Henry Ramsay (civil engineer)

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Henry Ramsay
Born (1808-05-18)May 18, 1808
Guilderland, New York
Died July 12, 1886(1886-07-12) (aged 78)
Schenectady, New York
Education The Albany Academy (1926)
Title New York State Engineer and Surveyor
Term 1853
Spouse(s) Isabelle Westervelt (m. 1831–86)

Henry Ramsay (May 18, 1808 in Guilderland, Albany County, New York – July 12, 1886 in Schenectady, New York) was an American civil engineer and for a short time New York State Engineer and Surveyor in 1853.


He was born on May 18, 1808, the son of Frederick Ramsay and Belle (Quackenbush) Ramsay.[1][2]

He was educated at the Lancaster School in Albany, and graduated from The Albany Academy in 1826. Afterwards he taught school in Albany, New York. Later he became a draftsman, cartographer and civil engineer.[2] In 1831, he married Isabelle Westervelt, and they had nine children.[1]

In 1842, he was appointed Chief Engineer of the Mohawk and Hudson Railroad between Albany and Schenectady, New York. He laid out the course of the New York Central Railroad at Schenectady, to avoid the inclined plane at that terminus. Subsequently, he became Assistant Engineer on the Erie Canal enlargement. In 1849, he moved to Schenectady, and was for several terms City Surveyor.[2]

On December 10, 1853, he was appointed New York State Engineer and Surveyor, to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of William J. McAlpine, after Wheeler H. Bristol declined to take office.

He died on July 12, 1886 in Schenectady, New York.[1][2]


He endowed the Henry Ramsay Scholarship at The Albany Academy.


  1. ^ a b c "Henry Ramsay". New York Times. July 13, 1886. Henry Ramsey one of the oldest and wealthiest citizens of Schenectady, died suddenly last night. ... In 1831 he married Isabelle, daughter of Jacob Westerveld, Sheriff of New York County. 
  2. ^ a b c d "Henry Ramsay". Biographies Of Engineers. Archived from the original on July 24, 2008. Retrieved 2012-10-13. Ramsay, Henry, born 1808, at Guilderland, Albany Co., N.Y.; educated at the Lancaster School and at the Albany Academy; died in 1886... 
Political offices
Preceded by
William J. McAlpine
New York State Engineer and Surveyor
Succeeded by
John T. Clark