Charles Crismon

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Charles Crismon

Birthdate: (84)
Birthplace: Hopkinsville, Christian, KY, United States
Death: March 23, 1890 (84)
Mesa, Maricopa, AZ, United States
Place of Burial: Mesa, Maricopa County, Arizona, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of George Christman and Elizabeth Christman
Husband of Mary Crismon (Hill); Elizabeth Crismon; Maria Gray Winchester Crismon (Pearson); Ellen Crismon; Louisa Christina Crismon and 1 other
Father of Martha Jane Lewis (Crismon); George C. Crismon; James Crismon; Esther Ann Sirrine; Samantha Crismon and 32 others
Brother of Henry Chrisman; John Buchanan Chrisman; Michael Chrismon; George Crismon, Jr; Barbara Maria Bobbit and 7 others

Occupation: Millwight, rancher, mill owner and operator, pioneer, mine owner and developer, freighting, railroad contracting
Managed by: Randy Stebbing
Last Updated:

About Charles Crismon

Charles Crismon (1805 - 1890), son of George Christman and Elizabeth Hagler, was born 25 December 1805 at Christian County, Kentucky. He emigrated to Utah with the Jedediah M. Grant Company, arriving on 2 October 1847, was one of the pioneer builders of Salt Lake City, Utah, and a prominent pioneer in San Bernardino, California and in the Salt River Valley of Arizona. He married Mary Hill on 6 May 1830; later he married five more women under polygamy. He died at the age of 84 on 23 March 1890 at Mesa, Maricopa County, Arizona.

