WILLIAM KRAMER, a veteran of the Civil War, merchant tailor, and dealer in ready-made clothing and gentlemen’s furnishings in Dansville, was born in Gettersbach, province Hessen Darmstadt, Germany, on July 31, 1842. Bernhardt Kramer, the father of William, received his education at the schools of Germany and learned the trade of a cooper, which he followed in his native country until 1847, when he came to America, bringing his eldest son, Adam, with him. He settled for a time in Dansville and worked at his trade in the shop of his brother John on Perine Street.

In 1849 he and his son Adam went to New Orleans. While there, his sight became impaired, and he decided to return to his family in Germany for treatment.

He eventually recovered his sight and, in 1856, came with his wife and children to Dansville, where he followed his trade to the time of his death, which occurred in April 1872, at the age of seventy-two.

The maiden name of the wife of Bernhardt Kramer was Eva Elizabeth Freidel. She was a native of Germany, and she and her husband had five children, as follows: Adam, who left his father in New Orleans and went to California, and there died in 1858; Catherine, who married Louis Hess of Ottawa, III.; Fred; George; and William, the subject of this sketch. The mother died at Dansville at the age· of seventy-three. Both she and her husband were members of the German Lutheran church.

William Kramer came to Dansville at the age of fourteen. His education had ended in Germany, and he commenced work­ ing with his father in the cooper shop.

In 1857 he entered the employ of James Krein, a grocer, as a clerk remaining three years and then filled a like position in the employ of Milton J. Puffer, the clothier. Messrs. Kel­ logg & Nares purchased the stock of Mr. Puffer in 1861, and Mr. Kramer remained with them until August  1862. His patriotism and love for his adopted country made him enlist as a private in Company K, One Hundred and Thirtieth Regiment of New York Infantry, serving as such until the summer of 1863, when the regiment, through the influence of its colonel, Alfred Gibs, were mounted and united with the cavalry forces of the Potomac, and thereafter known as the First New York Dragoons. Mr. Kramer was promoted to Corporal in 1862, Sergeant in 1863, and Sergeant-major in 1865. He was wounded on the fourth of May 1864, at Beaver Dam Sta­tion, Va., by a minie ball, necessitating his confinement in a hospital for six weeks.

After his discharge from the service at Cloud’s Mills, Va., in July 1865, the war being ended, he returned to Dansville and accepted a position as clerk in the clothing store of Fritz Durr, with whom he remained until the spring of 1872. Mr. Kramer next formed a copartnership with his brother Fred. He established a clothing business in the Krein Block, under the firm name of William Kramer & Brother, said firm remaining in business until I 886. William Kramer then purchased his brother’s interest and continued the business until 1893, when he admitted his son Fred as a partner; the firm then became William Kramer & Son. They carry a complete line of ready-made clothing and gentlemen’s furnishings. Under the management of his son Carl, a custom tailoring department is an excellent addition to the business.

Mr. Kramer married Margaret Huber, a na­tive of Dansville, whose father was a farmer and came to Western New York many years ago from Germany. Mrs. Kramer is the mother of six children, namely: Mary E., who married Edward C. Schwingle, a dealer in hardware and farming implements at Dans­ville, and who has one child named Margaret; Fred L.; Carl B.; William; and Florine. William died at the age of eighteen, and a twin sister at the age of three months. The children were educated at the public schools of Dansville. Fred also attended the regular school at Geneseo, and he and Carl B. attended the business college at Rochester.

Mr. Kramer is a member of Phoenix Lodge, No. 115, A. F. & A. M., Canaseraga Lodge, No. 123, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and Royal Arch Chapter, No. 94, has been Commander of Seth N. Hedges Post, Grand Army of the Republic, for three years and Officer of the Day for several years. He has been a member of the Board of Education for several years and Vice-President of the Merchants’ and Farmers’ National Bank. He has served the public in various stations, from Corporation Clerk to Supervisor. Having been identified with many matters of interest to the general community, besides being closely attentive to his private affairs, he has faithfully discharged the duties of the different positions of public trust which have fallen to him, with both credit to himself and his con­stituents.


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