Girls’ School Principal

Charlotte Willard had been director of the Virgin School since 1898 and a member of the board of directors of the hospital operating in Merzifon, overseeing all medical services. It was she who led the effort to establish a School for the Deaf, proving to Ottoman society that people with disabilities should not be marginalized, but have the opportunity and desire to be educated and flourish. In 1915, when Turkish soldiers arrived at the school’s doorstep demanding that the Armenian schoolgirls be arrested, Charlotte Willard and Frances Cage insisted on escorting the girls to the countryside, where they stayed with them for weeks in squalid conditions until the government sent an order for them to return to the school. In this way, the girls were saved. Charlotte Willard devoted her entire life to missionary work, becoming a second mother to many children. Her students and colleagues spoke dearly of her, saying “she had the power to make everyone she touched give their best”.

Elsie Hoesley White
Bertha Morley

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