Thursday, April 19, 2018

Fatal Shooting in Ohio, 1953


Ernest S. Creasy

1893 – 1953
Son of Aaron and Etta Gruissy

Ernest owned and operated a gun shop near Navarre, Ohio. In my previous post I transcribed a newspaper account of a shooting in his shop in 1929. At that time Ernest stopped three bandits who entered his shop with intentions of robbing him. He shot two of those young men and his money was returned. This encounter with a thief did not have a happy outcome. The newspaper account follows...




Local Man to Face Homicide Charges
Deputies Hold Steelworker
Under Guard in Hospital After Gunsmith Slain in Battle near Navarre 

Stark county authorities today continued questioning a wounded steelworker about the fatal shooting of a 59-year-old gunsmith in a wild gun battle near here Saturday.

S. Ernest Creasy, operator of a gun shop on route 21, just north of Navarre, died at 12:10 a.m. Sunday, more than seven hours after exchanging shots with a gunman in his shop. Stark county Coroner E. B. Mozes said Creasy was shot twice in the abdomen. The coroner attributed death to the shots and inter-abdominal hemorrhage.

Meanwhile Sheriff Harry W. Grossglaus said a charge of homicide will be filed against James I. McCray, 32, of 334 McKinley ave SW, who is being held under guard in the Massillon City hospital. Sheriff Grossglaus, taking active part in an investigation for the first time since he was stricken by a heart attack June 1, said the degree of homicide “will be up to the grand jury.”

McCray, who was taken to the hospital shortly after 7 p.m. Saturday told Massillon police that he was shot in the side by a hitchhiker. But Chief Sheriff’s Deputy Ray Nunamaker, reached at the hospital this morning and queried about McCray’s story replied, “That’s out. Now he doesn’t know where he was.” Nunamaker said McCary will be booked as soon as he condition permits. The deputies said that they learned that the man had registered as “Jack Reynolds of 836 Maple st., MNassillon” when he purchased the gun. (Massillon’s directory lists no “Jack Reynolds” and addressed on Maple ave., SE only reach as high as 232.) About a half hour later the man returned, just as Creasy and his wife, Ella, were sitting down to the supper table. Mrs. Creasy said her husband walked into the adjoining gun shop and she heard him say, “What’s the matter, doesn’t the gun work?” Mrs. Creasy said the man answered, “Sure” and started firing. Creasy told the deputies he ducked behind a stack of ammunition cartons after the first fusillade and grabbed a .45 Colt which he kept behind the counter. The gunsmith fired at his attacker and the man fell to the floor of the shop. Creasy said the man cursed him and climbed to his feet and fired again. Creasy, badly wounded, fired a second sheet but deputies said the slug tore through a gun cabinet against the wall and wasn’t close to the gunman. Mrs. Creasy alarmed by the shots, ran into the shop in time to see the gunman running across the front porch to his car. She said he climbed into a black car and drove south on route 21. An ambulance was summoned from Massillon and Creasy was rushed to the hospital.

Deputies said they later found four empty .22 caliber shells on the floor of the gun shop. Two empty shells were found in Creasy’s .45. The officers, however, said they were not sure how many shots were fired by Creasy’s slayer. And they have been unable to find the gun which Creasy sold to the man, and which later was turned on him. Chief Deputy Nunamaker this morning ssaid his men are looking for the missing .22.

McCary was questioned by deputies who picked up a police radio broadcast here, after McCary had appeared at the station with a gunshot wound in his side. Desk patrolman Joseph Slinger summoned Capt. C. A. Davenport and Patrolman Clyde Johnson to take McCray, an employee of the Union Drawn Steel division of Republic Steel Corp., to the hospital.

Deputies Shuey and Dudzik said McCary denied knowledge of Creasy’s shooting, saying he was wounded by a man he had picked up in his car near the Massillon state hospital. Earlier in the day, McCray told deputies, he drove to Greensburg and brought his sister to Massilon, and then drove her back to Greensburg. While returning to Massillon, according to McCray’s statement, he stopped at a tavern in Donaldsville and drank three shots of whiskey. McCray said he  picked up the hitchhiker a short time later while he was driving south on route 21 to a fruit and vegetable stand at the junction of routes 21 and 62. When he approached the fruit stand McCray told the officers, the hitchhiker pulled a gun and ordered him to keep driving down route 21 to route 212, at the Stark-Tuscarawas county line. After turning off route 21 into route 212, McCray said, the hitchhiker ordered him to stop and get out. As he was backing away from the car he was shot, he said. McCary said he then was ordered back into the car and the gunman continued driving on route 212 until he hit a guard rail then he jumped out and fled, McCray told detectives. The wounded man said he then drove his car to police headquarters here. Police said they checked McCary’s car and found it was damaged in the right front end.

