BIOGRAPHY - James E. Crammond

JAMES E. CRAMMOND, the oldest grocer in Gibson City in years of business at that place, as well as one of its most enterprising and prosperous citizens, established trade there in July, 1873. In the fall of that year, he built the first brick building in the city, and the following year occupied it, carrying on business there for nearly ten years, or until it was destroyed by fire on the night of January 30, 1883. It was 23x64 feet, two stories in height, with a basement, and, in its day, was one of the best business blocks in the city. He rebuilt the following summer, but the second building is one story in height, with a basement, and is 25x100 feet. The store-room is sixteen feet high. Mr. Crammond does an annual business of from $8,000 to $10,000, and carries a full and complete line of staple and fancy groceries, queensware, wooden-ware and provisions.

The subject of this sketch was born in Hawesville, Hancock County, Ky., August 22, 1852, and is a son of John and Eliza (Augustus) Crammond. His father was born in Scotland, and came to America when a lad of fourteen summers, and settled in Kentucky, where he was afterward married. He was a steamboat owner, his boats plying on the Ohio River. His death occurred in March, 1867. The mother was born in Louisville, Ky., in 1824, and died in August, 1878.

James E. was educated in the private schools of his native State, and from an early age was employed on his father's steamboats as a pilot on the Ohio, until the spring of 1873. On the 28th of May, of that year, he was married, in his native county, to Mary H. Davidson. Mrs. Crammond was born in Hawesville, Hancock County, Ky.,and was a daughter of N. C. Davidson, formerly of Kentucky, but now of Farmer City, Ill.

Immediately after their marriage, Mr. and Mrs. Crammond settled in Gibson City, Ford County, Ill. In July, 1873, he began business as a grocer in Gibson, as previously stated. He has now been in business in that city for nearly twenty years, having one of the best stores in his line.

On the 3d of December, 1889, Mrs. Crammond passed away, leaving six children, three sons and three daughters: Daisy E., Maggie H., John D., James E., William C., and Lucile M., all of whom were born in Gibson City. Mrs. Crammond was a consistent member of the Presbyterian Church, a kind and affectionate wife and mother, and her loss was a sad blow to her husband and children. She left many friends in this community, where she was beloved by all who knew her. She was a lineal descendant of the Hardin family, one of the most distinguished families of Kentucky. Mr. Crammond is an active member of the same church to which his wife belonged, and has been a member of its Board of Trustees for six years, and President of the same for four years. The older children also hold membership with the Presbyterian Church.

In politics, Mr. Crammond is a Democrat and an earnest supporter of the principles of that party. Although living in a Republican town, he has through personal popularity been chosen to fill various local offices. He has been Village Trustee five years, and President of the Board for two years. He has served three years as Director of the Gibson School Board, and has recently been re-elected for another term of the same number of years, and has also held the office of Clerk of the Board of Education. For three years he has been Chairman of the Ford County Democratic Committee, being an active and influential man in the local councils of his party. He is a member of Gibson Lodge No. 542, I. O. O. F., and of Brothers' Encampment No. 158, of the same order. He has filled the official chairs of the subordinate lodge and encampment, has been representative to the Grand Bodies of the State, and is the present District Deputy. He holds membership with Canton Ford Patriarch Militant No. 55, and of Drummer Lodge No. 1,611, K. of H., being presiding officer of the last-named body at one time, and is the present Financial and Corresponding Reporter or Secretary. He belongs to the Board of Directors of the Building and Loan Association of Gibson City. Enterprise, public spirit and integrity have characterized Mr. Crammond's course in life, while his intercourse with both acquaintance and stranger is always marked by courtesy and kindness.

Extracted 04 Nov 2018 by Norma Hass from Portrait and Biographical Record of Ford County, Illinois, published in 1892, pages 232-235.

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