The Janesville City Manager declared the month of September 2016 as Frances E. Willard Month! The Janesville Chapter paid tribute to Frances Willard at the September 11, 2016 chapter meeting.
Frances Willard is best known for her work that helped to spark women's suffrage and labor reform in the late 1800s. Willard spoke for equal pay for equal work for women. She advocated for a 40-hour work week and laws to protect children who toiled long hours in dingy factories. She called for free lunches in public schools for children, laws against rape, prison reform, federal aid to education, municipal sanitation, and boards of health to help control disease. She also fought for the right of women to own property.
During her childhood, Frances Willard moved with her family to Janesville, Wisconsin, where her father helped to build the Willard Schoolhouse. She attended the schoolhouse from 1853 to 1854, and she also taught there during the summer of 1858. The school was later named in Willard's honor after it closed in 1920 (22 years after her death).
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