William F. Kettenbach

Lewiston Teller
Lewiston, Idaho, September 17, 1891


William F. Kettenbach was born in New York City, May 17, 1849. He died in the city of Indianapolis, Indiana, September 8, 1891. Embraced within the period between these dates was a life of earnest endeavor, of honor and usefulness to his community and State, and crowned with a large measure of appreciation of his fellow citizens. Reared in that best estate of our American society, the intelligent middle class, he was neither fettered by the unhappy limitations of actual poverty nor enervated by the seductions of wealth, which might relieve him of the beneficent necessity for effort and honorable work. There was nothing unusual in his youth; there was nothing but what he shared in common with thousands of others in his early manhood. His boyhood was that of the average American boy, and early education was that of the common public school.

In 1872 he was married to Miss Sallie Benton, who with two children - a son and daughter - survive him. In 1877 he removed to Lewiston, in the rapidly growing region of Northern Idaho, where his business sagacity, industry, good sense and ability enabled him to accumulate a handsome competency, and his manly qualities and open, generous traits of character secured him a large circle of personal friends. His life, though brief, was a success; for he had in all respects acted well his part. He is a noble illustration of what life may be in this favored country of ours. From the position of clerk and bookkeeper in a few short years he came to be the president of the Lewiston National Bank. As a citizen, a neighbor, he has left the impress of his life and character upon all who knew him, and he will be held in honored and loving remembrance.

He was an honored member of the Knights of Pythias for over twenty years and one of the foremost citizens of Lewiston. He entered with vigor and enthusiasm into the business life of this community. The marked success of the Lewiston National Bank, the completion of the Lewiston Water Works, the remarkable successful sales of real estate in the city of Lewiston, and other enterprises inaugurated for the benefit of his community, are monuments of his energy, industry and sagacious enterprising business ability. It may well be said that his death was a public calamity, as well as an inconsolable loss to his family and friends. As a husband and father he was tender, considerate and loving. In truth he met all the requirements of the highest citizenship.

Few men have been more successful in producing solid results from a brief lifes battle than was he. His illness was of short duration and his taking off unexpected. It did not seem possible that one so vigorous, so faithful, and so useful in the affairs of life could be selected as the target for death. Alas, how weak and frail are men; in the midst of our greatest prosperity we are travelling nearest the brink of destruction. when just ready to take a sip from the cup of earthly sweetness, it is turned to bitter gall. His wife and children came to him; but how changed the conditions. The wife a widow and the children fatherless; the affectionate husband, the kind and loving parent, cold in death. The tenderest affections of the human heart are suddenly scalded by the bitterest tears of bereavement. The people among whom his manhood's best years were passed evince their deep regret at his departure from the world. They who trusted and honored him in the past, lament the termination of a career with which their hopes were so closely interwoven, and to his stricken family, they, with gentle hand and tender hearts, would lift aside the veil of sorrow. They and we mournfully realize:

"Nothing is our own; we hold our pleasures
First a little while ere they are fled.
One by one ife robs us of our treasures;
Nothing is our own except our dead:

[Signed] A Neighbor.

Lewiston Teller
Lewiston, Idaho, October 8, 1891

Laid To Rest.

The Funeral Obsequies of William F. Kettenbach.

The funeral obsequies of William Kettenbach were held at his late residence in this city, Sabbath afternoon, at 2 o'clock, Oct. 4, 1891. The solemn sadness of everything about the beautiful home was one of the characteristics of the hour. It was indeed a house of mourning, and those rooms which had so often been filled with life, admiration and joy, received the many sorrowing friends who came to pay their tribute of respect to the dead. Although loving hands had made everything bright with flowers, they could not hide the marks of grief which spoke the bereavement of hearts, of home ties severed, of a dear fiend forever departed. Mr. Kettenbach's body reposed in an elegant black broadcloth casket, having three heavy silver handles on each side, and a handsome silver plate with his name in full upon the lid. The casket stood at the south end of the long parlor; just beyond and a short distance from it was a splendid and lifelike portrait of the deceased resting over a beautiful collection of cut flowers and plants. It was hard to realize that the pleasant and genial countenance looking upon the sorrowing relatives and friends, would never again, in this life, meet them with a welcoming smile. At the head of the casket was a floral pillow composed principally of white flowers, with a border of smilax. The flowers were as bright and fragrant as thought they were still on their parent stem and had not been plucked for this sad occasion. The name Will, by which his relatives were accustomed to call him, was placed across the center of the pillow. This tribute of affection was the offering of Mrs. Amy Kettenbach, Mrs. D. B. Johnson and Mr. J. H. Benton. An elegant cross ending in an anchor, the whole composed of beautiful flowers, rested upon the head of the casket, and was deposited there by Mrs. Morris, as friendship's offering from herself and husband. On the foot of the casket hung a lovely wreath, a tribute of affection from Mr. and Mrs. C. C. Bunnell. The tube roses and other flowers composing the wreath, with their pure and immaculate white, furnishing a beautiful contrast with the deep black of the casket. The flowers on or about the casket had been deposited there by relatives and friends as tokens of love and affection. The beautiful flowers were living monitors of the uncertainty of all things here. Today it is sunshine and brightness, tomorrow we fade away. The funeral services were under the auspices of the Knights of Pythias, and were conducted by Rev. L. J. Whitcomb as their prelate. Rev. J. D. McConkey and Rev. Sam'l Woods assisted. -Rev. McConkey opening the service by reading the 90th Psalm and the 12th chapter of 1st Corinthians, and Rev. Woods closing the service with prayer. Rev. Whitcomb's text was "And there shall be no more death." His remarks were not only appropriate but effective in all respects and his tribute to the deceased a noble one. His words for the relatives, especially the absent wife and children, detained in the east by sickness, were very touching, yet solacing. His prayer was tender and loving. The music rendered by a quartette composed of Mr. and Mrs. Chas. Monteith, Mr. Chas. Thatcher and Mrs. Walker, was very appropriate and beautifully sung; "Lux Benigna" and "Abide With Me" being especially effective. The day was bright and beautiful, and the sun's rays rested lovingly upon the newly made resting place as the procession wound it's way toward it. Those hills seemingly so near the clouds seem a fit place for the city of the dead. The closing ceremony was performed at the grave by the Knights, Rev. Whitcomb as prelate, delivering the service from their ritual. Very tenderly he was laid to rest amid offerings of evergreen and flowers. As we turned from the last resting place of our friend we could only feel how inexpressibly sad that so early in life this silver cord must be loosed; this golden bowl broken, the loving wife be called upon to pass under the rod. May she be able to hear the whisper of the voice that says:

"I live thee, I love thee,
Pass under the rod."

A Friend.

Contributed by Natalie Huntley

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