Willard Livingstone Beard

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Willard Livingstone Beard
Willard Livingstone Beard.jpg
Missionary to China
Born February 5, 1865
Huntington, Connecticut
Died April 15, 1947(1947-04-15) (aged 82)
Jacksonville, Florida

Willard Livingstone Beard (Chinese: 裨益知; Pinyin: Bì Yìzhī; Foochow Romanized: Bĭ Ék-dĭ; February 5, 1865 – April 15, 1947) was an American missionary serving under the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions in Foochow, China.


Willard Livingstone Beard was born in Huntington, Connecticut on February 5, 1865. He enrolled at Oberlin College in 1887, and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in 1891. In 1894 he graduated from Hartford Seminary.

W.L. Beard with his students at conference, Foochow, ca. 1911-1913

In 1894, Beard started missionary work to China. He first began as a missionary for the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions from 1894 to 1904. In 1904, he was released to start a YMCA in Fukien Province (now Fujian), for which he served as general secretary until 1909. In 1910, he returned to the United States, and served as a secretary of the ABCFM in New York City for two years. In 1912, Beard returned to China, and held a position as president of Foochow College until 1927. From 1927 to 1936 he returned to general missionary work in China. And after a brief time home in the United States, Beard served two more years for the ABCFM in Foochow.

At the outbreak of World War II, Beard returned to his hometown, where he remained for the rest of his life. On April 15, 1947, he died of heart attack at the home of his daughter in Jacksonville, Florida.