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Guide to the William Kettner Papers MS 29
MS 29  
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Preferred Citation
  • Processing Information
  • Conditions Governing Access
  • Conditions Governing Use
  • Arrangement
  • Biographical / Historical Notes
  • Scope and Content
  • Comments
  • Immediate Source of Acquisition

  • Title: William Kettner Papers
    Identifier/Call Number: MS 29
    Contributing Institution: San Diego History Center Document Collection
    Language of Material: English
    Physical Description: 0.25 Linear feet (1 box)
    Date (inclusive): 1852-1981
    Abstract: This collection contains papers pertaining to the congressional career of William Kettner, as well as some personal papers and condolence letters sent to his widow after his death in 1930.
    Language of Materials: Collection materials are in English and German.
    creator: Kettner, William

    Preferred Citation

    William Kettner Papers, MS 29, San Diego History Center Document Collection, San Diego, CA.

    Processing Information

    Collection processed by Samantha Mills on March 28, 2013.
    Collection processed as part of grant project supported by the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) with generous funding from The Andrew Mellon Foundation.

    Conditions Governing Access

    This collection is open for research.

    Conditions Governing Use

    The San Diego History Center (SDHC) holds the copyright to any unpublished materials. SDHC Library regulations do apply. Photocopies of correspondence from the Bancroft Library cannot be reproduced without permission from the Bancroft Library.


    Collection arranged by subject.

    Biographical / Historical Notes

    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.
    In 1912, Kettner was elected to Congress as a Democratic representative for the 11th District. He served for eight years and held positions on the Rivers & Harbors Committee and Naval Affairs Committee. His accomplishments included the acquisition of federal funds to dredge the San Diego Bay and make it serviceable for deep-draft ships, as well as funds to build the Naval Fuel Station on Point Loma, the Naval Radio Station near College Grove, and additional facilities at the Naval Stations on 28th Street and North Island.
    Kettner played a key role in securing the Marine Corps Recruit Depot, the Naval Training Center, the Naval Hospital, the Miramar Marine Corps Air Station, and other local military fixtures, firmly establishing San Diego as a home port for the U.S. Navy. Additionally, Kettner was involved with the Democratic County Central Committee, and several Masonic Orders including the Royal Arch Masons, the Scottish Rite, and the Knights Templar. He died on November 11, 1930.

    Scope and Content

    This collection contains papers pertaining to the congressional career of William Kettner, as well as some personal papers and condolence letters sent to his widow after his death in 1930. Congressional papers include his certificates of nomination and election, correspondence, bills he introduced, and programs for events he attended. Personal papers include membership certificates (primarily for Masonic orders), copies of his marriage licenses, and some general Kettner family papers.


    Some of Kettner’s congressional correspondence are photocopies of documents held by the Bancroft Library. They are watermarked as such, and cannot be reproduced without permission of the Bancroft Library.

    Immediate Source of Acquisition

    Accession number 880128A.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Kettner, Marion Morgan
    Kettner, William
    Knights Templar (Masonic Order).
    Royal Arch Masons.
    Scottish Rite (Masonic order).
    United States. Congress Committees.
    Legislators -- United States
    San Diego (Calif.)