Biography of Hon. William Alexander Ramsey

HON. WILLIAM ALEXANDER RAMSEY. This able associate  the Shannon County Court, from the Western District, is a native of Stanley County, N. C., born in 1845, and a son of Sanders Taylor and Leah (Light) Ramsey, who were also born in the Old North State, where they lived until 1846, when they removed to Tennessee, and four years later to Alabama, and two years from that time to Iron County, Missouri, where Mr. Ramsey died in January, 1894, aged about seventy-five years, and his wife in 1866, both having been members of the Southern Methodist Church. Mr. Ramsey was a farmer, a mechanic, and was an exceptionally skillful wheelwright and chairmaker.

He led a very active life, made a good living for his family, was honest and upright, and although an uneducated man, was naturally intelligent. His second wife was Martha Howell, who still survives him. The paternal grandfather, Nathaniel Ramsey, is supposed to have been a North Carolinian, but nothing is positively known of him. Christopher Light, the maternal grandfather, came to Iron County, Missouri, about 1852, and finally settled in Dent County, where he died about 1879, a farmer and blacksmith by occupation. His wife died in Iron County in 1879. William Alex. Ramsey was the fifth of eight children born to his parents: John Franklin was a soldier for two years under Price, and died in Iron County when about twenty-nine years old; Elizabeth is the wife of F. M. Shrum, of Reynolds County, Missouri; Sarah Ann died when small; Lavina is the deceased wife of Jerome Warren; William Alex.; Eliza Jane is the deceased wife of Wesley Faulkner; Margaret died when young, and Cornelius is a farmer of Lawrence County, Arkansas

The subject of this sketch received a somewhat meager common-school education. From the summer of 1864 until the war closed he served in Johnson’s regiment of Price’s army, and was in the raid from Arkansas into southeast Missouri. He surrendered at Pilot Knob, in the spring of 1865, and returned to his home and the peaceful pursuits of agriculture. He was married when twenty-two years old, in Reynolds County, Missouri, to Mary Siloam, daughter of Louis and Mirah Munger, the former of whom was a soldier of the Confederacy. His widow survives him and is a resident of St. Francois County. In Iron County, Missouri, Mrs. Ramsey was born and reared and like her husband was educated in the district schools. Their union has resulted in the birth of two children: Lurena Belle, wife of John Bradley, and Preston Taylor, who was educated principally at Farmington, Missouri, and is a successful minister of the Southern Methodist Church.

Mr. Ramsey lived in Iron County until about 1879, then spent four years in St. Francois County, and in 1883 came to Shannon County, and to his present farm, on which small improvement had been made at that time. His estate comprises 16O acres and he has about seventy acres cleared and under cultivation, and a fine young bearing orchard. He also owns eighty acres in Iron County, Missouri In addition to his farm work he follows house carpentering, cabinet work, etc., and is in good circumstances. In 1892 he was elected associate justice of Shannon County Court and has since filled the office with marked ability and to the general satisfaction of all concerned. His first presidential vote was cast for Seymour, in 1868, and he has always been a Democrat politically and is an active worker for his party. He is a member of Thomasville Lodge No. 387, of the A. F. & A. M., of Woodside, and he and his wife are worthy members of the Southern Methodist Church.


A Reminiscent History of the Ozark Region: comprising a condensed general history, a brief descriptive history of each county, and numerous biographical sketches of prominent citizens of such counties. Chicago: Goodspeed Brothers Publishers. 1894.

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