Frances Willard House Museum and WCTU Archives

Frances Willard House Museum and WCTU Archives A National Historic Landmark Women's History Site and Archives in Evanston, IL. Telling the story of the life and work of Frances Willard and all the many women who were active in the Woman's Christian Temperance Union.

Operating as usual

Truth Telling has been a big theme of our work over the past few years. Whether it is in our online exhibit exploring th...
09/10/2021

Truth Telling has been a big theme of our work over the past few years. Whether it is in our online exhibit exploring the conflict between Willard and Ida B. Wells in the 1890s, our more recent research into Black women in the WCTU (more to come on that), or in our ongoing tour and program focus to tell the whole story – we believe that Truth Telling really does help to "build up the world" into a more beautiful place.

Join us for our virtual Do Everything events to honor this work and Willard's visionary approach to leadership. Register for our online program (9/26 at 4pm), reserve a special tour on 9/28, or make a donation at www.franceswillardhouse.org.

Truth Telling has been a big theme of our work over the past few years. Whether it is in our online exhibit exploring the conflict between Willard and Ida B. Wells in the 1890s, our more recent research into Black women in the WCTU (more to come on that), or in our ongoing tour and program focus to tell the whole story – we believe that Truth Telling really does help to "build up the world" into a more beautiful place.

Join us for our virtual Do Everything events to honor this work and Willard's visionary approach to leadership. Register for our online program (9/26 at 4pm), reserve a special tour on 9/28, or make a donation at www.franceswillardhouse.org.

Each year in September we honor Willard's birthday by exploring some aspect of her Do Everything  leadership model. This...
09/07/2021

Each year in September we honor Willard's birthday by exploring some aspect of her Do Everything leadership model. This year we are focusing on what she meant by Do Everything and how she used her home as a workplace for herself and others. Be sure to join us for our virtual Do Everything Day program on 9/26 at 4pm - or reserve your spot for special tours on 9/28. More at www.franceswillardhouse.org

Each year in September we honor Willard's birthday by exploring some aspect of her Do Everything leadership model. This year we are focusing on what she meant by Do Everything and how she used her home as a workplace for herself and others. Be sure to join us for our virtual Do Everything Day program on 9/26 at 4pm - or reserve your spot for special tours on 9/28. More at www.franceswillardhouse.org

Public speaking was a key part of Frances Willard's "Do Everything" model for women's leadership. In a world where women...
09/02/2021

Public speaking was a key part of Frances Willard's "Do Everything" model for women's leadership. In a world where women speakers were expected to "look down," Willard inspired them to "look up and off, and on and out." A new blog post by Fiona Maxwell, Director of Museum Operations and Communications, uncovers how Willard encouraged women to face their audiences and make their voices heard. https://franceswillardhouse.org/look-up-and-off-and-on-and-out-frances-willard-and-womens-oratory/

Public speaking was a key part of Frances Willard's "Do Everything" model for women's leadership. In a world where women speakers were expected to "look down," Willard inspired them to "look up and off, and on and out." A new blog post by Fiona Maxwell, Director of Museum Operations and Communications, uncovers how Willard encouraged women to face their audiences and make their voices heard. https://franceswillardhouse.org/look-up-and-off-and-on-and-out-frances-willard-and-womens-oratory/

WCTU connected with women’s suffrage from its founding in 1874. It took until 1883 to set up a department dedicated to t...
08/28/2021

WCTU connected with women’s suffrage from its founding in 1874. It took until 1883 to set up a department dedicated to the issue, but WCTU and suffragists recognized common cause early. See text of telegram from American Woman’s Suffrage Association to WCTU’s second convention.

