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Robert William Ramsay, Jr
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Birth: Jan. 2, 1862
Fife, Scotland
Death: May 23, 1934
Atchison County
Kansas, USA

h/o Mary Elizabeth Bessie Henry.

Birth: 2nd of six known children in Dunfermline, Fife, Scotland migrating to America, Saint Louis, then to fourteen year old Pittsburg, Crawford county, Kansas.

Pittsburg, Crawford county, Kansas, by Moffett & Sargent, who established and laid out the site and then sold their holdings in 1880 to Pittsburg Town Company whose president was Charles Monroe Condon, historically, one of Kansas' most successful men of his day and brother Albert's future father-in-law.

The name "Ramsay Brothers Dry Good Company" first came into being, around 1890 in Pittsburg, Crawford county, Kansas when the brothers partner Pat Martin, struck out for greener pastures. It consisted of Robert William,jr and five year younger Albert A Ramsay born in Scotland, migrating to the state of Kansas. They, and their heirs through the life of the company, operated stores, providing livelihood for many families, one time or another, at Atchison, Coffeyville, Iola, Pittsburg in Kansas,~ Guthrie, McAlester, Miami, Okmulgee in Oklahoma,~ Beatrice (1936) in Nebraska ~ Carthage & Joplin in Missouri for a span of over eighty (80) years. Not much was uncovered in the internet research concerning this Ramsay family. It was 1946, following death of both founders, they initated a government approved employee pension plan as noted in the local newspapers, greatly benefitting their employees well being, and later around 1958, the sons of each original partner, Robert C and Ronald H decided to split the company, Ronald H, Robert W,jr's son, with Iola and Atchison in Kansas and Robert C, the other stores. Powers Museum of Carthage has a file concerning the 20,000 square foot Ramsay store in Carthage, so each town may have records of existence such as Pittsburg (where son Ronald was born), when it celebrated its seventy-fifth anniversary in 1951 with a newspaper photograph of the interior of the 5,000 sq ft Ramsay's store at 602 north Broadway.

Carthage newspaper article in 1903 explains the Ramsay Brothers Dry Goods Company incorporation with A A Ramsay, brother Robert W Ramsay, jr of Guthrie, Oklahoma and H M Palmer, manager at Iola, plus expanding Carthage store into the Regan building (after 1916, Center Building), for more sales room.

See Joplin Globe, p 4, c 2&3, 26 September 1946 for a history of the Ramsay store's growth and son Ronald Henry's Historic Home write-up for a slightly different memory of the family's history.

"Ramsay, A. A., (Martin & Ramsay, Dry Goods and Notions,) boards Hotel Cissna Ramsay, R. W., (Martin & Ramsay, Dry Goods and Notions,) boards Hotel Cissna", SOURCE: Young & Wassam's Directory of City of Pitsburg[Kansas] for 1890. (1892, Robert W,jr to Guthrie, Oklahoma Territory, then upon Oklahoma's statehood, 1907 to Atchison, Kansas and in 1895, Albert A removed to Carthage, Missouri.)

Census (Scotland): 1871, age 9, Dunfermline, Scotland with parents & five siblings, in school.

Census (Scotland): 1881, age 19, Dunfermline, Scotland with parents, maternal grandmother & five siblings.1898

Guthrie, Oklahoma territory Business & Resident Directory: Ramsay Brothers Dry Good Store at 210 west Oklahoma avenue.

Guthrie was the territorial and later the first state capital for Oklahoma. Guthrie is nationally significant because of its outstanding collection of late nineteenth and early twentieth-century commercial architecture.

A significant City Directory item had information worthy of notation.

1896, lists Albert A Ramsay in Carthage, MO, Jesie A Ramsay, his next older brother with their parents at 406 west Euclid avenue, Pittsburg, Ks, Robt the father, also at 406 address, Robt,jr at Guthrie, Ok.

Census: 1900, age 38 Guthrie, Logan county, Oklahoma Territory with wife & two kids at 521 east Washington avenue, a dry goods merchant.

