JAMES HENRY KRAMER
. A man of distinctive force and energy, James Henry Kramer is a prominent factor in the promotion of tlie industrial and mercantile interests of Wayne county, having for the past five years been secretary, treasurer and general manager of the Southern Illinois Lumber Company, which has its main yard and office in Fairfield, and in January, 1912, he was elected president of the Southern Illinois Lumber Association. A son of Henry Kramer, he was born October 24, 1855, on a Wabash county, Illinois, farm. His paternal grandfather, Henry Kramer, Sr., emigrated from Prussia to America with his family, settling in Allentown, Pennsylvania, where he spent a few years, and then removed to Wabash county, Illinois. He was a. shoemaker and farm owner. His death occurred when he was about eighty years of age.
Born in May, 1830, in Saarbruck, Prussia, Henry Kramer came with his parents to the United States when a boy, and in Allentown, Pennsylvania, and Wabash county, Illinois, was reared and educated. In 1873 he came to Wayne county, where he is now living, his home being near Fairfield. He married Martha Colverley who was born in Beverly, England, and came with her parents to this country in 1842. Twelve children were born of their union, three of whom died in infancy and two in later life, Samuel passing away at the age of forty years, and William when eighteen years of age. The seven now, in 1912, living are as follows: Hon. E. C. Kramer, of East Saint Louis; T. A., an attorney in El Dorado, Kansas; R. J., engaged in the practice .of law at East Saint Louis; H. S., a real estate dealer in East Saint Louis; James Henry, the special subject of this brief personal record; Mrs. Sophia Bell, of El Dorado, Kansas; and Clara, living with her parents.
Receiving his rudimentary education in the district schools, James Henry Kramer afterwards attended the high school and a normal school in Indiana. He assisted in the care of the home farm until attaining his majority, and the ensuing nine years taught school, principally in the vicinity of Fairfield, his parents having settled in this part of Wayne county in 1873. Proving himself a most capable and efficient instructor and manager, Mr. Kramer in 1886 was elected superintendent of the Wayne county schools, and served in that capacity for eight years. Embarking in the real estate business in 1894, he dealt in realty and farmed for six years. In 1900 he purchased a third interest in a lumber yard, and for a number of years carried on a substantial business as junior member of the firm of Dickey, Summers & Kramer, each year extending his operations. ln 1907 this firm was incorporated under the name of the Southern Illinois Lumber Company, which owns in addition to its original yard in Fairfield, yards in Wayne City, Mill Shoals, Cisne, Enfield, Albion, Dahlgren, West Salem and Ashley. Individually Mr. Kramer owns a yard in Ridgway.
This enterprising firm has a capital of $63,500, while the amount of stock in its numerous yards is about $50,000, and its annual business aggregates $150,000 or more. Its eriginal officers were men of acknowledged ability, F. M. Brock being president; T. L. Dickey, vice-president; James H. Kramer, secretary, treasurer and general manager.
The staunch adherent of the Republican party, Mr. Kramer has faithfully fulfilled his obligations as a loyal citizen, and for one term served as mayor of Fairfield. Fraternally he is a member of the Ancient Free and Accepted Order of Masons; of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows; and of the Modern Woodmen of America. Religiously he is a member of the Methodist Episcopal church. He is a stockholder and director of the Fairfield National Bank, of which he was one of the twelve men that organized the institution.
Mr. Kramer married, in 1883, Ellen Wilson, a daughter of John Wilson, and they have three children, namely: Mrs. Hayward Yohe, who has three children, Richard, Ellen Wilson and Theodore Graydon; Mrs. Camille Topper, who has two children, Frances Margaret and James Henry; and Theodore James, having charge of the lumber yard at Ridgway, is married and has one child, Henry Randolph Kramer.