Biographical Database of NAWSA Suffragists, 1890-1920
Biography of Reba Graybill VanArtsdalen, 1870-1919
By Chelsey Moore, undergraduate, Rosemont College
Rebie Graybill Rulon, also called Reba, was born in January 5, 1870 to John M. Rulon and Hannah Gubbings in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. John Rulon was a machinist, but after serving with the 52d Pennsylvania Volunteers during the Civil War, returned to Bucks County where he took up farming. Although the Rulon family was at one point Quaker, Rebie married Frank VanArtsdalen (sometimes Van Artsdalen), a farmer, in the Dutch Reformed Church in 1887. The couple resided in the Richboro area of Bucks County and had three children.
VanArtsdalen was active in the Bucks County Equal Suffrage League. In 1905, she addressed the tenth annual meeting of the membership on the subject of "State Laws Effecting Women." She also addressed the 1906 meeting. From 1907 to 1910 she attended the Pennsylvania Woman Suffrage Association statewide conventions as a representative of Bucks County.
Vanartsdalen also served in many different leadership positions. From 1908 to 1910 Vanartsdalen was elected as an auditor for the Pennsylvania Woman Suffrage Association. She did not stand for re-election in 1910. In 1911 Vanartsdalen became treasurer of the Bucks County Equal Suffrage, an office she retained through 1913.
Rebie R. Vanartsdalen died on June 11, 1919 having lived to see passage of the 19th amendment, but not its ratification. She is buried in the Union Cemetery of Richboro, Pennsylvania.
"Equal Suffrage." The Central News (Perkasie, Pennsylvania), June 8, 1905, 3.
"Will Represent Bucks County," Bucks County Gazette, November 8, 1907, 3.
"Equal Suffrage Convention," Bucks County Gazette, May 29, 1908, 1.
"State Suffragists to Meet on Monday," Philadelphia Inquirer, November 20, 1909, 3.
"Suffrage Association Meeting," Bucks County Gazette, June 3, 1910, 2.
"Woman Taxpayers Total 3,600 Here." Harrisburg Daily Independent, 10 November 1910.
"Suffragists in 14th Convention" Bristol Daily Courier, May 17, 1911, 1.
"Suffragists Meet in Doylestown," Bucks County Gazette, May 2, 1913, 2.
"Suffragists Active During Past Week," Bristol Daily Courier, July 1, 1915, 1.
"Vanartsdalen." Philadelphia Inquirer, June 14, 1919, 15.