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RAMSEY, FRANK TAYLOR

RAMSEY, FRANK TAYLOR (1861–1932). Frank Taylor Ramsey, horticulturist, son of Alexander M. and Ellen (Taylor) Ramsey, was born in Burnet County, Texas, on June 15, 1861. His father was a pioneer horticulturist. Ramsey attended a local country school in Burnet County and at age sixteen became his father's partner in his nursery. By horseback and buckboard he scouted all Texas for native flora and introduced many choice wildings to cultivation. He married Annabella Sinclair on August 20, 1884, and they had four children. In 1894 the Ramseys moved their nursery to Austin, and Ramsey took over the business after his father's death in 1895. His establishment, the Austin Nursery, was a prominent and successful business throughout the early 1900s; it reached 430 acres at one time. Ramsey, nicknamed "Fruit Tree" from his initials, discovered or originated and introduced several domestic fruit varieties, including the Breck nectarine, the Leona peach, the Haupt berry, the Ramsey fig, a seedless persimmon, and the cluster apricot. He also developed several varieties of pecans, bred a Ramsey hybrid shrub, and introduced the Chinese jujube tree into the area. Ramsey contributed articles on horticulture to Southern Florist, Farm and Ranch, and Holland's Magazine. He also wrote his own verses in his nursery catalogs and produced a booklet of poetry titled 'Tis Sweeter Still and Other Poems. He was a Mason and a member of the Austin Public School Board of Trustees (1905–08). Ramsey died on December 28, 1932, and was buried in Oakwood Cemetery, Austin. Ramsey Park in Austin was named for him.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 
Austin History Center Files. The Austin Nursery Catalog (Austin, 1923). Frank W. Johnson, A History of Texas and Texans (5 vols., ed. E. C. Barker and E. W. Winkler [Chicago and New York: American Historical Society, 1914; rpt. 1916]).
T. C. Richardson

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Handbook of Texas Online, T. C. Richardson, "Ramsey, Frank Taylor," accessed September 27, 2016, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fra26.

Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.