Halbstein and Parrish Family Tree
First Name:  Last Name: 
[Advanced Search]  [Surnames]


» Show All     «Prev «1 ... 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 ... 29» Next»     » Slide Show

Biographical Notes about Casper Kettering

Casper Kettering

Casper Kettering was born in Warren County, Pennsylvania, in October, 1839, and died in Apollo, Armstrong County, Pennsylvania in October, 1924.  This narrative is a biographical sketch of his life, based on facts gathered from old newspapers, church records, government records and other documents chronicling individual events in Casper's life. 

Family History

Casper Kettering was the great-grandson of Johann Franz Kettering (aka "Ketring") who came to this country from Shaarhof, Germany in 1765, aboard the ship "Chance".  The Ketterings initially settled in Lancaster County among the Penna. Dutch and Mennonites. Some stayed there, and many of their descendants are still found there in large number;  others later migrated south to Tennessee, Kentucky and Virginia, and still others went west to Armstrong and Westmoreland Counties in Pennsylvania and further, to Ohio and the Midwest.  

Johann Franz Kettering and his wife, Barbara Houch settled in Sumner County, Tennessee, and had three children that we know of, Philip, Peter, and  Elizabeth.  In Tennessee, Kentucky and Virginia many family members adopted other spellings of the name; "Catron" is the most widely used variant, but Ketring, Ketron, and others also appear frequently.  The "Americanization" of names was quite common, often it was for reasons as simple as not knowing how to spell or write - but many speculate that in the case of the Ketterings in that part of the country and during those pre-Revolutionary times, they were reacting to strong anti-German sentiment.   Johann Franz Kettering is commonly referred to as "Francis Ketring"; it is the name he used in his will and the name that appears on his grave.  There is a D.A.R. marker on his grave also that lists his name as "Francis (Catron) Ketring".  

 Philip Kettering , the eldest son of Johann Franz and Barbara Houch (Catron) Ketring, was born in February, 1781.  By the age of 25 he had made his way back to Lancaster, Pennsylvania.  It's interesting to note that once he returned to the predominantly German and Swiss community, he changed the spelling of his name back to "Kettering".  In September, 1806 he married Veronica (Franny) Stauffer, (a member of a Swiss Mennonite family that had come to this country as early as 1709) at the Tabor Reformed Church in Lebanon, Pa .   Philip and Veronica Kettering made their home in Lancaster County for many years; the dates of birth of their twelve children range from 1807 - 1830 and all were born in Lebanon.  William Casper Kettering, Casper's father, was born in 1812.  

Parents and Childhood, 1830-1850

Sometime after 1830, William Casper Kettering made his way west to Warren County, Pa.  (It's possible that many or all of the family went west at the same time; Philip and Veronica ultimately settled in Lebanon, Wayne County, Ohio.)  

In 1832, he married Elizabeth Ashbaugh, of Delmont, Westmoreland County, Pa.  They had six children, Jacob, Isabel, John, Hannah, Casper, and Mary.  Casper was born on October 13, 1839 in Warren County, Pa; his sister Mary was the only one younger.  

According to H.H. Catron, the noted genealogist and author of "The Kettenring Family In America", William Casper Kettering, a carpenter, fell from a roof in Warrensboro, Pa, about 1841.  He is listed in the 1840 Census.  His wife, Elizabeth Ashbaugh, daughter of Andrew and Ann Ashbaugh, came down the Allegheny river on a raft with her children, was met by her father at Logan's Eddy.  She married a man named Huser or Hauser; he died in about two years.  Whether she had children by him is not known.  The elder boy, Jacob Kettering, ran away; did not like his father.  According to his obituary, Casper was orphaned at the age of five. He shows up on the 1850 census as an 11 year old boy, living with a family named Zimmerman or Linneman.  

Marriage and Early Family Life; Civil War 1860-1865

In 1860, when he was 20 years old, the census shows Casper as a single man living in a rooming house in Kitanning, Armstrong County, Pa.  The census was taken on July 25, a little less than three months before his 21st birthday.  Here is where he met eighteen-year-old Hannah Cunningham Spencer, who was working at the rooming house (which was owned by a member of her family).  The two were married on December 24 of that year.  On October 13, 1861, Hannah gave birth to their first daughter, Mary Myrtle Kettering. 

Casper and Hannah Kettering had two more daughters in those early years;  Bellmyra was born on March 1, 1863 and Hulda Jane was born on January 21, 1864.   

On August 23, 1864, Casper joined the Pennsylvania 212th Infantry (6th Heavy Artillery) in the Army of the United States, in the height of the Civil War.  He left his young wife Hannah to care for their infant daughter Hulda Jane and her two sisters, both under three years old. 

On Sept. 17,  the regiment left for Washington, where it was assigned to the 2nd brigade of DeRussy's division, then garrisoning the defenses of the capital. On the 29th it was detached to perform railroad guard duty on the Orange & Alexandria railroad between Alexandria and Manassas, with headquarters at Fairfax Court House. It was engaged in this service until about the middle of November when it returned to the defenses of Washington. Thus far it had served as infantry, but the men were now drilled as artillery and soon became proficient in this arm of the service. It remained in the forts about Washington until June 13, 1865, when it was mustered out at Fort Ethan Allen, returned to Camp Reynolds, where the men were finally paid and discharged on the 17th.  It is very likely that Casper met Abraham Lincoln during this time, as Lincoln would spend many nights away from the White House, mingling with the soldiers camped around Washington and staying at the Soldier's Home on the outskirts of the city. 

