Women's History Trail Franklin NC


Margaret Ramsey • 2018 Macon Matriarch


For her lifelong dedication to local heritage preservation and for supporting women and families of Macon County, the Women's History Trail, a project of the Folk Heritage Association of Macon County, honored Margaret Ramsey with the first Macon Matriarch Award. "Margaret is an unforgettable voice and champion for the betterment of our community", said Mary Polanski, co-chair of the Women's History Trail. The award was presented to Mrs. Ramsey on March 27, 2018.

Macon County Commissioners Ronnie Beale and Gary Shields were on hand to make a presentation thanking Margaret for her many contributions to the residents of Macon County.

Born on December 1, 1931 in the Cartoogechaye community, Margaret is the daughter of Joseph Franklin Setser and Harriet Slagle Setser, She graduated from Franklin High School, continued her education at the University of Georgia for three years and later graduated from Western Carolina University. Margaret was married to the late Albert L. Ramsey for 62 years, raised four children (Becky, Diane, Joe & Ralph) and is Granny to many grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She has been an active partner in the operation of the family farm for most of her life (dairy farm, co-op tomatoes, tobacco, beef farm, gardening and more). Many of our local officials and town leaders spent time in their younger days working on the farm! Margaret’s roots run deep in Macon County’s history as she is a direct descendant of Jacob Siler, one of the first settlers of our area.


Women's History Trail Macon NC Matriarch Margaret Ramsey

A member of First United Methodist Church, Franklin, NC she has served in several past leadership capacities, i.e. UMW President, Laura Jones Circle Chair, Mission Committee Secretary, and was active in the Missions Committee, Staff Parish Committee, Bereavement Committee and others.

Founder and Director Emeritus of the Folk Heritage Association of Macon County, she gave birth and helped start the Franklin Folk Festival; served on the Macon County Community Foundation Board, Chamber of Commerce Board, Macon County Arts Council Board, and Department of Social Services Board. Margaret has received numerous awards throughout her lifetime in recognition of her heart for service to others and her determination to preserve this wonderful heritage of Macon County. In more recent years, she was awarded: Macon County Heritage Award by the Macon County Commissioners, Community Leadership Award by Woodmen of the World Life Insurance, Zonta International’s “Woman of Distinction” and the Women’s History Trail’s first Macon Matriarch!

She was active community member that was been instrumental in the planning for these Macon County events/fundraisers: Pancreatic Cancer Research/Awareness Days, Tom Raby Night at FHS Basketball; Kid's Place; Sister City Bayou LeBatre, MS, just to name a few. Margaret touched many lives - she continued to have a heart for social justice. After working as an Outreach Supervisor for Macon Program for Progress followed by her service as Manager of Maco Crafts Co-op in the 1970's through the early 1990's, she continued to support women and families in Macon County, providing a voice and champion for the betterment of all.

On a personal note, Margaret’s deep love of the mountains and our natural scenic beauty fueled her desire for being outdoors taking hikes in the woods where she would enjoy identifying wildflowers and wildlife and share stories of these hills. An avid quilter and seamstress, bringing the Cabarrus Quilt back home to Macon County and facilitating Maco Crafts’ creation of the Original World’s Largest Quilt and the Celebrate America Quilt helped bring fame to Macon County.

In addition to Margaret being recognized in the community as a strong, nurturing woman, her family and friends feel especially blessed to have had her as a mentor and guiding force that helped us all keep our compasses pointed in the right direction even amid life’s most difficult challenges.