Herbert P. Ramsey, M.D.

Dr. Herbert Ramsey, Eastern High School Class of 1912, was interviewed in 1977 by Hazel Kreinheder. 

Because of his involvement with Eastern reunions, he had a large file of information about early alumni, and the bulk of this interview consists of his memories of those students, where they lived, who their family members were, etc., a remarkable achievement because he says at one point that he had not been connected much with Capitol Hill after 1927, 50 years prior to the interview. He also relates his own life history, including George Washington University medical school, practicing medicine for the United Fruit Company in Honduras, four years of missionary work in China, followed by medical practice in Washington, DC.

Read Transcript
Interview Date
March 31, 1977
Hazel Kreinheder
Chris D'Alessandro
Paula Causey and Hazel Kreinheder

Full Directory

Dr. Herbert P. Ramsey was interviewed in 1977. Any use of this material should credit the Ruth Ann Overbeck Capitol Hill History Project website for making it available.

Capitol Hill Interviews

Interview with Dr. Herbert P. Ramsey By Hazel Kreinheder
March 31, 1977

Transcribed by Christine D’Alessandro March 12, 2011

Edited by Paula Causey, with Hazel Kreinheder September, 2014

The interview was conducted at the Columbia Historical Society, then located in the Heurich Mansion, 1307 New Hampshire Ave NW.

Tape One, Side One

[The opening discussion with Dr. Ramsey concerned his personal research at the Columbia Historical Society. Those pages of the original transcription are not included here.]

RAMSEY: This is my Eastern High School file. In that letter, I wasn’t certain about where my two younger sisters went to high school. [Dr. Ramsey wrote Hazel Kreinheder on March 12, 1977. Portions of the letter are transcribed at the conclusion of the interview.] I think Margaret went to Eastern High, and Olive I don’t know. At any rate, Sunday I’m going to her 75th anniversary—75th birthday party—put on by her sons. Now these, we had two reunions that I—well, more than that, really—but two of the most recent ones that I remember was the big one in 1969 at the Shoreham Hotel and a later one at the Kennedy Warren, much smaller in development, but interesting. Those were the only ones. Now there were alumni reunions before. At that time the alumni association awarded me a very beautiful plaque. There’s a lot of flowery things in it that didn’t belong to me, but they put them in there. That’s when the Dalrymple girl was the secretary.

Now this group that Evelyn Bixler is in, I do not know what they are unless they are in your outfit.INTERVIEWER: No. Do you know Virginia Daiker?
RAMSEY: Oh yes. She was a neighbor of mine.

INTERVIEWER: Right. Well Virginia told me that a couple of years ago, there is some kind of a ladies group that meets periodically. Elsie Leukhardt also has mentioned that group to me. Elsie Leukhardt is Elsie Yost.

RAMSEY: Elsie Yost? Yes, I know her.

INTERVIEWER: Elsie Yost has never participated in it because apparently, according to her, it’s a group of women who are somewhat younger than she is. More of Virginia Daiker’s age.

Capitol Hill Interviews Dr. Herbert P. Ramsey, March 31, 1977

RAMSEY: Well, Elsie’s as old as I am or a year or two older.
INTERVIEWER: Right. She’s around your age. But Virginia Daiker would be more, like, in her 60s I

think, probably. And it seems to be her age ...RAMSEY: I remember when she ran around like this!

INTERVIEWER: Right ... and younger, for this particular group. That may be the group that he’s talking about.

RAMSEY: I mentioned the Daiker home in that letter.INTERVIEWER: No, you didn’t.
RAMSEY: I didn’t?

RAMSEY: In talking about 813 Massachusetts Avenue and next door to the west of Major Levin, Mr. Gleason, brings us to the next house, which was a row of white houses, occupied by the Daikers. Now before that, they had lived through ... in the opposite end of that block, which was a house on A Street. The even numbers of A, about 804 or something like that. That’s where Mrs. Daiker, a senior lady, lived and her son lived with her before he married. Then he did marry and the one you speak of was born. I don’t know if she has the age you’re talking about or not. I remember her only as a child. And also, I remember seeing her in the Photo Division at the Library of Congress.

INTERVIEWER: Right. She’s retired from there.

RAMSEY: Yes, I know. They have somebody else and I’ve got to make their acquaintance. That was our connection there. I do not know the name of Daiker’s wife, but the daughter could furnish that. Before I forget it, I want to give you the names of a couple of Eastern High School people of our vintage who are living and very much interested in the school and its history. One is Mary Margaret Moore, M-O-O-R-E. She is a retired teacher. And the other is Mary Murray Kochka, that’s her married name, and both of them are classmates of mine at Eastern, Class of 1912. They are leads for the Capitol Hill Society that you ought to follow up on.

INTERVIEWER: Okay, fine, good, I have them on this list.

RAMSEY: They and Clarence Rice—he is in touch with Mary Margaret Moore—he married a girl in the same class named Julia Ruff.

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INTERVIEWER: I know that name.

RAMSEY: Oh, you know that? She lived on A Street SE and they were in the same church that I was, Epworth Church. She died in childbirth. Clarence remarried, but never had any children in either marriage. That was a very tragic thing. She’s buried in Congressional Cemetery, but he is a little upset at the lack of care that they have there. That’s been taken up recently by the Park Service, I think, to do something about.

INTERVIEWER: Congress has allocated—well they haven’t actually appropriated the money yet— they’ve authorized, but not appropriated, is my understanding from a couple of weeks ago. I think it is $250,000. That’s something I wanted to ask you about because I’m very much involved in what’s going on down there right now. You know, people that might know about that cemetery.

RAMSEY: Well, I have a recollection of a number of friends buried there and a number of people whose names are familiar in this city in my lifetime and before, some of whose stones may be deciphered. That’s the trouble with cemeteries, the stones get undecipherable and nobody pays any attention.

INTERVIEWER: It’s not too bad out there, because my son is very interested in gravestone rubbing. So he’s looked at a lot of the stones very carefully.

RAMSEY: The rubbings all right, it’s no good for photos.INTERVIEWER: No. It isn’t. That’s the thing. I agree with you.

RAMSEY: What I would like to do is to paint the letters with a black soluble substance that the rain will wash off and photograph the stones.

INTERVIEWER: There is some kind of a technique that they use to do to bring it out.
RAMSEY: The only thing I’ve ever done was to hold a flash laterally to the side and make shadows in

the indentations. But that doesn’t always work because some of it is rounded off so that ...

INTERVIEWER: They tell me another technique, and I’ve not tried it myself, is to use a piece of cardboard covered with aluminum foil which somehow reflects the light in. I don’t ... I’ve not tried it ... I’ve heard about it.

RAMSEY: Well, that may be the same principle, to throw the light from the ...INTERVIEWER: To throw the light into the stone ...
RAMSEY: ... from the side. So at eight you get no shadows.

Capitol Hill Interviews Dr. Herbert P. Ramsey, March 31, 1977

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Capitol Hill Interviews Dr. Herbert P. Ramsey, March 31, 1977

INTERVIEWER: But I think basically there are a lot of those stones I guess it’s just hard, although John was very fortunate. He ... Hickman, this famous bummer of Washington was buried in Congressional Cemetery. John found his ...

RAMSEY: This famous what?
INTERVIEWER: He was called “the famous bummer of Washington.” He was nothing but a gambler

and a bum, but a very high class one.RAMSEY: Favorite ... hobo?

INTERVIEWER: Right. But John was very fortunate. He went out on a rather cloudy day and the inscription is not that clear, but he just apparently got the light just right and got a good photograph and the imprint came out.

RAMSEY: You’ve been out there, haven’t you?
INTERVIEWER: Oh, I spend all my time ... [it’s] said I have one foot in Congressional Cemetery. Of

course, I just live up the street.

RAMSEY: Well you’re conscious then of the kind of stones put up for all the congressmen and government officials.

RAMSEY: It’s been a long time since any of them were buried there. I’d have to recall some of the

people I know whose bodies are there. Julia Ruff is one. Right now I’d have to recall it by going there.

INTERVIEWER: Well, sometime, you know, they’re really trying to—the cemetery association— they’re trying to locate people who might know about the cemetery. So that’s nothing we have to do today, but it’s another project for you to think about.

RAMSEY: I have these programs [from reunions], and they’re for you. Here is, I think, the same thing you have. [Refers to list of Eastern High School alumni who have attended past reunions.]

INTERVIEWER: Yes, a list of ...
RAMSEY: I’ll tell you a little about some of these people.

INTERVIEWER: That’s what I wanted; that’s why I brought my list because I wanted to know about some of the people.

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Capitol Hill Interviews Dr. Herbert P. Ramsey, March 31, 1977

RAMSEY: All right. Class of 1903. I can tell you about the first class, because my dinner partner at a dinner in Shanghai was a member of that first class.

INTERVIEWER: When was the first class, do you know?

RAMSEY: 1893 or 4. Her father was the first principal. [Eastern started as “Capitol Hill High School” on the third and fourth floors of Peabody School in 1890. In 1892, it moved to Seventh and C Street SE—the present location of Hine School—and finally to East Capitol Street in 1923. The first principal was C.M. Lacey Sites, according to The Washington Post.]

INTERVIEWER: What was her name?

RAMSEY: Well, at that time she was married to a banker. I have all this in my China files; I’d have to look it up. It was amazing. There we were, eleven thousand miles from here, talking about Eastern High School at dinner. Quite a fancy affair it was. Later I had deposited in her husband’s bank, which became—Frank Raven, it comes back to me—American Oriental Banking Corp. I had an account there till I left. Later I read in the news that he was indicted for some kind of thing. That doesn’t go in the history! [Laughter.]

INTERVIEWER: Well, it’s down now!
RAMSEY: That’s it. Well, I don’t know. You see. Now, class of 1905, Inez Parker ...INTERVIEWER: She’s still alive?

RAMSEY: I don’t know, but she was a friend of my wife’s older sisters and maybe of my sister, who’s dead. She had married Ralph Fleharty, whose name is here. I met him when I went to work at 14th and G Street NW as an office boy for the firm of Leckie, Fulton & Cox. They had two younger lawyers there, one was Joe Sherrier and the other was Ralph Fleharty. And still another one was John A. Kratz, who was a Yankee who came from Haverhill, Massachusetts with Justice Moody. You’re a Yankee, aren’t you?


RAMSEY: You know these names. He had a son who used to play with the young Robert Taft down at the White House. Now, [Class of] 1906, I knew some of these names. My brother graduated in that class and his name is there, Harold Ramsey.

INTERVIEWER: Harold Ramsey. And he is still alive?
RAMSEY: [He lives at] 4141 South Braeswood (B-R-A-E-S-W-O-O-D) Boulevard, Houston, Texas and

that is 77025. I remember seeing Samuel Bryan in those days. My brother is six years older than I am. page 5

Capitol Hill Interviews Dr. Herbert P. Ramsey, March 31, 1977

Samuel Bryan was the tallest of the class; he was somewhere over six feet. Gloria, or Blanche, Williams, I knew her. Marguerite Weller. Oh, she was quite a belle.

INTERVIEWER: Is she still around?
RAMSEY: I don’t know.
INTERVIEWER: She was a couple years ago.
RAMSEY: She lived on East Capitol Street in those days.
INTERVIEWER: Tell me about the Wellers. Do you know anything about them?RAMSEY: No, I did, but I don’t now.

INTERVIEWER: Did she live near Fifth and East Capitol Street?

RAMSEY: Yes. Near Fifth or near Sixth, somewhere in those two blocks. She was quite a belle, high school belle, very attractive woman. Not on the skinny side. [Laughter.] Next to her, Adeline Bradburn, was a ... I knew her by sight ... but she had a brother, who came along later and is listed in Eastern High School. May, what does it say?

INTERVIEWER: It says May Murphy, but it doesn’t give her maiden name.
RAMSEY: His wife [Harold Ramsey’s wife] was Leila Evelyn Frost, who was a sister of my wife and

she did not go to Eastern High School. They lived at 717 East Capitol Street before she was married.

INTERVIEWER: Were they related to that very early Frost family? For instance, one of the original founders of Congressional Cemetery was a Frost.

INTERVIEWER: They don’t go back that far?

RAMSEY: No, not that family. But her sister, the oldest one in the family, who is now 92, Janie Frost, went to Eastern High School, I think, and then to the Normal School.

