John Grier Christy


Centennial history of Missouri: (the center state) one hundred ..., Volume 4: By Walter Barlow Stevens

JOHN GRIER CHRISTY, D. D. S.  Prominent among the men of his profession in Festus is Dr. John Grier Christy who has maintained dental offices there since August 1, 1920. He is not a native of Missouri for he was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, June 9, 1893, a son of Grier and Carrie (Johnson) Christy. The death of the father occurred in 1905. At the time of his death he was in possession of several farms and had spent the greater part of his life in managing them. He was a prominent man of his community and for some time was auditor of Clermont county in addition to holding other local offices. Grier Christy was born in Marathon, Ohio, the son of Joseph Christy also a native of that place. The wife of Grier Christy was before her marriage Miss Carrie Johnson and she is now residing in Cincinnati, Ohio. Her birthplace was Marathon, Ohio, and she was a daughter of John R. Johnson, a native of Batavia, Ohio, who engaged in farming the greater part of his life. John R. Johnson was also county assessor several terms and held the office of mayor for some time. His father was Alt Johnson, a native of Ripley, Ohio, and a farmer of prominence. His death occurred in 1900. The Johnson family came to Ohio from Pennsylvania in the early part of the nineteenth century. They were of Pennsylvania Dutch ancestry.

Dr. John Grier Christy received his education in the public schools of Cincinnati, Ohio, and graduated from the Hillsboro, Ohio, high school with the class of 1911. He then entered the Ohio Wesleyan University for a period of two years, at the end of which time he decided upon a professional career, in 1916 he was graduated from the Kansas City Dental College with the degree of D. D. S. and began practice In Kansas City where he continued until the outbreak of the World war. He entered the army as second lieutenant in the infantry, having been through the reserve officer's training camp at Fort Riley. He was an old National Guard officer. Dr. Christy was assigned to the Thirty-seventh Division and sent to Camp Sheridan, Alabama, where he remained until the close of the war. He could have served in the medical department but preferred service as a soldier. He received his discharge on the 22nd of December, 1918. He returned to Kansas City where he remained for some time, when on looking around for another desirable town in which to locate he chose Festus as his future home. On the 1st of August, 1920, he removed to that town, established a practice and is now one of the most prominent men of his profession throughout the county.

It was on the 21st of August, 1918, that Dr. Christy was united in marriage to Miss Fern Booker, the daughter of William Booker who was for many yean a telegraph operator at Vandalia, Illinois. Mr. Booker was born at Montrose, Illinois, and died in 1904.

Dr. Christy is a stanch supporter of the democratic party as have been all of the family, but he has never been very active, nor has he sought nor desired public office. His religious faith is that of the Methodist Episcopal church and in college he was a member of the Psi Omega fraternity. He is an active member of the Murray Davis Post of the American Legion of Kansas City and in the line of his profession is affiliated with the Kansas City Dental Association. For recreation Dr. Christy turns to all kinds of outdoor sports. He coaches the high school and city basket-ball teams and referees the football games. He is known to be always just in his decisions and-is thoroughly familiar with every phase of coaching and refereeing. Dr. Christy Is also fond of hunting and is very proficient In that sport. While but a young man Dr. Christy has gained the very high respect of his fellows in the profession and in Festus he is readily acknowledged a progressive and representative citizen.


Howard Litton “Tanglefoot, Portrait of a City”

Dr. John G. Christy is remembered for his politics rather than his dentistry. He was elected by Jefferson County to the Missouri House of Representatives in 1932. He was elected Mayor of Jefferson City, Missouri in 1963 and served for three terms until 1975.  Ed Cole, Jefferson City Treasurer, said Mayor Christy was the greatest man to have served our city. Dr. Christy was said to have the necessary connections to the legislature and Washington, DC to get many things done for the city. He was very instrumental in getting the city sales tax law passed which has been such a great help to all Missouri cities. Along with Fred Fitzgerald of the Pittsburg Plate Glass Company he helped guide the automotive safety glass law through the legislature. He served three consecutive terms as Speaker of the House of Representatives being reelected in 1934, 1936 and 1938. He was one of Festus’ most illustrious citizens who accomplished so much in his time.  Festus is proud of him. Dr. Christy married Miss Fern Booker on August 21, 1918 at Vandalia, Illinois and they have a daughter, Gracemary. Dr. Christy served with the 37th Division, U. S. Infantry during WWI.