Biography of Thomas T. Ramsdell
Erie County, NY Biographies


Ramsdell, Thomas T., Buffalo, is the son of the late Orrin P. Ramsdell, one of the oldest and best known wholesale boot and shoe dealers in Western New York. He is of Scotch descent. Orrin P. Ramsdell was a son of Isaiah Ramsdell, a native of Lynn, Mass., and of Clarissa Collins, his wife, a native of Mansfield, Conn., and was born at the latter place July 19, 1811. He obtained a common school education. spent some time as a dry goods clerk, and finally opened a retail boot and shoe store in New London, Conn., which he conducted until 1835. In 1837 he came to Buffalo and established a retail boot and shoe trade, which soon developed into one of the leading wholesale industries of the city. He was regarded as the pioneer shoe dealer of Buffalo. He built the Erie Basin elevator in 1861, was an original stockholder in the Manufacturers' and Traders' Bank, and a director of the Buffalo and Southwestern Railroad, and was actively interested in other banking and railway enterprises. In 1851 he married Anna C., daughter of Thomas W. and Deborah C. (Smith) Titus. of Brooklyn, N. Y., and their children were Albert N., born in 1853, died in 1878; Thomas T., born March 15, 1854; Orrin P., jr., born in 1856, died in 1860; Belle C. (Mrs. E. A. Bell), born in 1857; Bessie H., born in 1858, died in infancy; Alfred C., born in 1860, died in infancy; Anna K., born in 1862; Clarissa C., born in 1865, and Evelyn, born in 1868. Thomas T. Ramsdell attended the public schools and was graduated from Prof. Briggs's Buffalo Classical School in 1871. In 1873 he entered his father's wholesale boot and shoe house, which was then conducted by O. P. Ramsdeli & Co. (W. H. Walker). Mr. Walker withdrew in 1877, and Thomas T. Ramsdell and his brother, Albert N.. were admitted to partnership. Albert N. died in 1878, and in 1879 William C., G. W., and Sidney M. Sweet became partners under the present firm name of O. P. Ramsdell, Sweet & Co. Since then O. P. Ramsdefl and G. W. Sweet have died, and Thomas T. Ramsdell is now the senior member of the firm. Mr. Ramsdell is an active member and in 1894 was president of the Buffalo Republican League. He is a director of the Ellicott Square Company, the Merchants' Exchange, the Board of Trade, the Bell Telephone Company of Buffalo and the Buffalo General Hospital, and a member of the Buffalo Library, the Fine Arts Academy, the Society of Natural Sciences, the Westminster Church, and the Buffalo, Country and Buffalo Press Clubs. He has been prominently identified with the great project of bringing Niagara Falls power to Buffalo, and was a member of Mayor Jewett's advisory committee appointed for that purpose. November 10, 1881, he married Louise Miller, of Sterling, Ill. Their children are Orrin P., Louise M., Alice M., and Thomas T., jr.

Our County and its people
A descriptive work on Erie County, New York
Edited by: Truman C. White
The Boston History Company, Publishes 1898


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