William Byrd Page
(1803-1851)


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.

Reference: Portrait and history of William B. Page courtesy of his great-great -grandson, Charles Magno.

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