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A Narrative History
The People of Iowa
SPECIAL TREATMENT OF THEIR CHIEF ENTERPRISES IN
EDUCATION, RELIGION, VALOR, INDUSTRY,
EDGAR RUBEY HARLAN, LL. B., A. M.
Curator of the
Historical, Memorial and Art Department of Iowa
THE AMERICAN HISTORICAL SOCIETY, Inc.
Chicago and New York
RICHARD ROEMER RAMSELL. Aside from any distinction that may be his because
of his connection with two of the foremost pioneer families of Iowa, of that
sturdy stock so closely identified with the progress and development of the
Hawkeye State, Richard Roemer Ramsell, of Ottumwa, has gained recognition as
being one of the leading members of the Iowa bar. During his career he has
been associated with some of the most important litigation that has been brought
before the state and federal courts, and from 1917 until 1926 was the
incumbent of the highly important position of chairman of the committee on appeals
and review of the United States Treasury Department at Washington, D. C.
Mr. Ramsell was born in Wapello County, Iowa, November 7, 1881, and is a son
of William B. and Caroline A. (Roemer) Ramsell. His paternal grandfather,
Moses Ramsell, was born at Bangor, Maine, and became an early pioneer of Iowa
in teh '40s. During the war between the states he served four years as a
member of Company C. Seventh Iowa Cavalry, in which he won a sergeant's stripes.
Gustavus Adolphus Roemer, the maternal grandfather of Mr. Ramsell, was born
in Switzerland, where he married Anna Fritag, and served his term of service
in the Swiss army. In 1847 he came to the United States and settled as a pio
neer in Wapello County. He was then a man of small means, but possessed his
military overcoat, and this he traded for forty acres of land possessed by a
former settler. All of this land is now within the city limits of Ottumwa
and is the site of the Franklin School. He also secured land from the
Government and other land by purchase and became one of the leading and substantial
citizens of his community. The old house, greatly remodeled and enlarged,
still stands, and is now the home of the fourth generation of the Roemer family
Richard Roemer Ramsell attended Willis Academy at Iowa City, and in 1906
graduated with the degree of Bachelor of laws from the law department of the
State University of Iowa. In the same year he was admitted to practice in the
state and federal courts, and established himself at Ottumwa, where he soon
was recognized as a talented and reliable attorney. From 1917 until 1926,
inclusive, he was chairman of the committee on appeals and review of the United
States Treasury Department at Washington, D. C., and then resigned to return
to the home state and resume his law practice. During the Quartermaster's
Department, and still holds that commission as a member of the Officer's Reserve
Corps. He is allied with the Republican party and actively interested in
all public and political affairs, and has served two terms as police judge of
Ottumwa, and in December, 1929, was appointed police judge for the third term.
Mr. Ramsell is an out-door enthusiast, and in particularly fond of hunting
On September 11, 1912, at Ottumwa, Iowa, Mr. Ramsell was united in marriage
with Miss Alma Ethel Glew, who was born at Creston, Iowa, a daughter of Henry
G. and Lucy (Hawcock) Glew, of Washington, D. C. natives of England, who
came to the United States in 1880 and located in Iowa. Mrs. Ramsell graduated
from the Ottumwa High School and for a time taught in the Ottumwas public
schools. As a loyal Republican she is actively interested in politics, takes a
constructive part in the work of the Presbyterian Church, is a past president
of the Parent-Teachers Association, and is active and popular in club
circles. Mr. and Mrs. Ramsell are the parents of two sons: Richard Roemer and
William Henry, both of whom are attending the Ottumwas High School. The
attractive family home is situated at 2223 Roemer Avenue.
Debbie Clough Gerischer
Iowa History Project
Scott County, Iowa
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