Biographical Database of NAWSA Suffragists, 1890-1920

Biography of Frances White Umbel, 1873-1953

By Katherine Pettine, Rosemont College, Rosemont, Penn.

Frances "Fanny" White was born on July 16, 1873, in Williamsburg, Pennsylvania, to Dr. Thomas Henry White and Clara Virginia Ake. She married Robert Emory Umbel, judge in the Court of Common Pleas of the Fourteenth Judicial District of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, in 1900. Frances Umbel gave birth to her only daughter, Margaret Greer, on April 5, 1901. Unfortunately, Margaret died suddenly after undergoing an operation on March 22, 1948, at the age of forty-seven. After her daughter's death and the death of her husband on April 25, 1945, Mrs. Umbel continued to live in Uniontown until her own death on May 24, 1953, at the age of seventy-nine.

Frances Umbel was the county chairperson of the Woman Suffrage Association of Fayette County. In 1916, she participated in the Chicago march to convince delegates to the Republican National Convention to include a woman suffrage plank in that year's party platform.


Information on Umbel can be found on and in such newspapers as the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and Connellsville (PA) Daily Courier. See also, Ida Husted Harper, ed., "Pennsylvania," chapter XXXVII in History of Woman Suffrage, vol. 6: 1900-1920 (New York, NY: National American Woman Suffrage Association, 1922), pp. 550-564. [LINK]

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