Joseph Richard Kettlewell
& Eliza Paul
This article was sent to me by a fellow Kettlewell researcher, Susan Faught. The pictures come from Richard Frost
History of the State of California and Biographical Record of Coast Counties, California
by James Guinn. 1904
Few of the retired citizens of St. Helena have worked harder or are more worthy of the luxuries which they at present enjoy than Joseph Richard Kettlewell, for many years a blacksmith and hardware merchant. Mr. Kettlewell was born in Washington County, PA., May 13, 1825, a son of Joseph and Ann (Wallace) Kettlewell, the former of who was born in Plymouth, England, his wife being a daughter of George Wallace, a native of Scotland. In 1828, when Joseph Kettlewell was three years old, the family moved to what was then a long way West, settling in St. Clairsville, Ohio, where the father plied his trade of carpenter. This occupation contributed to his family's support after his removal to Wheeling, W.Va., where he died in 1837, at the age of seventy-eight.
As one of a large family of children Joseph Kettlewell early faced the problem of self support, and wisely concluded that a useful trade would be his most effective safeguard against want. After serving an apprenticeship at St. Clairsville, he worked at blacksmithing in Wheeling, W.Va., but after a year removed to Cincinnati, Ohio, where he was employed in the engine spring department of the Harkness Locomotive Works for ten years. The experienced acquired with this world-reknowned enterprise proved invaluable, for the springs required great skill in their making, and were entirely hand work. Mr. Kettlewell had the honor of making the springs for a locomotive sent to Panama, which was the first to cross the Isthmus.
April 15, 1847, he was united in marriage with Eliza Paul, who was born in Allegheny City, PA., August 11, 1825, a daughter of Alexander and Jane (McCormick) Paul, natives of Scotland. Alexander Paul was a son of James Paul, a baker by trade and a soldier by preference, a member of the famous Enniskillen Dragoons. James Paul emigrated to the United States in time to enlist in the War of 1812 in a regiment that started from Allegheny, PA.
Mr. Kettlewell removed to Iowa City, Iowa, and there established a blacksmith and wagon repairing shop. Mr. Kettlewell failed to attach serious importance to the mining excitement in 1849, but by 1853 he had made up his mind that the west in general offered superior inducements to the man of his skill and ambition. Accordingly, he outfitted with more than the usual care, purchasing everything needful for the comfort and convenience of his family, and finally made the start with four wagons, each having four horses. His journey was a pleasant and successful one, and his first permanent stop was Austin, Nev., where he remained for a year in order to investigate the conditions and to prepare for further travel.
From Austin he went to San Francisco, where he entered business in a rented building on First Street, two years later removing to a shop on Market Street. Finally he purchased a lot on the corner of Taylor and Filmore Street, now the Golden Gate, and built a shop and house which he still owns. For eight years his corner was the scene of great business activity, and as in the middle West, his labor was rewarded by fair financial returns.
Owning to the precarious state of his wife's health, Mr. Kettlewell rented his shop and started on a tour of the state. He tarried in various places for from one to two weeks, and finally selected St. Helena as presenting the most desirable climate, and the best business prospects. Here his wife regained her health, and July 1, 1872, he started a shop on the corner of Adams and Main Street, to which he was obliged to add in 1877, because of the continued increase in business. At the same ime he put in a stock of hardware, which he placed under the management of his son, Benjamin Franklin, combining the two departments most advantageously. In 1889 he disposed of his blacksmith shop and erected a fine brick block on the site, which he still owns, and in 1891 retired from business, his son assuming the entire responsibility.
Mr. Kettlewell has always taken a keen interest in politics, but aside from the offices of school and town trustee, has avoided public service. Ever since 1847 he has been a member of the Independant Order of Odd Fellows.
Eliza died at the age of twelve; Benjamin F. is mentioned elsewhere in this work; and Charles Paul is deceased. Mr. Kettlewell has been a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church since the age of eighteen years and Mrs. Kettlewell became a member of the same church in her girlhood days.