INTERVIEWER: This is your wife’s sister?
INTERVIEWER: She’s still alive?
RAMSEY: Yes. All of that family of that generation are living.

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INTERVIEWER: Does she live here, I mean, in Washington?

RAMSEY: Yes, she’s recently had a fractured hip and she’s now staying with her son who’s in Birmingham. He’s a vice president and general counsel of General Motors. There are a lot of Washington people and a lot of Eastern High School people, of which he is one, who came to positions of great prominence.

INTERVIEWER: Right. Well that’s ...RAMSEY: You know that.

INTERVIEWER: Well that’s not something we necessarily know. I think it’s something we would like to know.

RAMSEY: Florence Leland, there, was in my brother’s class and there were a lot of others. I think I may have a yearbook of that class, I’m not sure. At least I knew some of these names very well. Now Josephine Tomlin Burmeister, we knew about both names, and Imogene Stockett, too. Imogene Stockett had three brothers, all of whom went to Eastern. I knew them and they started the Stockett Company, which became the Stockett-Fiske Company and it finally sold out to Ginn and Company.

INTERVIEWER: That’s fascinating. So this is the kind of thing we don’t know.

RAMSEY: You don’t know. Well, one of them, who was quite a comic, had wide flaring ears like an elephant. He was everybody’s favorite. He’d get up and give recitations. There was another one from over there and I don’t know what class he was in. Sam Cole, who lived on Eighth Street just south of St. James Church NE. He later became a physician and had an office at 3220 Connecticut Avenue. He was a comic, too.

INTERVIEWER: Where did the Stocketts live?

RAMSEY: Stocketts lived on Eighth Street SE, shall we say 300 block? I don’t know.

INTERVIEWER: Approximately, 300 block.

RAMSEY: You can pin this down from the directory.

INTERVIEWER: Right. Now, where was their business? Was that on the Hill or was it downtown?

RAMSEY: Downtown. Down on E Street, as far as I know, in the place where Ginn’s main office is now. That address.

INTERVIEWER: Down near ...

Capitol Hill Interviews Dr. Herbert P. Ramsey, March 31, 1977

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Capitol Hill Interviews Dr. Herbert P. Ramsey, March 31, 1977

RAMSEY: I think they’re building something ...
INTERVIEWER: ... something, the nine or ten hundred block of E Street.
RAMSEY: Yes, 900 E Street NW. I have an account at Ginn’s and I send them a check.

Next class, the only thing I have is, 1908, George Calver went to George Washington Medical School and became a physician and he entered the Navy. During his long life in the Navy, he was chief physician to Congress and had his office in the Capitol. He had a gymnasium there, it’s still there. He used to tell about his problems getting Congressmen to slow down before they had a heart attack. He was not always successful at that. They went their own way, no one told them what to do, not even an admiral in the Navy. George Calver had a house—he lived at Kennedy-Warren on Connecticut Avenue—but he had a house down on the Breton Bay in southern Maryland, St. Mary’s County. I’ve been there. Before he died, he sold it and stayed in Washington. I guess he got a little feeble. At any rate, I never knew his wife very well. I don’t know whether she survives or not. But if so, she should be in Kennedy-Warren or a nursing home, I don’t know which.

Frank Chamberlain. Mrs. Frank Chamberlain. I don’t know who that was except that I knew Frank Chamberlain in George Washington later. Frank Tenny Chamberlain. Lela Duriso, all I remember is the name. Clarence Evans was a good looking guy. Very slender and very popular. He and George Calver buddied around a lot. The next one is my sister, Mabel Ramsey, and her husband is the brother of my wife. [Laughter.]

INTERVIEWER: Really? Intermarried!
RAMSEY: Well, apparently we tried the shoe and it fit.INTERVIEWER: Yes. Well ...

RAMSEY: I was the third of the three that married, then. Her husband I recently entertained here, took his picture. He didn’t go to Eastern High School, he went to Business High School, I think. She died in 1973 at Bremerton Washington Naval Hospital. They moved out there, their surviving daughter was there, the other one died. Her family, they liked it out there. He’s out there now, but he was here in November. I took his picture. Now, Glen Wells, I didn’t know, but I know her name because there was a Flip Wells came along later. Her brother. I remember she was a little thing, dark haired. She must have been the wife of Earl Jonscher, of who more later. Elsie Yost you talked about, you know about her.

INTERVIEWER: I know her. We have a tape with her.

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Capitol Hill Interviews Dr. Herbert P. Ramsey, March 31, 1977

RAMSEY: I don’t need to add on to that. Class of 1909. Albert Fessenden. Yes, I knew him very well and he had a brother, a younger brother, I don’t remember about sisters. They lived down on Seventh Street NE, as I remember. Leonard Leland was in one of these other classes, either 1906 or 1908, at Eastern. Bessie Hart, I did not know. I don’t recall her name. Emma Reed, as a name, I know. Alice Bowen Sheriff, I don’t remember. Speaking of Emma Reed, there was a girl lived on East Capitol Street between Kentucky and 13th on that side called Helena Doocy. D-O-O-C-Y.

INTERVIEWER: I’ve never heard of her.

RAMSEY: Well, that’s where she lived. She became a lawyer and she became a wife, Helena Doocy Reed. She was a member of this society [Columbia Historical Society.] She may be dead, but if you’re interested in Capitol Hill residents, she was one. Some of the people who knew her are still coming here.

INTERVIEWER: Well, it would be interesting to find out, because that’s right ... my immediate neighborhood.

RAMSEY: I think that she ... I don’t think she’s living, but she was a very good friend of mine and I liked her a lot. She was a good lawyer and held posts, responsible posts, as a woman lawyer. I don’t know whether she went to the woman’s college of law, if there was such a thing, or the national law college, which I thought there was an alumnus of. But she did go to law school here. She went to law school in the days of an eminent woman lawyer named Ellen Spencer Mussey. [Doocy graduated from Washington College of Law, now part of American University. Ellen Mussey was co-founder of the Washington College of Law in 1896.]

INTERVIEWER: Something like that. Something that begins with an “m.” I know who you are talking about.

RAMSEY: She was much senior to Helena. Helena was more my class. But this woman was a very prominent woman here. And, let’s see, of interest even to Capitol Hill over here. [Sound of rustling papers.] Class of 1910. Ethel Hall. I do not recall. Helen Clark. Esther Gude, I knew. She was quite a good ... Oh, Dorothy Breuninger was a pal of my wife. My wife became—she was later in years—she became a member of the Theta Pi Sorority and at one point was its president.

INTERVIEWER: What was Theta Pi Sorority?
RAMSEY: Eastern High School. They had, I think, more than one. They had one or more fraternities. I

never joined any of them, so I never paid too much attention to that. Esther Gude. These people, most of

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Capitol Hill Interviews Dr. Herbert P. Ramsey, March 31, 1977

them, were teachers, school teachers there. She was a friend of my wife. You should have her here for some of this.

INTERVIEWER: Is Esther Gude still alive, then?
RAMSEY: I do not know. Pearl Shreve Jenkins. Mary Virginia Littleton. Mildred Schmaling, I

remember her by name. That’s about all. Caryl Walker, was this the Walker family you’re talking about?

INTERVIEWER: Florine’s younger sister. I think she left the city and she’s now ... I think she still lives in Washington Grove [Maryland], as far as I know, but she didn’t live all her life in this area.

RAMSEY: She was a beauty.INTERVIEWER: Caryl?

RAMSEY: Caryl. She was quite striking. I can remember that. Now ... [Class of 1911] Jim Defandorf later went to ... he was on the faculty of George Washington Medical School as a physiologist. I think he was an MD. I didn’t know about this Hesketh Street. He did live in Kensington or, what’s that other town out there, west of Kensington on Rockville Pike?

INTERVIEWER: I know the vicinity, but I don’t know that area that well.

RAMSEY: Clark Fitzhugh, he was quite a guy. I remember him very well. Now, Florence Kubel, I used to play with and her younger sister. They lived in a house on East Capitol Street, the northeast corner of Tenth Street and East Capitol. She was a very striking girl and so was her younger sister. Her younger sister, we played around on Massachusetts Avenue. I don’t know how she got this moniker, we called her “mashed toes.” [Laughter.]

INTERVIEWER: Was her family in some kind of business?

RAMSEY: I think so. Now, the Farnsworths [Florence Kubel married John Farnsworth.] lived on East Capitol Street, corner of 12th. Jack Farnsworth was in the Naval Academy. There is some sort of a bad story connected to this. This is where Fulton Lewis, Jr. got his start in journalism as an investigative reporter, and that was about some misappropriations or something like that. I knew Fulton very well. He’s gone now. [Fulton Lewis, a well-known conservative radio broadcaster, publicized information in the late 1930s that contributed to John Semer Farnsworth being convicted of spying on behalf of Japan.]

INTERVIEWER: Is Jack ... now Jack, it must be the father of Tom.RAMSEY: How old is Tom?

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Capitol Hill Interviews Dr. Herbert P. Ramsey, March 31, 1977

INTERVIEWER: I’d say 50, 60s, or something. There’s one son that was killed in the First World War, and I think that was Tom. This boy was named after the uncle.

RAMSEY: There was more than one Farnsworth boy, and there was a Farnsworth girl.INTERVIEWER: Eunice is still alive.
RAMSEY: She is. She’s kind of on the porky side, as I remember her.

INTERVIEWER: No, that was Gertrude. She died. Eunice is rather tall and thin, and she’s still alive but had a stroke and is in a nursing ... at least as far as I know, she’s still alive. She—her nephew Tom— owns a home in Maine, and he moved her up there to Maine to a nursing home. Now, I don’t know if she’s ...

RAMSEY: Eunice.
INTERVIEWER: Eunice. And she’s the last, as far as I know.

RAMSEY: I’ll take this [list of alumni] back, you have a copy. I’ll ask my wife some questions because she can give the background. Like all old folks, we’re usually pretty good at remote memories.

INTERVIEWER: That’s what everybody says! You can’t remember what happened yesterday. Well, this is important to me. I’m glad you are.

RAMSEY: Here is Helena Doocy Reed, who I mentioned.
INTERVIEWER: Okay. It would be interesting to know whether she’s still alive, because that’s my

immediate neighborhood. I’d really like to talk to her.

RAMSEY: You can find out downstairs, because she was a member here [Columbia Historical Society.] Now, Fred Sanderson is still alive, a surgeon. We went to Georgetown Medical School. He was my captain, captain of Company F. I went home and wept bitter tears when we lost the drill.

INTERVIEWER: This was, what, like an ROTC thing at Eastern High School?RAMSEY: Right. But much before those days. It was high school cadets.INTERVIEWER: High school cadets.

RAMSEY: Washington high school cadet regiment. Smaller schools like Eastern had one company. Western had one company. Central and Tech had more. Business had one or two. That’s what I remember. I can tell you all their school colors. Eastern High was light blue and white.

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Capitol Hill Interviews Dr. Herbert P. Ramsey, March 31, 1977

INTERVIEWER: Still is. At least they haven’t changed that!
RAMSEY: The Sanderson family was a very interesting family. They had four or five sons, and I think

maybe one or two daughters.INTERVIEWER: Now, where did they live?

RAMSEY: They lived on [pause] A Street or B Street south, along about 400 or 500 block. I recall it was on the south side of the street. I’ve been there in boyhood. The older brothers, some of them, went to Eastern. They—two of them, at least one of them—became a general in the Marine Corps.

INTERVIEWER: Oh, yes, I’ve heard his name.
RAMSEY: This was a very interesting family, a very accomplished family. They had general respect

from everybody. They were to the manor born, smooth and suave. Never lost their temper. [Laughter.]

INTERVIEWER: He’d be worth talking to because we don’t really have anybody that knows about that neighborhood.

RAMSEY: Talk to Fred Sanderson, you mean?INTERVIEWER: Right.

RAMSEY: He’s in the phone book. He may still be practicing, although he shouldn’t be! [Laughter.] I quit, and he’s a year older than I am!

INTERVIEWER: Some of the old timers are a lot better than the younger ones; they care more.RAMSEY: Well, that’s true, but on the other hand ...
INTERVIEWER: For a surgeon ...

RAMSEY: For surgery, I decided that the time had come for me to leave the operating room. My associate up there said, “This doesn’t make any sense. There hasn’t been the slightest shadow on your performance.” And I said, “I know. I want to get out before they wish I did.”

