CHARLES ROY LAMER. The well established reputation of the Lamer family in Union county as fruit growers on a large scale is being carried on in praiseworthy manner by Charles Roy Lamer, of Cobden, Union county, Illinois. He, with his brother H. H. Lamer, are among the heaviest producers and shippers in Southern Illinois in the fruit line, and it is consistent with the spirit of the times that mention be made of them in this historical and biographical work.
Charles Roy Lamer, orchardist and general farmer, was born June 28, 1875, on the home farm, two and a half miles northwest of Cobden. His father was Willis Lamer, a native of Union county, and -his grandfather was Jackson Lamer, who came to Union county from North Carolina in the early history of Illinois and filed on government land in Union county. Jackson Lamer prospered, and when he died he left a goodly inheritance to his son Willis. Besides his original holdings of four hundred acres of fine land in Union county, he became the owner of eight hundred acres in Pulaski county, of equal or greater acerage value. Willis Lamer became wealthy in the fruit growing industry, and was one of the first, if not the first, man in Union county to realize the vast possibilities of Illinois as a fruit producing country. In 1848 Willis Lamer married Prances Lovelace, a native of Johnson county. She was born in 1855, and died in 1908, while on a visit to Texas friends. She was the mother of three children: H. H., Vivian and Charles Roy. In later years Mr. Lamer contracted a second marriage, and two children, Beulah and Essa, were born of that union.
Charles Roy Lamer was educated in the common schools of Union county. Early in life, however, he began farming for himself, starting out with one hundred acres of land which came to him from his father's estate. He has since increased this to one hundred and seventy-five acres, and the farm is cultivated as follows: Apples, fifty acres, but the crop in 1911 was hardly an average yield, netting about twelve hundred barrels; peaches, thirty acres, the crop in 1911 being about four thousand crates, or fifteen hundred bushels; rhubarb, eight acres, the yield for 1911 being one thousand packages; asparagus, three acres, the yield for 1911 being six hundred packages. In addition to specific fruit growing. Mr. Lamer does considerable general farming. He employs four regular "hands" and in picking season employs from thirty -five to fifty men. Everything on the Lamer farm is done in an up-to-date and progressive manner. The latest improved machinery is in evidence there, and every labor saving device known to the farming industry is pressed into service on this strictly modern farm. Two spraying machines are used in the care of the fruit, and every possible precaution taken to insure a perfect crop where perfection is possible. In addition to this splendid farm Mr. Lamer and his brother H. H., hold the lease of a two hundred acre orchard in Jackson county, which is a wonderfully productive affair. In 1911 the crop aggregated eight thousand barrels of first class apples, including two thousand barrels of the famous "Wine Saps," for which they produced a price of four dollars and fifty cents per barrel.
Mr. Lamer is a member of the A. P. & A. M. Lodge No. 46, in Cobden, and of the Chapter at Anna, Illinois, No. 45. Like his father Mr. Lamer has been twice married. First to Ella Hardin, November 2, 1896. She was a daughter of L. T. Hardin. On July 21, 1908, she passed away, leaving her husband and three children, Willis, Fay and Janice. His second marriage took place on February 6, 1909, when he married Ellen Parrell, of Makanda.
Extracted from A History of Southern Illinois, 1912, Volume 3, pages 1192-1193