Marriages and Children

  1. Mary Hill, daughter of John Hill and Patsy Carlton, married 6 May 1830 Morgan County, Illinois
    1. Martha Jane Crismon (8 September 1831 Jacksonville, Morgan County, Illinois - 13 December 1919 Mesa, Maricopa County, Arizona); married John Moss Lewis 10 August 1848 Deseret, Salt Lake City, Salt Lake County, Utah Territory
    2. George C. Crismon (5 July 1833 Jacksonville, Morgan County, Illinois - 27 January 1908 Salt Lake City, Salt Lake County, Utah) married (1) Mary Louise Tanner 22 December 1856 San Bernardino, San Bernardino County, California; (2) Mary Ann Foster 27 June 1871 Salt Lake City, Salt Lake County, Utah
    3. James Crismon (8 September 1834 Morgan County, Illinois - died January 1837)
    4. Hester Ann Crismon (27 November 1835 Jacksonville, Morgan County, Illinois - 6 June 1893 Mesa, Maricopa County, Arizona) married George Warren Sirrine 4 July 1852 San Bernardino, San Berdardino County, California; also known as Esther Ann.
    5. Samantha Crismon (27 March 1840 Scott County, Illinois - 9 July 1899 Harrisville, Weber County, Utah) married Dudley Chase 19 July 1857 San Bernardino, San Bernardino County, California
    6. Mary Ann Crismon (13 February 1842 McDonough County, Illinois - 11 December 1906 Mesa, Maricopa County, Arizona) married James Henry Horne 24 July 1860 Salt Lake City, Salt Lake County, Utah Territory
    7. Charles Crismon Jr (14 June 1844 Macedonia, Hancock County, Illinois - 16 March 1916) married Elizabeth T Cain, daughter of Joseph Cain and Elizabeth Whitaker, 1 June 1872 Salt Lake City, Salt Lake County, Utah Territory
    8. Emily Percinda Crismon (18 January 1847 Poncha Nation, Iowa - 28 April 1913) married Elijah Malin Weiler 24 December 1864
    9. Ellen Crismon (18 July 1849 California - 3 February 1882) married Hyrum C Shurtliff 1 January 1867
    10. John Franklin Crismon (14 February 1852 San Bernardino, San Bernardino County, California - 12 May 1907) married Jane Agnes Taylor February 1878
    11. Cynthia Oxoline Crismon (14 June 1854 San Bernardino, San Bernardino County, California - 2 December 1926) married John Corbin Young 22 June 1880
    12. Walter Scott Crismon (27 August 1856 San Bernardino, San Bernardino County, California - 3 July 1939 San Francisco, San Francisco County, California) married Fannie Vilate Little 17 January 1882 Salt Lake City, Salt Lake County, Utah Territory
  2. Elizabeth Hill, daughter of Jehu Hill and Martha Carlin, married 20 January 1846; no issue
  3. Mary Pearson Gray, daughter of Thomas Pearson and Jane Moody, married 16 July 1854
    1. William Crismon (31 May 1855 San Bernardino, San Bernardino County, California - February 1942) married Jane Jones
  4. Ellen Wilcox, daughter of John Wilcox and Sarah Melissa Hurley, married 10 May 1862 Salt Lake City, Salt Lake County, Utah Territory
    1. Annie Eliza Crismon (born 3 May 1863 Salt Lake City, Salt Lake County, Utah - died in infancy)
    2. Elizabeth Crismon (18 October 1864 Salt Lake City, Salt Lake County, Utah Territory - 16 June 1946) married Dr. Clarence J. Williams 15 January 1894; divorced
    3. Mary Adaline Crismon (4 June 1866 Salt Lake City, Salt Lake County, Utah Territory - 3 August 1950) married Franklin Carlton Johnson 28 August 1886
    4. Oliver Crismon (4 February 1868 Salt Lake City, Salt Lake County, Utah Territory - 4 July 1869)
    5. Clara Louise Crismon (3 April 1870 Salt Lake City, Salt Lake County, Utah Territory - 20 December 1965) married Marcus LeBaron Johnson 12 February 1890
    6. Fredrick Wilcox Crismon (19 February 1872 Salt Lake City, Salt Lake County, Utah Territory - 13 July 1918) married Annie May Taylor 3 December 1902
    7. Herbert John Crismon (24 February 1874 Salt Lake City, Salt Lake County, Utah Territory - 3 April 1937) married Cora Ida Watson
    8. Della Gertrude Crismon (23 August 1877 Salt Lake City, Salt Lake County, Utah Territory - 16 December 1947); married Frank D Chapman
    9. Nellie Crismon (10 August 1878 Lehi, Maricopa County, Arizona - 14 November 1947) married Clarence J Williams
    10. Carl Crismon (8 September 1882 Mesa, Maricopa County, Arizona - 24 September 1890)
  5. Louise Bischoff, daughter of Christian Bishoff and Johanne Marie Rasmussen, married 10 May 1862 Salt Lake City, Salt Lake County, Utah Territory
    1. Alfred Charles Crismon (19 March 1863 Salt Lake City, Salt Lake County, Utah Territory - 3 May 1877)
    2. Ernest Crismon (3 December 1864 Salt Lake City, Salt Lake County, Utah Territory - 27 January 1924) married Sarah Vilate Ellsworth 29 August 1889
    3. Josephine Louvina Crismon, twin (1 December 1868 Salt Lake City, Salt Lake County, Utah Territory - 23 January 1948 ) married Louis Ellsworth 22 Feb 1889
    4. Joseph Benjamin Crismon, twin (1 December 1868 Salt Lake City, Salt Lake County, Utah Territory - 1 June 1869)
    5. David Crismon (3 November 1870 Salt Lake City, Salt Lake County, Utah Territory - 3 December 1949)
    6. Nettie May Crismon (8 May 1872 Salt Lake City, Salt Lake County, Utah Territory - 9 October 1873)
    7. Herman Eugene Crismon (24 February 1874 Salt Lake City, Salt Lake County, Utah Territory - 1 November 1944) married Wealthia Brewer 13 March 1908
    8. Ada Amanda Crismon (born 3 March 1876 Salt Lake City, Salt Lake County, Utah Territory) married (1) Stephen Byers (2) Orson Shreeve
    9. Louise Alexandra Crismon (born 24 December 1877 Brigham, Apache County, Arizona) married Albert B. Harper 15 November 1905
    10. Charles B Crismon (born 24 February 1880 Lehi, Maricopa County, Arizona) married Irene Pomeroy, daughter of John Haskell Pomeroy and Emily Stratton, 25 August 1905 Phoenix, Maricopa County, Arizona
    11. George Franklin Crismon (19 March 1882 Lehi, Maricopa County, Arizona - 19 February 1943) married Ethel Leona Bullock 19 November 1905
  6. Christine Amelia Hessel, daughter of Peter Hessel and Anne Margaretta Swensen, married 12 October 1867
    1. Annie Telula Crismon (31 January 1871 Salt Lake City, Salt Lake County, Utah Territory - 24 September 1955 Payson, Utah County, Utah

Biographical Sketch

Charles Crimon was born and raised in Christian County, Kentucky, where he learned the milling trade from his father who had been a miller in Germany. In 1830, he married and moved to Jackson County, Illinois, where he settled down to farming and building mills. He joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1837. Early in 1838, during the Mormon exodus from Ohio to Missouri, he went with his team to assist the Prophet Joseph Smith in moving. On one occasion he helped the prophet escape a mob by hiding him in a faked wagonload of firewood and driving to a river where the prophet crossed in a rowboat. He then returned to Illinois, sold his property, and moved his family to Missouri, arriving near Far West about the end of August. When the Saints were driven out of Missouri, they moved back to Illinois and after several other moves, the Crismon family settled in Nauvoo. While in Illinois, Charles Crismon erected and operated several mills.

