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BRAMAN, John O.
Transcribed from: The History of Florida: Past & Present, The Lewis Publishing Co., Vol.
Presented by Nancy Rayburn
III, page 348, 1923.
BRAMAN, JOHN O., who is living retired in his attractive home at the corner of Henley and
Second Streets in the City of Fort Myers, Lee County, was born at Key West, Florida, February 18,
1840, a son of JOHN and MARY (KEMP) BRAMAN, both natives of the fair Bahama Islands, the
former's father, MINUS BRAMAN, having been born in Holland and having been an early settler
in the Bahamas. The maternal grandparents of the subject of this review were SAMUEL and
SARAH KEMP, the father of the former having likewise been born on the Bahama Islands, of
English parentage. The marriage of JOHN BRAMAN and MARY KEMP was solemnized at Key West,
Florida, and there Mr. BRAMAN followed the trade of ship carpenter.
JOHN O. BRAMAN gained his early education in the school maintained at Key West in the early
days, and under the direction of his father he learned the trade of ship carpenter. In 1877
he established his residence at Fort Myers, a town which had only twenty-two houses at that
time, and here he conducted for two years a general store. The heavy expense incidental to
the transporting of merchandise to this point made the enterprise unprofitable, with the
result that Mr. BRAMAN resumed the work of his trade, at which he worked at Tampa, Key West
and other points, the while maintaining his home at Fort Myers, where he had real estate and
other property. From 1895 until his retirement in 1915 he concentrated his trade work at
Fort Myers, and he handled virtually all of the boat work in this vicinity. He was influential
in the movement which led to the incorporation of Fort Myers, served as a member of its first
City Council and erected the first city jail. He and his wife are active members of the
Methodist Episcopal Church, South, and he has always been aligned in the ranks of the democratic
In April, 1862, at Key West, occurred the marriage of Mr. BRAMAN and Miss MATILDA J. KEMP,
who was born on the Bahama Islands, a daughter of WILLIAM and CAROLINE (THOMPSON) KEMP, likewise
born on those islands, Of the children of Mr. and Mrs. BRAMAN the eldest is CAROLINE E.,
wife of HENRY FUNK, of Fort Myers; MARY ELLA is the wife of VINCENT A. ARCHER, of Key West;
FRANK resides at East Fort Myers, his twin brother, SAMUEL, having been drowned in a storm
off Pensacola when he was twenty-two years of age; MINNIE is the wife of A. E. RUSSELL,
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