Happy 101st #WomensEqualityDay! Frances Willard would have been proud to know that the 19th Amendment became law on this...
08/26/2021
"Womanly Liberty" or "Home Protection": Frances Willard and Woman Suffrage · Frances Willard House Museum and Archives Digital Exhibits

Happy 101st #WomensEqualityDay! Frances Willard would have been proud to know that the 19th Amendment became law on this date in 1920—though disappointed that it took so long. A believer in woman’s right to vote since her youth, Willard made suffrage a vital plank in the Temperance platform, bringing a multitude of WCTU women into the suffrage movement. Alas, she died in 1898—22 years before her dream was realized. See our new online exhibit at https://tinyurl.com/xn7fhfya

This website houses the digital exhibits of the Frances Willard House Museum and WCTU Archives. For more about us, visit www.franceswillardhouse.org.

Last call for Women’s Equality Day tours! We still have spots available this Thursday, August 26 at 1pm and 3pm. What be...
08/24/2021

Last call for Women’s Equality Day tours! We still have spots available this Thursday, August 26 at 1pm and 3pm. What better way to commemorate the struggle for women's rights than visiting the home and workplace of one of the most prominent suffragists of the nineteenth century! https://franceswillardhouse.org/visit/

Last call for Women’s Equality Day tours! We still have spots available this Thursday, August 26 at 1pm and 3pm. What better way to commemorate the struggle for women's rights than visiting the home and workplace of one of the most prominent suffragists of the nineteenth century! https://franceswillardhouse.org/visit/

Thanks to a mother, TN became the first state to ratify the 19th amendment this date in 1920, in a nail-biting contest. ...
08/18/2021

Thanks to a mother, TN became the first state to ratify the 19th amendment this date in 1920, in a nail-biting contest. The vote tied & Harry T. Burn had voted no. His mother wrote, though, asking him to “be a good boy” & vote for suffrage. He switched, and women got the vote.

Thanks to a mother, TN became the first state to ratify the 19th amendment this date in 1920, in a nail-biting contest. The vote tied & Harry T. Burn had voted no. His mother wrote, though, asking him to “be a good boy” & vote for suffrage. He switched, and women got the vote.

The latest episode of the NU Declassified podcast explores what Northwestern students and Evanston residents need to kno...
08/17/2021
NU Declassified: Frances Willard: Evanston’s sober sister

The latest episode of the NU Declassified podcast explores what Northwestern students and Evanston residents need to know about Frances Willard’s contributions to the suffrage, temperance, and women’s rights movements. Lori Osborne, our executive director, also explains why grappling with the moments in which Willard failed to lead is just as important as celebrating her accomplishments. https://dailynorthwestern.com/2021/08/10/multimedia/audio/nu-declassified-frances-willard-evanstons-sober-sister/

Frances Willard holds an important place in history for her role as an educator, prohibitionist and suffragette. Evanston residents claim her as one of their most famous residents. On this episode of NU Declassified: Names You Need to Know, we dive into Frances Willard’s contributions to progressi...

The men attending the first National Sunday-School Assembly didn't know it, but their wives would leave a more lasting m...
08/15/2021

The men attending the first National Sunday-School Assembly didn't know it, but their wives would leave a more lasting mark on history. On this date in 1874, women gathered to discuss a new group that would become the WCTU. Read more about the connections between the founding of Chautauqua and the WCTU in Archives Assistant Kristin Jacobson's blogpost: https://franceswillardhouse.org/birth-of-the-wctu-temperance-women-ride-a-national-wave/

The men attending the first National Sunday-School Assembly didn't know it, but their wives would leave a more lasting mark on history. On this date in 1874, women gathered to discuss a new group that would become the WCTU. Read more about the connections between the founding of Chautauqua and the WCTU in Archives Assistant Kristin Jacobson's blogpost: https://franceswillardhouse.org/birth-of-the-wctu-temperance-women-ride-a-national-wave/

Join our partner - the Evanston History Center - for walking tours of Evanston women's history on Saturday, August 21st....
08/12/2021
Walking Tours – Evanston History Center

Join our partner - the Evanston History Center - for walking tours of Evanston women's history on Saturday, August 21st. The tours start in front of the Willard House and focus on the ways Evanston women, like Frances Willard and so many others, played prominent roles in creating this community and fighting for women’s rights more broadly.

