Skip to main content

Frances Willard House Museum (Rest Cottage)

Not an active site.


1730 Chicago Ave.




Josiah Willard, 1865


At her death in 1898, Frances Willard was one of the most famous women in America and the President of the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union (WCTU). She was a brilliant community organizer, a champion of the rights of women and children and a crusader for social justice. Willard lived and worked in Rest Cottage with family members and colleagues until her death. The home is an excellent example of 19th Century Gothic-Revival style. It was built by her father Josiah Willard and includes decorative carved bargeboards below the eaves and vertical board-and-batten siding. It is now operated as the oldest house museum in America dedicated to the life and work of a woman.