|Birth: ||Apr. 27, 1825|
|Death: ||Aug. 24, 1898|
CAPT. J. M. CREMER, an old veteran of the Union Army during the Civil War, has for years been recognized as one of the most prominent and public-spirited citizens of Tipton Precinct. He was shot six times while in the service of his country, the first and second grazing his scalp, the third entering his neck, and the fourth, a ball, struck him in the left breast, and went clear through his body nine inches; the fifth struck his left forearm, mutilating it, and breaking the bone so that it was useless. The sixth shot struck
him in the left breast bone, and three-fourth inches below the fourth wound, and lodged within his ribs, where it at present lies, although it keeps changing about, and at times gives the Captain much pain.
Capt. Cremer is the offspring of a substantial old family, and the son of David Cremer, who was born in Somerset County, Pa., in 1798, The latter married Miss Elizabeth Stull, also a native of Somerset County, and born the same year as her husband. The paternal grand father, Adam Cremer, was born in Westmoreland County, Pa., and served through the Revolutionary War as a non-commissioned officer. Afterward he established a blacksmith shop in connection with a farm in his native county, and was quite prominent in public affairs, officiating as Justice of the. Peace, and occupying other local offices. He lived to the advanced age of eighty-six years. The great-grandfather, Adam Cremer, Sr., was a native of Germany, and upon emigrating to America settled in Virginia, where he carried on farming. Upon the outbreak of the Revolutionary War he shouldered his musket and rustled to the defense of the Colonists. He spent his last years in Virginia.
On the mother's side John Stull, the grandfather of our subject, also a native of Pennsylvania, took part in the War of 1812. He had in the meantime, in 1800, emigrated to Ohio, and in the Buckeye State spent the closing years of his life. He was a son of one of the earliest settlers of Pennsylvania, who was of German descent. He married a lady of Swedish ancestry, who was the daughter of a Capt. Allbright, and she lived to be one hundred and thirteen years old.
The father of our subject was reared in his native State, and in his young manhood was a member of the Pennsylvania Home Guards. He was there married, and in 1833 emigrated to Tuscarawas County, Ohio, where he purchased from the Government a tract of timber land. He cleared two farms in the Buckeye State, but in 1852, pushing farther westward, purchased eighty acres in Kankakee County, Ill., and from the wilderness built up a good homestead, where he spent the remainder of his life passing away In 1866. He was a Whig, politically, a man of decided views, and a good citizen. The mother survived her husband until 1874, and died at the old home in Illinois. Both were active members of the Church of the United Brethren a period of forty years or more, in which the father was a chief pillar, and officiated as Class Steward. To the parents of our subject there were born twelve children, namely: Margaret, Hannah, Sarah and Johanna, all deceased; J. M., our subject; Isesa, Jesse, Silas and Rachel (deceased); David, Joseph and Elizabeth, residents respectively of Nebraska and Indiana. Jesse during the Civil War enlisted as a Union soldier in 1861, in the 64th Illinois Infantry, which was assigned to the Army of the Cumberland, and was with Sherman at the siege of Atlanta. On the 22d of July, 1864, he was shot dead while in the performance of his duty.
Capt. Cremer was born in Turkeyfoot Township, Somerset Co., Pa.. April 27, 1825, and grew up on a farm. When a little lad eight years of age, his parents removed to Ohio, and he remained with them until a youth of seventeen. He then began an apprenticeship at the tanner's trade at Canal Dover, Ohio, remaining there two years, when on account of failing health he returned to the farm. He worked with his father two years thereafter, and then began learning the carpenter's trade. A year later he returned to his old home in Pennsylvania to visit friends and settle up his grandfather's estate. Upon going back to Ohio he employed himself as a carpenter, sod was married in Canal Dover, Oct. 12. 1848, to Miss Martha, daughter of John and Hannah (Riggle) Gamble.
