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St. Paul Union Depot, 1887

St. Paul Union Depot, 1887
Ramsey Census Information
Estab:  October 27, 1849
Parent County:  St Croix
Ramsey county with county seat

Southeast region of Minnesota Southwest region of Minnesota Northwest region of Minnesota Northeast region of Minnesota Central region of Minnesota

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Ramsey County

Established October 27, 1849, this county was named in honor of Alexander Ramsey, the first governor of Minnesota Territory. He was born near Harrisburg, Pa., September 8, 1815; studied at Lafayette College; was admitted to the practice of law in 1839; was a Whig member of Congress from Pennsylvania, 1843-47; was appointed by Pres. Zachary Taylor, April 2, 1849, as governor of this territory; arrived in St. Paul, May 27; and commenced his official duties here June 1, 1849. He continued in this office to May 15, 1853. In 1851 Gov. Ramsey negotiated important treaties with the Dakota at Traverse des Sioux and Mendota and in 1863 with the Ojibwe where the Pembina trail crossed the Red Lake River, by these treaties opening to settlement the greater part of southern and western Minnesota. He was the second mayor of St. Paul in 1855. After the admission of Minnesota as a state, he was elected its second governor and held this office from January 2, 1860, to July 10, 1863, during the very trying times of the Civil War and the Dakota War. Being in Washington on business for the state when the news of the fall of Fort Sumter was received, he at once tendered to Pres. Abraham Lincoln a regiment of 1,000 men from Minnesota, this being the first offer of armed support to the government. Ramsey was U.S. senator, 1863-75, and secretary of war in the cabinet of Pres. Rutherford B. Hayes, 1879-81. He was president of the Minnesota Historical Society, 1849-63, and from 1891 until his death in St. Paul, April 22, 1903. The Minnesota legislature provided that his statue be placed in the Statuary Hall of the national capitol.

When this county was established in 1849, as one of the nine counties into which the new territory was originally divided, it reached north to Mille Lacs and to the upper Mississippi in the present Aitkin County. In 1857, with the formation of Anoka, Isanti, Mille Lacs, and Aitkin Counties, Ramsey retained only a small part of its former area and became the smallest county of Minnesota. Its county seat, St. Paul, has been continuously the capital of the territory and state.