INTERVIEWER: Well, that’s, that’s true, but I ... You know, we talk about this, these doctors of your generation, maybe ten years younger even, who are retiring. The new ones just don’t care the way you did. Well, maybe some of them do, but it’s very difficult to find ...

RAMSEY: Yet, I don’t think that’s totally a matter of the developments of time, but people are ambient or they’re not. No matter where they go to school. [Laughter.]

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Capitol Hill Interviews Dr. Herbert P. Ramsey, March 31, 1977

INTERVIEWER: I think it’s very interesting that your—that Eastern High School—turned out so many prominent physicians.

RAMSEY: Well, there are a lot of others. Now, Dorothy Marshalk, only the name I remember. Janet Walker is the same family.

INTERVIEWER: She died recently.RAMSEY: Did she?

INTERVIEWER: She died before, just about, oh, within the year of when Florine died. Because Florine had been to Florida, I think that’s where she lived ... she lived in Florida, and she ... dead.

RAMSEY: McClain Smith. I knew him very well. We were companions. He was for many years a page in the Senate.

INTERVIEWER: Did he live up in your F Street neighborhood?

RAMSEY: Well, he was outside of your boundary. He lived on Morris Street.

INTERVIEWER: Oh, well, that’s all right. It’s still interesting to know about him.

RAMSEY: Just near Seventh and on the north side of the street. He was a handsome guy. While he was in the Senate, he went to school and the school was provided for pages.

INTERVIEWER: You know, you mentioned that boundary.RAMSEY: You mentioned it! [Laughter.]INTERVIEWER: Well, no, you said he lived outside ...RAMSEY: You told me!

INTERVIEWER: I’ll tell you what the reason for that boundary is. It’s because H Street is an urban renewal area now. The H Street urban renewal area cuts down some places to along F and some places to G. There are legal problems overlapping the historic district with an urban [renewal area.] But I think we all recognize, that really, everything up to H Street was part of, you know, the same area. Just a matter of the political thing.

RAMSEY: Well, these historical matters, of course, don’t notice those bounds. At that point, I can tell you a little more about that. At the end of Morris Street, across from Seventh Street, was Taylor School, where I went to first and second grade and part of the third. [Taylor, named for President Zachary Taylor,

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Capitol Hill Interviews Dr. Herbert P. Ramsey, March 31, 1977

was built in 1891 off G and Seventh Streets NE. Ludlow Elementary, named for a DC Commissioner, was built in 1904 at Sixth and G Street NE. Both buildings were demolished when the present Ludlow- Taylor school was built in 1969.] Just next to that, on the same side of the street up, was a doctor named Joseph Pospisiel, P-O-S-P-I-S-I-E-L and he lives in ... advertised on his sign as a surgeon. But he had a son, who went to school there with us. H Street was of interest and G Street as well. We used to go to a store on H Street run by E. T. Stunkel. He had most everything. Variety store. Started out as a hardware store, I think. That’s where I first went to the Kenney tea store, the Atlantic and Pacific tea store. Those corporations started out in the tea and coffee business. And the A&P still goes on in the same name, A&P. But they are general grocery stores, now. But, back to this ...

INTERVIEWER: Well, we got as far as McClain Smith.
RAMSEY: McClain Smith, yeah. All right. Elsie King Varela. I knew both of them. Elmer Varela and

his brother, [pause] I see them now, were nephews of John Philip Sousa.
INTERVIEWER: That’s why I know the name. I associated that name with the Marine Band.RAMSEY: So far as I know, those two were never in the band.
INTERVIEWER: But was their father?

RAMSEY: Could have been. The other one was Oz, Osmund Varela. Elmer married. He was swarthy, small and slender and dark. He married Elsie King, who was a lot bigger than he was in height. Blonde, natural blonde. They lived on Massachusetts Avenue, two doors from where the Daikers did.

INTERVIEWER: So, around the 800 block, again.

RAMSEY: Yes. When I was putting things together for this show at the Shoreham, Elsie came resplendent with material, which I returned to her and I think this—she furnished me this—I’ve Xeroxed the whole copy of the Easterner.

INTERVIEWER: Oh, how wonderful.
RAMSEY: You shall have it. See, Peggy King. ‘23. That was her daughter. No, it wasn’t. It wasn’t her

daughter, because she married Varela.

INTERVIEWER: Well, maybe it was her sister. Could it have been a younger sister, or a niece or something?

RAMSEY: She had a sister about the same age.

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INTERVIEWER: Well, maybe it’s a niece or something.RAMSEY: At any rate, going on down, Elsie King is still around.

INTERVIEWER: She’d be ... if she had collected information, she obviously is a person it would be worth talking to.

RAMSEY: I think the letter from her is in here somewhere.
INTERVIEWER: She might know other things about the area or other people. She’d be ...

RAMSEY: Then you come to our class. [Class of 1912] Most of them were listed because our class started this particular reunion. Mabel McCalip. I liked her very much. I went with her for a time. But, like most of the girls I went with, they married somebody else. [Laughter.] All but one.

INTERVIEWER: All but one! And it’s, obviously, you picked the right one.RAMSEY: Well, she hasn’t kicked me out and it’s lasted; we had our 54th anniversary.INTERVIEWER: I doubt at this stage of the game that she’s probably about to.

RAMSEY: Well, she hasn’t mentioned it. Mildred Crooke, she knew very well as a teacher. Mabel Blanchard married a man named Blanchard. Name was the same. They say, “They changed the name and not the letter. Change for worse and not the better.” She didn’t even change the name. She lived across the street from me on Massachusetts Avenue, one of our playmates. Same class, same age. The Blanchard she married came from the state of Maine. You don’t say Maine, you say “State of Maine.”

INTERVIEWER: Oh. I always say Maine, but ...RAMSEY: You didn’t come from there!INTERVIEWER: No, that’s right.

RAMSEY: Mabel was sort of an ash blonde. Very fine person, her family. Her older brother was quite an outstanding person. I don’t know whether he went to Eastern or not, but he became prominent and I can’t tell you about that now. Grace Knapp. Came from the West, or the Midwest. She was a typical Midwest farm girl and she’s a grand person. She’s still around and she’s mentioned in some of this correspondence. Margaret Dieter, I scarcely remember. Mary Downey. Margaret Gaddis. Very well. Her father was a member of this society, and she used to bring him here.

INTERVIEWER: Is she the daughter? She’s deceased now, isn’t she?

Capitol Hill Interviews Dr. Herbert P. Ramsey, March 31, 1977

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Capitol Hill Interviews Dr. Herbert P. Ramsey, March 31, 1977

RAMSEY: She could be.
INTERVIEWER: He was Edgar Gaddis. I could kick myself for not getting a hold of him. He was still

living there when I first moved there.

RAMSEY: On East Capitol Street. She brought him here, he couldn’t travel. He was living there. I remember a personal thing, since they’re all dead and gone. First of all, Margaret Gaddis was a very good friend of ours. Me and my family, my wife, her family. They lived at 717 East Capitol and she lived in the ten hundred block, on the south side. I thought she was a very wonderful person.

INTERVIEWER: Did she have any younger brothers or sisters?

RAMSEY: Wait till I get back to this. You have her married name as Dutton. I didn’t know about that. She used to come here, we were still friendly, maybe she was a widow then, for all I know. Males are the weaker sex.

INTERVIEWER: I know. No comment!

RAMSEY: I can remember way back. What was her father’s name?


RAMSEY: Not Eugene.

INTERVIEWER: No. The only one I know about is Edgar, who lived in the ten hundred block of East Capitol and was a real old man.

RAMSEY: This story doesn’t apply to that family, and I won’t relate it because it wasn’t a nice story.INTERVIEWER: But I would love to find somebody in that family because they go way, way back. The

family does. To shortly after the city was settled.

RAMSEY: Well, if you ever get a chance to go through the genealogical files of the DAR, you’ll find a lot.

INTERVIEWER: On that family?

RAMSEY: On anybody. At least you’ll find the name, you can find out if it’s your family. I intend to go down there. I’ve got some work to do on what I’m doing. I try to see ... this thing stretches out so far in the future, I don’t know when I’ll get to it. Joseph R. Harris started the Joseph R. Harris Company. Sells women’s clothes. He was still in it at that time. I once went to Florida with him on the Atlantic Coast Line and he was going to ... I think he had a winter place in Hollywood, Florida. He sold his company, and I

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Capitol Hill Interviews Dr. Herbert P. Ramsey, March 31, 1977

think his son, Junior, is still connected with it. If you look in the phone book, you’ll find all the branches of that store now, most of which existed while he was still living.

End of Tape One, Side One
Tape One, Side Two
I wanted to step back before we go on with 1912, back to 1911.INTERVIEWER: I think you were talking about your brother-in-law, William Russell Frost.

RAMSEY: Yes. Well, he served in Europe in both World Wars and lives now at this address on Sedgwick Street. It’s 3000 and something, along around the 3017 to 3019, something like that. He’s in the phone book. Colonel William R. Frost. There was another man in that class who’s dead and gone and I was around when he died in central China. Pete Daily. I don’t know where he lived, but he’s a member of the class of 1911. He was in central China representing the Standard Oil Company. Down in Soochow, which is near the coast, 50 miles in, I had a patient whose husband was ... [Phone rings.] Anyway, I took care of the wife and she was a mess, she was a Yankee and she was a Christian Scientist. That didn’t keep her from getting pregnant. I delivered her there. And he told me, her husband, that he had seen, had been to Washington and central China and seen Pete Daily and was there with him when he died. Nobody else from Washington knew anything about that at the time. So that’s recorded at least as a fact. Now getting on down ...

INTERVIEWER: Let’s see. We got down as far as Joseph Harris.

RAMSEY: Yes. Louise Royall. I knew her. She was tall and stately and she had a brother there, too. I don’t remember his name, in the same class or the class ahead of that. He wasn’t in this class. One or two ahead. Royall. Eveline Davison, daughter of Dr. Davison, I think. Although, I don’t know whether it was spelled this way or whether it’s the same one. There’s a woman in the society who spells her name with only one “D”, the first “D.” She’s active here and a musician and you may have seen her, but she’s not this one. Mary Murray Kochka.

INTERVIEWER: You told me to contact her.

RAMSEY: Yes. Veryl Walson, I don’t know. She married John Ligon, he was in an earlier class. He was about in 1910, I think. H. Burton Lowe, he’s now retired down on Long Island. He was a chemist. Tall, curly hair. He might be able by mail to give you any fill-ins that he is able to. Let’s see here. I don’t think I’m still carrying his address. I was ... this is probably as late as anything I have.

INTERVIEWER: Okay, that’s Rugby Road, Manhassat.

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Capitol Hill Interviews Dr. Herbert P. Ramsey, March 31, 1977

RAMSEY: Imogene McGarraghy was the prettiest of the McGarraghy family. She’s a well-known lawyer here. Yes, she’s maybe retired by now. She’s not married.

INTERVIEWER: Somebody in that family died, oh, a year or so ago. Not her, but I think I remember reading about her name ...

RAMSEY: Well, wasn’t it a judge?

INTERVIEWER: Maybe. And then they lived ...

RAMSEY: It was a prominent family.

INTERVIEWER: I associate them either living near St. Peter’s Church or going to St. Peter’s Church or something to do with St. Peter’s.

RAMSEY: You mean in Southwest?INTERVIEWER: Southeast.

RAMSEY: Southeast, yes. Well, that could be. Irish enough. Marguerite Massie, now she was my sweetie. I remember her. She went off to Smith College and it cooled off. [Laughter.]

INTERVIEWER: Now, where did the Massie family live? That name is familiar to me.RAMSEY: They lived on B Street north, in the region of 11th to 13th somewhere in there.INTERVIEWER: I know that name. I don’t know ...
RAMSEY: South side of the street, because I went there to pick her up.INTERVIEWER: That’s what I figured; you must know where she lived.

RAMSEY: Margaret Moore, I just told you about. Anna McKnight, last that I heard of her, she was living in Pompano Beach, though I never saw her down there. I saw her here. I used to go to Pompano Beach when my younger daughter lived there. Clarence Rice, you don’t know.

INTERVIEWER: Would you suggest trying to get in touch with Dr. Rice? I’d like to talk to him.

RAMSEY: Sure. He’s in the phone book. He’d be very glad to talk to you. He keeps busy. He may not be there at the time. Elsie Rupprecht was a German name. She was sort of a blond, very nice, very retiring person. Now, Sterling Taylor, has a brother. Melinda Taylor Queally Russell, whose name appears next. Melinda Taylor. She lives in Princeton. That’s the address given to me.