Crossing the Mississippi on the 8th of February, 1846, he and his family joined the camps on Sugar Creek. They traveled with Bishop George Miller's company, which was ahead of the others most of the way to the Missouri River. President Young had instructed Bishop Miller to establish a temporary settlement at or near Grand Island, but Miller led the company out of the line of travel, across the country to the junction of the Running Water and Missouri rivers, about one hundred and fifty miles north of Winter Quarters. After wintering there and enduring many hardships, most of the company, the Crismons included, lost confidence in Miller and found their way back to Winter Quarters, where they joined the main body of the Saints.

In the winter of 1846–7 Charles Crismon was sent by President Young on a mission to Mississippi, to make arrangements for some Mississippi families to emigrate to the Utah. The Mississippi Saints joined the pioneers at Fort Laramie and accompanied them to Salt Lake valley.

Charles Crismon and his son George made two trips with teams into Missouri to obtain supplies for the westward journey. At Winter Quarters they were detained while waiting for their grain to be milled, which made them the last of the year's emigrants to cross the Elk Horn and join up with the companies then en route. They reached the Horn the day that Jacob Wetherby was killed by Indians.

One of his oxen was lost in a stampede about two hundred and fifty miles west of the Missouri, and returned on its own to Winter Quarters. This was rather remarkable, considering the distance the ox had to travel back to Winter Quarters, over country covered with buffalo and infested by Indians. Charles Crismon was billed five cents by the estray pound in Winter Quarters and the ox was later brought to him in Salt Lake Valley in the fall of 1848.

Soon after their arrival in the valley, Charles Crismon built a small grist mill at the mouth of City Creek Canyon, on what is now Third Avenue and Canyon Road. This was the first mill built in Salt Lake Valley. Prior to that time hand coffee grinders were used at home to break or grind the corn and wheat into suitable form for use as flour or meal. The mill stones were obtained in the mountains east of Salt Lake City and were chiseled by hand. The machinery was very crude. Charles Crimson would fill the hopper and go do something else, allowing the water power to turn the mill. The meal would pay out as it was ground, into a suitable container. On a few occasions he found little or no meal had accumulated and suspected theft. Stationing himself secretly on watch, he discovered a large, hungry dog at the spout, eating the meat as fast as the mill could produce it. Some people even said that the lanky animal used to bellow into the spout when the meal did not run out fast enough to suit him.

A notice was published in the Deseret News of 2 December 1847, "The High Council decided Brother Crismon be paid 20c per bushel for grinding; that he keep an account of the number of bushels he grinds, for whom and time occupied in so doing. If payment doesn't suffice, then the council will reconsider the matter." About the same time he built a home near the site of the present state penitentiary, where he lived until he moved to California.

In the latter part of April 1849, Charles Crismon and his family set out for California. They took the Humboldt route and arrived at Sacramento on the 3rd of July. At that time there was only one house in the town, though there were a number of tents. He tried mining for a few months at Mormon Bar on the north fork of American River, and during the following winter lived at Mission Dolores, San Francisco. In July 1850, he moved to the Chino Ranch in southern California, and in 1851 he was a founder of the city of San Bernardino. According to Church records, the route to the top of the San Bernardino mountain range was selected by Lyman, Bishop Crosby, and Charles Crismon in April 1852. They reported that the mountains would be easy of access through "Hot Springs (Waterman) Canyon." The Council then voted to build a road to the timber, making it a public and not a toll road. He built the first sawmill south of Santa Cruz, and one of the first gristmills.

