“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Panama City in Bay County, Florida — The American South (South Atlantic)

John Christo, Senior

John Christo, Senior Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Paul F, April 27, 2011
1. John Christo, Senior Marker
Inscription.  (side A)
Built in 1927 by A.A. Payne, a banker, and bought by John Christo, Sr., the house is significant in architecture, a mixture of styles typical of the late 19th and early 20th centuries which includes Neo-Colonial Revival and Italianate Villa influences and the accomplishments of John Christo, Sr., 1885-1973. He was born to a Greek family on a farm near the village of Kirte, Turkey. As war between Turkey and Bulgaria drew near, he left Turkey and came to America in 1912 at the age of 27. He had $50, which he borrowed from a relative in Turkey. His ship sailed to New York where he knew no one and was advised to travel by steamer to Jacksonville, Florida and from there to Tarpon Springs where he could communicate in Greek and get a job. He overcame the language barrier by obtaining a Greek-to-English dictionary. He got a job at a restaurant peeling onions, then was advised to go to Quincy, Florida where he was able to work, save and borrow enough to realize his dream to own and operate a five and dime store.
(Continued on other side)

(side B)
(Continued from other side)
Christo became so successful
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that he eventually owned 42 stores named Christo’s 5 Cents, 10 Cents and $1.00 Stores in Florida, Alabama and Georgia. He founded four successful corporations: Christo’s, Inc., Christo’s Stores, Inc., F&T Investments, Inc. and Christo Realty Company, Inc. The main office and warehouse for the five and dime stores was located at 437 Grace Ave., Panama City. The warehouse was the main merchandise supplier for the stores. He was successful in department store retailing, commercial real-estate investments, commercial building, organizing corporations, architectural design and draftsmanship, land surveying and helping others with their financial endeavors. He opened and operated 36 of the five and dime stores while residing at 940 West Beach Drive. He built three homes. The first was built in 1926 at 100 Allen Ave. He donated property to the State of Florida in 1951, doubling the size of Florida Wayside Park, Panama City Beach. The house is the birthplace of Jimmy and George Christo, twins, born on July 31, 1936 during an unnamed hurricane. The A.A. Payne–John Christo, Senior House is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Erected 2009 by The Christo Family and the Florida Department of State. (Marker Number F-657.)
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Industry & Commerce. A significant historical month for this entry is July 1961.
John Christo, Senior Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Paul F, April 27, 2011
2. John Christo, Senior Marker
30° 9.68′ N, 85° 40.503′ W. Marker is in Panama City, Florida, in Bay County. Marker is at the intersection of West Beach Drive and Balboa Avenue, on the right when traveling west on West Beach Drive. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 940 W Beach Drive, Panama City FL 32401, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 7 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. The St. Andrew Bay Saltworks (approx. half a mile away); Robert Lee McKenzie's Home and Office (approx. one mile away); The Gideon Versus Wainwright Case (approx. 1.1 miles away); The Old Sentry (approx. 1.6 miles away); Salt Kettle (approx. 1.6 miles away); Rosenwald High School (approx. 2 miles away); Site of Loftin's Ferry (approx. 4˝ miles away); Old Callaway One-Room School House (approx. 6.4 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Panama City.
John Christo, Senior Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Paul F, April 27, 2011
3. John Christo, Senior Marker
Looking east along Beach Drive
John Christo, Senior House image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Paul F, April 27, 2011
4. John Christo, Senior House
Credits. This page was last revised on October 9, 2020. It was originally submitted on May 2, 2011, by Paul Fehrenbach of Germantown, Wisconsin. This page has been viewed 3,152 times since then and 91 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on May 2, 2011, by Paul Fehrenbach of Germantown, Wisconsin. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.

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Feb. 21, 2024