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INTERVIEWER: Are they related to Frank Taylor?RAMSEY: No, she was ...
INTERVIEWER: A different Taylor.

RAMSEY: She was ... a brother of Sterling Taylor ... there was a younger brother later whose name wasn’t Frank. She was a very fine girl. I’ve seen her a few times in recent times. She was tall and stately. Very lovely. And the name between there, the first marriage, was a rector in the Episcopal Church, name was Queally. Q-U-E-A-L-L-Y. He died. Then she married Percy Russell, who was head of a firm here, a real estate firm, and he died. I said, as they say about Civil War horses, she had two husbands die. That’s a close knit family, Melinda and Sterling and the younger one. Freda VanNest, I remember dimly as a name.

INTERVIEWER: I think she may still be around, although I gather that she’s getting not too well or something because she still lives on ...

RAMSEY: Everybody in this class ought to be in a feeble condition.INTERVIEWER: Well, I think that Frieda VanNest still lives on East Capitol Street.

RAMSEY: And there is Varela, Colonel Varela. He was important in the bank, National Savings and Trust Company, up until the time he retired.

INTERVIEWER: Is he still around?

RAMSEY: He died. He died since this meeting. He was there and he furnished some pictures. Clarence Weaver, MD. I think he graduated at George Washington. I’ll never forget my freshman class at Eastern. He was a football player, a freshman football player, and he got an award. We used to have all the parties in the gym, in the basement, is where we used to. He was given an award and he was wearing an old hat like a farmer. He wasn’t a farmer; he was city people. But he was quite embarrassed to come up and get his award and hear everybody say “Speech!” And he inhaled and he laughed and he had to say something. He says, “All I can say about this award is I’m glad to get it. I’m just as glad as I would’ve been if I hadn’t a got it.” [Laughter.]

INTERVIEWER: He’s not the Weaver that lives on Kentucky Avenue, is he?
RAMSEY: Could be. He lived east side somewhere. He had a brother, Frank Weaver, who was older.

Capitol Hill Interviews Dr. Herbert P. Ramsey, March 31, 1977

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Capitol Hill Interviews Dr. Herbert P. Ramsey, March 31, 1977

INTERVIEWER: The reason I ask is because I had a doctor named Frank Weaver who was, probably would have been, the right age to have been the son of somebody your age and his father had been born on Kentucky Avenue.

RAMSEY: His father may have been Clarence.
INTERVIEWER: I don’t know if his father’s name ...
RAMSEY: But Clarence’s older brother was Frank.
INTERVIEWER: Frank. So this one may have been the son of Frank Weaver, too, I was just curious.

RAMSEY: Gertrude Hastings. I knew her, I think, also in grade school. She was a classmate over at Eastern and, at the time of that meeting, she had this postal address and she wrote me a letter, which might be in here. Mary Weidley was a daughter of the rector of the Church of the Reformation on B Street SE. [The Church was built around 1881 facing B Street near Second Street SE. It was demolished as part of the Library of Congress Adam’s Building construction. The congregation moved into the present location at 212 East Capitol Street NE in 1933.]

INTERVIEWER: That’s the church we go to.
RAMSEY: Her father was the rector there. Mary was slender, kind of Dutch looking. Dark-haired. Very

nice person.
INTERVIEWER: Is she still alive? I think she may be.

RAMSEY: I don’t know. Edith Martyn Whitman. Now, she and Ray Whitman were the same class. His name is not down here; maybe he’s gone. Ray Whitman was a redhead.

INTERVIEWER: Was his sister named ... was his sister Helen Whitman?RAMSEY: I don’t remember about the family.
INTERVIEWER: They lived on Maryland Avenue?
RAMSEY: I don’t remember.

INTERVIEWER: Because there’s a Helen Whitman that married General McAuliffe and lived on Maryland Avenue.

RAMSEY: Yes. Well, McAuliffe was at this party.INTERVIEWER: He died before I got to him.

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Capitol Hill Interviews Dr. Herbert P. Ramsey, March 31, 1977

RAMSEY: I have a picture with him taken at this which Joe Harris sent me. Edith Martyn was a sister of Dr. Herbert Martyn on East Capitol Street. Sister or daughter.

INTERVIEWER: Where was he on East Capitol Street?
RAMSEY: Five hundred block, north side. Helen Wright. I remember her name, not very well.

INTERVIEWER: You mentioned, before we leave the class of 1912, this Colonel Varela having photographs or pictures that he loaned to the Eastern High School reunion. Did you ever make copies of any of those? Or were they all just returned to him or what happened?

RAMSEY: They were returned to him but I made ... what I did is make slides of them to show the slides at the reunion.

INTERVIEWER: Do you still have all the slides in your collection someplace?RAMSEY: Just for the sake of possession, they don’t leave me. [Laughter.]INTERVIEWER: They’re not going to be buried with you, though, are they? [Laughter.]

RAMSEY: No, but on the other hand, they may be. I had a lot of these taken about—that I made slides— about 1969. If you ever wanted to have them printed, you can do it. They’ve already done the color film; actually, they turned out black and white because they were black and white.

INTERVIEWER: Now do you have that in a separate collection or were they all in with your other slides?

RAMSEY: They’re in the slides. At the time I took them, that’s the way I file them.

INTERVIEWER: Chronological?

RAMSEY: As of the time I took them. That’s the only chronology.

INTERVIEWER: Well, I would be interested sometime in seeing them, if you could arrange a slide show.

RAMSEY: Now, the class of 1913, I didn’t know so many of them. Hilda Rice, I knew, she was a pal of my wife. She lived around Eighth and East Capitol Street somewhere. Maybe on East Capitol. Catherine Lappin went to Normal School with my wife, whose name follows down a couple of lines. Eileen Jenkins, I don’t remember well. Edna Schwartz. The name is familiar. Freda VanNest. Edmund Wells, the one we called Flip Wells. Martha Noel was his wife. At the time of this meeting, they were living. I remember her dimly. In a lower class, you know, we didn’t look at them that much.

page 21

INTERVIEWER: No, that’s true.

RAMSEY: Reed West was prominent at George Washington University, on the faculty for a long time. He married an Eastern girl, maybe in the class after that. That could be gotten out of the George Washington alumni records. They have pretty good alumni records down there.

INTERVIEWER: We can find out who his wife was.

RAMSEY: Yes. But they both went to Eastern. He’s dead. Elizabeth Wilson, I’ll never forget something Clarence Rice said one time. I guess this is when we were kids or something. I think she’s still living. In high school, she was fat and tubby and we had a school prom. He talked about dancing with her and said it was just like holding on to a sack of meal. But she spent a lot of time in the study of care of the aging and part of this time was in Europe. I had a letter from her one time and she came down here. I think possibly she spoke sometime. She may be in the list that Rosenberger has of people who spoke here.

INTERVIEWER: We can check that, certainly.
RAMSEY: She was quite a protagonist of old-age pensions, before there was any in this country. She

was pointing out the other countries that did this and the United States didn’t. [Class of 1914] Kathleen Price. Irving Dennison. Harmon Eakel, he played football.

INTERVIEWER: He’s still alive but he’s had a stroke or a heart attack or something and he’s not in good shape and his mind, apparently, tends to wander. So on given days, you have to get him at the right time. He still lives in the family home on East Capitol Street, I know that. I guess it’s kind of hard to interview him because it would be too much of a strain, from what people tell me.

RAMSEY: Sometimes you can get important information from the spouses of these people ...INTERVIEWER: Right.
RAMSEY: ... if they survive them.

RAMSEY: Elsie Frisbie is only a name to me. Marion Hesse, I remember as a name. Ingrid Westesson. That reminds me of another girl I was kind of sweet on back there. Not in my class, she was a class or two ahead of me. Mary Hooe. H-O-O-E. Lived on 11th Street south. She was being squired by the captain of Company F at the time, Clarence A. Ranson, whose name doesn’t appear on here. Clarence A. Ranson was captain of Company F and he was a doctor, he went through medical school somewhere and practiced in Falls Church. R-A-N-S-O-N. I think he’s gone now, but I’ve seen him out there in Falls

Capitol Hill Interviews Dr. Herbert P. Ramsey, March 31, 1977

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Capitol Hill Interviews Dr. Herbert P. Ramsey, March 31, 1977

Church when we both were in practice. Leon Tashof, I remember as a name only. Helen Benzler. Wallace Yater. He just died.

INTERVIEWER: I know. That’s another one we missed. Tell me about Dr. Yater. I think it would be interesting to have some information on him.

RAMSEY: Dr. Yater was in this class, two classes behind me. He from there went to Georgetown Medical School, and I went to George Washington arts department, two years older. I graduated from college in 1916 and I think he, it seems to me, that he was a class ahead of us, but I don’t know. I know that when we went to George Washington, it may have been my second year, he and I used to cut up animals together in the biological lab. You know, dog, fish, and all that.

INTERVIEWER: I know. But that’s not my ... [Laughter.]RAMSEY: You never studied biology.
INTERVIEWER: I never studied biology, that’s right.

RAMSEY: In any case, he got out of medical school in three years and I got out in four years, or he got out, he did something different. I got out of college in four years. I remember night times, evenings, walking down past the White House from the University. We talked and he always used very big words. He didn’t believe in one-syllable words. He was always a student. He went to the Mayo Clinic for training in medicine. Came back and began lecturing all his fellow practitioners about how to practice medicine and we didn’t really like it. [Laughter.] But he was accomplished, and before he went to Mayo he wrote a book with Wilfred Barton, which I still have. It’s a sort of compendium of therapy. He wrote another book with Barton which was a big seller. Made a lot of money on it. He came back and was on the faculty at Georgetown, and went on up until he was head of the department.

INTERVIEWER: What was his department?
RAMSEY: Medicine.
INTERVIEWER: Oh, he was head of the whole department of medicine.

RAMSEY: Yeah, well there were different departments; surgery, where I was. He was an internist. He was head of internal medicine. For many years he was Secretary of the American College of Physicians. Naturally, he would [inaudible]. He practiced out of the school, I think, largely.

This will not go on there. [Noises/clicks on tape]
INTERVIEWER: Now, when did ... he is the founder of the Yater Clinic, right?

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RAMSEY: Yes, he owned it at the time.

INTERVIEWER: When did he found it? Do you have an approximate idea of when he founded that?

RAMSEY: No, but I can find that out. He started it at a different address. He started it in the building at 1801 K Street NW, which was a medical building. Then he tried to buy land over the Maryland line, on Wisconsin Avenue. For zoning reasons, they wouldn’t sell it to him. Then he bought this very fine property—it is 18th and Massachusetts Avenue—which is still there. But he was, in spite of the fact that he and I had differences, as you might imagine, he was a very lovely man, especially in the heart. He wound up his days as probably rheumatic and died in the night. His wife said she came down in the morning and found him dead. [inaudible] I went to his memorial service at St. Alban’s Church.

INTERVIEWER: Well, one thing we neglected to do, before we run out of tape, is we didn’t say anything about Dr. Herbert Ramsey on this tape, for Class of 1912.

RAMSEY: Well, I said something in the letter.

INTERVIEWER: You said a little, but you know, while we’re talking ...

RAMSEY: Well, I’ll tell you what I’ll do. We have copies of my curriculum vitae, you want that?

INTERVIEWER: I think that would be very nice, because ...

RAMSEY: Of course, that just tells in formal words where you went and what you did and your titles and awards and all that.

INTERVIEWER: Well, that’s important, though, because I think you have had a very distinguished career and we don’t want to miss the chief ...

RAMSEY: I’ve been busy. I come from a race of activists. I could say a few things about that, for instance, I went to George Washington University on a scholarship. They had, every year, examinations for what they called university scholarships. There was one upper scholarship and then six university scholarships. I received the second university scholarship. That helped me through school, because we were poor people, still are. We never had any business sense.

In the medical school, I’d had more chemistry than any other of the people entering school that year. So they gave me a place as a student assistant, which paid half the tuition. I carried that for two or three years of the school. I was the assistant to the chief of the medical school and medical department, which was—I mean chemistry department—which was Frank A. Hornaday, who was a graduate of George Washington

Capitol Hill Interviews Dr. Herbert P. Ramsey, March 31, 1977

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Capitol Hill Interviews Dr. Herbert P. Ramsey, March 31, 1977

University Medical School in the night sessions. [Phone rings.] He came from Ohio and worked at the post office and went to night school. A self-made man.

