New photo of Magaret Petrus (courtesy of Margaret Garret and Craig Ramsey).
Margaret Petrus was born June 3rd, 1902. Margaret married Alvin Cleveland "Cleve" RAMSEY who is said to have operated a chain of beauty salons. They had no children.
Margaret had beautiful flaming red hair. We used to go on "double-dates" together -- Annabelle Priour/Theile
Margaret Petrus from class photo (courtesy of Skidmore Historical Society)
I was recently contacted by Craig Ramsey who is a grandson of Cleve Ramsey.
A.C. Ramsey (Alvin Cleveland - "Cleve") was my grandfather. However, Margaret was not my grandmother. Cleve remarried to Evelyn Cockrell a few years after Margaret died and had 4 children. Cleve is from the Gadsden, AL area (west side - in a small area called Canoe Creek). Cleve was one of 10 children of George & Sallie Ramsey and was the only one to really travel to other places and explore. Nobody seems to know much about the details of his early life, except that he was quite the rouser. Apparently, he didn't speak much about it. He died before I was born. It is said that he was a skillful gambler. Also, it is thought that he learned to cut hair while in Texas. He was a WW1 veteran, but never served overseas. He also supposedly spent some time around Miami early in life - and did some gambling there - and weathered a hurricane while there. -- Craig Ramsey
Alvin Cleveland "Cleve" Ramsey
I have recently found out that Cleve was in Miami in August 1926 when a very large hurricane hit... Story has it that he had won a business from another guy while playing poker, but then the business was blown/washed away in the hurricane. I think bad luck followed the poor guy constantly. Cleve would have been married to Margaret when the great depression hit. Another family story says that Cleve had a chance to buy a city block in downtown Birmingham for $20,000 and had enough money to do it, but chose not to. The depression hit a few weeks later and he lost all his money when the banks closed. I've heard that he was hit real hard by the depression. His businesses dwindled because most people started cutting their own hair. Most of his remaining customers were the more affluent in Birmingham. ...And Margaret died in the midst of it. -- Craig Ramsey
There is a possibility that Margaret was Cleve's second wife.
On Cleve's draft registration card in 1917, he listed that he had a wife and child to support. Nobody seems to know of him having a child from a prior marriage. I have an aunt that faintly recalls having a conversation with Evelyn in which Evelyn said "I've never been jealous of his first wife because he didn't love her, but I'm jealous of his second wife because he really cared about her." However, nobody else seems to know anything about 3 wifes. And with him roaming around, I wouldn't know where to begin to look for marriage records. -- Craig Ramsey
Margaret died of ptomaine poisoning August 2, 1930, in Birmingham, Alabama, shortly after returning from a trip to Texas to visit her parents.
The way that I was told the story about Margaret's death is quite colorful and I don't know how acurate it is at all. Supposedly, one night Cleve closed down his salons in B'ham and stopped at the local bar for a drink. Later, on the way home, a policeman pulled him over and threw him in jail for intoxication. The next morning when they let Cleve go, he went home and found Margaret. Rumor had it that her (your) family had mafia ties and she was killed. Cleve had her taken back to Texas. Her father was killed a few days later when walking out of the cemetary where they were planning on burying Margaret. - I apologize if this is extremely inaccurate, but that's what I heard. If Cleve had been married before, maybe they're getting third-hand stories crossed. - Craig Ramsey
Mrs. Ramsey to Be Buried August 5 -- Beeville Picayune, August ?, 1930.
Mrs. A.C. Ramsey, youngest daughter of Mr. and Mrs. F. Petrus of Skidmore, died suddenly at her home in Birmingham, Ala., Saturday, Aug 2. Mrs Ramsey had been in Skidmore for a visit only recently. Death was due to ptomaine poisoning. The remains arrived in Skidmore this morning and funeral services will be held this afternoon at 4:30 o'clock."
Funeral Notice -- Died in Birmingham, Ala., Saturday, Aug. 2, at 10:30 p.m. Mrs. A.C. Ramsey (Margaret Petrus) Daughter of Mr. And Mrs. F. Petrus. Funeral services will be held tomorrow afternoon at 4:30 o'clock with internment in Evergreen cemetery. Friends and acquaintances are respectfully invited to attend. Skidmore, Tex., Aug. 4, 1930.