Straight, Willard Dickerman
- James J. Lorence
Straight, Willard Dickerman (31 January 1880–01 December 1918), diplomat and business executive, was born in Oswego, New York, the son of Henry H. Straight and Emma May Dickerman, both teachers. After his father’s death in 1886, Willard spent two years in Japan, where his mother taught at the Girls’ Normal School in Tokyo. Orphaned in 1890, he was adopted jointly by Dr. Elvire Rainier and Laura Newkirk, friends of his parents in Oswego. In 1897 he entered Cornell University, where he earned the bachelor’s degree in architecture in 1901. It was at Cornell that he developed a strong interest in Asia under the tutelage of Professor of History Henry Morse Stephens....