Biography of Homer Ramsdell
Orange County, NY Biographies





HOMER RAMSDELL, for a century the foremost citizen of Newburgh, N. Y., was born at Warren, Mass., August 12, 1810. His father was Joseph Ramsdell. the fourth of that name in descent from Joseph and Martha (Bowker) Ramsdell, who emigrated from England to Plymouth. Mass., in 1643. His mother was Ruth Stockbridge, of Hanover, Mass., a descendant of John Stockbridge, who came from England in 1638. They were married at Hanover February 3, 1800, and moved to Warren, where the following children were born: Joseph, Mary and Homer. In 1829 Homer went to New York City, where he was employed in dry goods houses. Three years later he began business there under the firm name of Ramsdell & Brown, dealers in silks and fancy white goods. He continued this mercantile career until 1840, when he took up his permanent residence in Newburgh, superintending the various interests of Mr. Thomas Powell, who was engaged in shipping and banking business here In 1844 Mr. Ramsdell became a member of the firm of Thomas Powell & Co., and thenceforth until Mr. Powell's death in 1856 he was largely the administrator of Mr. Powell's affairs. By purchase and consolidation Mr. Ramsdell added other forwarding lines to his enterprises and soon stood at the head of the transportation business on the Hudson. Details of Mr. Ramsdell's connection with the Erie Railroad appear elsewhere. In 1845 he was elected a member of the board of directors of this corporation and in 1853 was chosen president of the company, resigning the office in July, 1857. He was intimately identified with the various local institutions of Newburgh and a prompt contributor to all progressive and elevating movements of his day.

Mr. Ramsdell was married June 16, 1835, to Frances E. L., daughter of Thomas Powell, of Newburgh, and the following children survive: Frances J., widow of Major George W. Rains; James A. P., H. Powell and Homer Stockbridge.

From:
The History of Orange County New York
Edited by: Russel Headley
Van Deusen and Elms, Publishers
Middletown, N. Y. 1908


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