Woman of the Century/Allie C Willard
WILLARD, Mrs. Allie C., journalist and business woman, born near Nauvoo, Ill., 13th April, 1860, the oldest of ten children. Her parents were Cyrus E. Rosseter and Lydia A. Williams. In 1872 the family removed to Grand Island, Neb., and from there to Loup City, Neb., in 1873, where the greater part of her fife has been spent. Being a frail and delicate child, she was deprived of educational advantages, but the love of knowledge could not be quenched, and all her education was ALLIE C. WILLARD. obtained by her own hard effort. The extent of her opportunities was five summers in school until twelve years of age, after which fifteen months in school enlarged her experience. Every spare moment was devoted to study. At the age of seventeen she had fitted herself to teach. Then she earned the means for a nine-months' course in an academy presided over by J. T. Mallalieu, of Kearney, Neb. After a few months of application she began her business career under the guidance of L. B. Fifield, of Kearney, who had discerned her talents and ambition. She studied some months with Mr. Fifield, during which time she entered a printing office, where she worked at a case, read proof, attended to the mail list, reviewed books, did paragraphing and performed some of the outside business duties. Appointed postmaster in Loup City when only twenty-one years old, for five years she served the public in that capacity, performing faithfully the duties an increasing business demanded. In 1881 she became the wife of the man who had waited patiently for the little woman who had said, five years before: "No, we do not know enough to marry," realizing that marriage should be founded on a higher plane than the mere sentiment of inexperienced youth. Her husband was a successful politician and newspaper man, under whose training she developed as a writer. The husband died by an assassin's hand in May, 1887. Prostrated for a time by the terrible occurrence, Mrs. Willard rallied from the shock and, with undaunted courage, took up her husband's work. As editor of the Loup City "Times " she became a member of the Nebraska Editorial Association. During a part of the year 1889 she took a course in the business college of Lincoln, Neb., and served three months as clerk in the Nebraska Senate, where she made a splendid record. Late in 1889 she entered the employ of the Western Newspaper Union in Omaha. She was later manager of that company's Chicago office, but resigned because physically unable to bear the strain. Since 1880 she has been a constant writer for the press in the line of news, sketches, temperance and politics. As a member of the Nebraska Press Association she received the homage of the editors of the State for her ability as a writer, editor and successful business woman. She is a member of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union and an earnest worker in the cause. She has always striken to advance the interests of her home town and surrounding country and has been instrumental in promoting moral and educational reforms. She is an uncompromising Republican, and, if she chose to enter the field, she is fitted to stand with the highest as a political or temperance orator. The amount of work which she has performed with indomitable perseverance and energy is marvelous. In a few years she paid debts of thousands of dollars which her husband's political career had entailed, besides performing unnumbered charities in a quiet, unpretentious way. She is a member of no church, but her creed embraces the good of all.