From: email@example.com (Joanne or Chuck)
Only in case of formidable invasion by Indians were the men to be taken out of
their counties...The Indians had changed considerably. They were now dressed
in clothes, were all well armed and, with their usual activity and
sagacity, moved faster than in the old days and hid their tracks
better. They could hardly be surprised, and when surprised, or in surprising our scouts,
they were more daring and braver, at least at the onset, than of old.
Small parties of men had frequent encounters with small parties of
Indians; the losses on each side were about equal.
Ramsdale served a term of twenty-two days and was paid at the rate of
two dollars (Confederate) per day.
In 1866, Ramsdale moved his family to Wise County, Texas and stopped
near the settlement of Boyd's Mill, about two and one-half miles
southeast of present-day Aurora, Texas. Family tradition says he had
first seen and liked the land while taking a herd of cattle north to
Kansas (Also, his sister, Mary Ann and her husband, W.W.O Stanfield and
family had settled first in Denton County, then Aurora in the mid to
late 1850's). The family camped under a tree until he had time to build
their first Wise County home, a one-room log house. He settled near a
cool spring which ran year-round and soon created a small lake by
damming the stream which ran from the spring. Into the lake he
introduced a type of German carp until then unknown in the area.
Soon after arriving in Wise County, Ramsdale and his neighbors
recognized the need for a leather supply in their community. He and
some friends decided to open a tannery. In 1867, the tanyard was built
below the dam on his farm. Many of the needed hides came from cattle
which were too weak to continue north on the trail drives which passed
through the area. The men buried the untanned hides for a few days
until the hair came off easily and then dried them thoroughly. Later
the hides were oiled and "worked" until they became soft and pliable.
Ramsdale was well-known throughout his community because of a trip he
made to Houston, Texas to bring back the mill machinery for John G.
Boyd's mill. The trip required ninety days of travel, and sixteen oxen
were needed to pull the machinery back to Wise County. While he was
gone, Mrs. Ramsdale received word that her husband had died. She
received a letter from him a few days later, but she was unconvinced of
his safety because she realized the letter could have been mailed before
During the time he was away, his son, James, was accidentally killed on
a Sunday morning while Mrs. Ramsdale was at church. George Ramsdale
kept his rifle hanging over the window of his home; one of the Ramsdale
brothers climbed in a chair to reach it. While he was climbing down,
the gun went off accidentally and the bullet struck James. He was
buried in the now-abandoned Teague Cemetery, south of Aurora. His grave
is marked only with a field stone with no readable inscription. Family
tradition say two other Ramsdale children lie buried there also. They,
too, lie in unknown graves.
On Oct. 17, 1873, Ramsdale filed his application for pension to the
State of Texas, based upon his service in the Texas Revolution. On
September 4, 1874, his application was approved at the rate of $250 per
year. On August 5, 1878 and Jan. 9, 1879, Ramsdale was issued
certificates in which the state said the money appropriated for pensions
had been exhausted and his money could not be paid. He gave power of
attorney to James Dowell to sell his pension warrants for whatever they
By 1880, Ramsdale's home community was identified with the new town of
Aurora; the area had formerly been known as Boyd's Mill. He moved away
soon, however, a short distance to the Paradise community where one of
his son's was already living. Family traditions say he intended to move
to New Mexico, but that he died while visiting his family in Paradise.
The Wise County Messenger in 1884 reported that Mr. Ramsdale, "an old
citizen of this county and a Texas veteran, died at his home in Paradise
on the 17th inst." He was buried in Paradise Cemetery.
After his death, George Ramsdale's widow, Betty, and several of the
children did move to New Mexico. Elizabeth Ramsdale died in 1909 in
White Oaks, New Mexico; her body was brought back to Paradise for burial
beside her husband.
George and Elizabeth Ramsdale's children:
Name 1850 Census 1860 Census 1870
Census 1880 Census Misc. sources
John F. b.1843 b.1843
b.1844 ---- ----
Samuel A. b.1845
William B. b.1847 b.1846 b.
1849 ---- gravestone says
b. Nov. 30, 1845, d. Feb. 25, 1899
George Moore b. 1847 b. 1848
---- ---- ----
Thomas E. b. 1849 b. 1850
b.1853 ---- gravestone says
b. 1851, d. 1873
Elijah E. b. 1851 b.
1851 b. 1851 ----
b. Mar. 3, 1851, d.Apr. 3, 1923
Marion C. b. 1854 b.1854
b. 1855 gravestone says
b. Aug. 16, 1854, d. 1899
Malinda Ellen ---- b.
1856 b.1857 ---- Pegue's
book says b. 1857
Francis C. ----
b.1859 b.1861 b.1860
---- b.1864 b. 1863
I have more tidbits of information about George Ramsdale and family,
along with the Bibliography and footnotes of the above article. I also
have a photograph of George and his wife and son, Jerimiah, but do not
have the equipment to share it online--yet. Feel free to contact me at