The parents of Mrs. Cremer were natives of Ohio. The paternal grandfather, William Gamble, was born in Ireland, and settled in Ohio upon emigrating to the United States, where he spent his last days. Grandfather Riggle was a native of Virginia, of German descent, a blacksmith by trade, and lived to be very old. John Gamble, in 1851, removed to Illinois. settling near Pontiac in Livingston County, where his death took place at the age of forty years, in 1852. The. mother also died that year, at the age of forty-three. Their children comprised seven sons and four daughters, the eldest of whom, Elizabeth, died when quite small; Martha J., Mrs. Cremer, was the second child; Adam and William W., are deceased; Harvey and John are residents of Wisconsin; Asbury died in 1852. The others are Robert, of Champaign. Ill.; Cook, of Wyoming Territory; Louisa is living in Wisconsin, and Ellen S., who died when three years old. Adam, Harvey, John, Robert and Cook all served as soldiers in the Union Army. Adam died at LaGrange, Tenn., in 1863. Mrs. Cremer was born in Tuscarawas County, Ohio, Jan. 10. 1829, and remained a
resident of her native state until the fall of 1851. The family then journeyed overland with teams to what was then Will, but is now Kankakee County, Ill., and settled near the present town of Momence, when there were only two houses between them and Chicago.
Father Gamble purchased 240 acres of prairie land, but for two years thereafter occupied himself mostly at his trade of carpenter. Subsequently he paid his whole attention to farming. In 1860 he moved to Coles County, Mo., and was one of the earliest settlers of that region. He purchased 320 acres of land, but there being too many rebels about, went back to Illinois, and this time located near Fairfield, in Wayne County, where he purchased a farm of 120 acres.
The year following, 1861, our subject entered the service of the Government, and assisted in recruiting the 18th, 40th and 63d Illinois Regiments. This effected, he raised a company for the 87th Illinois Infantry, and himself became a member of Company D, in that regiment, enlisting as a private in August, 1862, at Shawneetown. He thereafter participated in many of the important battles of the war, being at Uniontown and Caseyville Ky., Island No. 10, Ft. Pillow, Hernando, Tenn., Coldwater, Young's Point, Milliken's Bend, Grand Gulf, Port Gibson, Jackson, Miss., and Champion Hills. At Champion Hills 1,606 men of his division were killed outright. Later they met the enemy at Black River, and the Captain participated in the siege and capture of Viicksburg. He waswith the corps which made the famous charge on the 22d of May, 1863. July 4 was another memorable day, and later our subject with his regiment was transferred to the Department of the Gulf, after which he was promoted to the rank of Captain of Company I. Soon afterward he went to New Orleans to recruit, remaining there until September 9, when they were transferred to the command of Gen. Banks. Subsequently occurred the battles of Franklin, New Iberia, Vermilion, and other hand-to-hand engagements with the Confederates.
In February, 1864, the company of Capt. Cremer was made a part of the Red River expedition, and fought in a number of battles. Among these was that at Wilson's Hill, where our subject was under fire four hours, and where he received his most serious wounds above spoken of. He was left on the field three days and three nights, supposed to have been mortally wounded. Upon being discovered he was loaded into an ambulance, hauled forty miles to the Red River, then taken on a boat 640 miles to New Orleans, and placed in the St. James' Hospital. The sufferings which he thereafter endured can better be imagined than described, in fact he was in a condition which it would hardly be proper to mention here. Nothing but his splendid constitution enabled him to survive. When wounded he weighed 214 pounds, and fourteen days later had been reduced to 151 pounds.
Capt. Cremer remained in the hospital until June 10, 1864, and then received a passport to return home. He was given transportation across the Gulf to New York, was provided with an artificial arm, and arrived at his home in Wayne County, Ill., July 14, 1864. In August following Gov. Yates forwarded to him his honorable discharge. During his absence the wife of Capt. Cremer, in addition to her natural anxiety concerning her husband, had had her own conflicts with the rebels of Southern Illinois, who came very near making away with everything they could destroy, so that the Captain and his wife were in effect quite destitute, with the exception of twenty acres of land. In December of that year they removed to Kankakee County, on a farm, and with the help of his boys the Captain soon recovered his losses, remaining there until 1870.