After the War, 1867-1895

In 1867, the Kettering family moved and settled in Apollo, where Casper worked as a foundryman.  He eventually purchased a half interest in the foundry where he worked, and later the remaining interest for outright ownership.  He operated the foundry until 1890 or thereabouts, at which time it was taken out of service. 

From 1869 - 1883, the Ketterings had five more children, Elizabeth Alice (August 3, 1869) Charles Casper (December 24, 1876) Hannah Rosalie (January 2, 1878), Adna Ruth (Jan 1, 1881) and Lillian Winifred (October 28, 1883). A family of eight children, with twenty-two years' difference between the eldest and the youngest.  

On August 19th, 1890, just shy of his 51st birthday, Casper Kettering applied for a disability pension through the army, complaining of a "Lame back and loss of eyesight partially in both eyes".  It says on the application that "Said disabilities are not due to his vicious habits ...".  Five letters of testimony as to his character accompany his application, transcripts of which and other documentation can be found here.  [Note: these documents have not yet been transcribed, but will be linked soon.]

Based on this disability, it is little wonder that the foundry closed in the mid 1890's.  

Casper spent his adult life living in Apollo, Pa.  He was a community minded man, who despite his disabilities worked in many civic capacities including tax collector, councilman, borough treasurer, and assessor for the first ward.  

His obituary from the January 25, 1924 edition of the Apollo News reads: 

 Casper Kettering, aged 84 Years Succumbs After Long Illness

"Casper Kettering, aged 84 years died at his home in Kiskiminetas ave, Sunday evening, Jan. 20, 1924, at 10:00 o'clock, after an illness of several years.  For sometime past Mr. Kettering was badly crippled by rheumatism and this coupled with his advanced years hastened his death.  

Mr. Kettering was born in Warren County, Pa, Oct. 14, 1839.  At the age of five he was an orphan.  His boyhood days were spent near the old home but when a young man he went to Manorville.  He was a pilot on the Allegheny river in his early days and at one time served as second mate on a Missouri river boat. 

On Dec. 24, 1860,  he married Hannah Spencer of Manorville.  He came to Apollo in 1867 to work in a foundry located at that time across the street from his late residence.  A short time later he purchased a half-interest in the foundry and later the entire plant.  He operated the foundry for a period of 20 years.  It was dismantled about 35 years ago. 

Mr. Kettering served two years in the Civil war in Co. F. Sixth Pennsylvania Heavy Artillery.  

During the 56 years Mr. Kettering lived in Apollo he demonstrated his ability as a public spirited man always doing his best for the community.  In his younger days he served the borough as tax collector, councilman, borough treasurer and assessor for the first ward. 

He was a member of the First Methodist Episcopal church, Apollo Post G.A.R. and the local I.0.O.F.  He was a member of the later organization for 48 years and a few weeks ago was awarded a veterans jewel. [Note: the G.A.R. is the "Grand Army of the Republic, a Civil War Veterans' fraternal organization; the I.O.O.F. is the "Independent Order of Odd Fellows", another fraternal organization].

He is survived by his widow, Mrs. Hannah Kettering and six children, Mrs. D.D. Bowser, of Warren, Ohio; Mrs. Bellemyray Boyd, of Canton, O.; Mrs. William Harrington, of Marietta, Ohio, Mrs. Elizabeth Barber of Grove City; C.C. Kettering of Kiskiminetas ave.; Mrs. Ed. Ewing, of Saltsburg and Miss Winifred at home.  Twenty one grandchildren and eight great grandchildren also survive. 

Funeral services were conducted at the late residence at 2:00 Wednesday afternoon by Rev. W.E.E. Barcus, pastor of the local Methodist Episcopal church.  The G.A.R. and American Legion boys attended the funeral in a body and conducted their impressive services at the grave.  A firing squad was furnished from the ranks of the World War Veterans.  Interment was made in the family lot in the Apollo Cemetery. "

An interesting genealogical point is that on his death certificate, which was completed by his widow, Hannah, his father's name is given as William C. Kettering, and his father's place of birth is given as "Alsace Lorraine".  While the Kettering family indeed hails from that region,  most creditable research indicates that William Casper was born in Lebanon, Pa, as stated above.  We have found no documents to suggest otherwise, but neither have we found conclusive birth records to prove that fact.  It is most probable that Casper simply did not know where his father was from but was told that his family was from Germany.  It is far less likely that William Casper was born anywhere but Lancaster. 

Casper Kettering, five-feet, eight inches tall with fair hair and blue eyes, died of Arteriosclerosis.  

Owner/SourceDavid Halbstein
Linked toCasper Kettering

» Show All     «Prev «1 ... 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 ... 29» Next»     » Slide Show