INTERVIEWER: That’s hard work, I’m sure.
RAMSEY: Later, I worked for him. I guess that doesn’t appear. It was after medical school and after I

came back from Honduras. As a [inaudible] he took me on in his office, which was in the Mayflower.

INTERVIEWER: What were you doing in Honduras? I knew you went to China as a missionary, but ...

RAMSEY: Well, it isn’t in there. I went to pay the rest of my college debts. Worked for the United Fruit Company in their medical department. They put me on and at the end of my first year, the big chief in 17 Battery Place, the Whitehall Building, in New York, came down to see me and said they needed to tell me to leave right away. I said, “Why?” He said, “Well, I’d like you to stay. We’ll transfer you to Guatemala and give you a substantial increase.” “Well,” I said, “I’ve got this China bug in my bonnet now and I think I better get ready for that.” So, I lost the opportunity to work in industrial medicine.

INTERVIEWER: But you went to China.

RAMSEY: It was interesting down there. The first day I was in Honduras, I got badly sunburned. I should’ve known better ... went swimming ... mid-day ... pale light skin. We landed at ... [inaudible]. I went to embark in New Orleans, on the fruit company ship, and there was a chief of the New Orleans office. Before I left, he said there’s something I want to tell you. I don’t want to hear of you down there in Honduras lying out under the palm trees with some dark skinned native. I said I won’t. [Laughter.] But, I went there and we had quite a community of people. The place, it was all on the cape in front of the city of Trujillo, a very old city. This was a new, main town, Puerto Castilla, and it happened to be the place where Columbus first touched the mainland on this continent. In his previous voyages, he had come to islands, San Sebastian and others. But, this is where he came to the mainland. First week I was there, I had occasion to drive to a Sunday party at a beach whose name I’ve forgotten. The girl had come down on a ship from St. Louis, a passenger on it, and she went swimming and got caught in the undertow. We recovered her body. The chief of the hospital said, “Well it’s up to you to embalm her.” I had never even seen a body embalmed. I read the directions and went ahead and she looked beautiful.

But according to the rules, that beautiful body was put up in a casket which was a closed and sealed, a metal casket for importing to the United States as it should be with proper procedure. That’s where I learned Spanish, on the body, not in school. They raised bananas and coconuts and things ... There were three of us doctors in the hospital and American nurses. I had an orderly in the hospital and he took me on. They put me right into the dispensary and I didn’t know any Spanish. He helped me through any

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Capitol Hill Interviews Dr. Herbert P. Ramsey, March 31, 1977

questions. He spoke enough English that I ... I had a car at our dispensary, which was just a little surrey on wheels ... railroad wheels.

INTERVIEWER: Good heavens!

RAMSEY: This was a railroad company, Trujillo Railroad Company. I’d go up, usually with one of the boys along to chauffeur this thing, because we had to get a railroad dispatch from one section to another. We didn’t have telegraph or telephone. I was coming down from a call up to Coracito, which was about 50, 60 miles up the road one night. Somebody was sick. We made house calls.

INTERVIEWER: Sixty miles!

RAMSEY: We had what you called “practicantes,” which would now be called pharmaceutical assistants. They ran the clinics that gave ... [inaudible] ... malaria and parasitic diseases. But, if there was anybody VIP or seriously ill, they would send for us. On the way down, after that, it was around midnight, we came by the junction on the railroad and a minute later there was a heavy bump. We came to a grinding stop and got out and we couldn’t find the animal we’d run into. What it was, it was a tapir, what we call a mountain cow. Have you ever seen a tapir in the zoo?

INTERVIEWER: Right. Has a real long nose?
RAMSEY: A snout. The heavy part of that is the skin, it’s two or three inches thick, the skin.INTERVIEWER: Good heavens.

RAMSEY: That day, somebody came in the clinic and said that somebody must have had a collision up the road last night. And I said, is that so? How can you tell that? Over in the ditch—this was a high place on the road—over on the side, found a dead tapir on the ground. [Laughter.]

INTERVIEWER: Well, that explains that.

RAMSEY: Anyway, let’s get on with this, let’s get to it. So I came back, and with the pleasant companionship on the ship to New York of a very lovely lady who was the wife of the chief of accounting down there and her little kid. That was then. Then, however, I came back here, and this is in the paper. It will be in what you get. I took training here for a year at Columbia Hospital for Women. Then with Charlie Wright, who was then chief resident at George Washington Hospital.

INTERVIEWER: And you went to China?

RAMSEY: Went to China. Right after we were married. We were married in March, we left Washington in March. Had a little five day honeymoon in New York and off from there.

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INTERVIEWER: And you spent four years in China?RAMSEY: Yes. Then I came back to practice.

INTERVIEWER: To practice in Washington. Now, the paper will tell about your various activities in Washington.

RAMSEY: Yes, that’s right. Class of 1915. Is there any more about Yater? I think I concluded ... his wife still lives in Indian Lane in Spring Valley. Millicent. If you want to call her up, you can tell her that I asked you to call her up. Any biographical data about him, she’d be happy to give to you.

INTERVIEWER: Okay, fine.

RAMSEY: Joe Baldwin was the brother of Philip Baldwin, who was in my class although his name doesn’t appear here. He does appear in these papers. Philip Baldwin, Joe Baldwin, and there was nice- looking girl who was a younger sister. They were all the sons, that is, the children [phone rings] of the man who operated the Washington branch of Northwestern Life Insurance Company. He was a very fine man. I went to see him at times.

INTERVIEWER: Where did they live?
RAMSEY: Well, if I said around A Street NE 200 block, it should be just in there.

INTERVIEWER: Right. In that area. Well, it’s nice to have a general area, so you know where people ...

RAMSEY: Here’s Carol Walker. Doesn’t even say Caryl Walker!INTERVIEWER: There’s another Caryl Walker whose, uh, Janet ...

RAMSEY: This one is C-A-R-Y-L and this is C-A-R-O-L. May be a family connection somewhere, I don’t know her. Mary Estep. Miner Ellis lived next to me on F Street. I was born in 621 and he lived in 623. He still lives in our neighborhood. He’s a bachelor. He had two older sisters. Mabel Ellis and Edna Ellis. They all lived in the next door house to us. Anna Hagen. I don’t know her. Etzler? Etzler was in my class in high school. His name doesn’t belong here. How’d they ... [Anna Hagen was a graduate in 1915; she is shown as Anna Hagen Etzler in the alumni list.]

INTERVIEWER: Well, he’s probably deceased.

Capitol Hill Interviews Dr. Herbert P. Ramsey, March 31, 1977

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RAMSEY: Marian Hummer is deceased. Wait a minute. Let’s see ... No, Marvin is deceased. Marian and Marvin. Neither of them married. They lived at 1010 Massachusetts Avenue NE. Their father ran a coal yard in the 500 block of A Street next to the Metropolitan Baptist Church.

INTERVIEWER: I never knew there was a coal yard there.
RAMSEY: Well, it isn’t now, but it was. I worked for him. At the same time, he had another job. He had

a real estate office in the 300 block of Pennsylvania Avenue, north side. W. F. Hummer.INTERVIEWER: Well, someplace along where the National Capital Bank is, that area.RAMSEY: Yes. Same block.
INTERVIEWER: Most of those buildings have been taken down, or many of them.

RAMSEY: That’s where he was, and I worked for him. Now, here is Robert Taylor. Edna Shreve ... I don’t recall. Now, Marian Hummer and Marvin, both were children of W.F. Hummer. He was the son of G.W.F. Hummer, who lived on East Capitol Street about 636, I forget. His daughter, Elizabeth Hummer, was principal of the Wallach School at the later part of her teaching career. She taught me in infant class at Sunday School at Epworth Church at Sixth and A, Seventh and A. There were a lot of Hummers around related to them. G.W.F. Hummer had a light build. He used to go around and visit members of the Church. He was the Treasurer of Epworth Church when he died. He always carried a little homeopathic packet of pills he’d give [inaudible]. And he was quite a man. He really was. Wonderful. W.F. and Elizabeth were not his only children, I think there was another one, but I can get that from my wife.

INTERVIEWER: Are some of the Hummers who come here related to that family? The secretary or something?

RAMSEY: Oh. I sat next to her last week. I do not know. I don’t really know. So, it’s possible. Robert M. Taylor, I think was the youngest of the three Taylors: Sterling, Melinda ...

INTERVIEWER: ... and Robert.

RAMSEY: I told you it was a close-knit family, still. [Class of 1916] William E. Barkman. I knew his father and his grandfather. His grandfather was George W. Barkman, who lived on A Street, 700 block, south side. I went to his house to see him. He was a Knights Templar and he was in the real estate business. His son was George W. Barkman, Jr., black mustache, and he lived in the neighborhood. [Pause, noises]. We’re back to William Barkman. He was colonel of the cadet regiment in high school. He lived right across the street at 218 Eighth Street. Still lives there, as far as I know. He married a very lovely girl. As to children, I don’t know. Or what he did for a living, but he was very highly regarded in

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Eastern High School, I can tell you that. Charles M. Boteler, Sr. was a son of L. Pierce Boteler, who operated as manager of the Mutual Insurance Agency, at that time at the corner of 13th and H Streets NW. There’s a parking lot there now; northwest corner. Now, Pierce Boteler and later Charles Boteler carried my commercial insurance and so on for many years. Charles came to this Shoreham thing in person.

INTERVIEWER: He died just recently, didn’t he? Isn’t he the one who just died?

RAMSEY: Could be. I don’t know.

INTERVIEWER: One of them did.

RAMSEY: I don’t get all of the obituaries read anymore. I used to see if my name was there, but I have never found it, so I quit looking.

INTERVIEWER: Well, I think I saw it just ... it’s been since I’ve been working here, because I picked up the name. I think that I marked it, and I think he may have a son, Charles Jr., you know, still around, or something.

RAMSEY: Well, if he’s Senior, probably so. I can say this about him, he in childhood lived on North Carolina Avenue SE, 600 block, north side. He had a sister, a bit younger, Hester Boteler. There were some other Botelers. All these are Epworth Church people. Then on that same block, there lived Judge Kimball of the District Court ... I don’t know just what he was ... might have been Police Court. But he had a daughter, Alice Kimball, who taught piano. She taught my older sister, who was really the musician. She also taught me, both at our house on F Street and at her house on North Carolina Avenue. I guess it depended on the situation, which we went to. She was kind of a heavy-set girl, nice looking and kind of pretty. Of course she was very much my senior, in those days. I thought of that because you were talking about the areas where people were, and they were in that block.

If I keep on with these directories, you’ll never get out, now! I told you that, about Dalrymple?

INTERVIEWER: Yes, you mentioned in the letter ... [See end of interview.]

RAMSEY: I gave you the wrong year on that. My brother Harold was married in 1918, ‘17 or ‘18, to my wife’s sister, Leila Evelyn. We called her Muff. As soon as they returned, they took an apartment on 22ndStreet NW and the building is still there between P and Q. And then they took rooms with Dalrymple on Kentucky Avenue. That would have to be around 1917, 18 or 19.

INTERVIEWER: And this is your brother?RAMSEY: My brother.

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INTERVIEWER: Oh, that would be interesting to hear about him living on Kentucky Avenue.

RAMSEY: That’s how I first knew about Dalrymple. Dalrymple had a daughter who’s in this letter. Mary Brooks, I don’t remember, Louise Sheiry Bradshaw, reminds me about the class of 1912. Aaron Bradshaw was in my class and he lived on the north ... on the southeast corner of Ninth and C Streets NE. That was a very interesting family, Bradshaws. His father was a Republican power for DC. He had a sister, Mae Bradshaw, who was principal of the Washington Commercial High School, where my older daughter went to high school, probably, I would have to say ...

INTERVIEWER: Right. I’ve been out there to the auditorium. They used to have children’s plays.

RAMSEY: Yes. She was ... that was her final appointment in the public schools. Her sister, Elizabeth Bradshaw, was a bosom companion of my wife through school and must have been in Eastern High School. Elizabeth married David Andrew Pine, a lawyer who became a judge of the District Court. They were a very fine couple. I think they maybe had a child or two. Elizabeth Bradshaw and my wife never lost touch with each other, until Elizabeth died. Their friends who knew Pine in his boyhood—he graduated from Central High School—called him Andrew. But people who knew him later on in life called him David, which was his first name, David Pine. He’s the only judge who ever called me down to court, but he was a friend of mine. And he had to do it. I was called as an expert witness. At this time I was there as a witness of fact.

