Search billions of records on


The beautiful home of Mr. Kramer with its park-like appearance, its handsome residence, well-kept lawns and fine trees indicate the prosperity of the owner, who is one of the representative business men of Shannon township, where he is successfully engaged in the growing of fruit and the production of wines. He is the senior member of the firm of Kramer Brothers, his partners being Frank and Edward L. Kramer. They are conducting an extensive and successful business and are well known throughout this community.

John A. Kramer was born in Shannon township, Atchison county, October 18, 1862, and is the second son of Frank and Rosanna Kramer, both of whom are natives of Austria. In 1852 they emigrated to the United States, landing at New York city, whence they made their way to Watson, Wisconsin, afterward to Illinois and later to Buchanan county, Missouri, where they settled upon a farm. In 1860 they came to Atchison county, Kansas, and took up their abode upon a farm in Shannon township, two miles north of the city of Atchison. There they remained for several years, after which they returned to Buchanan county, Missouri, Where they continued until 1867. In that year they again came to Shannon township, and the father purchased one hundred and sixty acres of land on section 17, immediately beginning its cultivation. He added to the property a tract of eighty acres, and in connection with general farming began growing small fruits, his energies being devoted to that business until his death, which occurred on the 28th of February, 1889. Some years previous to this a small vineyard had been planted and the father with the assistance of his sons began the manufacture of wines. This proving a successful venture, the firm of Kramer Brothers have continued the enterprise and have planted vines until their vineyard now comprises fifty acres of choice varieties of grapes for table use and for the manufacture of wines. The wine which they make is of a very superior quality, and much of it in their wine cellars is very old. Their storage house is a stone structure, partly under ground, and they have excellent facilities for ripening the wine, which is rich in flavor and commands an excellent price in the market. The yield of grapes in certain seasons has been marvelous, amounting to over a hundred tons. The firm of Kramer Brothers also raises various varieties of purple grapes, including the Concord and Evira, and their vineyard is one of the largest to be found in Kansas. They employ eight men throughout the year, and twenty-five men are given work during the busy season. Their wine cellar now contains many thousands of gallons, the business having grown to extensive proportions. They are also practical farmers, and along agricultural lines are meeting with good success in the management of their property.

In 1890 John A. Kramer, whose name heads this review, married Miss Phillbena Rambans, a native of Germany, who was born in Baden. They have five children: Hattie, Alfred, Martha, Rosa and Anna. Mr. Kramer has served as a member of the school board, also as trustee of Shannon township, Atchison county, and is a public-spirited man who manifests a deep interest in everything pertaining to the welfare of the community. His palatial home is noted for its hospitality, and is a favorite resort for social gatherings, its beautiful grounds being much sought after by picnickers. Mr. Kramer has a wide acquaintance in his native county, and his genial manner and social disposition render him a popular favorite.