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Alberta, Past and Present, Historical and Biographical
Vol 3
James Ramsey

Watchful of the opportunities pointing toward success in his chosen line of activity, James Ramsey has made for himself a place among Edmonton's foremost merchants, and his present prosperity is due to the fact that his business was founded on the solid foundation of honor, integrity and fair dealing, so that his name has become a synonym for enterprise and reliability in business circles of this district. He is a native of the United States and was born at Imlay City, Michigan, on the 4th of April, 1864. He is of Scotch descent in both the paternal and maternal lines and when he was four years of age his parents moved across the border into Canada, settling in Oxford county, Ontario, where he attended the public schools. When but thirteen years of age he became a wage earner, securing work in a general store at Plattsville, Ontario, where he was employed from 1877 until 1884, thus gaining his initial experience in the business which was to be his life work. During the years which followed he was connected with commercial interests of Toronto, Montreal and Guelph, Canada, and New York city, the eastern metropolis of the United States. In 1911 he came to Alberta, and being favorably impressed with business conditions in Edmonton, he here organized the firm of James Ramsey, Ltd., in 1912, of which he has since been the head. Under his judicious management the business has rapidly developed and he is now controlling one of the largest department stores in western Canada. Broad practical experience has given him a comprehensive understanding of the principles of merchandising and no detail of the business escapes his observation, while the larger factors in his affairs are directed with notable assurance and power. He has closely studied trade conditions and the demands of the public and employs the most modern and progressive methods in the operation of his establishment, which is high class in every particular. He is now conducting a business of extensive proportions and is bending every effort toward the legitimate expansion of his house.

At Plattsville, Ontario, on the 1st of October, 1884, Mr. Ramsey was married to Miss Clara Alice Reynolds, a daughter of Alfred Reynolds, deceased, and they have become the parents 'of three children: Ruby, the wife of Charles H. Reed of Edmonton; Clara, now Mrs. W. H. Smith and a resident of Toronto; and Thomas Norman, who was born April 24, 1895. In September, 1915, his son enlisted at Edmonton for service in the World war, becoming a private in the Sixty-third Battalion of Infantry, and oil January 15, 1916, he was commissioned a lieutenant. Lieutenant Ramsey was married at Edmonton oil 5th of April, 1921, to Miss Menotah Mary Randall.

Mr. Ramsey is a member of the Methodist church and he exercises his right of franchise in support of the men and measures of the Conservative party. It would be impossible for a mail his ability and public spirit to remain long in the background and he has been chosen to fill important public offices, the duties of which he has discharged with conscientiousness and efficiency. In 1915 and 1916 he was a member of the board of aldermen of Edmonton and from 1917 until 1921 he represented the district of Edmonton in the Alberta legislature. He is an ex-president of the Edmonton Board of Trade and (luring the World war served as chairman of the Northern Provincial Victory Loan committee in every campaign, while he was also a member of the National Victory Loan committee. He is a Master Mason and a member of the Loyal Orange Lodge, the Edmonton Club, the Edmonton and Mayfair Golf & Country Clubs, and the Canadian Club. His interests and activities are thus evenly balanced and his is a well-rounded development. Mr. Ramsey is a self-made man who has risen to the top through hard work and the faithful performance of each task assigned him, coupled with the ability to meet and master situations, and his constantly expanding powers have carried him into a field of broad usefulness and constantly widening opportunities. A large mercantile establishment stands as a monument to his organizing genius and administrative ability and he has made his influence felt as a moving force for good in business circles of Edmonton.


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