William Byrd Page
William Byrd Page was born in Alexandria, Virginia on June 15, 1803 to Ann and
Charles Page (1768-1839). His father, Charles, was cashier and director of the Bank
of the Potomac on Prince Street for thirty-five years. He was a founding and firm
member of St. Paul's Church for twenty-seven years, and a member of the Alexandria-Washington
Masonic Lodge No. 22, where he associated with George Washington and other founders
of Alexandria, Virginia.
In 1828, William B. Page married Mary Ramsay of Alexandria (1807-c.1863). She was
the youngest daughter of John R. Ramsay, native of Scotland, who was born at Dalhousie
Castle in Bonnyrigg. Their nine children were: Ann Eliza. (1829-1904), John Ramsay
(1832-1848), Charles Craig (1835-1864), Catherine (1838-1886), William Byrd (1840-1914),
Washington Craig (1841-c.1884), Mary Clarissa (1844-1885), Colin Auld (1845-?) ,
and Elias Harrison (1847-?). Charles C., Washington C., and William B. served in
the Confederate Army. Charles was "instantly killed" at Petersburg.
In his business pursuits, William B. Page became a partner in "Clagett and Page,"
a retail establishment located at the "lower end of King Street opposite Hugh
Smith Co." In Masonic endeavors he served the Alexandria-Washington Lodge, and
eventually became its Grand Master. As Grand Master, he represented the Lodge in
a ceremony laying the cornerstone of the Washington Equestrian Statue at the Capitol
in Richmond, Virginia on May 11,1850. Among those present at the ceremony were John
B. Floyd, Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia, President Zachary Taylor and
former President John Tyler.
William Byrd Page, according to the history of his Masonic Lodge, ..."died suddenly
in the hall of this Lodge on Sunday afternoon, May 11, 1851, aged 48 years. While
awaiting the arrival of other members of a committee appointed to make arrangements
for the interment of Purser Andrew D. Crosby, killed in Mexico, whose remains are
expected to arrive on the following day, he was stricken with apoplexy, and fell
in the Northeast corner of the Lodge. He was buried with Masonic honors on Tuesday
the 13th, B. B. French, Esq., the Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of the District
of Columbia, performing the ceremonies."
The Alexandria Gazette on May 23, 1851 printed this obituary: "On
the 11th, inst. of Apoplexy, Mr. WILLIAM PAGE, in the 48th year of his age. The friends
of the family are respectfully invited to attend his funeral this morning at 9 o'clock,
from his late residence on King Street." His burial was held at the First Presbyterian
Church of Alexandria.
A record of his wife's death as set down in our family Bible: "Mary R. Page
died at Swann Point, Md ...of a broken heart--she died as she lived, a great Christian
and a devoted mother. She was 56 years old.