Samuel W. Cissna, a prominent grain-dealer of Fayette County, has been a lifelong resident of Washington C. H., where he was born March 8, 1839. His father, Robert Cissna, was born in Pittsburgh, April 30, 1800, and was a pioneer of Fayette County, whither he removed in his early manhood, about 1825. At Washington C. H., he engaged in the harness and saddlery business and also conducted other enterprises until in his old age, when he purchased a farm one mile from the city and there spent his last days, dying March 28, 1880. He was prominent in the public affairs of the county, and from 1840 until 1844 he served as County Sheriff. His wife, whose maiden name was Eleanor Waddle, died when our subject was small, leaving five children to mourn her loss: John, an attorney-at-law; Elizabeth Wilson and Maria Orr, who reside in Texas; Susan Glaze, who lives in Oak Grove, Ohio; and Samuel W.
At Washington C. H., our subject received his education, and later became connected with the firm of Draper & McElwain, grocers and grain-dealers, with whom he remained for six years. At the age of twenty, he embarked in business for himself, buying out the old firm and continuing in business on Court Street for five years. His next line of work was in the lumber and grain business, under the firm name of Huston & Cissna. In two years the connection was dissolved, and Mr. Cissna became a clerk for Ely & Stimson, grocers, hardware and grain merchants. Later, he was a member of the firm of Brownell Bros. & Cissna, dealers in poultry, eggs and groceries, but the junior member of the firm afterward sold out his interest and resumed his connection with Stimson Bros., grocers and hardware dealers.
In partnership with Mr. Welton, our subject purchased the retail trade of the firm and continued in the grocery business for two years. He later entered the wholesale grocery establishment of Stimson Bros. & Co., he and George Dahl and H. B. Dahl being the company. Mr. Cissna devoted himself assiduously to the welfare of the house, which he represented for a time on the road, and has the name of being a prominent factor in building the successful business which still continues under the firm name of Dahl, Baer & Co. He remained with the house from its inception until it became one of the largest wholesale groceries in Southern Ohio, but in 1885 sold out his interest, and for two years following was engaged as Superintendent of the Gas Works, being one of the Directors of the Washington Gas &. Electric Light Co.
In 1887, under the title of S. W. Cissna & Co., our subject engaged in the retail grocery business on Court Street, opposite the Court House, where he remained until June, 1891. After selling out his grocery business, he gave his whole attention to grain, which he had previously handled to some extent. He has an elevator at Jasper, and handles a large amount of grain, being considered one of the most successful dealers in Fayette County.
Mr. Cissna is a Director of the People's Saving and Loan Association, which has an authorized capital of $1,000,000, and of which he has been Treasurer since its organization. The Association was incorporated with $300,000, but soon filling that series, increased the capital and is doing a successful business throughout the community. Mr. Cissna has large real-estate interests both in the city and country, and owns two fine farms in Pickaway County. For many years he has made his home in his elegant and commodious brick residence at the corner of Clinton, Leesburg and Greenfield Avenues, where he and his family are surrounded by all the comforts of existence.
January 25, 1861, Mr. Cissna was married to Miss Mary Eliza, daughter of Daniel Bush, a pioneer of Fayette County. Three children have been born of the union: Attei, who is the wife of Parker C. Tanzey; Emma, who is now attending school in Cincinnati; and John F., who is with his parents. Mrs. Cissna is a faithful member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and prominent in the good works of the church. Socially, Mr. Cissna is a member of Temple Lodge, Temple Encampment, I. O. O. F., with which he has been identified for twenty-nine years. In politics, our subject is a Democrat.
From PORTRAIT & BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD OF FAYETTE, PICKAWAY AND MADISON COUNTIES, OHIO - Chapman Bros. [Chicago, 1892]