GEORGE B CHRISTIAN, a resident of Cleveland for over seventy years, a veteran of the Civil war, was for many
years active in local business and is one of the honored old timers of Cuyahoga County.
He was born at Douglas on the Isle of Man, June 23, 1846. His ancestors for several generations lived on the Isle
of Man as British subjects. His grandfather was John Christian, a native of the Isle of Man. His father, Robert
Christian, was born in the Parish of Malew, on that island, acquired a good education, and while in his teens was
apprenticed to a grocer, doing business at Ramsey. After finishing his apprenticeship he engaged in business at
Douglas, and in 1850 with his wife and two children came to the United States, sailing from Liverpool and after
six weeks landing in New York. They proceeded up the Hudson River to Albany, thence over the Erie Canal to Buffalo,
and by boat to Cleveland, which was then a small city built along the lake shore and the greater part of the area
of the modern city was covered either with farms or forests. He acquired land at what was then Pittsburgh, now
Ontario Street, near the junction of Ontario and Huron. The improvements on the land included two frame houses
and a frame store building. This land is now known as the Christian Block. For six or eight years he was in the
grocery business there, after which he returned to the Isle of Man to obtain an inheritance. He then returned to
his residence on Cedar near Perry Street in Cleveland. In 1864 he gave up his business to accept a position as
deputy collector of customs, an office he held twenty three years. After that he lived retired and in 1887 went
back to make a visit to the Isle of Man and also visited Paris. His last days were spent at the home of his son
George B. near Seventy fifth Street and Euclid Avenue. He died at the age of eighty one.
Robert Christian married Elizabeth Bridson, who was born at Douglas, where her parents were lifelong residents.
She died at the age of seventy years, and her two children were George B. and Elizabeth. Miss Elizabeth was two
years of age when brought to America, was graduated from grammar school and high school, also from the Hutniston
University where she specialized in art for which she has decided talent. She also studied under R. Way Smith.
Some of her paintings now adorn the home of her brother.
George B. Christian was four years old when his parents came to America, and he was reared in Cleveland, attending
the Prospect Street School located opposite the present site of the Colonial Arcade, was in the school for two
years in a new building on Eagle Street, also attended the Hudson School at the corner of Carnegie Avenue and Thirtieth
Street, and also the high school at Union and Ninth streets. After two years in high school he had a year's course
in the Spencerian Commercial College. When he first attended school Cleveland had no street cars, and for a time
he walked a mile or more to reach the schoolhouse. After leaving the Spencerian Business School he became bookkeeper
and cashier for Rose and Prentice, pork packers. He left the service in 1864 to enlist in the state militia, being
assigned to the Twenty ninth Regiment of Ohio Militia. In 1864 this regiment was consolidated with the One Hundred
Fiftieth Ohio Infantry, and he was called to service for the period of a hundred days, beginning in May, 1864.
He was in the defensive around the City of Washington until honorably discharged about September 1, 1864. He did
his duty in the army when a boy of about seventeen.
After leaving the army he resumed his work with the firm of Rose and Prentice, and subsequently the business was
reorganized as the Cleveland Provision Company, with Mr. Christian as treasurer of the company. He held that office
and was active in the company about twenty years, and still retains financial interests therein.
He has been a very extensive traveler, having visited the United States from the Atlantic to the Pacific and from
the Lake to the Gulf. Mr. Christian owns two orange groves in Florida, one at Vero and the other at St. Zephyr
Hill. He has also traveled in Mexico and Canada, and in 1887 accompanied his father abroad In 1911 and again in
1914 he and his daughter and also his sister traveled extensively in Europe and Asia, sailing on the Mediterranean,
visited Spain, taking the Nile to Egypt. He and his daughter each had a kodak and have many interesting pictures
of their journeys. Mr. Christian's home is on Scarboro Road amid pleasant surroundings. His summer home is in the
country on elevated ground overlooking the river and about a mile and a half from Chagrin Falls.
Mr. Christian married Miss Eliza J. Worswick, who was born in Rhode Island, daughter of Jane Worswick The one daughter
of their marriage is Elizabeth B. Mr. Christian when about six years of age began attending the First Baptist Church
Sunday School and at the age of twenty joined the church and has served it in different capacities, being deacon
for several years. He is chaplain of army and navy posts of the Grand Army of the Republic and is also a member
of the Early Settlers Association of Cuyahoga County.
A History of Cuyahoga County
and the City of Cleveland
By: William R. Coates
The American Historical Society
Chicago and New York, 1924
Cuyahoga County, Ohio Biographies
Names A to G
Names H to P
Names Q to Z
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