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Residences - Residence of James Hill Ramsay

The residence of James Hill Ramsay, located at 208 South Fulton Street, is now the Rowan Oak House, a Bed & Breakfast. Built in 1901, the house is an elegant Queen Anne Victorian featuring wrap-around porch, and leaded and stained glass windows.

James Hill Ramsay was a descendent of Robert Ramsay, early settler of Rowan County.  He served as Postmaster under thirteen presidents beginning with Grant and ending with Coolidge in 1927.  James Hill Ramsay was born in Scotch Irish township in 1855, the son of Dr. James G. and Sarah Jane Foster Ramsay.   Dr. James G. Ramsay had served as a member of the Confederate States Congress and was a leading physician. 

Ramsay was educated at home and his first job was as a clerk at a store in the South River area, where he also served as postal clerk.  He stayed in South River from 1875-1880, when he came to Salisbury to work as bookkeeper for the Meroney Brothers dry goods.  In 1881, he went to Statesville to serve as a clerical worker for the Internal Revenue Service.  He returned to Salisbury the following year to serve as postmaster for the local office by appointment of Chester Arthur. 

Since the postmaster job was a political appointment, Ramsay occasionally relinquished the position to Colonel A. H. Boyden, who served during Democratic presidencies.  During those times he was not serving. Ramsay entered several business ventures.  He was in the tobacco manufacturing business with the firm of Johnson and Ramsay and was an organizer of the Smithdeal Hardware Company.  He was also the President of the Home Building and Loan Association. 

Ramsay was married to Mary E. Miller of Columbia, South Carolina, and the couple had four children.  Ramsay died in December of 1930.    

Publ. By Theo Buerbaum (no series no.)


Salisbury Evening Post obituary James H. Ramsay, December 31, 1930

Sides, Susan Goodman Salisbury and Rowan County Charleston, SC: Arcadia, c1999

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