When Johnston's Army was on its march to Utah in 1858, Charles Crismon and his family, under advice of Brigham Young, returned to Utah, locating in the Fourteenth Ward, Salt Lake City. In 1865 and 1866, he and his son, George, built the Husler Mill on State Road, about four miles south of Salt Lake, and during the next twelve years was engaged in freighting, railroad contracting, stock-raising, coal-mining and gold and silver mining. He is said to have introduced into Utah the transitory system of sheep-herding, moving camp on wheels from desert to mountain, with the alternation of the winter and summer seasons. In 1878, Charles Crismon moved to Arizona where he assisted in founding the settlement of Mesa. With his son, he built the Crismon Mill near Phoenix, Arizona. He was one of the early settlers of Salt River valley, and built the second grist mill there. His home was near Mesa City, and he was a member of the High Council of Maricopa Stake. He died 23 March 1890 at the age of eighty-eight.


  • 1830 Census Morgan County, Illinois: Charles Crismon and Mary Hill
  • 1860 Census Salt Lake City, Salt Lake County, Utah Territory: Charles Crismon
  • 1870 Census Mill Creek Ward, Salt Lake County, Utah Territory: Charles Crismon
  • 1880 Census Utahville, Maricopa County, Arizona: Charles Crismon and Louise Christine Bishoff. Name: Chas. Crismon; Home in 1880: Utahville, Maricopa, Arizona; Age: 70; Estimated birth year: abt 1810; Birthplace: Kentucky; Relation to head-of-household: Self (Head); Spouse's name: Louisa; Occupation: Farmer; Marital Status: Married; Race: White; Gender: Male; Household Members: Chas. Crismon 70; Louisa Crismon 37; Ernest Crismon 15; Oscar Crismon 13; Josephine Crismon 11; David Crismon 9; Herman Crismon 7; Ada Crismon 4; Louisa Crismon 2; Charles Crismon 3M; Ellen Crismon 39; Lizzie Crismon 15; Addie Crismon 13; Olivia Crismon 11; Fred'k. Crismon 8; Herbert J. Crismon 6; Della Crismon 4; Nellie Crismon 1.
  • 1880 Census Utahville, Maricopa County, Arizona: Charles Crismon and Ellen Wilcox
  • 1880 Census Utahville, Maricopa County, Arizona: Charles Crismon and Mary Grey
  • Pioneer Immigrants to Utah Territory; Page: 000620: Name: Charles Crismon; Gender: male; Birth Date: 25 Dec 1807; Birth Place: Christian County, Kentucky; Parent1: George Chrisiman; Parent2: Elizabeth Hegler; Spouse: Mary Hill;Mary Gray;Ellen Wilcox;Louise Bischoff;Amelia Ehristina Haffel; Marriage Date: 06 May 1830; Departure Date: 08 Feb 1846;spring 1847;1849;1857; Departure Place: Nauvoo, Ill.;Ponco, 150 Miles North of Winter Quarters;Salt Lake C.;San Bornardino Calif.; Travel Company: (Wife) Mary Polly Hill Crismon, (33), Daughters; Martha Jane (15), Esther Ann (9), Samantha (7), Mary Ann (5), Emily Percinda (Months), Sons: George (14), Charles (37) accompanied him on the trip to S.L. C. Ellen (1849) John Franklin (1852) Cyothia Adeline (1854) Walter Scott (1856); Party: George Miller Co. Settled Ponco; To Utah with Jedediah Grant Company.Arrival Date: (Utah) 02 Oct 1847; Arrival Place: Salt Lake City - Built a grist mill at mouth of City Creek Canyon; Religion: LDS; Place Settled: Salt Lake City Utah, San Bernardino, Calif, Salt Lake, Mesa Arizona; Occupation: Millwight; Death Date: 23 Mar 1890; Death Place: Mesa, Maricopa, Arizona; Burial Place: Mesa, Maricopa, Arizona; Sources: Heart Throbs of the West, D.U.P. Vol 3 pp 2&3 Daughters of Utah Pioneers Vol 4 pp 399-400 As Far Back as We Know by wirgil & Helen Crismon Mesa, AZ Library FH C867c.
  • UTAH PIONEER: Company: Jedediah M. Grant - Willard Snow Company (1847)
  • Conquerors of the West: Stalwart Mormon Pioneers, Vols. 1-4
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Charles Crismon's Timeline

December 25, 1805
Hopkinsville, Christian, KY, United States
September 8, 1831
Age 25
Jacksonville, Morgan, IL, United States
July 5, 1833
Age 27
Jacksonville, Morgan, Illinois, United States
September 8, 1835
Age 29
Morgan, Illinois, USA
November 27, 1835
Age 29
Jacksonville, Morgan, Illinois, United States
March 27, 1840
Age 34
Geneva, Kane, Illinois, United States
February 13, 1842
Age 36
McDonough County, Illinois, United States