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California Genealogy and History Archives

San Bernardino County and Riverside County


WILLIAM H. CRAM is one of the most successful orange growers in the Highland District of San Bernardino County. To that subject he has given practically a life of study and work. As a boy he picked oranges from one of the pioneer plantings in this locality.

Much of the pioneer history of the district now known as Highland is associated with the activities of the Cram family. Lewis F. and Sarah Ann (Waketield) Cram, parents of William H. Cram, were California pioneers who came over the plains with ox teams and founded the home which is still occupied by their descendants at Highland. Some further details in the history of the family are given on other pages of this publication.

William H. Cram was born at the old Cram homestead at East Highlands April 22, 1869. He attended the old board schoolhouse nearby, and when only a boy he gathered oranges from a seedling plantation set out by his father, and helped pack them for market. Mr. Cram by way of reminiscence states that the first groves here were set out in the lowlands. Observation showed that sunflowers growing on the low ground were killed by frost in early winter, while those higher up on the bench land remained green all winter long and had to be dug up in spring to permit plowing. This observation gave a real practical hint for the Crams and others to plant their trees on the land which experience has proved have been most favorable for orange culture. The Crams were experimenting with this industry when there was practically no outside authority or experts to consult with, and every step had to be proved by the event of results, frequently requiring years. William H. Cram has been more than successful as a citrus fruit grower. He owns sixty acres, one of the largest and best orchards in the county.

In 1891 he married Miss Lottie D. Davis, of a prominent and influential pioneer family. She was born in 1867. Mr. and Mrs. Cram have four children. Clara graduated from the Redlands High School, from Stanford University, where she specialized in English preparatory to teaching, and is now the wife of Ervil Campbell, a native of California and likewise a graduate of Stanford University. He is a graduate civil engineer, and is now an engineer in the Government service in the oil industry, with home at Bakersfield. Mr. and Mrs. Campbell have ono daughter. The second of the family, Arthur David Cram, graduated from the Redlands High School, spent one year in Stanford University and three years in Redlands University, and is now one of the successful young orange growers at East Highland. He married Miss Margaret Diels, a native of Nebraska, and they have a son. The third of the family, William H. Cram, Jr., is a high school graduate, spent a year at Stanford and two years at Redlands University, and was enlisted in the Aviation Corps during the World war. He was trained in America and also abroad in England, was overseas in service thirteen months, holding the rank of sergeant, and returned to America after the armistice. He and his brother are both members of the Elks Lodge at Redlands. The fourth of the family, Mildred Cram, is attending the Redlands High School and has gifts both in vocal and instrumental music.

Mr. William H. Cram is affiliated with Redlands Lodge No. 583 Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks. He lives in one of the beautiful homes at East Highlands on Water Street, and he still gives his active personal supervision to his groves, which are kept in perfect condition and their fruits are evidence of the correctness of his methods, many of which have been evolved from his personal experience and study.


History of San Bernardino and Riverside Counties 
By: John Brown, Jr., Editor for San Bernardino County 
And James Boyd, Editor for Riverside County 
With selected biography of actors and witnesses of the period 
of growth and achievement.
Volume III, the Western Historical Association, 1922, 
The Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago, ILL

Transcribed by Peggy Hooper 2011