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George Samuel Ramsey, the subject of this sketch, was born on a farm near Viola, Warren county, Tennessee on August 18, 1874. He is the son of George W. and Elizabeth (King) Ramsey, natives of Warren county, Tennessee. His ancestors on the paternal side are Scotch and on the maternal side, English. His paternal ancestors emigrated from Scotland and settled in Pennsylvania. Branches of the family moved to North Carolina and thence into Tennessee. The father, George W. Ramsey, was a farmer by occupation and during the Civil war served with the Confederate army.
Both parents belong to the Christian church. His father died in 1912. His mother, now eighty-four years old, resides in Muskogee with her daughter, Mrs. Mollie R. Burger.
George S. Ramsey obtained his early education in the common schools and by reading and informing himself on ancient and current history and studying the various problems of the day. He read law in the office and under the direction of Captain George W. Cross of Manchester, Tennessee, and was admitted to the bar in September, 1896. He became a partner of Captain Cross under the firm name of Cross & Ramsey, which firm was dissolved in 1900 by Captain Cross’s retirement from practice., Mr. Ramsey moved to Muskogee; Indian Territory, in January, 1905, and immediately formed a law partnership with Nathan A. Gibson, under the firm name of Gibson & Ramsey. The partnership was dissolved December 1, 1908, and thereupon Mr. Ramsey formed a partnership with Clarence Lot Thomas, under the firm name of Ramsey & Thomas, which continued until the latter’s death on July 5, 1914. In August, 1914, Mr. Ramsey organized the firm of Ramsey & DeMeules, which later developed into the present firm of Ramsey, DeMeules, Rosser & Martin, with offices at Tulsa and Muskogee, Oklahoma. This firm is composed of Mr. Ramsey, Edgar A. DeMeules, Judge Malcolm E. Rosser, and Willard Martin.
Mr. Ramsey is a member of the bar of the supreme court of the United States and has argued several important cases in that court. After having orally argued one case in the supreme court of the United States on December 1 and 2,1910, the court, on January 23, 1911, ordered the case restored to the docket for further oral argument. Mr. Ramsey again argued the case orally on March 1 and 2, 1911. This was the celebrated Marchie Tiger case, involving the construction of several Acts of Congress and the constitutionality of a part of the Act of Congress of April 26, 1906. The supreme court of Oklahoma had decided this case in favor of his clients, but the United States supreme court reversed the judgment.
Among some of the other cases he orally argued and won in the supreme court of the United States involving questions of great public interest in Eastern Oklahoma are United States v. Bartlett, Shulthis v. McDougal, Shulthis v. McKay and Jefferson v. Fink.
Mr. Ramsey is an independent republican in politics, but in state and county elections always supports the man he thinks best qualified for the position 4 vacancy having occurred on the supreme court bench of Oklahoma by the resignation of Chief Justice Thomas H. Owen, Hon. J. B. A. Robertson, the democratic governor of the state, tendered the appointment to Mr. Ramsey, which at first he declined. After being urged by many prominent members of the bar of the state to accept the appointment, he finally consented and on April 16, 1920, the Governor announced the appointment of Mr. Ramsey to take effect on May 1, and in an interview published in The Daily Oklahoman on April 16, 1920, Governor Robertson, in announcing the appointment, among other things, said “Mr. Ramsey is, without doubt, one of the best qualified lawyers in the state for this position. He is recognized as a great lawyer, not only here in Oklahoma, but in surrounding states as well. His long career at the bar, coupled with his great success as a lawyer and his indefatigable energy, will be a great asset to the court and should inspire confidence in the minds of all litigants.”
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After serving a few months on the supreme court Mr. Ramsey resigned to resume the law practice. For the last ten or twelve years he has represented some of the largest financial interests in the state and is now conducting various suits involving many millions of dollars.
Hon. Lee Cruce, while governor, appointed him a special justice of the supreme court to sit in a case with three other special justices, all the regular justices except one being disqualified.
He belongs to the Muskogee Bar Association, and also the Oklahoma State Bar Association, of which he was president for the year 1915. He also belongs to the American Bar Association.
By invitation of the Tennessee State Bar Association Mr. Ramsey delivered the annual address before that Association at its 1917 meeting. His subject was : “The Power and Duty of the State to Settle Disputes between Employer and Employs,” in which he took the position that it was not only the duty of the state to provide a forum to pass on controversies between employer and employs, but also that the state had the authority under the constitution to organize such an agency. At that time the Kansas Industrial Court had not been suggested. The address was favorably commented on by the Tennessee Press.
On November 30, 1898, Mr. Ramsey was married to Miss Earline Young of Wartrace, Tennessee. Of this union three children were born: Ollie, who died in infancy; George Cross Ramsey, who died on September 9, 1911, at the age of eight years and ten months; and Margaret Ramsey, now eight years of age. Mrs. Ramsey died on February 24, 1918. On January 4, 1920, Mr. Ramsey married Mrs. Frances Frierson at Shelbyville, Tennessee.
Mr. Ramsey is a member of the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks, Muskogee Lodge, and the Muskogee Town & Country Club. While his firm maintains an office in Tulsa, he resides in Muskogee.