Erik Reiersen Ramstad was the son of Reier Pedersen Rasssahaugen and Anne Ellefsdatter. He and his brother Peter were natives of Sigdal, Buskerud, Norway. They were early settlers in the Souris River Valley of North Dakota arriving in May 1883. They staked a claim to property on both the north and south sides of the Souris River. With the coming of the Great Northern Railway during the summer of 1886, Erik Ramstad agreed to relinquish 40 acres (160,000 m2) of land on the south side of the Souris River, retaining sites north of the river. The Great Northern roundhouse and the Minot business district were both built on this southern acreage. 
Both Erik and Peter Ramstad remained active in the development of Minot. In 1886, the first Lutheran church service within Minot was held at the Peter Ramstad home. Erik Ramstad was involved in local politics for many years. He served a president of the Scandinavian American Bank and co-owner of the Great Northern Lumber Company. 
Erik Ramstad later donated part of his remaining property which became the site of Minot State University.Erik Ramstad Middle School, originally south of the Minot State University campus but now on the north end of Minot, is named after him.
Peter Ramstad died on July 14, 1930 at 74 years of age. Erik Ramstad died on January 21, 1951 at 91 years of age. Both brothers died in Minot, North Dakota. Erik Ramstad is buried in the First Lutheran Church Cemetery next to Minot State University.
- Keillor, Steven J. (2002) Erik Ramstad and the Empire Builder (North American Heritage Press, Minot, ND)
- Downtown Minot's History (DBPA Downtown Business & Professionals Association)
- Ramstad, Sigdal herad, Buskerud (Matrikkelutkastet av 1950)
- Haugland, Brynhild A History of Ward County (Minot State University, Minot, N.D. 1927)
- The Sigdalslag 1914-1920 (Sigdalslag in America. 1997. pages 141-143)
- Brown, Gaylen Exploring Minot 1885-1900 (Minot State University. Minot, ND)
- North Dakota Department of Health Death Index (The State of North Dakota)
- Minot State building for future (Grand Forks Herald. Published 07/04/2009, Minot Daily News)
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