A Ramsey Family Christmas
One of Minnesota’s first Colonial Dames, Marion Ramsey Furness, daughter of Alexander Ramsey and his wife Anna Earl Jenks Ramsey, wrote to her daughter Anita (Anna) Furness, who was studying in Paris over Christmas 1895. She writes of Anita’s younger brother Alexander Ramsey Furness (referred to as “Ramsey”) and Anita’s younger sister Laura Furness, among others. She mentions receiving three calendars for Christmas (“so I can keep the run of 1896 in many languages”) and cooking the oysters in a chafing dish for Christmas dinner because the servants were out. Marion is listed as a founder of NSCDA-MN and her daughter Anita made a provision in her will for the Alexander Ramsey House to be cared for jointly by the Colonial Dames and the Minnesota Historical Society. Marion was Alexander and Anna Ramsey’s only child who survived to adulthood, and lived in Philadelphia for much of her life. She moved back to St. Paul after her husband’s longstanding hospitalization, and she and her three children lived with her parents in the Alexander Ramsey house. Besides the Colonial Dames, she was active in the Schubert Club, Minnesota Historical Society, the Ladies of the Grand Army of the Republic, and other organizations. We have both Anita’s and Laura’s lineage papers, and while Anita went through her mom Marion’s lines to Joseph Kirkbride as her qualifying ancestor, Laura went through her father’s side to Captain Roger Clapp of Dorchester Mass. For the full letter and photos, see Marion Ramsey Furness under History Sketches.
Minnesota Dames Included in U of M newsletter
The photo and note below was included in the most recent Global U: Spotlight on Teaching, Research and Engagement from the University of Minnesota.
Way to go Meryl, Katharine, and Ann!
For the full issue, click here
Minnesota Dames tour LeDuc House
Minnesota Dames toured the William and Mary LeDuc house in Hastings for their fall program. Visit our Gallery for photos of our tour. Built between 1862 and 1866, the LeDuc estate's Gothic Revival design was selected by Mary Bronson LeDuc while General William LeDuc was away fighting for the Union in the Civil War. Construction delays and cost overruns due to the war were among the many financial setbacks faced by the family. The original estimates were that the house would cost under $5,000, but the final bill was $30,000 despite compromises like substituting pinewood fireplaces when marble had been in the original plans. We learned of William and Mary's lives and those of their four children, including a delightful escapade described in a tour of the library. Several of our Dames remembered Carroll Simmons, the antiques dealer who donated the house for preservation. Despite the chill, it was an enjoyable tour and is well worth the visit for those of you who were not able to join us. Thanks go to Kathleen Boe, Marian Bond, Kitty Petit and Jennifer Peterson for planning and executing our visit, including carpools.
Dames Support History Day 2018
The annual History Day Contest
, conducted in March 2018, involved more than 5,000 young scholars at regional and state History Day events. The Minnesota society once again awarded prizes for History Day day entries in the area of American Colonial History, and several Minnesota Dames served as volunteer judges.
Minnesota History Day is sponsored by the Minnesota Historical Society in partnership with the University of Minnesota.
International Scholarships Awarded
In 2017, six international scholars, from Canada, Ghana, South Africa, Uganda, and Nigeria, received scholarships. The scholarships are awarded annually in partnership with the University of Minnesota.