William Dow Cram, 1872-1941

Hampton Union, Thursday, August 14, 1941

William Dow Cram died at the Hale hospital in Haverhill, Mass., early Monday morning. [August 11, 1941]

Mr. Cram became ill on the evening of July 18 and the following day was taken to the Hale hospital, where he underwent a serious operation July 29. He had been improving and had hoped to leave the hospital soon. He was correspondent for several papers and wrote special stories for which he gathered historical facts in the libraries of this and the surrounding towns.

He had written special articles for the Hampton Tercentenary, and had much data that he had been collecting during the years he was a correspondent covering Hampton and the Hampton and Salisbury Beaches.

Mr. Cram began as a correspondent at Salisbury Beach more than 40 years ago and wrote articles for many of the biggest newspapers in the country. He was on the editorial staff of the Dedham Transfer for many years.

A native of Haverhill, Mass., Mr. Cram was born there Nov. 9, 1872 and had always lived there although for the past few years he had lived in Hampton working as correspondent for the Newburyport News and the Lawrence Evening Tribune.

Funeral services were held Wednesday afternoon from the Dole and Childs Funeral Home in Haverhill, Mass., and were attended by representatives of the Hamptons' Kiwanis, Men's Fellowship Hampton Beach Chamber of Commerce and members of the town and beach precincts.

A Tribute

Hampton Union, Thursday, August 14, 1941

"Bill" Cram has gone. The veteran news correspondent of Hampton Beach died at the Hale Hospital in Haverhill early Monday morning.

"Bill" will not have the added enjoyment and comforts which the "Appreciation Fund", recently created in his behalf, would have brought him if he had lived. But he had far more than that. He had a full measure of happiness and joy in the knowledge that men and women in this little community appreciated his character, his ability and his generous services in behalf of Hampton. When he learned the manner in which his friends were attempting to show their gratitude to him he said in his characteristically modest manner, "I've done nothing to merit this, but the spirit behind it all makes me more happy than any sum of money would make me" and he turned his head away to hide a tear which rolled down his cheek onto the pillow. The fund will be used for "Bill" but not in the manner originally intended.

The world is a much better place by reason of the life of "W. D.", as he was known to many of his younger friends. He had a brilliant mind which was hidden from many because of his innate modesty. He kept his love of boys and young folks in general, strictly to himself. But few knew of the inherent desire which he always had to assist boys who might have fewer privileges than the average. And he would have been the first to scoff at the idea that any homeless youngster, who could sit at his knee and learn something about nature and perhaps about the art of printing and certainly something about the Bible, was privileged even beyond many other boys who lived in homes of wealth and affluence.

"Bill's" character and life may be summed up in one word. "unselfish". He was a good printer, a painstaking reporter and a man who always treated his citizenship responsibilities seriously. He loved animals and among all of them that knew his step is a beautiful collie who will miss him sorely because when "Bill" even entered the yard or put his foot on the steps, the dog, sensing his approach, would bark frantically until he had an opportunity to almost knock "Bill" over in the enthusiasm of his hearty greeting.

"W. D." wanted nothing of life for himself. He only asked for the opportunity to give something to somebody else. And he found chances for service which the average man would completely overlook. He loved Hampton and was an authority on the town's history. The community has him to thank for making a world-wide heroine out of that unique but historic character, Eunice "Goody" Cole.

Yes, "Bill" Cram has gone, but the enduring monument which he leaves behind is of a type which mark the lives of but few men, for his is the monument of happy and cherished memories, which he himself erected in the hearts and in the minds of a host of friends and acquaintances. And while we may ourselves properly grieve at the breaking of a tie which bound us to an unforgettable character, there need be no mourning or sorrow for "Bill", because whatever there may be that is beautiful, good and everlasting in whatever existence follows this earthly one, must be especially reserved for the soul of such a modest, clean, unselfish gentleman as "Bill" Cram. (James W. Tucker)

Read some of William D. Cram's historical articles.