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Historian seeks help of local residents

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By The Staff

Ramsey Summerford was one of over 5,000 child laborers that were photographed by social activist Lewis Hine from 1908 to 1917. Nearly all of the photos are posted on the Library of Congress Web site. Hine’s pioneering work in photojournalism was instrumental in helping to get state and federal child labor laws passed.

I am Joe Manning, an author and historian. I live in Massachusetts. For the past 3 years, I have been conducting a research project to locate and interview descendants of some of these child laborers. In less than 3 years, I have been successful for more than 100 photos. Most of the descendants I have contacted were unaware of the photos, and were amazed to a see picture of their parent, grandparent, aunt or uncle as a child.

Ramsey is buried in Sycamore Cemetery in Gadsden County. He died March 20, 1971. Census records and other official documents indicate that his birth name was Leslie Loranzie Summerford. He was born in Georgia on April 6, 1894, the son of Andrew and Margaret (Nance) Summerford. He lived much of his early life in Apalachicola and worked as an oysterman and fisherman. He served in World War I.

There is no record that Ramsey ever married, and I have been unable to find anyone who knew him, or even heard of him. I am hoping that someone reading this will recognize Ramsey’s name and contact me. Information about my project can be found at: www.morningsonmaplestreet.com/lewishine.html

Contact me at 413-584-0679, joe@sevensteeples.com, or write to me at 575 Bridge Rd, Unit 9-1, Florence, MA 01062.

Joe Manning

Florence, Mass.