G. Leroy Ramsey. Among the men who are marking their names indelibly upon the stockraising history of Southeastern Kansas, one who had been more than ordinarily active in this field of endeavor and whose operations have assumed large proportions is G. LeRoy Ramsey, who owned and operates 1,760 acres six miles north of El Dorado and 560 acres northeast of that city, all in Butler County. Mr. Ramsey not only raises and ships cattle extensively, but of recent years had been interested in oil leases. He was born at Belle Center, Ohio, December 22, 1872, and is a son of A. C. and Margaret (Clark) Ramsey.
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A. C. Ramsey, formerly one of the extensive cattlemen of Butler County, now retired from that business, and a large land owner of this section, had had an unusual and interesting career. He is a native of Ohio and was born in Coshocton County June 7, 1837, of Scotch-Irish descent, his parents being natives of the North of Ireland. A. C. Ramsey was one of a large family of children, and, as his parents were in modest financial circumstances, his chances for an education were limited. When he was still a lad his father died and his mother removed with the family from Coshocton County to Guernsey County, Ohio, where for one year A. C. Ramsey was employed by a fur trader. His salary for the year amounted to $100, out of which sum, through economy and thrift, he was able to save $80, and this amount gave him his start in the mercantile world. Even when a boy he was a keen, close observer, and he had not only retained this faculty throughout life, but had developed it to a marked degree. During the time he was employed by the fur dealer there were few details of the business with which he did not become thoroughly familiar. With his brother, he opened a general merchandise store at Belle Center, Ohio, and in connection with this enterprise engaged in buying furs. It was his duty to ride through the then wilderness of Western Ohio and Eastern Indiana, buying furs from the hunters and trappers and establishing agencies, and for fifteen years he did a large and profitable business in this direction, while his brother looked after the management of the store at Belle Center, which eventually developed into a mercantile institution of sizable proportions. The brothers also bought and sold grain, seed, wool, etc., on a large scale.
Mr. Ramsey disposed of his Ohio interests in 1883 and with several thousand dollars profits began to seek fields of investment which offered greater possibilities. He saw an opportunity in the West and became interested in Butler County, Kansas, where, with four associates, he organized the Buckeye Land and Cattle Company. This company acquired something like 7,000 acres of land, the greater part of which was located in Lincoln Township, although extending also into Sycamore and Chelsea townships, and cost from $3 to $8 an acre. The main idea of the company was to pasture Texas cattle here, the price for which in those days ranged from $1.25 to $2 per head for the season, beginning April 20th and ending in the middle of October. The company at first did a large and profitable business, but after a time unforeseen obstacles developed and the company was discontinued as an organized unit and Mr. Ramsey began operating in cattle alone, after having been for several years manager of and a heavy stockholder in the concern. At the time of his retirement from the cattle business, Mr. Ramsey divided a part of his property among his sons, who are now conducting the stock business on a large scale. A. C. and George A. Ramsey operated in partnership from 1905 until 1912, but are now carrying on the business independently. The Ramsey ranch consists of twelve sections in Lincoln Township, and is one of the largest ranches yet remaining in Butler County. A. C. Ramsey married Miss Margaret Clark, a native of Ohio, and seven children, five boys and two girls, were born to their union.
G. LeRoy Ramsey was educated in the public schools of Bellefontaine, Ohio, until he accompanied his parents to Kansas, following which he went to the public schools of Topeka and El Dorado, Kansas, and Kansas City, Missouri. When he left school, at nineteen years of age, he began working on his father’s ranch at DeGraff, Butler County, and remained in association with the elder man for five years, then starting operations on his own account in farming and stockraising, as well as in buying and shipping cattle. His farm is situated six miles north of El Dorado, where he had 1,760 acres, in addition to which he had another property eighteen miles northeast of El Dorado, a tract of 560 acres, and all of this land is in the oil belt and all leased for oil. In addition to this he leases 3,200 acres, all in Butler County, and is an extensive shipper of cattle. Mr. Ramsey owned his own modern residence at No. 225 North Atchison Street, El Dorado. He is president of the Ramsey Oil and Gas Company, had various other business connections, and is accounted one of the substantial representatives of business life in the thriving Butler County seat. His political beliefs make him a republican, but he had taken no particularly active part in public affairs. He gives his loyal and generous support to progressive movements and had exerted his influence in behalf of things which have been promoted for the public welfare.
Mr. Ramsey was married at Kansas City, Missouri, April 6, 1904, to Miss Alice Coggeshall, daughter of N. B. and Mary A. (Ellis) Coggeshall. Mr. Coggeshall, who is now deceased, was a pioneer of Butler County, where for many years he was engaged in successful agricultural operations. Mrs. Coggeshall, who survives her husband, resided on the farm, which is located ten miles northeast of El Dorado. To Mr. and Mrs. Ramsey there have been born a son and a daughter: Floyd Coggeshall, born July 14, 1909; and Mary Margaret, born October 21, 1910.