The details: tours begin at 11:00 AM and last for 90 minutes. The cost is $20 per person/$15 for EHC members unless otherwise stated. Reservations and payment must be made in advance. There is a limit of 20 guests per tour. All guests are required to wear masks and practice safe social distancing. Tours may be cancelled due to weather or unforeseen circumstances. Reserve your spot here - https://www.evanstonhistorycenter.org/walking-tours/

Walking Tours August 10, 2021May 24, 2021 by EvanstonHistoryCenter The Evanston History Center offers lively docent-led walking tours of Evanston neighborhoods, downtown, and the lakefront. The tours provide fun and fascinating insights into the history of Evanston, its architecture, and the cultura...

Happy Suffrage Month from the Willard House! In honor of the ratification of the 19th Amendment in August 1920, we are g...
08/10/2021

Happy Suffrage Month from the Willard House! In honor of the ratification of the 19th Amendment in August 1920, we are giving suffrage tours throughout August and Women's Equality Day tours on Thursday, August 26. We're highlighting a range of items from our collection that tell the suffrage story, and we're hosting Rightfully Hers, a visiting pop-up display from the National Archives. What better way to commemorate the struggle for women's rights than visiting the home and workplace of one of the most prominent suffragists of the nineteenth century! https://franceswillardhouse.org/visit/

Happy Suffrage Month from the Willard House! In honor of the ratification of the 19th Amendment in August 1920, we are giving suffrage tours throughout August and Women's Equality Day tours on Thursday, August 26. We're highlighting a range of items from our collection that tell the suffrage story, and we're hosting Rightfully Hers, a visiting pop-up display from the National Archives. What better way to commemorate the struggle for women's rights than visiting the home and workplace of one of the most prominent suffragists of the nineteenth century! https://franceswillardhouse.org/visit/

How do #ArchivesAthletes get in shape for an #ArchivesHashtagParty? Let’s ask Charlotte “Maxie” Maxwell, the gymnastic i...
08/06/2021

How do #ArchivesAthletes get in shape for an #ArchivesHashtagParty? Let’s ask Charlotte “Maxie” Maxwell, the gymnastic instructor (today we’d call her a personal trainer) whom Frances Willard hired in 1895-6 in hopes of improving her failing health. Maxie’s advice: “Look upward and be light.” (Maxie owned the St. Botolph Gymnasium in Boston; here she’s pictured—note the bloomers--in the custom-built gym at the Priory, Reigate, England, where Willard and her British colleague Lady Isabel Somerset followed a Swedish gymnastics regimen.)

How do #ArchivesAthletes get in shape for an #ArchivesHashtagParty? Let’s ask Charlotte “Maxie” Maxwell, the gymnastic instructor (today we’d call her a personal trainer) whom Frances Willard hired in 1895-6 in hopes of improving her failing health. Maxie’s advice: “Look upward and be light.” (Maxie owned the St. Botolph Gymnasium in Boston; here she’s pictured—note the bloomers--in the custom-built gym at the Priory, Reigate, England, where Willard and her British colleague Lady Isabel Somerset followed a Swedish gymnastics regimen.)

Aug. 3 is Black Women’s Equal Pay Day, showing that it took Black women 19 months to earn what white, non-Hispanic men m...
08/04/2021

Aug. 3 is Black Women’s Equal Pay Day, showing that it took Black women 19 months to earn what white, non-Hispanic men made in the 12 months of 2020. Black women in the WCTU also faced double discrimination but found ways to make important contributions. Stay tuned for our database, now in-progress, of African-American WCTU members.

Aug. 3 is Black Women’s Equal Pay Day, showing that it took Black women 19 months to earn what white, non-Hispanic men made in the 12 months of 2020. Black women in the WCTU also faced double discrimination but found ways to make important contributions. Stay tuned for our database, now in-progress, of African-American WCTU members.

