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The origins of words: Kreutz Creek

As I’ve been researching the Names of York series, I’ve come upon some places that aren’t named after people, but whose names I don’t understand the origins of.

One of those is the Kreutz Creek area in Hellam Township. There’s a library named after it, an elementary school, churches, a Lions Club and of course the creek itself.

The creek does tend to flood a bit, as seen in this 2005 photo, where Rosemarie Waggner watches as the flood waters in Kreutz Creek race past her home on Freysville Road in Hellam Township.

From the Hallam borough Web site, I found a couple of possible theories on the name:

“The winding stream which drains our fertile and historic valley, is now known as Kreutz Creek, which seems to be a corruption of the word ‘KREUZ’ meaning ‘cross’ for the place where two streams came together to form a cross. It is mentioned in legal documents at the time of the early settlement and for nearly half a century later, as Grist Creek and the valley as Grist Valley, after one of the first English settlers, John Grist who located near the head of the stream as early as 1719. Other information shows that the creek may have been named after George Kreis, an early settler on the creek.”

Does anyone else know any possible origins for the Kreutz Creek area’s name? I’m interested in hearing more theories!

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