Often talented educators make their mark in the political arena as well as in professional teachers circles. Such was the case of Emma M. Cramer, a public high school teacher who was also a member of the House of Representatives for her home state of Ohio.
Emma was born on June 21, 1859, the daughter of Albert C. and Louise (Crone) Cramer. Born and educated in Portsmouth, she later went on to teach at Portsmouth High School. She attended college during the summers, earning degrees from both the University of Pittsburgh and the University of Chicago. She began her teacher at the age of 20, and her career spanned 54 years, until her retirement in 1933. Her students described her as thorough and exacting, but also patient, persevering, and sympathetic.
During her teaching career, Emma was also involved in many civic organizations. She was a member of the Portsmouth City Council (1912-1925), Chairperson of the Republican Women of Scioto County (1922-26), and member of the Portsmouth Board of Education (1934-37). After she was elected to the state House, she continued to teach while occupying her seat in the legislature. Her colleagues often said she was an individual of stalwart character and tireless in her efforts to serve others.
Emma donated her time and energy not only to the legislature and to education, but also to other organizations, including the Ohio League of Women Voters, the National Council of Teachers of English, the Portsmouth Public Library Board of Trustees, the Ohio Library, the National Municipal League, the State and National Education Associations, the Council of Republican Women of Ohio, the Women’s City Club, and the Business and Professional Women’s Club.
This remarkable educator passed away on June 15, 1952, at the age of 92.