William Kettner was born November 20, 1864 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. He moved to California at the age of 21 and pursued a variety
of jobs, including mining in Julian, managing a hotel and the Free Press newspaper in Santa Ana, and driving a horse car in
San Diego. In 1893 he married Ida G. Griffs in Visalia, California and pursued a career in real estate and insurance sales.
He and Ida were divorced in 1904, and in 1905 he married Marion Morgan. They moved to San Diego in 1907, where Kettner established
an insurance business and became involved with the San Diego Chamber of Commerce.