Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Christian Gruissy; Lived Close to a Century

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. I began with my grandparents and am working my way back in time.

Christian Gruissy
1811 Switzerland – 7 January 1907 OH
My 3x Great Grandfather

Christian Gruissy was the son of Christian Gruissy & Barbara Straum, both born in Switzerland.[1] John Gruissy & Rosanna Gruissy were his siblings. According to family stories and census records, Christian Gruissy, Jr. was born in Switzerland.  Viola (Mark) Nothstein told us Christian was a cheese maker. She said he settled in Gates Mills, which later became Beach City, Ohio.[2] 

In 1840 there were two Christian Gruissy families living in Sugar Creek, Stark County, Ohio.[3] The older Christian was employed in “manufacture or trade” and was between 40 and 50 years old. Five family members were shown, two men and three women. Next door, the younger Christian Gruissy was working on a farm. He was between 30 and 40 years old. A boy under the age of five was shown.  Two older children were also shown. Upon examining Stark County land records we discover a definite father and son relationship between the two Christian Gruissys. On 8 April 1837 Christian Greesey purchased sixty acres of land in Sugar Creek from Christian Haney for $700.[4] On 3 July 1840 he sold half of these same acres to his son, Christian Gruissy, Jr. for $1,000.[5] Therefore, we have the father and son living on adjacent farms.

At the time Christian Gruissy, Jr. settled in Stark County life was a little easier than it had been for the first settlers to the area. Farms had been cleared. There were both log hewed and framed houses. There were even some brick houses. Most farms had barns for their cattle, horses, sheep, hogs and poultry. Log schools and churches dotted the area.[6] 

Christian was married twice, to Mary Grorisclauss, with whom he had four children, & Mary Wise, with whom he had seven children.

On 2 May 1849 Christian Gruissy bought more land in Sugar Creek. He purchased 80 acres from Christian Bright for $1,000.[7]

In 1850 Christian Gruissy, Jr. had thirty acres of farm land and twenty nine acres of unimproved land. His livestock included: two horses, three milk cows, three other cattle, fourteen sheep and six swine. Besides caring for the livestock Christian also grew many things on his thirty acres of land. In 1850 he grew one hundred bushels of wheat, seventy bushels of Indian corn, fifty bushels of oats and twenty bushels of Irish potatoes. He grew four tons of hay. He made four hundred pounds of butter and thirty pounds of wool.[8]

Ten years later, in 1860 Christian Gruissy and family still in Sugar Creek.[9]  Now Christian and his son, Augustus, were coopers by occupation. A cooper is a craftsman who makes or repairs barrels or casks. These barrels held flour, gunpowder, tobacco, and other commodities. The barrels served as shipping containers. They were also used to store liquids such as wine or milk. There were eleven men involved in “cooperage” in Stark County that year.  There were 1,681 coopers in the state. 

Christian Gruissy, Jr. died in 1907. His obituary was printed on the front page of The Evening Independent newspaper in Massilon. The article was titled, Lived Close to a Century; Death of Christian Creassy [sic], Aged 95 Years; At Home Near Beach City. His longevity was headline news. The obituary read,

Christian Creassy, aged 95 years, a resident of Beach City for about seventy years, died at the home of his son–in–law, H. H. Kyle, Monday evening, from old age. He was one of the oldest residents and had lived in the county since coming to the United States from Switzerland at the age of 25 years. Mr. Creassy took up farm work as soon as he settled in the county and remained in that work until his age compelled him to give up active labor. For a number of years he lived on a small farm which he owned just outside Beach City. A few years ago he took up his residence with Mr. Kyle.
Mr. Creassy retained his faculties unimpaired to the last and only a few days before his death talked of the weather and farm work and recalled events in both his early and late life. During his long life Mr. Creassy never held public office, but remained steadfast to his early calling. When he came to the United States he did so at the solicitation of relatives who had settled in Stark County. Mr. Creassy was married twice, both wives preceding him in death. The funeral was held Wednesday afternoon from the late home at 1 o’clock. Interment was made in the Beach City cemetery. The deceased is survived by three daughters, Mrs. Caroline Boernger, of Massillon; Mrs. John Knobloch, of Beach City, and Mrs. Fred Liese, of Concordia, Mo., and four sons, A. C. Creassy of Medina; Reuben Creassy of Ballinger, Tex.; Aaron and Philip Creassy of Beach City. F. L. Boerngen of Massillon, is a grandson.[10]

          No tombstone can be seen for Christian Gruissy in South Lawn Cemetery, Beach City. However, some of his children and grandchildren are there.

Related Posts:

[1] Diary and papers of Ivy Mark Brown with birth and death dates of family members.
[2] “Interviews with Viola (Mark) Nothstein”.
[3] 1840 US Census, Sugar Creek, Stark County, Ohio.  Christian Grusey families.
[4] Deed, land purchase from Christian Haney to Christian Greesey, 8 April 1837, Volume T, page 445, General Index to Deeds Microfilm Volume T, pages 445 & 446, Stark Co. District Library, 715 Market St., Canton.
[5] Deed, land purchase from Christian Greasy to Christian Greasy, Jr., 3 July 1840, Volume X, page 148, Index to Deeds Microfilm, Volume X, page 148, Stark Co. District Library, 715 Market St., Canton.
[6] Blue, Herbert T. O. History of Stark County Ohio: from the Age of Prehistoric Man to the Present Day. Chicago: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1928.
[7] Deed, land purchase from Christian Bright to Christian Greszy, Sr, 2 May 1849, Volume 44, page 390, Index to Deeds Microfilm, Volume 44, page 493, Stark Co. District Library, 715 Market St., Canton.
[8] 1850 United States Agricultural Schedule, Sugar Creek  Township, Stark County, Ohio, Microfilm #T1159, Roll 9, Line 18; National Archives and Records Administration, National Archives Building, Washington, D. C. Farmer, Chris Creesy.
[9] 1860 US Census, Sugar Creek, Stark, Ohio; Page 5.  Christian “Greelys” family.
[10] "Lived Close to a Century." Evening Independent January 9, 1907 :


  1. Great story Colleen, well documented. I work for a fine young officer in the miltary with the surname Knobloch. I like to think that he may have been some of your kinfolk.

  2. Did he continue as a cheese maker? Don't you just love those agriculture records? You get a good idea of what their day to day work was like. You did a wonderful job incorporating the social history of the community.

    1. Wendy, I love those agricultural reports. They give a good look at everyday life.

  3. Replies
    1. Sally, I am always amazed that some very old photos still exist!


Thanks for stopping by my blog & for leaving a comment. It is always good to hear from visitors, cousins & fellow bloggers. Note that I do not publish anonymous comments.