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
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,
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
Jenny (Stoller) Moch -
Back: Jake, Reuben, Albert,
Bill. Middle: John, Walter, John Sr.,
Christina, George and Irene: Front: Carolina
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
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.
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.