KRAMER, JOHN E. - The older farmers of Sangamon County realize the remarkable advance that has been made in farming conditions during the past half century. They know the difficulties under which the agriculturist of former days was forced to labor, as he struggled to support his family from the scanty yield of his poorly cultivated acres. Now the farmer can earn more from a few acres of highly developed land than he could in the old days from half a section, and this has brought about a considerable change in methods. One of the prosperous farmers of Sangamon County who has been devoting himself to the cultivation of a small farm, is John E. Kramer. He was born in Montgomery County, Pa., November 29, 1839, a son of John and Mary (Davis) Kramer, natives of Pennsylvania, the latter born in the city of Philadelphia. The parents came to Illinois in 1849, locating on a farm in Macoupin County, where they resided until 1858, when they came to Sangamon County and settled in Chatham Township. There the father was engaged in farming for many years, living until March 22, 1877, while his widow survived him until September 20, 1887. Mr. Kramer traces back to an honorable ancestry, his grandfather having been a soldier of the Revolutionary War. The Kramer family originated in Germany, while the Davis family is of English origin. John E. Kramer had two brothers, but Thomas D. of Nevada, Mo., is the only now surviving.
While residing in Pennsylvania and Macoupin County, Ill., John E. Kramer attended school, but after arrival in Sangamon County he was called upon to do a man's work on the farm. Eventually he engaged in farming for himself, and for some years has resided on his present farm of thirteen acres. In addition to this he owns other property.
The marriage of Mr. Kramer occurred in Chatham Township, August 15, 1861, to Eliza Beam, born in Ohio, October 28, 1840, her parents being natives of New Jersey, who settled in Ohio in 1838, being farming people. They had three sons and two daughters, but Mrs. Kramer and a son alone survive. Mr. and Mrs. Beam came to Illinois in 1845, locating in Chatham Township, Sangamon County, where the father died June 6, 1859, and the mother March 2, 1877. Mr. and Mrs. Kramer became the parents of three sons and one daughter: Isaac T. is a farmer of Christian County, Ill.; Mary E., wife of William Ellison, a farmer of the same county; Thomas and Charles are farmers of Sangamon County. There are fifteen grandchildren and three great-grandchildren in this family.
Mr. Kramer has been quite prominent politically, have been honored by the Democratic party by election to the office of Constable for three successive terms, from 1894 to 1897. He also served as School Director for three years. Since young manhood he has been a member of the Baptist Church, and has supported it liberally. He is a solid, practical man, whose ideas about farming are worth while, as his success proves. He has brought up a nice family, lived to see them happily settled, and enjoys their prosperity and the affection of his grandchildren. Although he has worked for many years, he is still so active that he continues his farming operations, taking pride in the fact that he can still teach young men how to take care of his farm. Always interested in public matters, he is well posted on current matters, and can discuss them intelligently and sensibly.