Descendants, dignitaries, Sons & Daughters of the American Revolution along with local VFW and American Legion Posts were not deterred by gray skies and damp cold weather as they all honored the historic Ramsey-Paxton family during grave marking ceremonies. A parade escorted by Loveland Police with marching members of the American Legion Post #256 color guard led 102 year old Kay Thompson, oldest living descendant of the Ramsey-Paxton family, from the White Pillars homestead to the gates of the Ramsey-Paxton Cemetery on Ramsey Court in Loveland, OH. She was joined in the parade by several other family descendants including Rob Geiger who has been most instrumental leading the drive to restore the family cemetery. All in attendance would agree about the importance to preserve the history and dignity of Thomas Paxton, John Ramsey, and Isabella Paxton-Ramsey – founders of Loveland.
“It is so nice for people to come today as we are recognizing the foundation of Loveland,” said Geiger, a descendant of the Ramsey-Paxton family. “So many times you don’t hear about them, but it is nice the family got recognition.”
The ceremonies included a lot of recognition for family descendants, organizations helping to preserve the history of the American Revolution in which Thomas Paxton and John Ramsey participated. Local dignitaries including Loveland City Manager David Kennedy and Mayor Kathy Bailey were recognized. Kennedy was among those acknowledged for his efforts to help restore and preserve the history of the Ramsey-Paxton Cemetery with a site marker. Both Kennedy and Bailey received beautiful cherry wood plaques made from Cherry trees removed from the cemetery during restoration work. A symbolic “Key to the Cemetery” was mounted on it.
The last four years have been a long journey for Rob Geiger whose roots trace directly back to Lt. Colonel Thomas Paxton and his fifth great grandparents, John and Isabella Ramsey, his line as a descendant continues through generations of the Ramsey family. It includes James L. and Minerva Arbuckle-Ramsey whose home he lives in today.
“I live in their house right down the road,” Geiger said. “I got the last Ramsey farm. This is a passion for me.
Throughout the ceremonies of the day, the passion and emotion of Rob Geiger was visible and audible as he watched the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) mark the graves of Revolutionary War Soldier Thomas Paxton and his daughter Isabella Paxton Ramsey.
The Sons of the American Revolution (SAR) also placed a marker during the ceremonies. He described the Ramsey farm where he resides now.
“There’s 76 acres there,” he said. “I get offers; people want to buy it all the time. I will not sell it. It’s been in the family since 1844 and I am not the one who is going to let it go out of the family.”
Probably the most poignant moment of the day came before all the pomp and circumstance when they cut the ribbon to formally open the gates of the newly restored cemetery. There was a line of dignitaries, descendants, and supporters each with a pair of scissors joining Kay Thompson for the cutting of the ribbon. Most appropriately, the only cut that mattered was Kay’s as the oldest living descendant snipped the ribbon first. That’s where the day started.
It ended with a Musket salute by the Cincinnati Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution. In between many were acknowledged for their role in raising the funds and doing the work to restore the cemetery including Kevin Egan partner in the ownership group for Ramsey’s Trailside along with Ralph Dunnigan, partner with Paxton’s Grill. There are too many to name here, but know the City of Loveland, Dale Eads and Eads Fence, the Loveland Legacy Foundation, the American Legion Post 256 and VFW Post 5749 all were recognized for their role bringing this historic cemetery back to life.
“We tried two other times. I was starting to get discouraged until Kevin Egan came along and he really got it started,” said Geiger. “He started getting the funds coming in. It just snowballed and all of sudden the funds kept coming in.”
The funds came in at levels enough to place memorial markers for unidentified burial sites located in the cemetery. Ultimately the day was the culmination of a lot of people and organizations coming together to preserve the history of not only a family, but of the foundation of the Loveland community.
“My gratitude for them. . . because I can’t do it, family members can’t do it,” Geiger said. “It took all the whole community to get this. It’s very touching. The way I feel today; there’s a book that came out in 1903 that talks about the genealogy of the Paxton’s. The title of it is exactly how I feel today: ‘Paxton’s, We Are One!’”
– Ramsey – Paxton Cemetery is located at 206 Ramsey Ct. in Loveland, OH. –
Special Thanks to Peter Bissman for photos included in this story and the gallery which follows.
*Be sure to scroll through the Photo Gallery with this story.