The Valley of Heart's Delight



Santa Clara County owes much to her enterprising and successful merchants whose energy and aggressive methods have led them to push forward and to attain for themselves early returns; and whose level-headed-ness and sensible conservatism have contributed to steady finance and trade. Among these energetic men we mention Joseph L. Cramer, well-known and successful merchant in San Jose. A native son of the Golden State, he was born in Monterey County on February 28, 1879, a son of Joseph and Lucy (Gleason) Cramer. His father was a native of Germany who came to the United States and California and established the first harness and saddle shop in San Miguel; he also had a shop in Monterey for many years. His mother was a native of this state and a niece of the late Tom Watson, who will ever be remembered by the older residents of this part of the state as sheriff of Monterey County for many years. It was during his tenure in office that the notorious bandit, Vasquez, was pillaging the villages in his section and Mr. Watson showed his courage in taking him single-handed and running his followers to their final undoing.

Mr. Cramer's maternal grandfather, James Gleason, married Catherine, a daughter of James Watson of Monterey, an Englishman who came to California in 1822 and established trading posts on this coast and did trading with the Indians. James Gleason was also a pioneer of the Pacific Coast and came to Monterey when that was the capital of California. He became a well-known and successful stockman and amassed considerable valuable land. The maternal grandmother was a daughter of an old Spanish family whose members were part owners of the famous San Lucas Rancho, a Spanish grant that comprised thousands of acres of choice land in Monterey and San Benito counties.

It was in this traditional environment that Joseph L. Cramer was reared. At the age of fifteen, having finished his school days in the public schools in the range for years and became a well-known figure in stock circles in Monterey County, continuing for twenty-seven years. His tastes did not lie in the direction of the stock business and in 1905 he established a store at New Monterey. His next venture was a establish a chain of seven stores from Salinas to San Jose and known as the Liberty Groceterias. He gave these stores his personal supervision and soon built up a lucrative business. In 1917 he sold them, just prior to the United States' entrance into the World War. In 1920 he once more entered the business world and opened a bakery, known as the Ho Say Bakery, at 7 West Santa Clara Street, and a cash grocery and speicalty store at 65 South Second street in San Jose. Since that date his has been an ever-increasing business and his returns are most gratifying. He employs fourteen people in the conduct of his business.

The marriage of Joseph L. Cramer in 1903, united him with Miss Cora B. Fry, a resident of San Jose since 1900 and they are the parents of two children: LeRoy Henry and Orvil C. George. Mr. and Mrs. Cramer are popular in their social set in San Jose and accounted among the public-spirited citizens of the city. Mr. Cramer is a stanch Republican in national affairs, but he gives his support to the best men and measures that in his estimation are for the greatest good to the greatest number regradless of party ties.

Transcribed by , Marie Clayton, from Eugene T. Sawyers' History of Santa Clara County,California, published by Historic Record Co. , 1922. page 1233


Santa Clara County History