Thank you to everyone who came to our "Pleasant Sunday Afternoon" yesterday for a unique exploration of nineteenth-centu...
07/26/2021

Thank you to everyone who came to our "Pleasant Sunday Afternoon" yesterday for a unique exploration of nineteenth-century women's performance culture through storytelling and music. It was great to see so many friendly faces – even a hummingbird stopped by to listen in and enjoy our historic garden!

According to Frances Willard, nineteenth-century Evanston was the “literary center of the great Northwest" and a “paradi...
07/22/2021

According to Frances Willard, nineteenth-century Evanston was the “literary center of the great Northwest" and a “paradise for women.” Join us for stories and guitar music this Sunday at 3pm and explore how Evanston women connected creativity and social change. https://franceswillardhouse.org/news-events/

According to Frances Willard, nineteenth-century Evanston was the “literary center of the great Northwest" and a “paradise for women.” Join us for stories and guitar music this Sunday at 3pm and explore how Evanston women connected creativity and social change. https://franceswillardhouse.org/news-events/

Anna Gordon, born this day in 1853, was not just Frances Willard’s secretary. Her interest in children & music had an im...
07/21/2021

Anna Gordon, born this day in 1853, was not just Frances Willard’s secretary. Her interest in children & music had an important role in WCTU. She founded children's groups & made their singing/parading a big part of WCTU rallies. Her temperance songs were toe-tapping and catchy.

Anna Gordon, born this day in 1853, was not just Frances Willard’s secretary. Her interest in children & music had an important role in WCTU. She founded children's groups & made their singing/parading a big part of WCTU rallies. Her temperance songs were toe-tapping and catchy.

9-year-old Frances Willard was not at the Seneca Falls Convention on women’s rights, which opened this date in 1848. But...
07/19/2021

9-year-old Frances Willard was not at the Seneca Falls Convention on women’s rights, which opened this date in 1848. But, she was a founding member of International Council of Women, organized 1888 on 40th anniversary of Seneca Falls. For details, see https://tinyurl.com/2bext498.

9-year-old Frances Willard was not at the Seneca Falls Convention on women’s rights, which opened this date in 1848. But, she was a founding member of International Council of Women, organized 1888 on 40th anniversary of Seneca Falls. For details, see https://tinyurl.com/2bext498.

You never know what you’ll find in the archives. #DidYouKnowWCTU that the Southern California collection contains dried ...
07/14/2021

You never know what you’ll find in the archives. #DidYouKnowWCTU that the Southern California collection contains dried o***m pods? They were used by State Secretary Cora M. Brunemeier to warn children in the WCTU Loyal Temperance Legion about the dangers of drugs.

You never know what you’ll find in the archives. #DidYouKnowWCTU that the Southern California collection contains dried o***m pods? They were used by State Secretary Cora M. Brunemeier to warn children in the WCTU Loyal Temperance Legion about the dangers of drugs.

Join us on July 25 at 3pm for A Pleasant Sunday Afternoon! This free, outdoor re-creation of a nineteenth century “liter...
07/08/2021

Join us on July 25 at 3pm for A Pleasant Sunday Afternoon! This free, outdoor re-creation of a nineteenth century “literary and musical entertainment” will feature storytelling pieces adapted and performed by Fiona Maxwell and American parlor guitar music performed by the Waller and Maxwell Guitar Duo. https://fb.me/e/AAz3ptgY

Join us on July 25 at 3pm for A Pleasant Sunday Afternoon! This free, outdoor re-creation of a nineteenth century “literary and musical entertainment” will feature storytelling pieces adapted and performed by Fiona Maxwell and American parlor guitar music performed by the Waller and Maxwell Guitar Duo. https://fb.me/e/AAz3ptgY

Address

1730 Chicago Ave
Evanston, IL
60201

Easily accessible via the Purple Line, Davis Stop.

General information

Please note: the Willard House is closed for tours in January and February. The WCTU Archives remains open by appointment year-round.

Opening Hours

1pm - 4pm

Telephone

(847) 328-7500

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