, when … Read more

The “Woman’s Fourth of July” in Evanston, 1871

Independence Day in Evanston in 1871 was marked by parades, bands, fireworks, a baseball game, and many speeches. Not an unusual way to celebrate the 4th—except that these activities were organized by local women and were a fundraising event for the nascent Evanston College for Ladies—with the highlight of the day being the placement of the … Read more