August 15, 1953
Born near Pittsburgh in 1864, Erskine Ramsay was already an accomplished businessman in the coal industry when he arrived at the age of 22 in Birmingham as a superintendent and engineer for the Pratt Mines. As he continued to move up in the business, he also became known for his many inventions which improved the coal mining process. Ramsay achieved prominence as a philanthropist, donating hundreds of thousands of dollars to educational institutions including Alabama College (later renamed the University of Montevallo), the Alabama Polytechnic Institute (now Auburn University) and Miles College. He also served as president of the Birmingham Board of Education and, in 1907, ran unsuccessfully as a Republican for the U.S. Senate, losing to Democrat Hugo Black. Ramsay died in Birmingham in 1953 and is buried in Elmwood Cemetery.
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