Christina Grenz - Back

John Stoller




A Short History of Christina Grenz

Christina was 8 years old when her family emigrated to the U. S. in 1905.  She met her husband, John Stoller, when he worked on a threshing crew for her brother Godrey.  they farmed just north of the present Albert Opp farm, where they lived until 1934 when they moved to Hazelton where Arlo Flegel currently resides.  In the 40's, they bought Christina's brother Chris; currently resides.  In the 40's, they bought Christina's brother Chris' house.  Their son John now resides there.  They had 8 sons and 2 daughters.

John and Christine ran a boarding house in their home, serving meals to the many people who rented rooms there.  They bought the Northside Bar in 1942 and sold it a short time later to buy the Northside Cafe in 1947.  Christina continued running the cafe into the 1950's.

John farmed  until 1969, when he sold his land to Ervin Baker.  Christina spent many hours worrying about John when, at age 76, he bought calves and drove to the farm daily to care for them.  However, she thought nothing of climbing up on a roof herself, at 70 years of age, to repair a shingle or do some painting on one of the eight houses they owned and rented out!!

John's brother Pete emigrated to the US shortly after John and married Christina's sister, Fredrica.  The two families were very close and Sundays at their house were joyful days when friends filled in after church to join in a big meal, a glass of Mogen David wine and a day of singing.  The walls reverberated to the robust voices and the floors thundered to the beat of John and Pete, doing their old Russian dances, arm-in-arm.

There were also very solemn days when one could walk into their home to find John on the davenport, overcome with grief at the loss of his parents and 3 sisters in Russia.  He had lost contact with them, only to find out many years later that they had all starved to death during Stalin's "reign of terror" in the 1930's.  Out of this deep hurt was born a wonderful generosity.  john and Christina took groceries to many a needy family' it was said of John that, if he had 50 cents in his pocket, everyone in town had money.

If Christina wasn't painting, you could usually find her cooking.  No-one ever left their house, hungry!

John passed away at the age of 86 in 1976 and Christina passed away in 1984 at the age of 87.  They are buried in the Hazelton City Cemetery.

Jenny (Stoller) Moch - Grand-daughter



Back:  Jake, Reuben, Albert, Bill.  Middle:  John, Walter, John Sr., Christina, George and Irene:  Front:  Carolina

John Stoller Family

      John M. Stoller was born at Odessa, Russia, Nov. 15,1889, a son to Michael and Caroline Stoller.  He had one brother, Pete, who also emigrated to this area, and three sisters who remained in Odessa with their parents.  They were Germans who migrated to Russia where his father worked as a blacksmith.

       John attended school in Russia and came to the U.S. in 1913.  He worked at a bottling plant in New York for a short time before he came to this area.  He had emigrated with the intentions of marrying a girlfriend who had promised to wait for him when she had left Russia earlier.  However, when John arrived here the first person he met, John Schiermeister, told him that she had already married.

       John worked two years as a farm laborer for Jake Halfenstein who had paid his fare.  He then worked two years on a threshing crew for Godfrey Grenz.  Halfenstein lived just south of the present Reuben Schiermeister farm.  He gave John a plow and helped him get started when John bought three quarters of land from Christ Wacker just north of the present Albert Opp farm, 11 miles west of Hazelton,  Homestead land was already gone when John came over.

     John married Christine Grenz March 4, 1917.  She was a daughter of Gottlieb and Christine (Hogue) Grenz, born Aug. 20, 1897, at Gildendorf, Russia.  Her parents were also German descendants who lived in Russian and emigrated to the U.S.  with their 10 children Nov. 30, 1905.  They homesteaded just north of where Henry Will now lives. (See Gottlieb Grenz history in this book.)

       John and Christine lived on the farm until 1934 when they boutht a house in Hazelton known to us as the Farrey house.  It is west across the street from Herman Gimbels.  They bought the present house in Hazelton in the 40's from Pauline Grenz, who received it as a divorce settlement from Christine's brother, Chris.  They also bought the North Side Bar in 1942 and sold it to Hansen a year or so later.

Christine ran the North Side cafe in Hazelton from 1947 on into the 50's.   They sold it to Hilzendiggers.  they still had plenty to keep them busy as the rented out their upstairs bedrooms and John continued to farm until 1969, when he sold his land to Ervin Baker.  Also, they had accumulated as many as eight houses which they rented out.  It was not unusual to see 70-year old Christine up on a roof of one of their houses repairing a shingle or painting.


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