YUBA COUNTY Biographies
A wide-awake student of agriculture and industrial conditions in California is Austin Kramer, who lives about eight miles to the north of Knights Landing, in Sutter County, near the place where he was born on January 4, 1859. His father, George Kramer, was a native of Germany and married a German lady, Miss Mary Schuck. He came out to California in 1857, traveling direct to the Coast from Europe, and coming immediately inland to Knights Landing. The family then moved into Sutter County, where they took up government land. Mr. Kramer was later ordered to leave his ranch, by two men, Coon and Low, who claimed a priority right to the land; but as Mr. Kramer had improved the ranch by hard labor and had also spent many hundreds of dollars upon it, he would not evacuate. One day both men came to the ranch and commenced to demolish the property; and during the altercation Mr. Kramer shot Low with a rifle, the wound causing his death. Mr. Kramer was held in custody a few days in Yuba City; but after a rigid and thorough investigation by the authorities, he was freed, and was officially declared justified in the homicidal act, under self-defense and the protection of his property. Some time later, Mr. Kramer dropped out of sight, and it is the supposition that he was lured to some lonely spot, and in one way or another was spirited away. Whatever may be the solution of his unhappy mystery, no trace thereafter was ever found of George Kramer. There were three children in the Kramer family: Mrs. Carrie Plantz, Austin, and Mrs. Mary Riggins.
Mrs. Kramer married a second time, becoming the wife of Uriah Butler Sassaman. He was a native of Pennsylvania and a farmer. By this union there were three children: Edward, who died at the age of two; Mrs. Elizabeth Fisher; and Mrs. Nellie Van Lew. Mrs. Sassaman finally won the long-standing litigation and was given title to the 159 acres of land, one mile to the north of Knights Landing. The place was managed by Mr. Sassaman, who lived to be seventy-two years of age, while the mother of Mr. Kramer lived to see her seventy-seventh year.
Austin Kramer attended the district school, and when twenty-two years of age started out for himself. He worked for two years as a ranch hand; and then, at Knights Landing, on October 3, 1883, he was married to Miss Virginia Sophia Bostwick, who was born on the old Bostwick ranch in Sutter County, on October 13, 1861. Her father was Noble Day Bostwick, a native of Pennsylvania, who had married Miss Catherine Cummins, a native of Ohio. Mrs. Kramerís paternal grandmother was Catherine Butler, born in Vermont of an old New England family. The Bostwick family is also an old and prominent Eastern family. Noble Day Bostwick crossed the plains to California with ox teams and wagons in 1857 and became a prosperous rancher, owning a valuable ranch in the Sutter district in Sutter County. His union with Miss Cummins resulted in a family of ten children: Mrs. Lamira Murdock, Mrs. Cordelia J. Cummins, Mrs. Nancy B. Smith, and William are all deceased. Salena married Benjamin Harris, who died in Santa Rosa in 1914; and she now lives in Sutter County. Horace and Mary are both deceased. Mrs. Sarah Throckmorton resides near Jacksonville, Ore. Emma became Mrs. Moore and is now deceased. Virginia Sophia, the youngest of the family, is the wife of our subject. She received her schooling in the Sutter district.
After their marriage, Mr. Kramer worked for wages for two years on the ranch of M. Veeder, near Knights Landing. In the fall of 1885 he moved with his family to a ninety-acre ranch eight miles northwest of Knights Landing, on the Sacramento River, and leased land for eight years. He then farmed a year on the Gourd Neck. In 1895 he took up his residence on the place he now occupies, and here he does general farming. Here he bought 124 acres of land and erected all the buildings and made all other improvements that constitute so large a part of the value of the place; in 1915 he erected the comfortable residence. Mr. Kramer serves as a trustee of the Sutter school district and does what he can for better citizenship under the banner of the Republicans. Fraternally he belongs to the Modern Woodmen of America at Knights Landing.
Ten children made up the family of Mr. and Mrs. Kramer, and nine are still living. Herman Austin, now of Woodland, was born July 11, 1884; he was married, January 5, 1907, in Sacramento, to Miss Myrtle Lorene Pierce, of Knights Landing, and they have two sons, Harley Herman and Melvin Winton. William Henry, born October 9, 1885, is assisting his father. Nellie Elizabeth, born November 13, 1887, was married at Oakland, on January 3, 1910, to L. B. Peart of Grafton, and they have five children, Beverly, Laverne, Leland, Burnell, and Nomah Evelyn. Irvin Elmo, now in Woodland, Cal., was born March 25, 1890. He served as sergeant in Company C, 15th Ammunition Train, and was stationed at Camp Lewis until he was transferred to Fort Bliss, Texas. He married at Dallas, Texas, in 1918, Miss Bessie Childers, and they have two boys, Clifton and Irvin E., Jr. Harrison Ellsworth was born October 22, 1892, and is now helping his father on the home place. Emma Gertrude, born February 1, 1895, married November 28, 1914, Virgil Vista Evans, of Grafton, and they have one son, Clifford. Marion Sylvester, born January 25, 1898, died June 6, 1900. Lela Loraine born September 20, 1900, married Walter Cougle, of Dunsmuir, and they have a daughter, Betty Jane. Gladys Ermine, born August 3, 1904, is employed by the Bank of Italy at Knights Landing. Leslie Day, born July 4, 1906, is now assisting his father.
History of Yuba and Sutter Counties, Historic Record Company, Los Angeles, 1924
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