Submitted by Nancy Norman Hopkins
The History of Nicholas County, West Virginia
By William Griffee Brown, 1954
KESSLER, KESTLER, KETTLERS, (Kettle-makers) German.
The Kesslers came from Hesse-Darmstadt, Germany. There were also soldiers of than
name in the Hessian Army who were given grants of land, and settled in Maryland.
In the early history of the county Jacob Kessler, and brother Frederick, settled in what
is now Mountain Cove District in Fayette County. Frederick purchased 250 acres of
land from Joseph Malcolm in 1827. In 1850 his widow and heirs conveyed to John R.
McCutcheon, who had married Sally Kessler, the tract since know as the John R.
Fred Kessler, Junior, married Mary Groves and located in Kentucky District. In 1853
he and John R. Vaughan established a store at the intersection of two county roads
passing the John Hamilton farm. The post office located there was named Kesslers
Cross Lanes. Descendants of these pioneers settled in Nicholas and Fayette counties.
In 1795 Christopher Kessler came to Philadelphia from Germany and eventually located
in Botetourt County, Virginia. He had two children, Archie and Elizabeth. Archie married
Catherine Peck in 1853, and as he was opposed to slavery he was compelled to leave
there in 1860. He and his wife and two children, after many hardships, reached the
"Promised Land" in Kentucky District and resided there until after the end of the Civil War,
when he moved to Greenbrier County and spent the remainder of his life there. He had a
family of twelve children, of whom four were doctors. Dr. Dan, Dr. Kent and Dr. Mart
Kessler were born in Nicholas County; Dr. Joe was born in Greenbrier County, and are
credited with performing the first major surgical operation in this county by removing a
large tumor from a man named Spencer at his home where Richwood is now located.
James Kessler, a brother of the doctors, maintained a jeweler's shop in Richwood for
many years. His son, Joseph Kessler, is prominent in the business life of Richwood, and
another son, Herschel S. Kessler who lives in Elkins is a teacher. Many of our older
citizens remember Archie Kessler when he lived in Nicholas County.