Henry Schrammeck & Clara Birch Schrammeck

    Henry Schrammeck was born in Bohemia February 7, 1852, coming to America when one year old. He came overland to Montana in pioneer days, reaching the territory when a boy of twelve, in 1864. He worked on the Henry Sieben ranch for a number of years. Being very ambitious, he was not long contented to work for wages and struck out for himself, homesteading the land which is now the A. B. Palmer ranch. Lack of proper equipment made farming a that time a very arduous undertaking with small return. In 2881 he felt he could better himself through a change in occupation, and accordingly sold his ranch to move closer to the Missouri river, taking up what is now known as the old Schrammeck ranch, one-half mile east of Cascade. He gave up farming as a business using his holdings for ahome and base of operations.

    He took a contract for building the first bridge over Deep Creek. Out of his profits he then bought an interest in the ferry at Ulidia from Lafe Gibson, later becoming sole owner. Ulidia, founded in 1879, was a post office and small settlement just across the Missouri River from the present town of Cascade. At a later period he disposed of the ferry to Myron McDaniels, one of the early settlers of the region. He brought to Montana a herd of pure bred Polled Angus cattle, said to be the first brought to the territory. Some of the descendants of the stock are still to be found in the state. In addition to buying and selling livestock, Mr. Schrammeck operated a threshing machine, repaired ox carts, and made ox yokes.

    On September 5, 1880, he was married at Helena to Miss Clara Birch, who came with her people to the valley in 1875. Her brother Jim Birch was the postman at Adel. Prized possession of this couple was a pair of fine brown mules which could be ridden, driven or packed. They rode them to church and to dances, Mrs. Schrammeck using a side-saddle, while her husband rode bareback. They were extremely intelligent animals. When Mr. Schrammeck was at work at a distance and needed some article at the house he would send Dromedary, the largest mule, with a written message tied to a cord around his neck. When the mule reached the house Mrs. Schrammeck would saddle him, tie the article to the saddle and send him back—his mate, Jewel, in the meantime making a great fuss at their separation. When Jewel died, Dromedary refused to eat or drink and followed his mate in a short time.

    To Mr. and Mrs. Schrammeck were born nine children. Hugh Oliver, born July 6, 1881, was the second white child born in the Chesnut Valley section. Ivan Henry, January 10, 1883; Oddia Clara, May 21, 1884; Walter, August 14, 1885,; Wallace Leo, May 4, 1889; Clifford Thomas, August 3, 1891; Robert Birch, July 18, 1893; George Washington, June 9, 1899; and Victor LeRoy, March 7, 1902. When their first child was born Mr. Schrammeck made a hurried trip to distant Fort Shaw for the military doctor, Dr. Newman, and Mrs. Boston was called in to care for Mrs. Schrammeck until their arrived. The residents of the Valley felt they should have a resident physician and formed a pool to provide a monthly salary for a community doctor. Dr. James was the first doctor, beginning his practice there in 1884. He retired in 1902, Dr. J. W. McCreedy taking his place. Rev. Job H. Little was appointed to the Sun River Circuit of the Methodist missions in 1885 which included Fort Shaw, Augusta, Chouteau, Sun River and Chesnut Valley. The meetings were held in private homes and schoolhouses and the circuit rider covered his wide territory on horseback. The Schrammecks were among his faithful parishioners and helped build the church at St. Clair, formerly Ulidia, in 1889. Mr. Schrammeck died at Cascade on April 7, 1910. Mrs. Schrammeck died ...?



Published January 14, 2003 for Kenneth's 80th Birthday
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last updated March 20, 2009