1901, City Directory lists Albert A Ramsay in Carthage, Mo, his sister, Elizabeth L with their parents at 406 west Euclid avenue, Pittsburg, Ks, the father Robt (Ramsay Bros) as is daughter Sarah F at the 406 address, with Robt, jr still in Guthrie, Ok.

Mr. Robert W. Ramsay,jr, head of Ramsay Bros. Dry Goods Store, promised to give 25 books from his store stock for every 100 books other people gave. Mr. Ramsay was a personal acquaintance of Andrew Carnegie, since boyhood days in Dunfermline, Scotland, and was able to obtain $1,000 from Carnegie for books. Carnegie added the advice that "the only true plan is for the community to maintain a library from a tax levied for that purpose."

This was believed to be the only donation Carnegie made for books.

406 EAST OKLAHOMA AVENUE, Guthrie's Historic Carnegie Library was constructed in 1902. It was the second Carnegie Library built in Oklahoma, and is the oldest existing Carnegie Library in the state.

Placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1971, the Carnegie Library now exists as a part of the Guthrie Museum Complex.

The Ramsay's were likely (?), instrumental in obtaining $25,000 from Carnegie for a library building, a portion of his over $56 million to build 2,509 libraries throughout the English-speaking world. That building was dedicated on May 20, 1903, making it Oklahoma's first (?) Carnegie library. Ramsay was elected Vice President of the new public library board, and continued to be a frequent donor of gifts and services to the Guthrie library for many years. SOURCE: Oklahoma Libary Legends.

Census: 1910, age 48 Atchison, Atchison county, Kansas with wife & three kids at 613 Jackson street, a merchant.

1912, he was Y M C A president. The Y. M. C. A. building contains thirty-four living rooms with a capacity for fifty men. These rooms are now kept filled practically all the time. A restaurant is operated on the ground floor and there are excellent.

Census: 1920, age 57 Atchison, Atchison county, Kansas with wife & three kids at 613 Jackson street, a merchant in dry goods.

1923, City Directory lists, daughter Mary F a student residing 613 Laramie, Atchison, Ks, Robt W, jr & wife, he president Snowden-Mize Drug co. and manager Ramsay Bros Dry Goods, residing 613 Laramie, son Ronald H & wife at 901 Dickson Terrace, Atchison, Ks. The 1926 directory had son Ronald H as manager of the store, they becoming the parents of Wm and Robert.

Death: in Atchison, Atchison county, Kansas, burial site currently unknown.

Father: Robert W Ramsay,sr, merchant, b: 2 JAN 1836 Crossgates, Fifi, Scotland.
Mother: Annie Katherine Luckman b: 8 NOV 1833 Manchester, England.

Marriage: Mary Elizabeth Bessie Henry b: about 1871 Illinois.
Married: 9 FEB 1892 Kansas City, Jackson county, Missouri.

Known Children

Ronald Henry Ramsay b: 2 OCT or 31 JAN 1893 Pittsburg, Crawford county, Kansas.

Josephine Katherine Ramsay b: about 1896 Gutherie, Indian Territory, now Logan county, Oklahoma.

Mary Elizabeth Ramsay b: about 1903 Guthrie, Indian Territory, now Logan county, Oklahoma.

Prepared in part by Bill Boggess.
Family links: 
  Robert William Ramsay (1836 - 1903)
  Annie Katherine Luckman Ramsay (1833 - 1902)
  Sarah Fran Ramsay (1861 - 1925)*
  Robert William Ramsay (1862 - 1934)
  Albert Algernon Ramsay (1867 - 1945)*
*Calculated relationship
Maintained by: I Remember When
Originally Created by: Bill
Record added: Apr 16, 2012
Find A Grave Memorial# 88613910
Robert William Ramsay, Jr
Added by: Bill
Robert William Ramsay, Jr
Added by: Bill
Robert William Ramsay, Jr
Added by: Bill
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~ His grandson William, my troop commander at New Mexico Military Institute who with his three roomies lived third floor between "I" and "K" barracks known as the "Bloody Angle".He and two roommates from Chicago were killed at 'Battle of the Bulge' with t...(Read more)
- Bill
 Added: Oct. 8, 2012

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