Oliver A. Kraeer


Oliver A. Kraeer during the past eight or nine years has been one of the prominent factors in the development of the oil and gas territory about Bartlesville. He is an out and out oil man, having almost inherited his taste for the business, grew up in the great oil district of Western Pennsylvania, and has all the resourcefulness and quick, sure judgment that have been such valuable qualities to the men engaged in this business.
When Mr. Kraeer came to Oklahoma he was practically without money and had a considerable indebtedness in his name. But whatever his environment or circumstances, he has shown the grit and cheerfulness of the typical oil man, and has succeeded in reaching a position where he could be named with prominent oil men in this section of the state. Mr. Kraeer is now manager of the Tahlequah Gas Company, is president of the oil and drilling company of O. A. Kraeer & Company, and also has active charge of the extensive oil interests in Oklahoma owned by John A. Bell, Jr., of Pittsburgh.
It was in Butler County, Pennsylvania, that Oliver A. Kraeer was born, August 11, 1876, a son of Lewis and Hepsibah (Baker) Kraeer. His parents were natives of Washington County, Pennsylvania, and his father now lives at Sheffield, Warren County, in that state, and has spent much of his active career as a producer and contractor in the oil fields. The mother died in August, 1887, at the age of forty-four. Of the ten children six grew to maturity and four are still living. By his second marriage Lewis Kraeer has two children.
It was under the direction of his father that Oliver A. Kraeer gained his first knowledge of the oil business. He is thoroughly acquainted with all the technical details of the industry and has utilized his experience and his originating ability in effecting important improvements in the tools used by oil and gas men, and also in some better methods of handling the field business. Even when a schoolboy he came to know a great deal about oil operation. He was associated with his father until about 1900, and has since been in business for himself, having operated extensively in the fields both in Ohio and Indiana before moving to Bartlesville in 1906. For several years, until December, 1909, he was associated with George Priestly, one of the prominent early oil men of Bartlesville. At the latter date Mr. John A. Bell, Jr., came from Pennsylvania and bought a largo part of the Priestly oil interests, and Mr. Kraeer has since been associated with Mr. Bell in looking after his Oklahoma investments. These interests were very extensive until 1912, but since that time many of them have been sold.
Mr. Kraeer has also handled some big properties for other people, and is one of the men whose names are most prominently mentioned in connection with the oil and gas era of Oklahoma. He is a member of the Bartlesville Chamber of Commerce and is affiliated with the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, and is also a member of the Presbyterian Church. In September, 1908, he married Miss Martha Gregg of Toledo, Ohio. Their one child is Oliver A., Jr.