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West Virginia Women's Suffrage Trail

Zone 1 of 10: Wheeling

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During the early 20th century, West Virginia suffragist Henrietta Arbenz Romine Fulks lived at this residence. A leader in both the West Virginia Equal Suffrage Association and West Virginia League of Women Voters, Romine Fulks served as president of the West Virginia League of Women Voters while she lived in this Wheeling home with her husband, Edward Romine. Born in 1890, Henrietta Romine was the youngest state president of the League of Women Voters in the time period when the 19th Amendment was ratified. While Edward passed away in 1937, Henrietta, lived until 1985 and also survived her second husband, George William Fulks.


The Wheeling Intelligencer, May 1, 1916

Forehead, Eyebrow, Human, Jaw

WVESA Ratification Committee (Henrietta Romine, Cora Ebert, Julia Ruhl, Nancy Mann, Daisy Peadro, and Lenna Lowe Yost) with petitions for ratification. Huntington Advertiser, September 26, 1920

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Henrietta Arbenz Romine, Charleston Gazette, January 24, 1926

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1921 Wheeling City Directory

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1924 Wheeling City Directory

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Henrietta Arbenz was born to Henry J. and Lilly Karen-Arbenz on July 4, 1890. The Arbenz family owned the Wheeling Conservatory of Music and Henrietta also trained in music in her youth. Henrietta Arbenz married Edward Romine in August 1910.

A few years after her marriage to Edward Romine, Henrietta started distributing suffrage pamphlets to local mills and selling newspapers in Wheeling. She joined the West Virginia Equal Suffrage Association and attended the 65th and 66th United States Congressional sessions as Congressional Chairman for the WVESA. During the campaign to ratify the 19th Amendment, Henrietta Romine served as the Finance Chairman for the WVESA Ratification Committee and worked to help convince state legislators to remain in session and support ratification. For her work, Carrie Chapman Catt presented her with a Distinguished Service Certificate in 1920.

After the 19th Amendment, Henrietta Arbenz Romine was a charter member of the West Virginia League of Women Voters. At the League’s founding meeting she was elected as the Legislative Chairman and in 1922 she was elected as president. She was the youngest state president of the League at that time and formed the Joint Legislative Council within the League during her term. She was re-elected to a second term as president but stepped down due to illness.

Henrietta Arbenz Romine was widowed in 1934. She remarried to George William Fulks in 1937. She also outlived her second husband and died in 1985. She is buried in Greenwood Cemetery in Wheeling, WV.

1920; Census Place: Wheeling Ward 3, Ohio, West Virginia; Roll: T625_1966; Page: 6A; Enumeration District: 81. Ancestry.com. 1920 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2010.

“Henrietta M. Arbenz Fulks.” Find A Grave. Accessed June 22, 2022. https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/133802832/henrietta-m.-fulks.

Hucik, Caitlin. “Biography of Henrietta M. Romine Fulks, 1890-1985.” Biographical Database of NAWSA Suffragists, 1890-1920. Accessed June 21, 2022. https://documents.alexanderstreet.com/d/1011000469.

Wheeling, West Virginia, City Directory, 1921. U.S., City Directories, 1822-1995 [database on-line]. Lehi, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011.

Wheeling, West Virginia, City Directory, 1924. U.S., City Directories, 1822-1995 [database on-line]. Lehi, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011.

“Women in the West Virginia Woman Suffrage Movement.” Fighting the Long Fight: West Virginia Women and the Right to Vote. A West Virginia Archives and History Online Exhibit. Accessed June 21, 2022. http://129.71.204.160/history////exhibitsonline/suffrage/suffragewomen.html.

Image Sources(Click to expand)

The Wheeling intelligencer. [volume], May 01, 1916, Page 6, Image 16. Chronicling America. Accessed June 24, 2022. https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn86092536/1916-05-01/ed-1/seq-16/.

"WVESA Ratification Committee (Henrietta Romine, Cora Ebert, Julia Ruhl, Nancy Mann, Daisy Peadro, and Lenna Lowe Yost) with petitions for ratification. Huntington Advertiser, September 26, 1920." Fighting the Long Fight: West Virginia Women and the Right to Vote. A West Virginia Archives and History Online Exhibit. Accessed June 29, 2022. http://archive.wvculture.org/history/exhibitsonline/suffrage/suffrage71.html.

"Henrietta Arbenz Romine, Charleston Gazette, January 24, 1926." Fighting the Long Fight: West Virginia Women and the Right to Vote. A West Virginia Archives and History Online Exhibit. Accessed June 22, 2022. http://129.71.204.160/history////exhibitsonline/suffrage/suffrage75.html.

Wheeling, West Virginia, City Directory, 1921. U.S., City Directories, 1822-1995 [database on-line]. Lehi, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011.

Wheeling, West Virginia, City Directory, 1924. U.S., City Directories, 1822-1995 [database on-line]. Lehi, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011.