Creasy was a native of Greenville, Tex., who came to Beach City as a boy. After serving in World War I he opened a gun shop and restaurant in Beach City, relatives said. Creasy moved his business to the present location about 20 years ago. He was a member of the Fohl Memorial Evangelical-United Brethren church in Navarre and was active in church affairs. Besides his widow, Creasy is survived by a son, the Rev. William Creasy, pastor at the Sterling, O., charge of the Evangelical United Brethren church.

The funeral will be held Tuesday at 2 p.m. in the Fohl Memorial church with the Rev. Herbert L. Smith, pastor, officiating. Interment will be made in South Lawn Cemetery, Beach City. Friends may call at the Hug funeral home, Navarre, after 7 p.m. today. The body will be taken from the funeral home to the church where it will lie in state one hour before the service.

Source: Local Man to Face Homicide Charges (Massillon, OH: The Evening Independent, 3 Aug. 1953) 1; digital image, Newspapers.com: accessed March 2018.





1939 Newspaper Advertisement
Creasy Arms Company 
The Evening Independent, Massillon, OH





Monday, April 16, 2018

Morrison Family Photo

Seth & Margaret Gruissy Morrison and Children




Photograph from Carole Morrison Moser


Back Row, Left to Right:

1. Paul A. Morrison (twin); m Elenor M. Castor                1899 OH - 1960 OH
2. Desda Mona Morrison Hurd; m 1899 to Roy Hurd          1881 OH - 1968 MI
3. Albert Rowlen Morrison; m 1914 to Dora                     1894 OH - 1977 OH
4. Lena Belle Morrison Swagler; m 1898 to Delbert M. Swagler 1883 OH - 1962 OH
5. Peter Clifford Morrison; m 1924 to Amanda Werth       1902 OH - 1968
6. Florence 'Flossie' Vera Morrison Rowles; m 1915 to Karl Rowlee  1896 OH - 1966 CA

Front Row, Left to Right:

1. Emily Agusta Morrison Peters; m 1904 to Frank Peters  1888 OH - unknown
2. Seth Benner Morrison 1861 PA - 1952 OH; m 24 Oct 1880 in Medina, OH
3. Margaret Jane Gruissy Morrison  1861 OH - 1946 OH
4. Pauline Morrison Maurer (twin); m 1918 to Elmer Maurer  1899 OH - 1979 OH



Thursday, April 12, 2018

Shoot Out in Ohio, 1929


S. Ernest Creasy
1893 - 1953
son of Aaron Gruissy & Etta Wentzel
[He was also referred to as Ernest S. Gruissy.]

Ernest owned a gun shop in Beach City, Ohio. My grandmother had told me about a shooting in his store but until recently I could find no verification of that tale. Now I have unearthed two newspaper accounts of shootings there. This is the first.




Beach City Man Shoots Two Bandits.
Third Being Held in Massillon Jail.
Creasy is Hero.
Canton Youth May Not Survive.

Bulletin. Sheriff Harry Smith, this city was notified by Canton authorities this afternoon that William Zuzeberger, 21, one of the three Canton youths who figured in a robbery and scrape at Beach City last night, confessed to robbing an aged farmer, residing near Strasbrug, Monday evening, taking $5 from their victim. Local authorities were investigating the story this afternoon.

Two of a trio of Canton youths who allegedly attempted to hold up C. E. Creasy, expert marksman, in his sporting goods store in Beach City last night, were in Massillon’s City hospital today, and the third was in jail. Jerome Rothermel, 21, was in critical condition with a bullet wound through his lungs. Glen Infield, 18, was shot through the side. Their companion, William Zuzeberger, 21, was jailed when he took the wounded youths to the Massillon hospital.

Creasy is the proprietor of the Creasy Arms  Company, at Beach City, and is well known over the state for his prowess with shotgun, pistol and rifle.

“Stick ‘em up! We mean business,” one of the three said, as they entered Creasy’s store and all drew their revolvers. Creasy reached over the counter, grabbed Zuzeberger around the neck and jerked his head down on the counter, “kayoting” the bandit temporarily. The other two forced Creasy to release Zuzeberger and step back. They looted the cash register and they demanded Creasy’s pocketbook.

