Ruby R. Vale (1874-1961)

Ruby R. Vale, 1896

Ruby Vale was born in Carlisle, Pennsylvania on October 19, 1874 the son of of Joseph and Sarah Eyster Vale. His father had been a Civil War cavalry officer. Vale attended the Dickinson Preparatory School in Carlisle, Pennsylvania and entered the College proper with the class of 1896 in 1892. He became a member of Phi Kappa Psi fraternity and was elected as a member of Belles Lettres Society. A particularly active and admired student, he edited both the Dickinsonian and the Microcosm. He was also an outstanding athlete who played three years of varsity football as halfback and quarterback and captained the 1895 team.

Following his undergraduate years, he spent a time as the principal of the Milford (Delaware) Classical School. He then enrolled in the Dickinson School of Law and graduated with top honors for his law degree in 1899. Though remaining a resident of Milford, he began his practice before the Pennsylvania bar and developed into a well known lawyer and legal scholar. He also developed his specialty in corporation and insurance law; his offices were by then in Philadelphia. As a legal scholar, he published widely on Pennsylvania law, his best known work was his ten volume Vale's Pennsylvania Digest.

A Methodist, he was elected to the Dickinson Board of Trustees in 1917 and served until his death, when he was a member of the executive committee. His gifts to the College included the founding of the Maria Elizabeth Vale Students' Self Help Fund in memory of a daughter. Vale had married Maria Elizabeth Williams, a daughter of the then Governor of Delaware, in 1901. They had one daughter who survived them. Ruby R. Vale died at his ocean side apartment in Atlantic City, New Jersey on January 2, 1961. He was buried in his home town of Milford, Delaware.

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Dickinson College Archives
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