Wisconsin Kraemers III: The Twentieth Century is the third in a series of books about the Kraemers of Tiefenbach and Irlach, Bavaria and Plain, Sauk County, Wisconsin.
The first tells the story of the Kraemers from the first Kraemer who got married at St. Vitus Catholic Church in Tiefenbach, Bavaria in 1649 to the wedding of Paul Kraemer and Walburga Stangl in 1854 and their twelve years in Irlach, Bavaria before deciding to emigrate. Their heroic lives are punctuated by the selfless decision to care for the widow of Paul’s father and his second family of five children after his sudden death while also struggling to have their own family through the deaths of three of their five children. The hope of a better life led them to immigrate to America in 1866.
The second book tells the story of their immigration journey, their rugged pioneer life in Sauk County and the stories of their children as they struggled for survival amid tragic deaths of spouses and children in the rugged wilderness of Wisconsin. It covers Kraemer, Laubmeier, Weidner, Meister and Ruhland families.
This new third book tells the story of one child, Peter Kraemer, his three wives and their children.
Peter came to America at the age of two with his parents. Peter had three wives – Anna Ring, Grace Ring and Katherine Eckstein. He suffered the loss of all three wives and three of his children, but had seven surviving sons and 3 daughters. His first wife Anna Ring died at the age of 31 from confinement (sepsis) after giving birth to her seventh son. Her sister Grace, who helped Anna with the children and later married Peter, had three girls and a boy and died from TB at the age of 34. Katherine Eckstein, who then married Peter, helped to raise both families and had two children who died tragically – one from accidental burning and another from gastroenteritis. Kate lived to retire with Peter and died at age 72. Despite multiple tragedies in his life, Peter was an affable person into his old age. During his lifetime, he acquired two farms totaling around 300 acres and passed them on to two of his sons when he retired and moved to the village of Plain. There he lived a quiet life, reaching the age of 86 before dying from a heart attack while playing cards with an old friend – George Schutz. He died saying the Our Father prayer in German with his daughter Anna at his side. His children had successful careers and productive marriages.
His eldest son, John Kraemer, married Isabelle Hutter and, after her tragic death in childbirth, began a second family with Martha Haas on a farm in Wyoming Township, Iowa County. Albert Kraemer married Matilda Nachreiner and went into business with Nachriner & Beck, then Kraemer and Ring and finally his own plumbing and heating business with his sons. Edward Kraemer married Gisela Frank and became a very successful entrepreneur. He started in the building construction business but had ancillary businesses in silos, gas-driven electric power plants and wooden bridges. The latter led to road construction and establishment of the Edward Kraemer and Sons (EKS) company, which has extended over three generations, to build roads and bridges throughout the Midwest.
Alphons Kraemer married Mary Frank and worked as a finish carpenter for EKS. Frank Kraemer married Mary Bayer and purchased one of Peter Kraemer’s farms, but died tragically from cancer at age 45. Benjamin Kraemer married Elsie Peters and bought the family “home farm” from his dad Peter. After losing the farm during the Depression, he farmed in Reedsburg and Casanovia before retiring; he also died from cancer. Elizabeth Kraemer married Albert Liegel who ran the Plain garage until he died from TB at age 45. Elizabeth later married Lynn Schult and ran a grocery store in Baraboo with her children. Anna Kraemer married Clemens Frank and worked as a seamstress while Clem drove truck for EKS. Esther Kraemer married Ted Frank who farmed in Wilson Creek; Esther also died of cancer. Leo Kraemer married Lucy Bauer and after several stints at farming worked as a laborer, truck driver, power-shovel operator and foreman in road construction for EKS around 40 years.
Kenneth L. Kraemer is Professor Emeritus
At the University of California, Irvine and
Lives in Newport Coast, California.