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Frank X. Kettl


REV. FRANK X. KETTL, a scholarly, able, earnest and faithful young pastor of the Catholic church and now in charge of St. Mary's Catholic church, at Kittanning, was born at Hollidaysburg, Blair County, Pennsylvania, January 22, 1865, and is a son of John and Mary (Lelmar) Kettl. John Kettl was born in the southern part of the kingdom of Bavaria, on December 9, 1819, and died at Hollidaysburg, Pa., August 6, 1876.

He emigrated from Bavaria to Hollidaysburg about 1850, and became a foreman for the Blair & Cambria Iron company. He often served in the same capacity for contractors on stone, wood and iron work. He was very popular as a foreman with both his employers and the men who worked under him, on account of his honesty, fairness and kind disposition. He was a democrat in politics and a strict member of the Catholic church. He was married in Bavaria to Mary Lelmar. They had nine sons and one daughter, of whom all are living except Louis, who was killed by a train in the yards of the P. R. R. Co., at Altoona.

Frank X. Kettl was reared at Hollidaysburg and received his education in Fon du Lac college, Wisconsin, and St. Vincent's abbey and college, Westmoreland county, Pa. Having his mind directed to the ministry, he fitted for the priesthood at St. Vincent's abbey, which was founded in 1846 by the saintly Rt. Rev. Boniface Wimmer, who revived in America the grand institutions of the Benedictine abbeys of the middle ages, from which many nations of Europe first received the glad tidings of Christianity. Rev. Kettls first appointment after being ordained to the priesthood was as assistant to Rev. John Shell, with whom he remained about fourteen months. He was then stationed at Huntingdon, but in a short time was appointed pastor of St. Mary's Church, at Kittanning, of which he assumed charge on December 16, 1888. In addition to the membership of one hundred and ten families at Kittanning, he has charge of the Ford City congregation and the care of twenty families at Nicholson's Run. St. Mary's Church was organized about 1851. The first services were held at the house of William Sirwell, and subsequently at private houses, the academy and courthouse until 1853, when the present brick church was built on the corner of High and Water streets. The ministers of this church have been Revs. Mitchell, Gray, Scanlan, Phelan, O'Rurke, Lambing, Dignam, and Frank X. Kettl, the present pastor. Rev. Kettl has always sustained pleasant relations with his people in the different charges which he has filled, and his present pastorate has been characterized by a high degree of harmony. He is a finely educated and courteous gentleman, an earnest and successful laborer in his sacred calling and is well respected by all who know him.

Biographical and Historical Cyclopedia of Indiana and Armstrong Counties, 1891, page 360  


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