Simeon H. Cranmer

Simeon Harris Cranmer was an attorney and teacher from Nebraska who homesteaded in Edmunds County near Ipswich in 1884 [Nancy Koupal, Our Landlady (1996), 205; Wessington Springs Herald (SD), October 5, 1888].  They moved to Aberdeen in 1889 [Koupal, Our Landlady, 205].

Cranmer advocated for suffrage and prohibition at 1885 statehood convention [Doane Robinson, Dakota constitutional convention. Held at Sioux Falls, September, 1885, v.1 (Huron: Huronite Printing Co., 1907), 426-427].  When the Aberdeen Equal Suffrage club formed in Aberdeen in 1890, Cranmer served as president [Saturday News (Watertown SD), November 14, 1918].  He was scheduled to be a speaker at the state convention in Mitchell in August 1890 [Madison Daily Leader (SD), August 8, 1890; Wessington Springs Herald (SD), August 15, 1890; “Page 31 : Program from 1890 South Dakota Equal Suffrage Mass Convention,” and “Page 48 : Entire Page,” Emma Smith DeVoe: 1880-1890 (Scrapbook D), WSL Manuscripts, MS 171, Box 10].  In 1904 in Aberdeen, he supported suffrage during a spirited discussion program at a Social Science club meeting, during which he claimed that “there is no longer any respectable opposition to it” [Aberdeen Democrat (SD), November 18, 1904, November 25, 1904].  Anthony’s history of the suffrage movement included him as a faithful supporter [Susan B. Anthony and Ida Husted Harper, ed., The History of Woman Suffrage, vol.4 (Rochester NY: Anthony, 1902), 559].

In 1890, the Cranmers started an industrial school for working girls, providing free instruction to fifty women in reading, writing, arithmetic, and literature [Koupal, Our Landlady, 205].

Photograph of Simeon Cranmer with wife Emma and daughter Frances: [Daryl Webb, “’Just Principles Never Die’: Brown County Populists, 1890-1900,” South Dakota History 22(4) (1993), 381].

In business, Cranmer had interests in the Union Banking Company, the Star Publishing Company, a cooperative mercantile company (with Populists), and temporarily edited The Dakota Ruralist [Koupal, Our Landlady, 205; Madison Daily Leader (SD), March 27, 1891, September 24, 1898; Hot Springs Weekly Star (SD), December 14, 1894].

Cranmer was active in the prohibition movement and the Populist, Social Democrat, Socialist, and Independent parties (as parties shifted over the years) [Wessington Springs Herald (SD), October 5, 1888; Madison Daily Leader (SD), April 19, 1893, June 24, 1896, November 12, 1896; Mitchell Capital (SD), April 13, 1894, September 21, 1900, April 24, 1903; Aberdeen Democrat., April 14, 1905, May 25, 1906, June 15, 1906; et al.; Webb, “Just Principles,” 380, 388, 398; Walter W. Spooner, The Political Prohibitionist for 1888: A Handbook for the Aggressive Temperance People of the United States (New York: Funk & Wagnalls, 1888), 151].

At a Populist rally at Scatterwood in Brown County, “Cranmer took the podium next to underscore the theme, noting that things were not right when the two Dakotas could supply the entire world with food but one-third of the people remained unprovided for” [Webb, “Just Principles,” 380].

Later, Cranmer moved to New York City and Minneapolis [Citizen-Republican (Scotland SD), November 24, 1910; Saturday News (Watertown SD), November 14, 1918].  He passed away in 1943 and was buried in Minneapolis [“Simeon Harris Cranmer,”].

I haven’t read this written by their daughter but saw it referenced: Frances Cranmer Greenman, Higher Than the Sky.  New York: Harper & Bros., 1954.