Mary Evelyn Thompson Ramsey

A Race With Death.

Shepherdstown Register., May 12, 1898

Headstone of Mary Evelyn Thompson Ramsey

Death stilled the heart of Mrs. John R. Ramsey in her home in Clarksburg, W. Va., Wednesday night, while her husband was speeding to her bedside from Hackensack, N. J., on the fastest train on the Pennsylvania Railroad.

It was a race with death and the swift express lost.

Mr. Ramsey is the clerk of Bergen county and has a large circle of friends in Hackensack. When he announced last January that he was to be married to one of the most charming young women of Clarksburg, he was showered with congratulations.

Sketch of 19th Century Bride and Groom

The wedding took place in the bride’s home on the 26th of the month and was an event of local importance.

The bride was a niece of Senator J. N. Camden and Colonel W. P. Thompson, of the Brookdale farm.

Mr. Ramsey after a brief honeymoon trip, took his wife to Hackensack to live. She became popular in the village at once, but the change of climate from the warm, dry air of the Blue Mountains to the cold, salt air of Hackensack proved injurious to her.

Her health began to fail soon after her arrival there and it became apparent a month ago that unless she was sent South her condition would be serious.

Map of B. & O. Railroad circa 1900

Mr. Ramsey prevailed upon her to go to her aunt’s at Clarksburg, for a brief visit, thinking she would recuperate. Instead of improving, his bride steadily declined, and the County Clerk received a telegram Tuesday calling for his immediate presence in Clarksburg as his wife was in a critical condition.

Mr. Ramsey boarded the first fast express on the Pennsylvania Railroad, and urged the engineer to crowd on steam, as it was to be a race with death.

“Put yourself in my place,” he said; “think how you would feel to know that your wife was dying.”

The engineer nodded grimly, and the train started. Mile after mile was covered in short time. The passengers did not know what was at stake, although they probably wondered at the speed the train was going.

Stock image of steam engine

But fast as the express went death was quicker by several hours, for when Mr. Ramsey reached Clarksburg Thursday afternoon he learned that his bride had passed away the night before.

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