Mason County News
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Kettner Letters
Wednesday, April 7, 2010 • Posted April 7, 2010

Dear Editor:

The recent newspaper article regarding the Historical Symposium about the Texas Rangers of the Hill Country promises to be a real treat for history buffs and descendents of those early immigrants. Two prominent men who played important roles in the formation of the Rangers were Charles Shriener of Kerrville and Emil Von Kriewitz of Castell. Although little known, Mason can lay claim to its own Texas Ranger, who fought in Captain Connor's company of Rangers in the Rio Grande county around 1850. His name was Francis (Franz) Kettner. Descendents of Franz have been curious about his past and the significant part he played in early Mason history. In 1983 his great great grandniece, Ilse Wurster of Bremen, Germany inherited 32 letters between Franz and his father, Dr. Franz Lambert Kettner of Oberkirch, Germany. These letters were written in the old German script but subsequently translated to current German and English. This then evolved into the book "Die Kettner Briefe". Reading these letters covering the period 1850—1875 gives one the feeling of knowing and seeing events as they really happened. You experience frontier life, political and social issues, Indian disputes and confrontations, the Civil War, the beauty of the Hill Country, and much more. The book, "Die Kettner Briefe" edited by Charles Kettner, native son of Mason, and great grandson of Franz Kettner; is available at several Mason locations. It is a treasure of tremendously interesting reading; a true page turner.

Ken Winjum

Mason, Texas

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