The Gillespie County Historical Society is offering the public the opportunity to meet Charles Kettner , Ph. D., editor of the book, Die Kettner Briefe, on Saturday, July 7, 2012 at the Vereins Kirche on Marktplatz from 10:00 A. M. to noon. Kettner will be available to review his book as well as sign the book which contains 39 letters exchanged between Franz Kettner and his family in Germany during the years 1850 - 1875. The letters printed in both German and English read like a diary of Franz Kettner’s experiences as he faced the hardships and dangers of frontier life in the Texas Hill Country. The story is enhanced by photographs, both old and new, and other supporting documents.
Franz Kettner was an early farmer and stockman in Comal, Gillespie , and Mason Counties. He participated in several campaigns with the Texas Rangers and later, during the civil war, was a member of the Minute Men (local militia). He ran a store and post office in Castell. Kettner hauled freight from the Texas coast to Fort Mason. He was a sheriff in both Gillespie and Mason Counties and was the Tax Accessor/Collector. Franz held the prestigious position of Cattle and Hide Inspector during the era of open ranges and large cattle drives from Mason County.
Charles Kettner , editor of the book, grew up in Mason County on the ranch owned by his ancestor, Franz Kettner and currently owns the family home. He earned his undergraduate degree and Masters degree from Southwest Texas (now Texas State University ) in Chemistry. He holds a Ph. D in Biochemistry and Biophysics from Texas A & M University. Kettner collaborated with Ilse Wurster from Germany to produce this book.
The book is available for purchase both at the Pioneer Museum at 325 W. Main and the Vereins Kirche.