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Title: Henry L. Kramer
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Twenty-two years ago this month the writer was sitting down near where Mudlavia's artistic spring-house stands, his trousers rolled to the knees and both feet in a big tobacco bucket which was filled with hot mud. Those were the primitive days of mud baths, and, in lieu of modern conveniences, the mud was thrown into a huge iron kettle that hung over a crackling fire and was then applied only to the parts that showed affliction. There was no bathhouse, no regular course of treatment, and patients often made continuous applications of mud for four of five hours. The accommodations, like the appliances, were crude; but faith prevented any kick at the inconveniences.


On this particular day in June, while the writer was endeavoring to soak out the swelling and relieve the aches, a brown-faced, spindling youth drove up and asked, "Well, is it doing the work?" "Knockin' 'er right out," was the reply, followed by a description of the sensation of pulling that the hot mud gave. The young man was interested and, with the writer and several natives who had gathered to see the wonderful "feet," he carried on a catechism that lasted nearly an hour. Then Sam Story came strolling along and told the story that never grows old-how he discovered the valuable springs while digging a tile ditch when he had rheumatism and how he was miraculously cured by getting soaking wet while at work. "Who owns this place?" inquired the young man. "Uncle Billy Cameron," replied Sam. "Where does he live?" "Up on the hill." "Can you show me the house?" "Sure," replied Sam, as he got into the buggy. "Giddup," called the young man and the tone had the same ring of activity that is has today. The horse understood it, for he tore up the hilly road as though his life depended upon quickly reaching the Cameron home. The result of that visit was the leasing of the farm on which the valuable springs and mud deposits lie and eventually in the buying of it. It was also the starting point for the magnificent hotel and beautiful grounds so much appreciated by hundreds of guests who come there from all sections of the country.

A few weeks ago the same young man (now broadened not only in views but in body) disposed of an institution that he built from infancy to one of the best known proprietary plants in the world-the Sterling Remedy Co. And he still is owner of Mudlavia.

When he took over the lease he was a youth without means or influence, but at that time he gave evidence of future success, for he was aggressive, mature in reasoning, a good talker, and gave unmistakable proof that he had full faith in himself. The retiring modesty and apparent doubt as to one's own capacity, which so often checks the career of young men, in young Kramer gave way to absolute confidence.

There are few business records so complete and so quickly made as Harry Kramer's. From a start with nothing but determination, to which were added untiring perseverance and the application of well studied judgment, in less than a quarter of a century he has brought recognition from the greatest business centers of the world, has gained the confidence of the captains of industry to such an extent that they are glad to advise with him. And he passed through these years without accepting the tempting offers to gain success at the expense of others. He is a builder and not a looter, and fairness and honesty are the corner stones of his successful career. Mr. Kramer has reached this high place at a time in years when man't success usually begins. He is perhaps the youngest self-made man in the commercial centers that make their powers felt in every avenue of life. His financial success is counted with six ciphers after the first figure. It is not the success of luck, but of unceasing individual labor, of sleepless nights of planning and long days of execution, of having a purpose and the will to everlastingly play the game.

One of the best features of Mr. Kramer's success is that the constant work for it has not made him dollar-mad. It is not measured wholly by the money standard. He realizes and often says that all he can personally get out of life is what he eats and wears and the harmless pleasures that come his way. He is a philosopher, along with his business life, and here and there and everywhere, his big heart finds a chance to freely express itself-not for the charity that begs, but in a sensible and helpful way. His purse is not tied with miser strings nor his nature dwarfed by selfishness. Whole-souled, tender-hearted, optimistic and genial, he is scattering a lot of good while making the one trip through this life.

Henry L. Kramer was born in Keokuk, Iowa, in 1863. His interests now are wide-spread and varied. Besides being treasurer of the Indiana Springs Company, he has large mining interests in the Joplin (Missouri) and the Cobalt (Canada) districts, besides investments in financial institutions in Chicago and New York. Much of his time being spent in the latter city, where he has offices and from where he directs his various industries with a master hand.

I have known Harry Kramer through all the steps from poor boy to millionaire and met him through all the various phases of that struggle. I have been with him when the hour was filled with doubt and fear, and with him when the star of hope resplendent shone. And I know him now as always: a man of wonderful capacity and great business power; but, better than this, a man whose heart beats with humanity, whose generous nature is helpful to all who come under its influence. It seems appropriate to me that this tribute should be paid now, on the twenty-second anniversary of our first meeting and at the close of his eventful career with the Sterling Remedy Company. And it seems suitable that it should appear in his own paper and without his knowledge. If his son Robert can be bribed, it will so appear, the responsibility to be gladly accepted by


Attica, Ind., June, 1909.

[Page 881-883.]

Date: 1/1/1913
Origin: Past and Present of Fountain and Warren Counties Indiana
Author: Thomas A. Clifton, Editor
Record ID: 00001031
Type: Book
Source Archive: Williamsport-Washington Township Public Library
Date Entered: 8/10/2001
Collection: Williamsport-Washington Township Public Library
Entered By: Leslie J. Rice

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