During the above mentioned year Capt. Cremer operated as a contractor with the Plymouth, Kankakee & Pacific Railroad Company, and for two years thereafter was fortunate in making considerable money. He finally rented a large ranch in Lake County, Ind., and embarked in the cattle business, which he continued until 1878, operating largely with full-blooded Hereford stock. In the fall of 1878 he ventured west of the Mississippi into Cass County, this State, and purchased 400 acres of land, intending to establish a Hereford stock farm, but afterward changed his mind and went to general farming. The journey to Nebraska was made overland with teams, the Captain bringing with him sixteen head of horses, and taking up his abode on a tract of raw prairie purchased from the Burlington & Missouri River Railroad Company. As soon as possible he put up a house with lumber shipped from Chicago, and set out some trees. In 1882 he began planting the grove which is now the object of admiration by the traveler through this section of the county. Later he established an orchard of 450 apple trees and 300 peach trees, and in all set out probably 45,000 trees, his grove alone covering an area of ten acres.
In 1882 the Captain sold off a quarter-section of his land, and to the balance has given his close attention, effecting first-class improvements, putting up a neat and substantial residence with a barn and out-buildings, corn-cribs, hog houses, etc. His fences are largely of hedge, and the land has been brought to a good state of cultivation. The household circle was completed by the birth of ten children, namely: Elizabeth E., Isesa L., John W., Sarah M., Clarissa A., Franklin W., Ulysses S. Grant; Lilly M., who died in 1888, when twenty-two years old; Emma H. and Lettie J. The eldest daughter is the wife of Claus Ohm, and they live on a farm in Stove Creek Precinct; I. L. is married and farming in Tipton Precinct; John W. is engaged in the agricultural implement trade in Kankakee, Ill.; Sarah M., Mrs. Wallace Hess, is the wife of a well-to-do farmer of Kankakee, Ill.; Clarissa, Mrs. Joseph D. Skiles, lives on a farm in Butler County, this State; Franklin W. continues on the home farm; he was united to Miss Mary J. McCarter, Dec. 25, 1887. She died Oct. 21, 1888, leaving one child, named Thomas J., who is living with his grandparents McCarter, of Frontier County, Neb. U. S. Grant is married and farming in Tipton Precinct; Lilly M. became the wire of R. D. Shay, and died in Tipton Precinct, Oct. 26, 1888, leaving one child, Cora L., who makes her home with her grandparents. The other children of our subject remain under the parental roof.
It is hardly necessary to say that Capt. Cremer is a Republican, "dyed in the wool." Few men have attained to more prominence in county affairs than he. He served twenty-two terms as a juryman, has been sent times without number as a delegate to the various conventions of his party, officiated as Sheriff two years, and Justice of the Peace two terms, and has otherwise been connected with the important interests of Cass County. Socially, he belongs to Kenesaw Post No. 123, in which he is Senior Commander. Both he and his estimable wife have been active members of the United Brethren Church a period of forty-five years, in which the Captain has made himself useful as elsewhere, officiating not only as Class-Leader, Steward and Secretary, but also as a minister in the pulpit. He is at present the local preacher of this church in Stove Creek Circuit. He realizes the importance of religious instruction to the young, and has given no little time to Sunday school work, officiated as Superintendent, and otherwise furthered the cause as he has had opportunity. It will thus be seen that he has built up a good record as a useful and self sacrificing citizen, and he is amply worthy of representation in a work designed to commemorate the life of the pioneers of Cass County.
Martha Jane Gamble Cremer (1829 - 1912)
Elizabeth Ellen Cremer Ohm (1849 - 1940)*
Isaiah Leonidas Cremer (1851 - 1933)*
John Wesley Cremer (1854 - 1930)*
Sarah M. Cremer Hess (1856 - 1933)*
Clarissa Anne Cremer Skiles (1858 - 1928)*
Franklin Winfield Cremer (1861 - 1948)*
Ulysses Grant Cremer (1863 - 1931)*
Lillie May Cremer Shay (1866 - 1888)*
Emma Helice Cremer Groff (1868 - 1905)*
Lettie J. Cremer Wright (1871 - 1907)*
87 IL Infantry Co. D
Maintained by: Michael Cremer
Originally Created by: Tony & Cindy Lloyd
Record added: Aug 27, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 57801338