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Biography of Dietrick Kelling

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DIETRICK KELLING. – The subject of this sketch, whose portrait also appears herewith, was born in Bremen, Germany, in 1831. In 1851 he came with his thousands of countrymen to New York. Two years later he “moved on” to California. He mined ten years in the golden state, whence he went to Idaho; and from the rocky wilderness in which he there was he came to Walla Walla, Washington Territory. He there invested in two blocks in the then embryo city. This was at that time a supply point for Idaho and British Columbia. In connection with his business there Mr. Kelling was in the habit of going to the mines in the summer time.

He was one of the first to go to the Oro Fino mines, walking on snow shoes and carrying seventy pounds of provisions on his back, and barely escaping death by drowning. He was the first to erect a substantial building in those mines; and there he devoted two summers to merchandising with good success. In 1871 he settled down in Walla Walla. In 1885 he leased the Stine House, and proved to be a very good proprietor. In that year, however, he met with an irreparable loss in the death of his wife; and three years afterwards, November 19, 1888, his own active and useful life was ended.

The general esteem in which Mr. Kelling was held by his fellow-townsmen was well illustrated by the marked demonstrations of respect which accompanied his obsequies. The entire town may be said to have mourned at the grave of one so long and favorably known among them. The memory of both Mr. Kelling and his estimable wife will long be cherished by the people of Walla Walla.

The business of conducting the Stine House, so successfully inaugurated by Mr. Kelling, is still conducted by his sons, the second of whom has special charge of the hotel, while the oldest, Henry, is city clerk of Walla Walla, an office he fills with satisfaction to all. Besides these two sons, the family contains three other sons and two daughters.

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