Jost Biographies:
Christopher Francis Jost

Fourth Generation--
The following section was taken (those portions in quotation marks) from the books, History of Banning and San Gorgonio Pass, written by Tom Hughes and published in 1939 by the Banning Record, and Centennial of the First Baptist Church of Banning California, written by our own Dorothy Jost.

Christopher Francis Jost

"Christopher Francis Jost was born at Guysboro, Nova Scotia, June 12, 1846. His father was Christopher Jost, his mother's maiden name was Harriett Hart. He attended Acadia College at Wolfville two years, then went into a mercantile business with his father.

"At the age of 30 he left his native town, coming almost directly to Banning to open a store and act as paymaster for the Rev. Winfield Scott. Young Jost came over the Central Pacific to San Francisco, thence by boat to San Pedro. As he was shipping a $2600 stock of general merchandise, he rode a freight train from the port, reaching San Gorgonio on the sixth of March, 1877. There being neither station nor siding at the Banning site he hauled his merchandise by team from San Gorgonio up the Water canyon.

"Of the few store buildings of that time, none is standing today. He estimated the population of the entire Pass was less than 200. There were no commercial orchards, and the only ranches he recalled were the Gilman, the Edgar, the de Crevecoeur at Potrero, and the Rans Moore cattle ranch at the mouth of Water canyon.

"Jost went directly to the lumber mill at the head of the canyon, above the Camp Comfort site, where some 40 men were at work getting out sugar pine and building the mill and the 10-mile flume above the canyon.

"At the completion of the flume, in June, the store was moved to the railroad. Young Jost and Dr. Murray slept in the store. Mr. Jost related that some of the goods were shipped from such distant points as Chicago and Boston.

Marrguerite deCrevecoeur Jost"When Scott sold the store to Worsham, Christopher left it, and on January 11, 1878, at San Bernardino, he was married to Mrs. Marguerite de Crevecoeur, who lived on her quarter section ranch in Potrero, above the present reservation settlement. Ben de Crevecoeur was a baby then, Jeff was three, and Wally five. The two older boys went to the first little school in Banning, but for a time a sister of Dr. King was employed as teacher at the ranch.

"Jost went into the bee business with Walter Hathaway, his neighbor in Hathaway canyon, buying Hathaway out after the first year. In the creation of the Morongo Reservation Mr. Jost, along with Hathaway, Barker, Sam Black, and others, was dispossessed in 1888. He was given a half section of dry land northwest of town. On account of the children's schooling he did not move to the new ranch, but bought the home at Murray and Hayes. The house was built by Joseph Fountain in 1887.

"Mr. Jost described his relations with the Indians during his ten years in the Potrero as having been entirely pleasant. He said the few arguments he did have were with the Indian department officials. He hired many an Indian to work on his ranch, paying them $1 a day and board. He spoke in high terms of Captain John Morongo as a most intelligent and capable leader.

"Mrs. Jost died in 1917, leaving eight sons: Waldemar and Ben de Crevecoeur, Chris Christensen, Henry Stubbe, and four sons of Mr. Jost--Francis [Frank] Christopher, Burton Cranswick, George Marshal, and John Jefferson. The Misses Laura and Clara Stewart, living on their ranch west of town, are granddaughters of Mrs. Jost.

"Mr. Jost had been deacon in the Banning Baptist church since its organization. He never sought or held public office other than to serve in 1890 as road overseer, and in 1900 as census taker in the Coachella desert. At the time of his death, October 31, 1936, he was Banning's second oldest arrival in point of residence."



Chris shared his parents' devotion to the Lord and commitment to the church:

"It must be recorded that one of these [earliest] saloons housed Banning's first indoor public religious ceremony. Mr. Jost recalled how storekeeper Worsham conducted Sunday services there on more than occasion. But it was certainly the Reverend Winfield Scott who preached the first Protestant sermon in the Pass. In the summer of flume building Scott delivered his sermon under a sycamore at Rans Moore's, and young Jost [31 years old at the time] conveyed those who wanted to hear the preaching."

"The Baptist church, the first American church in the Pass, was organized February 18, 1883. Christopher was the first to be admitted to membership, on August 19th. H. Kinney, in The Church That Never Gave Up, said ‘Thus was recorded the entry into the church of a man who later was prosperous enough to pay the pastor in a lean year, yet was humble enough to volunteer as janitor, again in a lean year. At various times he served as deacon, trustee, moderator, and clerk, and was faithful until his death at the age of ninety years.’

"Marguerite was baptized in Moore creek in the Water canyon on October 26, 1884, the first adult to be baptized into the church. The four Jost brothers--Burt, Marsh, Frank and John (only 9 years old)--were baptized together on February 6, 1895.

"Marguerite was a leading figure in the organization of the local Women's Christian Temperance Union."



"One of the earliest permanent settlers to come to the Pass by rail was Christopher [F.] Jost, who rode a freight train from San Pedro with a carload of merchandise, reaching Summit station (Beaumont) March 6, 1877. He came to work for the fluming company as storekeeper and paymaster. There being neither station nor siding at the proposed flume terminus, Jost unloaded his cargo at Summit and hauled it up the Water canyon.

"The sawmill and flume were well under way when young Jost arrived, and he at once commenced storekeeping at the camp. This was the beginning of that historic enterprise, the Banning general store. Here also, runs the legend, the first saloon in the Banning region swung open its doors; but its life must have been more than brief, for no sooner had it opened than the camp was abandoned. When the optimistic liquor man proposed to open his saloon at the camp, Christopher advised against it. He thought there were not enough customers to make it profitable to buy liquor and haul it up the canyon. "Oh, that’ll be all right," replied the optimist; "I can make a barrel of it for two dollars."

"Upon completion of the flume the store stock was moved down to the railroad, becoming the premier merchandising business on the Banning site. When Scott sold the store to Worsham, Christopher left it, and on January 11, 1878, at San Bernardino, he was married to Mrs. Marguerite de Crevecoeur, who lived on her quarter section ranch in the Potrero, above the present reservation settlement."

Chris is second from the left


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The History of Banning and San Gorgonio Pass, by Tom Hughes
Centennial of the First Baptist Church of Banning, Calif., by Dorothy Jost
Family information

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Allan Jost's gedcom of our Jost family:

Halifax County, Nova Scotia GenWeb Project:

Guysborough County, Nova Scotia GenWeb Project:


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Psalm 145:17&18 (NASB)