The Family of Peter & Jane (Phillips) Cramer
Transcribed by Janet
Source: 1918 History of Clark Co., Wisconsin by Franklyn Curtiss-Wedge, pg. 279 -281
Mr. & Mrs. Peter Cramer
George Cramer and Family
Peter Cramer, a prominent agriculturist, for many years in Washburn Township, but now living on a farm close to Neillsville, is a native of Wisconsin, having been born in Washington County, Feb. 10, 1848, son of Joseph and Mary (Anderson) Cramer. The parents, who were farmers, were natives of Germany, where they were married. In 1846 they left Germany with one child, Joseph, a daughter, Anna, who was left behind, never coming to this country. After a four-weeks voyage on a sailing vessel, they landed on this side of the ocean and proceeded to 'Washington County, Wis., whither some acquaintances from Germany had gone before. There Joseph Cramer bought eighty acres of timber land, on which he put up a log building with straw roof. After awhile he got an ox team, raising the animals from calves. While residing there three other children were born to him and his wife: Martin, who died in infancy; Peter and John. After clearing that farm he and his family moved to Jackson County, where he rented some wild land for a short time, subsequently returning to Washington County on business matters and dying there in 1859.
His widow, after coming to Clark County, married Chris Rexter, and resided in Grant Township, later moving to Mentor Township, where she died at the age of 86 years. They were members of the Catholic Church. Peter Cramer was 13 years of age when the family settled in Jackson County. There, after his father's death, he had to look after his mother, as well as himself, his brother Joseph going to the war. At the close of the war the family came to Clark County, Peter going to work on the river and in the mills and woods, in which various occupations he continued until he located on land of his own in what is now Washburn Township, but which was then known as Levis Township. Here he got a quarter section of land covered with timber and far away from a road, and it was not until six years later that a road was cut through. Shortly before he moved onto that place, or on March 16, 1871, he married Jane Phillips, whose parents, Jonathan and Mary Phillips, had located on a homestead in the same (Levis) township.
Mr. Cramer and his wife began housekeeping on his farm in 1872, Mr. Cramer building a log house and barn on that part of it that lay in section 11, the other part being in section 2. The house contained only one room and measured 16 by 24 feet, Mr. Cramer splitting his own shingles out of pine wood, and the floor being constructed out of rough pine boards. They had a straw mattress with bed-tick on top, resting on poles that were supported on pegs driven into the wall. His tools consisted of an axe and grub hoe and he had to raise his ox team from calves. Groceries had to be carried on the back from Neillsville, Mr. Cramer often carrying as much as fifty pounds in a pack. In time he finished clearing the farm, and had built a frame house and a basement barn, 40 by 60 feet in size, a silo and other buildings. He raised Holstein cattle and horses, both of good grade, and became a member of the Farmers' Co-operative Elevator and Lumber Company, of Neillsville. He also helped to start the creamery at Shortville and to build the Union Church there.
In February, 1917, Mr. Cramer sold his farm in Washburn Township, and purchased a fine farm of twenty acres, lying just outside the city limits of Neillsville, where he now resides, together with his son George and family. He has always taken a warm interest in township affairs, supporting all practical measures for the public benefit, and has served as chairman of the township board and formerly as a member of the school board. His wife, who was born Nov. 8, 1848, died nine years ago. They were the parents of four children, only one of whom, George, is now living. The other three were Bertha, Essie and Nora. Bertha was the wife of George Bishop. Essie died young. Nora, who married Ed Schroeder of Granton, died at the birth of her son Norman, who has been educated by his grandfather and is now a school teacher serving in his fourth year. George Cramer has resided with his father since the death of Mrs. Peter Cramer. He owns a farm of eighty acres in Washburn Township, which he works, besides assisting his father with the latter's farm, and he moved with his father to the new farm at Neillsville. George married Iva Lowery, a daughter of Levi Lowery, and he and his wife have two children, Guy and Hazel. Guy, who was born Aug. 13, 1897, married Eunice Carter, and they reside on a farm in Washburn Township. Hazel, born July 7, 1901, is a graduate of Neillsville high school, class of 1918.
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