Biography of Salem L. Ketterman

Salem L. Ketterman, one of the oldest residents of the village of St. Joseph, has been there continuously for forty-four years. He has all the time been closely associated with its welfare and has lived to see many changes recorded in the history of Champaign County. The only other man still living in St. Joseph who was there when he first settled is Mr. T. Jefferson Wooden.

Mr. Ketterman is a native of the old State of Virginia, having been born in Hardy County, March 19, 1847, a son of John and Belinda (Full) Ketterman. His parents were also natives of Virginia and of German descent. The first American Ketterman was Christopher, who settled in Virginia in 1760. A son of this immigrant, Daniel Ketterman, a great-uncle of Salem L., was a Revolutionary soldier and was present at the surrender of Cornwallis at Yorktown, the closing scene of the war for independence. John and Belinda Ketterman had only two children, Salem and Hannah J., Salem being the older. The mother died when Salem was a child and the father married again, and altogether had seven children, two sons and five daughters.

Salem L. Ketterman received his first advantages in the district schools of Virginia. He was ten years of age when, in 1857, his father came to Champaign County and he completed his education while living on the paternal farm in St. Joseph Township. He grew up here, made the best of his early advantages, and for twelve years was one of the successful teachers of the county.

In 1875, at the age of twenty-eight, Mr. Ketterman married Miss Mellie E. Utt. She is also of Virginia ancestry, having been born in what is now the State of West Virginia, near Morgantown, a daughter of James Utt. She was educated in the Glenburn Seminary at Morgantown.

After their marriage Mr. and Mrs. Ketterman located at the village of St. Joseph, where he engaged in the drug business for several years. Later he took up the business of house decorating and painting.

Mr. and Mrs. Ketterman had one daughter, Blanche. She completed her education in the high school at St. Joseph and fitted herself for school work and for a number of years taught in this county. She spent six years in the Ogden High School, taught the Bowers district school two terms, the Hunt school two terms, and then married Arthur E. White. Mr. White was then proprietor of a grain business at Ogden, but is now in the lumber business at St. Joseph. Mr. and Mrs. White have two children, Pauline and Wendell. Pauline is now a student in the St. Joseph High School.

Mr. Ketterman’s family experienced the usual joys and sorrows of life and on January 8, 1909, the good wife and mother entered into rest.

Politically Mr. Ketterman is a man of broad views, supporting the principles rather than the party, though he has always been a Republican. His early work as a teacher has always led him to support and encourage public education. He also served from 1873 to 1880 as postmaster of the village of St. Joseph.



Stewart, J. R. A Standard History of Champaign County Illinois. The Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago and New York. 1918.

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