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Below is a family biography included in History of Union County, Iowa published by S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., in 1908.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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W. T. Ramsey, living on section 7, Grant township, is numbered among the old settlers of Union county, having in March, 1874, taken up his abode within its borders, while since 1880 he has resided upon his present farm. He was born in Mifflin county, Pennsylvania, September 30, 1839, a son of James Ramsey, who was likewise a native of the Keystone state, his ancestors having come from Scotland to America at an early day and settled in Pennsylvania. James Ramsey was reared and educated in the state of his nativity and having arrived at years of maturity he wedded Susanna Orr, who was also a native of that state. Subsequently they removed to Adams county, Ohio, where the father secured a tract of uncultivated land and opened up a new farm. In the year 1863 he removed with his family to LaSalle county, Illinois, where he carried on farming for some time and then went to Nebraska, establishing his home near Lincoln, where both he and his wife spent their remaining days.

W. T. Ramsey was reared in southern Ohio, where he was living at the time of the outbreak of the Civil war. He watched with interest the progress of events in the south and being no longer able to content himself at home while the Union was in peril, he enlisted at Winchester, Ohio, in August, 1862, as a member of Company I, Ninety-first Volunteer Infantry. He was mustered in at Portsmouth, Ohio, and served for two years in West Virginia. Later he was under command of General Phil Sheridan in the battles of Cedar Creek and Winchester and in the campaign in the Shenandoah valley. He served for two years and ten months and having been honorably discharged at Camp Dennison was mustered out at Cumberland, Maryland, having done faithful duty in defense of the Union on the battle fields of the south.

When the war was over Mr. Ramsey joined his parents who had removed to LaSalle county, Illinois. There he engaged in farming for eight years, purchasing a tract of land which he cultivated until about 1874, when he sold his farm and came to Iowa, here purchasing one hundred and twenty acres of land in Douglas township. It was wild and unimproved but with characteristic energy he began its development and made it his home for a year. He then sold that property and bought forty acres on which he lived for six years. On the expiration of that period he disposed of that place and came to Grant township, investing here in one hundred and sixty acres on section 7. Here he built a good house, also substantial barns and sheds, furnishing ample accommodation for his stock and for the bestowal of his grain that it might be protected from the inclement weather. As the years passed he developed a fine farm and also raised good grades of stock. He has thus improved the third farm in the county and from his fields now derives a substantial annual income.

In the fall of 1874, in Johnson county, Missouri, occurred the marriage of Mr. Ramsey and Miss Elizabeth Fulton, a native of Indiana, and a daughter of Abraham Fulton, who removed from the Hoosier state to LaSalle county, Illinois and later became a resident of Missouri. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Ramsey have been born eight children but Rosaline died at the age of two years. The others are: William, who operates the home farm; Susan, the wife of Glen B. Coat, a printer of Minneapolis, Minnesota; James S., a resident farmer of Grant township, living at home; Charles B., Una, Albertine and Pearl, all yet at home.

In politics Mr. Ramsey is independent nor has he ever been an office seeker. His family belongs to the Methodist Episcopal church at Grant Center and he is well known in Union county as a man of strong purpose. His life has been well spent and justly entitles him to the high regard in which he is uniformly held. Although he started out in life empty-handed he has improved three farms in this county and is now the owner of valuable property, from which he derives a substantial income. He has witnessed the greater part of Union county’s growth and improvement, living here when there were many evidences of pioneer life. As the years have gone by he has done everything in his power to aid in the work of general progress here and is today as loyal in citizenship as when he followed the old flag on the battlefields of the south.

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This family biography is one of 247 biographies included in The History of Union County, Iowa published in 1908.  For the complete description, click here: Union County, Iowa History and Genealogy

View additional Union County, Iowa family biographies: Union County, Iowa Biographies

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