End Tape One, Side Two Tape Two, Side One

RAMSEY: We were talking about Aaron Bradshaw’s family. He became, I think he became, a general in the army. I’m not sure he’s still with us. He had an aquiline nose, something like that. They lived at the place I told you. While we’re thinking about that area, there was a man named George D. Kuhnel, K-U- H-N-E-L. He was several years ahead of me, who lived on Massachusetts Avenue, 600 block, south side, I think. He had a tall house, three stories at least. He went to Eastern High School. He told a story ... my brother told this story, about ... [tape stops] ... George D. Kuhnel. He may have, my brother told me this when he was in high school. [Kuhnel was] Very tall and full of practical jokes, of the nasty kind. One day he came ... he had had a teacher named George [inaudible]. He didn’t like him. So one day, there was an awful smell in the room and turned out that he had brought a package of Limburger cheese and put it on the radiator. [Laughter.] On another occasion, he brought a football bladder into the classroom. The boys were tossing it around and the teacher was trying to find out where it was. Every time he looked some place it would be over there and finally he got it pinned down. He saw it in the aisle. He couldn’t pick it

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up then, after he had seen it, but it was shaped, you know, pointed, and he kept trying to get it and it kept blowing away from him. That was the story. I’m quoting that. What Bradshaw this Louise [Louise Sheiry Bradshaw—Mrs. W.N.] was married to, I don’t know.

Then we get along here on Class of 1916. Jester, Guest, English. Herbert Gates. Dr. Herbert Gates. Had a brother who was a dentist who was a member of the Hamline Church on 16th Street, but Herbert Gates practiced on East Capitol Street. I think he was a George Washington graduate. Just this year, the medical society has given him an award for some inconceivable number of years as chairman of the Committee on Traffic of the Medical Society. He earned it. I don’t know what they’ll do without him now.

INTERVIEWER: What did the Committee on Traffic do?

RAMSEY: Well, they had to do with making recommendations to the District government about physical conditions as criteria for drivers’ licenses and so on. Also, about traffic accidents, to make recommendations, from a medical standpoint. Herbert Gates. Miriam Hicks, Helen Crain. Earl Jonscher, I know very well. His wife recently died. He was a vice president of American Security and Trust Company and was in on these reunions. He’s one who’d be glad to talk to you. Get him down here. I know you are recording. Because, when you get him turned on, he’s like me, you can’t turn him off.

INTERVIEWER: Well, you are just a gold mine. I wish we found you sooner!
RAMSEY: He’s of a later vintage, you see. This is four years later. And he will remember things that I

INTERVIEWER: Now where did he grow up? What neighborhood was he in?

RAMSEY: I don’t know. I didn’t know him at school. I knew him when he came to public eye later. I know him now. Helen Whitman McAuliffe. Tony McAuliffe, he’s gone now. I didn’t know him at all. I never heard of him till he was quoted in his famous remark at the Battle of the Bulge.

INTERVIEWER: Apparently his sister is still alive. He has a sister. Because she was a school teacher and Mrs. Leukhardt knows her from the retired teachers association. [Phone rings.]

RAMSEY: Now we’ll go to 1917. Wilson Earnshaw. I know the name Earnshaw, but other people attached to it.

INTERVIEWER: I have that marked deceased, and I think that’s Milton Sladen’s writing, so it must have been somebody he knew. Yes, that’s his class.

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RAMSEY: Mildred Reynolds Selinger. I know her very well because in World War I when I was conducting choruses, community sings, down in the old Billy Sunday Tabernacle at the Union Station—I used to lead a lot of choruses in those days—she played for me. She wasn’t the only one, but she was the best.

INTERVIEWER: Was that about where the Southern Railway Building now is?

RAMSEY: No, it’s where the plaza is. This was earlier. You see, that Union Station was opened in 1909. And this was 1917, eight years later. The routing of traffic—had streetcars in those days—wasn’t the same as it is now. But this, this was put up and used later as a so-called Liberty Hut.

INTERVIEWER: Was it a tent?

RAMSEY: No, no it was a wooden building. Very large. I heard Billy Sunday saying that in that building how they had the rafter supports turned flatways instead of broadside so as not to throw back the voice. Because it didn’t have any PA system.

INTERVIEWER: Right. You know, while you are talking about that area right near Union Station, was there a playground or tennis courts or something?

RAMSEY: Yes. I think east of there toward Second Street. That land got too valuable for such mere things as recreation. Margaret Metzeroth. Mildred Reynolds. She lived near me at the time that she was playing for me before she married Maurice Selinger. Maurice Selinger was a physician. He was a pathologist at Garfield Hospital and at Children’s Hospital and Episcopal Hospital. In the firm of Lindsey, Rice and Sullivan, same Rice.

INTERVIEWER: You mean, same Rice, Clarence Rice?
RAMSEY: Yes. Milton Sladen. Sladen was a tailor on East Capitol Street there somewhere.

INTERVIEWER: Right, the 400 block of East Capitol. Milton is the one I know. He was for years secretary to Mary Roberts Rinehart. And, of course, lived here.

RAMSEY: The one who graduated Eastern?

INTERVIEWER: Then he went on to New York with her, but he is now retired and living in the family home. He’s the one who gave me this list. He became the secretary and assistant treasurer of the book publishing firm of Farrar and Rinehart, that later became Rinehart & Company. When he retired he came back here and lived in the family home with one other brother who never married. On 11th Street SE, just south of Lincoln Park.

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RAMSEY: C. Arthur Wingfield, there were two of these. This was the younger. He was named for the father, who was a tall, distinguished, white haired man. I went to church in Petersburg, Virginia one time and that’s the church where the father’s brother was the rector, was the minister. C. Arthur Wingfield. They also went to Epworth Church. Kind of getting out of my ken, going on down [the list.] [Class of 1918] Ellis Hayworth became very famous at Eastern High School and I don’t ... never knew him.

INTERVIEWER: Now, you said that Epworth Church sold the church at Seventh and A Street NE after a bad fire? Because it looks, I guess it must have taken quite a bit of restoration, because the exterior of it looks quite ...

RAMSEY: The exterior wasn’t involved in this; it was burned out. The pews and the altar in that church were very light wood ... polished ... and the pulpit furniture matched all this. I haven’t seen that in a church for many years, or ever, since I looked at that. But, on the A Street side—the entrance was on the corner—A Street side was an entrance to the basement, Sunday School rooms and we had a social room down there. In the far, the east side, next to the houses, was a room in the basement where a coal pile was and the furnace. I could give you more about that [inaudible].

INTERVIEWER: When was that, that it had the fire?

RAMSEY: Well, I would have to look back. I know the new place was built and occupied at about the time of World War I. [The original Epworth Church burned in 1919. After the fire, the church relocated to the corner of Lincoln Park and 13th Street NE, now the Lincoln Park United Methodist Church. Epworth Church relocated again in 1973 when it merged with Ryland Episcopal Church at Branch Avenue and S Street SE.]

INTERVIEWER: Another family that went to Epworth Church was the Payne family. Mr. Payne lived on our block when we first moved in. He was quite an old man, he must have been close to 90 when he died. He apparently went to that Epworth Church right there on Lincoln Park. He was the President of the Eastern Savings and Loan in the Eastern Building ... you know it changes its name every year. Did you ever know that family?

RAMSEY: I don’t recall the name. I might have known him.

INTERVIEWER: The son is named William, and he’s considerably younger than you are. I can’t think of the name ... but we always called him Old Man Payne. He lived down the street, he stayed there. The children got married and I think they live in Chevy Chase, but he stayed through thick and thin.

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Capitol Hill Interviews Dr. Herbert P. Ramsey, March 31, 1977

RAMSEY: I ceased to be well acquainted in Epworth by 1927 when we returned from China because we were never in that part of the city again. For long intervals, remained connected, but ...

INTERVIEWER: So you basically lived in northwest when you came back?

RAMSEY: Yes. Now, let’s see, I see Hester Boteler Shoultz. Hester was the sister of Charles that I mentioned earlier. Now, we are getting in the ... [Class of 1919] There’s my sister. That’s how she went to Eastern. Margaret Ramsey.

INTERVIEWER: Margaret Ramsey Fisher.

RAMSEY: Yes. She went there. Her husband, J. Alston, used to come and see up to her when we lived on Massachusetts Avenue. He was a civil engineer. And a graduate of, let’s see ... but, he was attached for a long time to the George A. Fuller Company Building and Construction and later on to two others ... names, names, I can’t think of it now. He died of heart trouble. She doesn’t live at that address any more. If you want it, I have it. She lives out in Bowie, by herself. She has an apartment ... It’s in the phone book under Mrs. J. Alston Fisher. I get out there, but I don’t know the address.

Janice Blum was a companion of my younger sister. I may find out that she went to Eastern if we keep on with this. She’s two years younger than Margaret. She’s in here. She did. Janice Blum was her single name. School teacher. She married Pugh. His brother was a judge in Rockville. Well known. Marion Smith was a school teacher. I met her and had known her. I think she came to me once as a patient. I can’t tell you much more about her. She died not long ago and my sister-in-law Jane was desolate about that.

[Class of] 1920. Baker, Beck, Benner, Engel, Florence Boteler. That was the youngest of the three Boteler children. Charles, Hester, and Florence. General Lanham was well-known in his own right, I don’t know him. There’s another Whitman, Marian Whitman.

[Class of 1921] Now this is a misspell, here. Olive Ramsey Aldridge. A-L-D-R-I-D-G-E. Robert is her son, not her husband. Her husband was Herbert F. Aldridge. The address is correct. I’m going out to Robert’s home, Sunday, to a surprise party for my sister’s 75th birthday.

INTERVIEWER: So I better not let anybody hear this tape between now and Sunday.

RAMSEY: Yeah. Well, as long as she doesn’t hear it.

INTERVIEWER: There’s Marvin Hummer.

RAMSEY: Marvin Hummer. He and his sister. They moved into, what do they call it? Crestwood region, just over Rock Creek Park, west of 16th Street. After his parents died, they lived for some time at the

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Massachusetts Avenue place, but they moved west and ... Oh, he ran the coal business which moved to the 800 block of B Street, now called Constitution.

INTERVIEWER: 800 block? Near Casualty Hospital?

RAMSEY: Yes. They started ... there’s a house on the corner and then they got started after that. I’m not sure it’s still there. He ran that business. He inherited his father’s business sense. Kept right on and he made a good thing of it. He bought a very nice house in Crestwood, right close to the park. That’s the name. We see her around town from time to time. He’s dead now, but she still lives there. She ought to be interested in a place like this.

INTERVIEWER: Agnes Maceron, I’ve talked to. She doesn’t ... when you start getting up with these people, they don’t have the recollections that you have. I mean, the 10 years is a tremendous difference.

RAMSEY: [Class of 1922] Marian Hall Fisher. I’ve heard that name. She may have been one of my patients, I don’t know. Alida Hartranft. The Hartranfts lived on Seventh Street next door to Epworth Church. Their father ran a dairy and he had a daughter. This may be the first generation or the second, I don’t know. What was the name of the boy? Well, they were Hartranfts anyway. I’m going on down because I had to skip over all of these names, none of them that I know. Isadore Rodis, yes. He’s an MD. He had an office for a time at 4000 Connecticut, right catty corner from me. I don’t know if he’s there now or not. But he’s still in practice. Albert C. Seiler. That’s not the Seiler I knew. The one I knew was older.

INTERVIEWER: One thing that you had mentioned to me when we were talking, and I don’t think is in your letter, is the block near Sixth and D and E Streets NE and going up there to play.

RAMSEY: “Up on Active”?
INTERVIEWER: “Active.” That’s what I wanted.

RAMSEY: “Up on Active.” The entire block, almost the entire block, from D to E and Sixth to Seventh [Northeast], was unoccupied by structures. There may have been one on the D Street side. I think that block was cut off by Maryland Avenue a little bit. We used to have sandlot baseball games up there. It was big enough to have two or three at a time. On the Sixth and E Street corner, the rise was a right steep declivity and frequently people had cut steps in it. We’d go chasing up there. The children from all parts of that area would go there from down F Street and the other sides and go up there to play. Sometimes, we’d play ball or play catch. If you wanted to get off the street ... from carriages or something.

