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Virgil Ellis Ramey
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Birth: Mar. 25, 1915
San Bernardino County
California, USA
Death: Jun. 4, 1984
Red Mountain
San Bernardino County
California, USA

We are aware of individuals complaining when they are blessed with good hearing, good eye sight, two active arms and above all with two good legs attached to nimble feet. Their handicap is they have had the seed of greed planted within them and do not realize they should radiate joy and contentment for the personal riches they have been blessed with. The first picture was snapped of Mr. Virgil E. Ramey in his wheel chair, just outside of his cabin door. Mr. Ramey is about 59 years old and met with an accident several years back that cost him one of his legs above the knee. You can see from the smile on his face that he has not let life defeat the prospects of the future. He is the new owner of the steam well located about 10 miles from Randsburg, Ca. off the Trona Road that leads out of Red Mountain. There is a very good dirt road maintained by Mr. Ramey and the help of his neighbor. Some of the earlier history of him goes back to when he was a Plating Chemist which is something used in restoring statues aIong with uses of materials that require plating for the shiny luster for the salsemen to sell his customers. Two dogs located on each side of three rabbits in pens, one doe just had a litter, number not known at time of visit, is some of the wild life that I keeps Virgil company. Mr. Jack I Ford and Jim Witt drilled the well about 600 feet in depth some years back being inspired by the early Indians pitching tents over the designated location to keep warm from the out crop of heat from the area.

Mojave Desert News 2/28/1974 page 2
Cantil column by Ross Rogers

Known as the "Steam Man".

Father: Virgil Tilliman Ramey Born: 2 Aug 1893
[city], Macon, NC, USA
Mother: Ada Whetzel Born: 1893
Ontario, San Bernardino, CA, USA

1920 United States Federal Census Record
about Virgil E Ramey
Name: Virgil E Ramey
Age: 4 years 7 months
Estimated birth year: abt 1915
Birthplace: California
Race: White
Home in 1920: Ontario, San Bernardino, California
Sex: Male
Marital status: Single
Relation to Head of House: Son
Mother's Birth Place: Kansas
Father's Birth Place: South Carolina
Image: 198
In household of Virgil and Ada Ramey.

California Birth Index, 1905-1995 Record
about Virgil E Ramey
Name: Virgil E Ramey
Birth Date: 25 Mar 1915
Gender: Male
Mother's Maiden Name: Whitzel
Birth County: San Bernardino

California Death Index, 1940-1997
about Virgil Ellis Ramey
Name: Virgil Ellis Ramey
Social Security #: 561092894
Birth Date: 25 Mar 1915
Birthplace: California
Death Date: 4 Jun 1984
Death Place: San Bernardino
Mother's Maiden Name:

Fathers birth record:
North Carolina Birth Index, 1800-2000 Record
about Virgil T Ramey
Name: Virgil T Ramey
Date of Birth: 2 Aug 1893
Gender: Male
Race: White
Birth County: Macon
Parent1 Name: Jerry B Ramey
Parent2 Name: Missouri C Ellenburge
Roll Number: B_C061_68001
Volume: 2
Page: 223

This could be Virgil Ellis, b. 25Mar1915 in Ontario, San Bernadino Co., Ca., d. 4Jun1984, Kern Co., Ca. Buried in Rand District Cem., Kern Co. He married Ruth Louise Ferrier, b.26Jun1917 in Lycoming Co., Pa., d. 6Jun1986 in Santa Fe Springs, Los Angeles Co., Ca.
This Virgil's parents were: Virgil Tillman Ramey, b. 1Aug1893 in NC, d. 25Aug1945, unk, and Ada Whetzel, b. 1893, d. unk.
Grandparents were: Jeremiah Burton Ramey, b. 1858 in Ga., d. abt 1897, Lincoln Co., NC. and Missouri Catherine Ellenburg, b. abt 1855 in NC, d. 25Mar1933, Bakersfield, Kern Co., Ca.

We show two children for him and Ruth, Louise Ann, b. 2Feb1937, in Los Angeles, d. 3Dec1996 in Kansas City, Mo. and Evelyn Frances, b. abt 1939. Louise married a ? Phillipa and a ? Miller. Evelyn married a ? Cagle.
Going back on his ancestry past Jeremiah and Missouri Ellengburg, his Gparents were: Martin Albert, b. abt 1828 in Ga., and Elizabeth Swafford, b. abt 1830 in Ga.
GGparents were: James Russell Ramey, b. abt 1788 in NC, and Margaret ?, b. abt 1792 in SC.
GGGparents were: Thomas Ramey, b. abt 1763, mother unknown
GGGGparents were: William Ramey, b. abt1742 in Va., mother unknown
Next generation: James Ramey, b. 1715 in Va., and Elizabeth Sanders, b. abt 1716 in Va.
Next: William Ramey, b. abt 1672 in Va., and Catherine Asbury, b. abt 1672, Va.
William's parents were the first immigrant in this Ramey line, Jacob (Jacques) Remy, b. abt 1630 in France and Mary ?, b. Va. Jacob immigrated in 1654.

Virgil was called the "Steam Man," or the "Steam Well Man." He lived outside of Red Mountain, San Bernardino County, California, at a remote location where a well had been drilled some years previously. The well hit a layer of rock that contained hot, sulfurous steam. There was a two room cabin build over the well location, with the wellhead in the second, back room.

Virgil had lost his legs, perhaps due to diabetes. He used a wheel chair to get around his property, and had plastic carpet runners across the dirt and rock to make it easier to get from place to place around the property.

Virgil always had a nice welcome for those that visited him without bad intentions, but the last time I saw him he had been beaten (not severely) and robbed of what little cash or valuables he had. He asked those in the small group I was with if we had any Polaroid cameras with us to take photos of some of the damage. I also believe that he was armed with a shotgun at this time.

Virgil would have his visitors go into the second room of the cabin, shut the door, and turn the vent wheel on the steam well, letting the room fill with the hot steam. It was like an instant sauna. I think that many visitors would spend a couple of hours visiting, and taking in the vapors. Virgil was well liked by many, ad he received a lot of gifts and provisions in return for his hospitality. 
Family links: 
  Virgil Tillman Ramey (1893 - 1945)
Rand District Cemetery
Kern County
California, USA
Created by: Diana Satterfield
Record added: Jul 13, 2004
Find A Grave Memorial# 9095984
Virgil Ellis Ramey
Added by: Diana Satterfield
Virgil Ellis Ramey
Added by: Diana Satterfield
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