Alexander Ramsey was a third great-grandfather of William Lee Rhodes. Born about 1765 in South Carolina, he traveled west through Kentucky, then to Illinois. Believed to be a Revolutionary War veteran, he started a "prospecting" trip up the Little Wabash River from White County, Illinois, after settling there from Hopkins County, Kentucky. The day before Christmas in 1818, he and his group, including James Alexander Nesbit (his son-in-law), William Farmer, William McCormick, and Michael Book set up camp on a beautiful hill covered with a large grove of white oak trees, near a spring of pure water. The men liked the location, and sent for their families and friends. For several years, this settlement was known as Ramsey's Grove.

Alexander Ramsey built a log dwelling in the northern part of the settlement - this was the first house built in the community. He operated the first horse mill in the vicinity. In 1853 Alexander Ramsey sold ten acres of land with the stipulation that a town be laid out. Although the settlers originally wanted to name the town "Ramsey", it was given the name "Mount Airie" at Alexander Ramsey's request. The name was later changed to Mt. Erie. Alexander and his wife, Eleanor, are buried in Mt. Erie Cemetery. She died in 1833, and he died in 1855.

More information on the history of Mt. Erie, Illinois, can be found at:

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Uncle Buddy, Cathy and I are planning a trip to Flemingsburg, KY for another ancestor search! We'll be leaving on September 16, and will meet in Maysville, KY. (Flemingsburg is not large enough to have any hotels!!) We're making this a short trip, so will be returning on Wednesday, September 19. The focus for this trip is Beachum Rhodes. Wish us luck!!

Editors note:

We wish our infamous "Special Force" research unit great success in their quest through many a dank, dark, dusty library, court house and cemetery for information on the allusive Beachum Rhodes. We remain hopeful for new discoveries and thank you profulsey for your undying, relentless, fearless and "beyond the call of duty" efforts. You are true Heroes!

May we suggest that at least one of you keep a "Plasma Blaster" at the ready should you be confronted with an unexpected, other-worldly event. One never knows, does One?