Greasy Gets Gun

While reaching for the wallet with one hand, Creasy slipped the other hand under the counter and got a loaded 38-caliber revolver. Zuzeberger had recovered his senses. He saw the covert move and ducked. The others started running as Creasy opened fire. Zuzeberger aided the two into an auto and sped away.

Creasy notified Massillon police and then started in pursuit. The three were then taken into custody immediately upon arrival at Massillon City hospital and Creasy’s money was returned. Rothermel and Infield are drivers for a milk company at Canton, according to Sheriff Ed Gibson, Canton and Zuzeberger recently was released from peison after serving a term for robbery.

Source: Beach City Man Shoots Two Bandits (New Philadelphia, OH: The Daily Times, 27 Nov 1929) 1; digital image, Newspapers.com: accessed March 2018.



1937 Newspaper Advertisements
The Evening Independent, Massillon, OH



Watch for the blog post about the second shooting.

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Saturday, April 7, 2018

Caroline Gruissy Boerngen, 90th Birthday

Caroline Gruissy Boerngen

Daughter of Christian Gruissy & Mary Grorisclauss
Wife of Amelius Boerngen
Caroline is my 2nd great grand aunt


This newspaper account of Caroline's "90th birthday anniversary" includes a list of guests, many of whom are relatives. I have been able to identify a few of those guests.


Celebrated 90th anniversary. Mrs. Caroline [Gruissy] Boerngen, mother of George and Albert Boerngen, of State ave., NE, celebrated her 90th birthday anniversary Wednesday afternoon at the home of the Rev. A. E. Boerngen of State ave., NE. She received many beautiful gifts. A covered dish dinner was served and was followed by a program of vocal and instrumental music, readings and recitations.

The rev. and Mrs. F. B. Hax of St. Paul’s Lutherna church were among the guests. Mrs. Boerngen is one of the oldest members of St. Paul’s church. Mr. Hax held a brief birthday service for his aged parishioner.

The following persons were present:
[My notes on the guests are in green.]

George Boerngen of Canton [son of Caroline & Amelius b c 1872 OH]

William Gray, Viola Gray, Robert Gray, Gloria Gray and Betty J Gray of Willowdale [note: Robert Gray, great grandson of Caroline]

Ralph, Bertha, Frank and William and Hazel Boerngen [Ralph, grandson of Caroline]

Paul, Ethel and Walter Dannemiller [Ethel, granddaughter of Caroline b 1902]

Bertha Smith

Gene and Lucy Schneider of Canton

Maude Burkatt

The Rev. William J Rueffley, Olivia Rueffley

Francis Gilt

Nettie McIntosh

Carl Frantz

Otis Stover, Mrs. Bessie Stover, and Joy Stover of Massilon

Philip Creasy and Mary Creasy of Beach City [half brother of Caroline b 1868 OH]

William Mann, Dorothy Mann, Dolly Mann, John Mann [note: Albert  John Mann, great grandson of Caroline}

Lillian Snyder and Vernon Snyder of Massillon

Mrs. Harold Swagler and Harold Swagler [Harold, great grand nephew of Caroline]

Elizabeth [Moore] Good of Seville [grand niece of Caroline b 1892 OH]

Harry Creasy and Norma Jean Creasy of Beach City [Harry, son of half brother of Caroline]

Mearl, Marion, Richard, Norman and Ronnie Covell [Marion, granddaughter of Caroline n 1907]

Thomas Swineford of Canton [grandson in law of Caroline]

Lee V. Lantzer, Margaret Lantzer and Augusta Lantzer of Massillon

Seth Morrison and Margaret Morrison of Creston [Margaret, niece of Caroline b 1861 OH]

Albert, Dora and Helen Morrison of Rittman [Albert, grandnephew of Caroline]

Mr. and Mrs. Henry Halderbaum

Emma Kratsch

Mrs. Krayer

Homer Matson of Massillon

Louis Boerngen, Ruth Boerngen, Florence Boerngen

Ida Kenny and Gloria Kenny of Canton

The Rev. A. E. Boerngen and Francis M. Boerngen of Massillon. [son of Caroline b c 1878]

Note: Caroline and Amelius Boerngen had a third son, Franklin L. Boerngen, 1874 – 1907.

Source: Celebrated 90th anniversary (Massilon, OH: The Evening Independent, 12 Oct 1933) 5; digital image, Newspapers.com: accessed March 2018.


Note on Family Chart: The name of Caroline's mother is under further research.