Biography of Frances Hawley Rastall, 1844-1920 (Manchester, VT)

Originally posted at Alexander Street as part of Biographical Database of NAWSA Suffragists, 1890-1920.

By Joanna Tebbs Young, MA/MFA, independent historian

Biography of Frances (Fanny) Hawley (Mrs. John E.) Rastall, 1844-1920: National American Woman Suffrage Association: congressional chair for the state of Vermont & legislative superintendent (Manchester, Vermont), Milwaukee (WI) Sentinel: writer; Kansas Woman’s Christian Temperance Union: president; Kansas Industrial School for Girls: co-founder; Women’s Temperance Publishing Association: business manager; Entrepreneur; Bennington County (VT) WCTU: speaker & secretary


Frances (Fanny) Hawley Rastall, born in Leicestershire, England in 1844, emigrated to the U.S. in 1861 with her mother Elizabeth after her father, William, a dry goods merchant, died. Settling in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, at the age of 18, Fanny took a job at the Milwaukee Sentinel becoming one of the first “girl compositors in the United States.” When she became “indignant” at her editor’s views on women’s suffrage, she adopted a pseudonym in order to debate the unwitting man in his own column.

In 1868, Fanny married John E. Rastall, a Milwaukee abolitionist and veteran of the Kansas Free State Army. In 1877, they settled in Kansas where Fanny raised their five children (one son died in infancy) and John published the Osage County Chronicle. Continue reading


Biography of Frances Rastall Wyman, 1869-1931 (Manchester, VT)

Originally posted at Alexander Street as part of Biographical Database of NAWSA Suffragists, 1890-1920.

By Joanna Tebbs Young, MA/MFA, independent historian

Biography of Frances Rastall (Mrs. E.L.) Wyman, 1869-1931: Vermont Woman Suffrage Association: President, Manchester, Vermont

Frances Rastall Wyman, eldest child and only daughter of Frances (Fanny) Hawley Rastall and John E. Rastall, was born in Burlingame, Kansas on February 23, 1869. With her parents both active proponents of prohibition and her mother a well-known suffragist, Frances unsurprisingly followed in her mother’s footsteps in the pursuit of the “woman vote.”

Frances attended Oberlin College in Ohio from 1890 to 1894 and studied science for at least her first year. (Oberlin’s 75th anniversary publication states Frances was only enrolled 1893 to 1894 in The Academy; however, she is listed in the 1890 catalog under “Middle Class” next to the abbreviation Sc, indicating Scientific.)

In 1901, Frances married widower Edmond Lewis Wyman, a physician and surgeon 25 years her senior. Having met while he was studying a post-graduate course at Illinois College of Electro Therapeutics, they were married in the home of Mr. and Mrs. Rastall in Chicago. In approximately 1906, the couple moved to Dr. Wyman’s hometown of Manchester, Vermont, where he opened a medical practice and was appointed President of Factory Point Bank. In 1907, Frances joined the First Congregational Church of Manchester. Continue reading