Woman of the Century/Cordelia Young Willard
WILLARD, Mrs. Cordelia Young, missionary worker, born in Onondaga county. N. Y., 30th August, 1822. She grew to womanhood in DeWitt, her native village. Her father. Rev. Seth Young, was a lineal descendant of Rev. Christopher Young, vicar of Reyden, Eng., and chaplain of Windsor during the reign of Queen Elizabeth, and CORDELIA YOUNG WILLARD. of Rev. John Young, his son, of Southwold. Eng., who came to America in 1638 and settled in Southwold, L. I., in 1640. She is directly descended from Revolutionary ancestors. After the usual training of the common school, desiring to fit herself for teaching, she entered Cazenovia Seminary and remained two years. There were developed her love of literature and her poetic talent. After leaving the seminary she taught for five years, principally in De Witt. In 1849 she became the wife of James L. Willard, of Syracuse, N. Y , in which city she has ever since lived. In the spring of 1870 Mrs. Dr. Butler, who had just returned from India, visited Syracuse to present the subject of woman's work fur women in the zenanas of India. Into that work Mrs. Willard entered zealously, and she was mainly instrumental in organizing the first Woman's Foreign Missionary Society in central New York. As secretary of the organization, with voice and pen she urged on the work. She served as president of the society several terms. After serving that society for fifteen years, she assisted in organizing the Woman's Home Missionary Society, and was elected president of the Central New York Conference organization and corresponding secretary of her own church auxiliary. In that capacity she is in constant communication with the pioneer preachers on the frontiers of the nation, and with the struggling missions in destitute regions of the South and Southwest, and through her agency many comforts are carried into desolate homes and substantial aid is afforded to the heroic toilers in those remote fields. The Peck Memorial Home, of New Orleans, was suggested by her and carried to completion mainly through her efforts. Another phase of Christian work, to which she has given much thought and labor, is the Order of Deaconesses, recently established in the Methodist Episcopal Church, of which she is a member. Notwithstanding her active life on these lines, she still finds time to look well to the affairs of her household. Though unknown to the literary world as a writer and contributing little to the periodicals of the day, yet to the inner circle it is known that she has poetic genius of no mean order, and some of her poems, written on special occasions for friends, possess genuine merit.