Did you have grandparents? – Papa’s father was dead by the time I was born, but his mother was still alive and I knew her well.
Where were they born? – Papa’s father was born in Illinois, near Peoria, I think, in the late 1860s or early 1870s. His father was born in Germany and immigrated to this country as a young man.
Papa’s grandfather’s name was Francis Xavier Greisser. He changed it from Griesser to Greisser. He was one of six brothers and as nearly as we can tell any Greisser or Griesser in this country is related to us. His wife (Papa’s grandmother) was Harriet Evans also from Peoria, Illinois.
What do you remember about your grandparents? When did they die?
This is Papa’s father – Victor H. Greisser. Papa’s mother was Bessie Hutchinson (Gaga). She immigrated from England with her family when she was about 2 years old. Her father was a Methodist minister and there were three girls in her family. They lived near Peoria, Illinois through the 1880s and 1890s (think Little House on the Prairie after they moved to town.)
Grandfather Griesser and Gaga married and moved to Spokane, Washington, where Grandfather was civil engineer and worked on some of the dams and locks on the Columbia River. There is a particular type of lock mechanism that he invented and is named after him.
These are Papa’s parents in 1916, about five years after Papa was born. Papa had two older brothers, Victor Percy Greisser was seven years older than he and Arthur Hutchinson Greisser was nine years older than he.
Grandfather Griesser had heart trouble and moved Gaga and Papa (Uncle Vic and Uncle Art were grown by that time) to California where he died in 1933 in Palo Alto, California.
This picture was taken when we lived in California when I was two years old – both grandmothers, me and Mama.
This is another picture from that year – Gaga, me, and Nannie.
This picture is in Gaga’s backyard during the time we lived in Concord. The man is Uncle Vic, and the woman next to him is Aunt Esther, Uncle Art’s wife. Mama is sitting to Gaga’s left.
Gaga was afflicted with Parkinson’s disease in her later years, and died in 1971 at the age of 99.