Biography of Samuel Cramer

A soldier in the Civil war, a farmer in Iowa, a pioneer in Colorado, and here a miner, a ranchman and a valued public official, Samuel Cramer, of near Basalt, Garfield county, has borne the duties of citizenship with fidelity and courage, however the line of life have fallen for him, and is justly entitled to the esteem and regard in which he is held by his fellow men. He is a native of Linn county, Iowa, born on April 28, 1847, and the son of Solomon and Mary A. (Billiter) Cramer, the father born in Pennsylvania and the mother in North Carolina. They settled at Muscatine, Iowa, in 1840, and in 1843 moved to West Liberty, Linn county, the same state. The father was a blacksmith and for many years wrought industriously at his trade. The later years of his life were devoted to farming with good returns for his labor. He was a Republican in politics, and both he and his wife were Methodists in church connection. He died on April 10, 1863, and his widow on February 15, 1887. Two of their nine children died in infancy and five in later life. The other two are living: Samuel, of this review; Matilda, wife of William Kester, of Pagosa Springs, Colorado, whose husband is an architect and builder. Samuel attended the public schools and Western College in his native county. In the Civil war he was a member of Company F, Sixteenth Iowa Infantry, and served one year, being mustered out honorably at Louisville, Kentucky. He remained with his parents and assisted them in the work on the farm until he reached the age of twenty-two, then engaged in farming for himself in the same county for ten years. In 1880 he came to Colorado, and for six months mined and prospected in Chaffee county. From there he moved to Pitkin county and on April 7, 1881, located a ranch at the mouth of Sopris creek, later selling his right to the claim of one hundred and sixty acres at a profit. He was a pioneer in that section and in 1882 built a half-way house where Emma now stands, between Aspen and Glenwood. He then continued prospecting and mining until 1884, and during the next three years served as county commissioner, elected on the Republican ticket. At the end of his term he located a part of the ranch he now owns and afterward bought one hundred and fifty-five acres additional and sold one hundred and fifty. The place is near Basalt on the line between Garfield and Pitkin counties, along the Roaring Fork river. From 1888 to 1893 he was also engaged in the commission business, but now devotes his entire time to ranching. One hundred acres of his land can be easily cultivated and produces abundant crops of hay, grain and vegetables. Cattle and horses are also raised in good numbers and superior grades. He belongs to the United Workmen and the Grand Army of the Republic. On January 5, 1870, he united in marriage with Miss Amerzette Ammerman, who was born in Linn county, Iowa, and is the daughter of Stephen and Martha Ammerman, natives of Indiana. The father was a wagonmaker and followed his craft successfully in Iowa. He was a Republican in politics and a man of local prominence in his county. He died in 1865. Two children were born to Mr. Cramer’s first marriage, Frank and Maud, who live in Iowa. Mr. Cramer’s second marriage occurred on November 5, 1893, and was with Mrs. Lutie R. (Gardner) Binning, a native of New York and reared in Jackson county, Michigan, and the daughter of William and Catherine (Turnor) Gardner, the former a native of Massachusetts and the latter of Wales. They passed their earlier days in New York state, but for a long time have been living and farming in Michigan. The father is a Democrat and both parents are members of the Methodist church. Four of their six children are living: Jennie, wife of Harry Graham, of Buffalo, New York; Cora, wife of William McCay, of Jackson, Michigan; Mrs. Cramer, and Earl, residing in Jackson county, Michigan. By her first marriage Mrs. Cramer had three children. Albert died on February 15, 1897, and Ernest and Richard survive their father, who passed away on August 21, 1889. The marriage took place on November 21, 1878. Mr. and Mrs. Cramer are the parents of one child, Clementine Alice, who is in her ninth year.

Source: Bowen, A. W. Progressive Men of Western Colorado. Chicago: A. W. Bowen & Co., Publishers. 1905.

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