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INTERVIEWER: You ever remember any old houses? That block didn’t have any houses on it at all, is that right?

RAMSEY: Well, I’m not quite sure about that. There are two parts I’m not sure. One is the D Street side and one was the E Street side at the Seventh Street corner. There may have been somebody there. The way you’d find that out is the directory that was geographical rather than alphabetical.

INTERVIEWER: Well, we’ve been trying to figure out ... I don’t know if you recall, there’s a little frame house that faces Stanton Park. It’s had several fires. It’s all burned out.

RAMSEY: There’s our mound.

INTERVIEWER: Well, this is right on ...

RAMSEY: D Street didn’t face Stanton Park.

INTERVIEWER: Right. And the woman claims, somebody claims that that house was moved from someplace else around in that neighborhood.

RAMSEY: Well, I remember a house that was up on a hill. On Maryland Avenue. What I remember, that house that was there in my boyhood. But I don’t know if it was moved from someplace else or anything like that.

INTERVIEWER: Well, we ... this woman claims, you know, that this house was built before Columbus got here, I think, or something. We have all kinds of houses like that. Did you ever know anybody in the Gessford family? It’s Margaret Gessford, class unknown. [on alumni list]

RAMSEY: No, we had a police chief here once named Gessford.

INTERVIEWER: He was a police chief?

RAMSEY: Yes, he came out of the army.

INTERVIEWER: He’s buried in Congressional Cemetery.

RAMSEY: Is he? Well, if it’s the one I’m thinking about, he would have been living as long as 1932 or so.

INTERVIEWER: Oh no. Well, this maybe is a son of his, this one. But this one that’s buried out in Congressional was a policeman, too. But I bet his son, maybe ... the one buried in Congressional died about 1902, 1903. So that would be too long ago for you to remember. So this may be his son.

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RAMSEY: In this last list here, [continuing to look at “Class Unknown” section of alumni list] the first two people I knew. Ethel McAllister was a classmate of mine in grade school. Her brother, Charles McAllister, same name as the ship on the Potomac, The Charles McAllister. They lived on Sixth Street, just below F Street NE. A number of steps down, there’s an alley that goes behind F Street houses. There were three houses and she lived in one of them. That is Ethel McAllister. Her husband was ... became an Episcopal rector. I don’t mean her husband, her brother Charles. She moved out west somewhere and it looks like she got to Florida. Meta Neumann had a sister a little older and I knew her in Eastern. She was younger than I, a couple of years. But I knew her too, both of the sisters, in George Washington University College. They were very nice people, very able. Linneaus Savage. I asked my next door neighbor if he knew anybody named Linneaus Savage. He is a Savage. But he didn’t have any brothers or any children. Maude Gunther has died now. A teacher.

INTERVIEWER: Well, she must have been quite old.

RAMSEY: Oh, yes. Everybody flopped around her at that meeting.

INTERVIEWER: One other quick question I wanted to ask you is, when you lived up there in northeast, did you just call it northeast? You lived in two, really two different neighborhoods. F Street NE, then you lived down in the 800 block of Massachusetts Avenue NE. Did it have a neighborhood name or did it ... did you just ...

RAMSEY: Well, we talked about neighborhoods. Now, let’s see. Swampoodle was where? I wasn’t there.

INTERVIEWER: Swampoodle is more up by where the Government Printing Office is, wasn’t it?

RAMSEY: Swampoodle. Well, I used to sell newspapers in front of the Government Printing Office when I was in school. I wanted a pair of roller ball-bearing skates. My father said, “I’d like you to have them, but you have to get them, I can’t.” So I sold newspapers. Started a bank account in the National Savings and Trust, which I still have, in 1907 or 8, and I had enough money to buy a pair of skates, which is what I was going to have.

INTERVIEWER: Now, I was just wondering whether you just called it northeast Washington. Did you ever use the term Capitol Hill to apply to that area, either area?

RAMSEY: Yes, it was used. But largely to places that had a little higher elevation. From G Street going south you go uphill to F, you go uphill to E and, generally on the level, but going up to D and C. We did say we had lived in Capitol Hill when we were in the western part of the city. Well, Eastern High School

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was Capitol Hill. [At the time of his graduation, Eastern High School was co-located with the Wallach School and the Tower School at the site of what is now Hine Junior High School, on the block bounded by C, D, Seventh, and Eighth Streets SE. Eastern moved to its current location at 1700 East Capitol Street NE in 1923.]

INTERVIEWER: Did Eastern High School face Seventh Street or did it face Pennsylvania Avenue?

RAMSEY: Seventh Street, it wasn’t on Pennsylvania Avenue.

INTERVIEWER: Now, was that the building that later became Hine Junior High School? The one that was demolished I would say within the last 10 years? [G. P. Hine Junior High School was established in 1923, taking over Eastern’s former building. Hine later expanded to incorporate the adjoining Tower School building. By the fall of 1965, the city had torn down the original Wallach, Tower and Eastern High school buildings and replaced them with a large red brick facility for Hine. Due to declining enrollment, in 2008 Hine merged with Eliot Junior High to become Eliot-Hine Middle School and relocated to the Eliot site at 1830 Constitution Avenue NE. The Hine building at Pennsylvania and Seventh Street SE is slated for demolition.] Well, that’s the building that we are looking for a picture of.

RAMSEY: I’ll get you a picture of that, one way or another. These are our recent clippings. [These files were not available to transcribers.]

INTERVIEWER: This is very interesting. This is class of 1922. I just happened to look because I knew the address. Elizabeth Deener was my older son’s first grade teacher. She had taught in the public schools. She retired, and then when they started this private school on Capitol Hill [Washington Parish School], somebody talked her into coming back and teaching. And, sure enough, there she is. She only taught for a couple of years because, of course, when she taught there, she had already retired from the public schools. Were you one of the organizers of this reunion? That’s why you have all this material?

RAMSEY: Yes. This was the committee. We were going to have it at the Mayflower, but we outgrew the Mayflower before we had it. So we had to move to the Shoreham. Here’s the Mayflower prospectus when we were going there and we never got there. These are pictures I got from Louise Royall. I better keep these till I get the pictures to you. Louise Royall, Mrs. Helms, of Brooklyn. Here’s a letter from Margaret Moore and that’s where she lives. It’s in Bethesda, Chestnut ... oh, it says Chestnut Street DC. Wilbur Manning. He was a captain in the Navy. John Dorland Cremer ... is dead. He was the high school sweetheart of Melinda Taylor Queally Russell. She’s still living after two marriages, and he’s dead, too.

Not all of these names appear on your list. John Bixler, I’ll come to him. He’s dead. Raymond Keith was in my class. I don’t know what happened to him. Edward Goldberg. Well, this is our class. [1912]

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Whitley McCoy. Ulrich Mengert. When we went to college, Ulrich Mengert and I took the same scholarship examination for Haverford College. There was only one scholarship and he got it. He was smarter than I was anyway. This is me. This is Rice. Bill Schwartz, who I knew very well. All these [were] my classmates. Stanley Smith, we used to say he married Helen Lockwood, who was a class or two below us. Or she married him, because I think her only marriage [inaudible]. [Laughter.] He said that he came back from his honeymoon and the report was they spent their honeymoon with him reading Aristotle to her in the original Greek.

Unger, I remember him. I remember them all. But I don’t know what ... There’s Ray Whitman. Mabel Blanchard. Undine Babcock. Yes, I remember her. Elsie Broome. Virginia Davis. I haven’t looked at this list in years. Bessie Darnell. Eveline Davison. Brigadier General Kelser, was not the same as Kenner. I didn’t know him. That’s strange. Eunice Farnsworth was in our class. Francis Ferneyhough, we used to call her “Funny Fannie Ferneyhough.” Well, you’ll find this list interesting and informative. Effie Bruce Handy had an older brother who was very tall, very handsome. Susie Hayre, yes, she lived down on G Street NE near Seventh. Grace Knapp. Vera Lawrence, I don’t remember. Winnifred Leet, I knew. She lived about First and A Street NE, on the First Street side, the houses on the terrace there from East Capitol Street down to the old Capitol Prison, which was there, and I remember very well. I knew her very well. She lived there.

Mabel McCalip, I told you about her. Imogene McGarraghy. Marguerite Massie. Loretta Raymond. [inaudible] She was a well-known girl in near northeast. A favorite, popular. There’s Julia Ruff, his [Clarence Rice’s] first wife. Flo Stonebraker. Alice Tate. Melinda Tayor, I’m passing over. Arlien Terry. I remember these people, but I don’t have any particular recollection to tell you about. Hazel Wells was a sister of Flip Wells.

Class of 1913. [A list of the Class of 1913 was enclosed with the letter from Dr. Ramsey to Hazel Kreinheder] Bruce Baker. He lived on F Street NE in the 300 block. His older sister was another Baker and went to Eastern, too. Eugene Osmun Barr went through medical school and used to practice at 1801 Eye Street, across the street from me till he died. John Shively Bixler, who lived at 821 Massachusetts Avenue NE, was my companion in youth. He came from ... his family came from Carlisle, Pennsylvania. His father and my father were both in the collapse of Ford’s Theater in 1893. His father got injuries, the remnants of which he carried to his grave because he was disabled. My father, when the building started to collapse in the middle, crawled his way to the nearest window ... it was slanted. What was so bad was the thing made a funnel and all the desks and chairs and everything went down and killed the people who were in there. He got out over a roof. He never had any damage and didn’t make all the money. Bixler made a lot of money. All the people who were hurt got money.

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Capitol Hill Interviews Dr. Herbert P. Ramsey, March 31, 1977

Russell Duvall was a very handsome man who lived on A Street NE, the 600 block. I knew him very well. Eakle, Earle English. George Flemer. There were two Flemer boys. The father kept a drugstore at the corner of D Street and Maryland Avenue NE, on the corner. That was our drugstore when we lived on F Street.

INTERVIEWER: Did they live upstairs, in the ...
RAMSEY: Yes. Three story building.
INTERVIEWER: That building had been for sale for a long time. My husband loved that building.RAMSEY: Is it still there?
INTERVIEWER: It’s still there. I don’t know if they sold it or not.

RAMSEY: Well, it has a history. Hughes. [John James Hughes] I knew him. Samuel Leonard, yes. I knew the previous Leonards. He had a brother, older brother, that’s all I remember about that. Jesse Mann. Lived on F Street, the 600 block, about four houses from Seventh Street, south side. We were companions also at Epworth Church. It’s hard to remember all the things you can remember, but trying to keep in mind the boys you played with.

Albert Edward Marland graduated in medicine and became a psychiatrist. He’s still around and I think may be practicing. I’m not sure. Ralph Ogle, I remember. Walter Rappaport. Herbert Shinn. Hawley Armistead Smith. Now, there were several of the ... a couple of brothers. They lived also on Massachusetts Avenue NE in the 600 block. He died as an Army general.

Next is Flip Wells. [Edmund John Wells, Jr.] Reed West, we talked about. Girls. [inaudible] Are these married names? I guess they are. I don’t know. Balderston. Henryetta Brumm. Yes. She had two ... she had a sister. They lived on E Street NE, 500 block, south side. It’s on the ... in the row of houses, one of them was the parsonage for Epworth Church. There are three houses alike, of course, if they’re still there. Henryetta Brumm lived there. Her older sister was Florence Brumm. Mary Catherine Buckingham, I was quite sweet on Mary Catherine Buckingham. She lived in the, let’s see, she may still be living, I don’t know. But, the house, I think, is gone. She lived in the 100 block of C Street NE. Up a hill. Houses set way back. A few houses ...

INTERVIEWER: That’s where all the Senate office buildings are. There were a couple of houses there. I think they may have knocked them down recently.

RAMSEY: I don’t think they’re there. Vera Budd. Doris Casey. Elise Clements. What does this mean? [There is a star next to her name on the list.] Deceased, or not? Crew. [Annie Irene Crew] My wife knew

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Capitol Hill Interviews Dr. Herbert P. Ramsey, March 31, 1977

her. Well, this is my wife’s class. Yes, my wife is next, yes [Margaret Lillian Frost]. Rose Elizabeth Frye. I think I’ll carry this along home, too. If she agrees to talk. Blatt. Mae Boatwright. I don’t remember that one. She’s younger than me. Frye. Brooks. Mills. Munnerlyn, Orrie May Munnerlyn. She had a younger sister, they went to Epworth Church. Meta Newman who I just told you about. Martha Noel. Orlando. Kathleen [Perkins]. Esther Raeder. Hildegarde Rice.

