Tuesday, May 13, 2014

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks = Week #19; Augustus Ceaser Gruissy; Botanical Medicines for Sale

This prompt comes from Amy Johnson Crow at her blog, No Story Too Small. She suggests we “write once a week about a specific ancestor. It could be a story, a biography, a photograph, a research problem — any that focuses on that one ancestor.”

Augustus Ceaser Gruissy
16 May 1840 OH – 8 December 1915 OH
My Great Great Grandfather

Augustus C Gruissy, Esther B Wolf & grandson, Ray Nichols

AugustusCeaser Gruissy grew herbs, made herbal medicines, advertised in the newspaper and peddled his wares. One of his cures was called Queen Oil.

After many years’ experience and innumerable tests, I find this remedy will cure more cases of Sore Mouth, Sore Throat, Diphtheria, Quinsy, Pain in the Side, Breast, Back or Stomach, Cramp of Colic, than any other medicine in use. Will cure Neuralgia, Rheumatism, Croup, Asthma, Sprains, Toothache, Burns and Frosted Feet. It is mild and pleasant, and safe for either age or sex. DIRECTIONS, For sore throat, diphtheria and quinsy, take from 8 to 10 drops on sugar several times a day and keep the pains well bathed with the same; for cramp colic and other pains, take from 10 to 20 drops on sugar every half hour until relieved.  Sold by A. C. GRUISSY, West Lebanon, Ohio.  Price 50c & $1.00 a bottle.  Every bottle warranted.[1]  
Augustus was the son of Christian Gruissy & Mary Grorisclauss, both born in Switzerland. Christian married twice & was the father of 11 children. In 1840 & 1850 Christian and family were in Sugar Creek, Stark, OH.[2],[3]

Augustus was married three times. First he married Mary Ann Everett. They were married 21 Feb 1861 in OH.[4] They had four daughters. Family stories say this wife ran off with another man. His second wife was Esther Barbara Wolf, daughter of John Franklin Wolf & Elisabeth Burkholder. They were married 6 December 1868 in OH.[5]  They had five children, two of whom grew to adulthood. His third wife was Ellen, who had been married before. They were married c 1908 in OH. They had no children together.

The Gruissy name is very difficult to research because it is spelled differently in almost every record.

Augustus and family were in the Village of West Lebanon, Paint Twp., OH in the 1870 census[6]. Augustus was working as a carpenter. In 1880 the Gruissy family lived in Wadsworth Township.[7]  Augustus was a peddler. The census report indicated Esther was either “Maimed, Crippled, Bedridden, or otherwise Disabled.”  Five daughters were living at home. Esther died in 1906.

In 1910 Augustus was on Walnut Beach City Road in Sugar Creek, Stark County with his third wife, Ellen J. (Stoner) Gruissy. Augustus was 69 at that time.  He was in the “medicine” trade. He owned a farm. He and Ellen had been married about two years.[8] Augustus died in 1915. Family stories hint that he was killed by his third wife because he was going to change his will to omit her. He was found dead by the wood pile with a stack of wood on his head and back.

Augustus Ceaser Gruissy is buried in Spring Grove Cemetery in Medina with his second wife, Esther Barbara (Wolf) Gruissy.
Augustus C Gruissy & Esther B, his wife

Augustus & Family:

1 Augustus Ceaser Gruissy b: 16 May 1840 OH, d: 8 Dec 1915 Stark, OH
... + Mary Ann Everett m: 21 Feb 1861 Wayne, OH
......2 Margaret Jane Gruissy b: 26 Dec 1861 W Lebanon, OH, d: 8 Mar 1946  Wayne, OH
...... + Seth Benner Morrison b: 24 Mar 1861 Parker City, PA, m: 24 Oct 1880 in
Medina, Ohio, USA, d: 18 Apr 1952 Wooster, Wayne, OH
......2 Caroline Louise Gruissy b: 23 Oct 1863 Sugar Creek, Stark, OH, d: 15 Apr 1936 Seville, Medina, OH
...... + Peter Jonathan Moore b: 14 Mar 1857 OH, m: 30 Jul 1882 Medina, OH, d: Feb 1929 OH
......2 Mary Magdalene Gruissy b: 23 Nov 1865 Stark, OH, d: 10 Jul 1917 Findlay, Hancock, OH
...... + Albert F. Lutz b: Feb 1856 OH, m: 03 Jul 1889 OH, d: 1935
......2 Matilda Catherine Gruissy b: 26 Feb 1868
...... + Stanford
... + Esther Barbara Wolf b: 14 Jun 1836 Little York, York, PA, m: 6 Dec 1868 Stark, OH, d: 11 Aug 1906 Medina, OH
......2 Rephenia Cathern Gruissy b: 04 Apr 1870 OH, d: 17 Jan 1943 Muskegan, MI
...... + Willis L. Nichols b: Jan 1869 OH, m: Abt. 1891, d: 16 Aug 1940 MI
......2 Algedena Gruissy b: 17 Oct 1871 OH, d: 1871 OH
......2 John Andrew Gruissy b: 7 Sep 1872 OH, d: 1878 OH
......2 Sarah Barbara Gruissy b: 22 Jun 1874 OH, d: 22 Jun 1874 OH
......2 Nancy Regina Victoria Gruissy b: 31 Jan 1879 Sharon, Medina, OH, d: 24 May 1959 Wadsworth, Medina, OH
...... + Thomas Kenneth Mark b: 19 Jul 1879 Wooster, Wayne, OH, m: 28 Jan 1903 Medina, OH, d: 12 Feb 1975 Wadsworth, Medina OH
... + Ellen J. Gruissy b: Abt. 1848 OH, m: Abt. 1908 OH

[1] Newspaper clipping from unknown paper.  ‘Queen Oil made by A. C. Gruissy’ Given to Colleen B. Pasquale, February 1977, by Genevieve (Brown) Wieland Schaperjahn.
[2] 1840 US Census, Sugar Creek, Stark County, Ohio; Christian Gruissy.
[3] 1850 US Census, Sugar Creek, Stark County, Ohio; Christian Gruissy family.
[4] Wooster. Wayne County marriages; Augustus Gruessy and Mary Ann Everett; 21 Feb 1861  Volume 5 page 238.
[5] Marriage Record for Augustus Gruissy & Esther B Wolf;   Family History Center Microfilm #897630. Page 82. 1868 - 1872 Marriage Records in Stark County, Ohio.  Augustus Gruissy and Esther B. Wolf married on 6 December 1868.
[6] 1870 United States Census, Village of West Lebanon, Paint Township, Wayne County, Ohio, Line 27, Page 28. The August Gurnsey family.
[7] 1880 United States Census, Wadsworth Township, Medina County, Ohio, T767Roll48, Volume 44, E.D. 199, Sheet 41; Line 26; National Archives, Pittsfield Region, Mass. Augustus Gruissy family.
[8] 1910 United States Census, Sugar Creek, Stark County, Ohio, T1272 Roll135(Soundex) Roll 1232( Census, Volume 166, ED 240, National Archives, Pittsfield Region, Mass. Augustus Gruissy family.


  1. Those ads in the old newspapers are always so fascinating, and sometimes limit-pushing! Interesting to have a connection to a real salesman!

    1. Sally, I wonder how many people he helped and if he earned enough to support his family just on those medicines.

  2. My great grandfather was a doctor and my grandmother got in trouble when she was about 7 for going to see a patent medicine show in their town of Killbuck Ohio. Did your ancestor travel to sell?

    1. Census records show him as a Peddler. I think he stayed local but I'm not sure.


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