Early Days of Greenbush



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John P. Kramer was born in Hadem, Westphalia, Germany, December 20, 1824. After going to the public school and being confirmed in the Lutheran church, he learned the tailor trade and worked at that occupation in different towns near the Rhine river. In 1855 he started for America in company with his friend, Louis Hollenberg. They took a sail-ship from Bremen, and after a perilous journey of eight weeks, in which time all the passengers suffered from lack of a sufficient supply of food and drink, they arrived in New York city.The railroad did not extend beyond Galesburg at that time, and they came on here; and while in Galesburg they luckily came across Amos Seigler who took them with his wagon-load of merchandise on to Greenbush. They soon found Mr. Hollenberg’s two brothers, Henry and George, who had come to this country a few years previous. Mr. Kramer first found work at his trade in Monmouth, where he staid about a year, and then he went back to Greenbush, where he kept a tailor-shop until 1866. He was married November 1, 1858, to Helena Meusborn, whom he had known in Germany. She was born in Vorm Wald, Westphalia, Germany, February 13, 1839; and came to America in 1858, in company with some friends. In 1878, in company with her oldest daughter and others, she visited her old German home. In 1866 Mr. and Mrs. Kramer moved out onto their farm, two and one-half miles southeast of the village of Greenbush, where by thrift and industry they built up a comfortable home for themselves and children. In politics Mr. Kramer was a republican. He was an earnest, quiet man, fond of his German books and papers. He died April 13, 1902.

The following-named children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Kramer:

  • Louise Katrina, who married Rev. Karl Lotz, April 23, 1879. He was then pastor of the German Lutheran church at Galesburg, Illinois. Since then they have lived mostly in Kansas and Missouri. They have one son (adopted) - Albert.
    Emma, who married Rev. Karl Luecke, pastor of the German Lutheran church of Stover, Missouri, April 23, 1890. She died March 2, 1892. She was a woman of rare goodness and kindness of heart. She left a daughter, Bertha.
    Frederick William, who married Lena Doll, of Bushnell, Illinois, and who has always lived in Greenbush township. They have three children - Dollie, Esther, and Edith.
    Bertha Marie, who married Ferdinand Schoenheider, of Peoria, Illinois, May 24, 1893. They have three children - Arnold, Arthur, and Gertrude.
    Wilhelmina Amelia, who married John R. Ames, formerly of Nashville, Tennessee, July 27, 1897. He died the following November, leaving one son, Eugene.
    Alvena, who married Olof Olson, of Greenbush township, March 9, 1903. They live on the old home place.
    Clara Helena, who is living with her mother who moved to Peoria, Illinois, in March, 1903.

  • Jacob, brother of John Kramer, was born August 6, 1815. He came to this country, in 1858, and made his home with his brother. He was never married. He took two trips to Germany and, in 1896, he decided to go again to pass the remainder of his life there. He died in Germany, January 16, 1905, after an illness of a few hours, in the very house in which he was born. He was quite active and strong to the last and his enjoyment was found in walking from his home to visit friends and relatives in the villages near by.

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