Grace Roper. Her father, her family, when I first knew them in very young life, lived on Seventh Street NE, opposite Taylor School, first or second house from ours. He was Daniel C. Roper, Daniel Calhoun Roper, from Hartsville, South Carolina. He was in the Woodrow Wilson administration in some capacity. He was clerk to the Ways and Means Committee in the House and the chairman was Underwood. Senator ... Representative Underwood of Alabama, which may bring to mind the Democratic Convention of 1924, when they called the roll so many times. You know, it was on radio for the first time, “Twenty-four votes for Underwood.” Alabama was first on the list.

Next were the children. The oldest was a girl, May. She married a manufacturer in Hartsville, South Carolina and she never left after that. The next one was Hunter, who went to Eastern High School. Hunter was the one I didn’t think was too bright. He was in a physics class with me. And we were studying principles of heat, heat expanding. And he said, “Dr. Rothermel, Professor Rothermel, as the heat expands, is that why the days are longer in the summer than they are in the winter?” [Laughter.]

INTERVIEWER: We had one like that when I went to high school, too!

RAMSEY: The next one was Dan, named for his father, Dan Jr. He went ... he was in the cadets at Eastern. He always went with a limp. He was a little fellow and he carried a lot of gun on the right shoulder. He never straightened out that crooked shoulder the rest of his life. Next one was Grace. Grace married, too. The last house the Ropers lived in was on Tenley ...

End of Tape Two, Side One
Tape Two, Side Two
I do not remember. Who was she married to? He [Daniel Roper] later was Secretary of Commerce. I ...INTERVIEWER: I thought he had a cabinet post.

RAMSEY: Then, there were three younger ... John, was the next one. Harry was the next one. Both of whom became distinguished officers in the Navy, the United States Navy. I think that their terms in the Navy went through World War II. They were very distinguished. The last one, little tiny one, I don’t remember the name. After we left the Seventh Street house, he moved across the street from us on

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Capitol Hill Interviews Dr. Herbert P. Ramsey, March 31, 1977

Massachusetts Avenue to a new house, at Ninth and Massachusetts NE, northwest corner. Three story house. Still there, I guess. That’s where he was raising his family at that time. Then later he moved to a house which is in the reservation of Walter Reed Hospital, on the 16th Street side, just where Alaska Avenue bends right. Up on a hill, there’s a house that they occupied. Now it’s not available for an outside person, but it was then. The fence of Walter Reed reservation was around it then. Their last place was down on Tilden Street, quite an estate there. All the senior Ropers are gone and I don’t know whether May is around or not. But, some of these things, I can ask my wife, she will tell me or she’ll tell me if she doesn’t know. Going on, I don’t know if you need all this.

INTERVIEWER: Oh, it’s wonderful! We going to know who lives in every house by the time we’re through.

RAMSEY: Graves. Louise Hickman. Marguerite Jacobs ... I remember these names, but I don’t know ... Kalbfus. Klinger. Koontz. Koontz. Those are ... I don’t know what ...

INTERVIEWER: Probably, you know, your wife would know these people.
RAMSEY: I was wondering if the Koontzes who sell cars all over Virginia are the same family.INTERVIEWER: No, that’s Koons.

RAMSEY: Koons, that’s right. Katherine Lappin was her good friend. You know, Helen Lockwood was the one I told you married Stanley Smith. Had a Greek honeymoon. Mildred Shreeve. Mary Simpson. Effie Smith. Summers. Townsend. Myrtle Trainham I knew. Her sister was Elsie Trainham and they lived with their uncle, Dr. Ruedy, who was in the 600 block of Massachusetts Avenue ... Maryland Avenue ... just down from Eastern Presbyterian Church. Ruedy is spelled R-U-E-D-Y.

INTERVIEWER: You know, we’ve seen references recently to that row being called doctors’ row. Was it just because so many doctors lived there?

RAMSEY: Well, I think he wasn’t the only one. No, there were others. Helen Mansuy. When I, when I get to what I’ve come down here to do is go through directories. But I’m not going to get to it on this visit. This is your time. Elizabeth Wilson, I told you about her.

INTERVIEWER: A lot of what you’re telling me has never been written down anyplace.

RAMSEY: [Dr. Ramsey and the interviewer looked at pictures and clippings from past reunions. Edited bits from their conversation follow.] Larry Pope. He was at this meeting. Helena Doocy Reed. I told you about her. [Helena Doocy Reed died in 1975.] People’s letters are fundamental facts of history. This is where Clarence Rice writes to me. You see Clarence was very active in catching up with his people.

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Capitol Hill Interviews Dr. Herbert P. Ramsey, March 31, 1977

Mildred Crooke, she was in my class. I went to this one [1955 reunion]. The Dalrymple girl was the secretary. Lawrence Smallwood is a dentist and his office is in the building I was last in for many years.

INTERVIEWER: Supposedly, he has quite an extensive photograph collection. And there’s Maude Gunther. [Biology teacher] We really should get to some of these old—particularly people in your class or older—because when you get to the 1920s, they just don’t have the memories that you have.

RAMSEY: This is Gunther’s. Well, all this is history and I hope it won’t be lost. This is the Easterner, called “Old Eastern.” It was a sort of an assembly copy, gotten together.

INTERVIEWER: There’s a picture of the school! That’s really what I thought was the old Eastern High School.

RAMSEY: I know I have a picture of my cadet company standing in front of it. Which might not be enough detail for ... well, I’ll see what I have. [Sings] “Good bye, old school, dear halls of order ...” [inaudible]. Peabody School.

INTERVIEWER: Which is, of course, still there.
RAMSEY: But, put out of use, now.
INTERVIEWER: No! Peabody School is still there.
RAMSEY: I know. But they just announced that they were closing down the school.INTERVIEWER: When did they announce that?

RAMSEY: Within the past two weeks.
INTERVIEWER: Because they’ve had a very active parent group up there. You know, I had heard they

were going to list schools that they were going to close.

RAMSEY: Well, this was in a separate list of some kind. There weren’t enough people going there, that’s a great big building to heat and ... and, you know.

INTERVIEWER: Well, I’ll have to find out what the story is there.
[Dr. Ramsey talked about making XEROX copies of a book and other information about Eastern High

School and suggested Hazel Kreinheder contact Peggy King or Margaret Moore for the originals.]

End of Tape Two, Side Two END OF INTERVIEW

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Letter from Dr. Ramsey to Hazel Kreinheder, dated March 12, 1977

It occurred to me that it might be of interest to your Capitol Hill archives to send you a note about me as a “Northeaster” of old times. I was the third of six children born to my mother and father and the first two I think were not born in the F Street house. I might have to look this up. The house of my birth was 621 F Street NE and the building is still standing. It has changed hands several times. Each time at a much higher price than that which my father had paid for it, and much higher than the previous sale. My older brother Harold E. was born in 1888 and my older sister Mabel A. was born in 1890. Harold is still living and well in Houston. He had two daughters, both of them are married, the younger of whom had three children and two of them are married. They live in Texas. My older sister Mabel died in 1973 in Bremerton, Washington.

There are two younger sisters, both widows now, the older one born in 1900. Margaret C. married a Fisher, had two sons, both of whom are married and the younger of the two has three children. The youngest sister of mine is Olive E., who married an Aldridge and has two sons, one of whom has three children and one of whom has two children. None of these people now live in the Northeast.

I went to kindergarten the second half of the year I was five years old at 12th and F and Maryland Avenue NE in the pointed land between Maryland Avenue and F Street. The point points west. Later I went to school at the Taylor School, Seventh and G Streets NE, and in the third year transferred to the new building of the Ludlow School at Sixth and G Streets NE. In these schools, there also attended Margaret Frost and we were married in 1923, the third of that family to marry into our family. My sister Mabel was the first, and my brother Harold the second. All three of the oldest children went to Eastern High School. The fourth child did not survive two months and was buried in the state of Ohio.

We were members of the Epworth M.E. Church South, at that time located in the building at Seventh and A Streets NE; but after a disastrous fire, the congregation built a new church at the northeast corner of East Capitol and 13th Street next to Lincoln Park, and it was from this church that we left to go to China to the hospital for the Southern Methodist Mission in the city of Soochow. We remained there a little over four years, and while we were there the consolidation in the Methodist Church took place and the word “South” was abolished from the title. My two younger sisters, Margaret and Olive, went to public schools and both at a later time served in the public schools of the District of Columbia, and the younger, Olive, in Montgomery County public schools.

It seems that I am getting senile and loquacious since our conversation some time ago about Northeast Washington. I recall that we mentioned Dr. Clarence Rice. He lived in the same block of Kentucky Avenue as you do and if, at the library of the Columbia Historical Society, you look in the city directories between 1905 and 1910, you may find the listing of their name, Eugene C. Rice, Podiatrist, although his office for practice was downtown. He was named for his father and stressed the second name rather than the first and still goes by the name E. Clarence Rice, MD. At a later time, they moved to 4832 16th Street NW sometime during high school days. He was my classmate and we both graduated from old Eastern High School in 1912. As you know, the present Eastern High School is a different structure at a different address. You can also look in those same days and possibly later for the name of Dalrymple in the same block. Mr. Dalrymple, if my memory serves me correctly, was transferred from the police department to the White House police force where he served with distinction. His daughter, whose first name at this moment escapes me, was the last secretary of the old Eastern High School Alumni Association and I think up to the time of her death lived in Silver Spring, Maryland. She was a very fine person and kept all the membership records of the Eastern High School Alumni.

I have some data with names and photographs of those times and gave a slide show in the Blue Room of the Shoreham hotel on the occasion of the celebration of the 57th anniversary of our graduation from Eastern, (1912- 1969).

If I can let you know the next time I am coming to the library on the days when you are on duty, I will do so and you can bring along your tape recorder and ask me further questions.

Next door to us where we lived at 813 Massachusetts Avenue NE, at 811 Massachusetts Avenue, there lived Walter G. Gleason, who was a long time member of the police force at the White House who lived with his wife and daughter and his wife’s sister, Margaret Depew. I do not know whether the daughter survives, but I do believe she was married at a later time. At any rate, Mrs. Gleason died and Miss Depew died and Mr. Gleason wound up his days at the United States Soldier’s Home and the enclosed clippings can go in your Columbia personal files if you keep any.

Very sincerely yours, Herbert P. Ramsey, M.D.

page 44

Obituary of Dr. Ramsey, The Washington Post, April 10, 1985

Dr. H.P. Ramsey, Gynecologist, Dies at Age 90

Dr. Herbert P. Ramsey, 90, an obstetrician and gynecologist in Washington for more than half a century before retiring in 1975 and who also had been a clinical professor at George Washington University and a president of the DC Medical Society, died of arteriosclerosis April 6 at his home in Washington.

Dr. Ramsey chaired the department of obstetrics and gynecology at the old Garfield Hospital and at the Washington Hospital Center. He had been affiliated with George Washington University Hospital, the Columbia Hospital for Women, and the old Gallinger Municipal Hospital, and had served on advisory bodies at DC General Hospital.

He was a past chairman of the DC Public Health Advisory Council and a past president of the Washington Gynecological Society. He served in the American Medical Association’s House of Delegates from 1947 to 1952. He was a life fellow of the American College of Surgery, a life member of the Pan American Medical Society, and a diplomate of the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

Dr. Ramsey was a native of Washington and a 1912 graduate of Eastern High School. He graduated from George Washington University in 1916 and its medical school in 1920. He was an army veteran of World War I. After the war, he interned at Garfield and served a residency at the Columbia Hospital for Women. He was chief resident at George Washington University Hospital.

From there, Dr. Ramsey worked at a hospital in Central America and was chief of the obstetrics and gynecology department at Soochow Hospital in China. He returned here and began his private practice in 1927. After his formal retirement in 1975, he was a consultant to the Washington Hospital Center.

Dr. Ramsey was a member of the Cosmos Club, the old Corinthian Yacht Club, and the Columbia Historical Society.

Survivors include his wife of 62 years, the former Margaret Lillian Frost of Washington; two daughters, Barbara R. Pierrot of Washington, and Marjorie R. Gatley of Grand Junction, Colorado; two sisters, Olive Aldridge of Chevy Chase, and Margaret Fisher of Gaithersburg; six grandchildren, and seven great- grandchildren.