Timeline

Alexander Ramsey was born in 1815 and died at home in 1903. The Ramsey House was donated to MNHS after the death of his last surviving grandchild.

September 8, 1815
Alexander Ramsey is born in Pennsylvania, the eldest son of Thomas and Elizabeth Kelker Ramsey. His brothers and sisters are Elizabeth, Margaret, Henry, Justus, and Catherine.
June 17, 1826
Anna Earl Jenks, daughter of Michael Hutchinson Jenks and Mary Ridgeway Jenks, is born in Bucks County, Pennsylvania.
1834-1835
Alexander Ramsey attends Lafayette College in Easton, Pennsylvania.
1837
Ramsey studies law at the John Reed School that later becomes Dickinson Law School in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. He graduates in 1839.
1840
Ramsey is admitted to the Pennsylvania bar and practices law in Harrisburg. He serves as delegate to the Whig party national convention.
1841
Ramsey is appointed chief clerk of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives.
1843
Ramsey is elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, serving in the 28th & 29th Congress until 1847.
1845
Anna Jenks visits her father, Rep. Michael Jenks, at the U.S. Capitol, and meets Alexander Ramsey. The couple marries on Sept. 10.
May 30, 1846
Son Alexander Jenks Ramsey is born.
1849
Ramsey is appointed governor of the Minnesota Territory. On May 27, he arrives in St. Paul with his family. The Ramseys stay with Henry and Sarah Sibley in Mendota for one month.
Ramsey founds and becomes the first president of the Minnesota Historical Society in 1849.
1849-1853
Ramsey serves as governor of the new Minnesota Territory.
1850
The first Alexander Ramsey House is built on the same location as the current mansion.
March 30, 1850
The Ramseys' second son, William Henry, is born.
July 28, 1850
The Ramseys' first son, "Sonny," dies.
1851
Alexander Ramsey serves as U.S. Commissioner for three Native American treaties: Traverse des Sioux, Mendota, and Pembina.
November 1, 1851
The Ramseys' second son, William Henry, dies.
1853
The U.S. Senate investigates Ramsey's negotiation of the treaties.
March 29, 1853
The Ramseys' daughter, Marion, is born.
1855
Ramsey is elected mayor of St. Paul.
1857
Ramsey loses election for Minnesota's first state governor to Democrat Henry H. Sibley.
1858
Minnesota becomes a state.
1859
Ramsey is elected Governor of Minnesota on the Republican ticket; he serves from 1860 to 1863.
1861
Ramsey pledges 1,000 Minnesota men to defend the Union two days after Fort Sumter is attacked by the South.
1862
After years of tension between settlers and Native Americans, the U.S.-Dakota War breaks out. Several factors had led to the war, including unkept promises by the government, nefarious practices by nearby fur traders, and a crop failure in 1861. On Dec. 26, 38 Dakota are executed.
1863-1875
Alexander Ramsey is elected to the U.S. Senate on the Republican ticket. He serves in the 38th-43rd Congresses until 1875. He is also the U.S. Commissioner for treaties with the Chippewa, Red Lake, and Pembina bands.
1868
Anna Ramsey inherits from her father. The first Alexander Ramsey House is moved across the street and added to Horace and Cornelia Bigelow's home. Construction of the current Ramsey House then begins.
1869-1870
Anna and Marion tour Europe.
1872
During the summer, Anna Ramsey visits a New York department store and purchases enough furnishings to fill two boxcars. A train carries them back to her St. Paul home. The family and their servants move into the "mansion House" at 265 Exchange Street.
1875
Marion marries Charles Eliot Furness in the Ramsey House parlor. Marion and Charles move to Philadelphia.
1876
The first granddaughter, Anna Earl Ramsey Furness, known as Anita, is born.
1877
The first grandson, Alexander Ramsey Furness, known as Ramsey, is born.
1878
President Rutherford B. Hayes and Mrs. Hayes visit the Ramseys and the state fair. Plans change at the last minute, and President and Mrs. Hayes dine at the Ramsey House.
1879
President Hayes appoints Ramsey as Secretary of War. He serves from December 1879 to March 1881.
A second grandson, Charles Eliot Furness Jr., is born.
1880
Charles Eliot Furness Jr., dies of whooping cough.
Alexander Ramsey is an unsuccessful Republican candidate for U.S. Senate.
1881
Justus Ramsey, Alexander's brother, died of suicide.
1882
Alexander Ramsey is appointed Chairman of the Utah Commission by President James A. Garfield. He serves until 1886.
Charles Furness is hospitalized due to mental illness. Marion Ramsey Furness returns to St. Paul with her children, and daughter Laura is born in the Ramsey House.
1884
Anna Ramsey dies on Nov. 29. Sophie Carlson, a Ramsey servant for 12 years, inherits $1,000. Marion Furness takes over as mistress of the house.
1889
Annie Robertson is hired as cook for the Ramsey - Furness family.
1891
Alexander Ramsey is elected president of the Minnesota Historical Society and serves until his death in 1903.
April 22, 1903
Alexander Ramsey dies.
January 22, 1907
Charles Eliot Furness dies in Rochester, Minnesota.
1926
Dedicated cook Annie Robertson dies. Her funeral services are held in the Ramsey house.
November 1, 1935
Marion Ramsey Furness dies.
1959
Laura Furness dies of cancer.
1964
Anita Furness, the last surviving Ramsey family member, dies, willing the Ramsey house to the Minnesota Historical Society.