Oliver H. Wetten

October 29th, 2007

Oliver Henry Wetten was born on August 15, 1911 in Pottsville, PA, a son of Henry A. and Esther I. (Graver) Wetten. He graduated from Milton High School in 1930 where he played varsity basketball. After graduation, he spent two years apprenticeship learning the full fashioned knitting trade at John Dakin Knitting Mill, Milton and was employed by various companies. Mr. Wetten married Grace Fegley Billman on September 4, 1937. They had one son, Oliver Henry Wetten Jr. who was born on April 11, 1943 and died of cancer on February 8, 1947. In 1941 he entered the Pennsylvania State School of Aeronautics in Aircraft Instrumentation at Harrisburg. After graduation, he worked at Middletown Air Depot.

Mr. Wetten was a veteran of the Navy, serving in the instrument Department at Norfolk Air Station; Kollsman Instrument Plant, Long Island; and later Sperry Gyroscope Plant, Brooklyn, NY. After World War II, he attended Bowman Technical School in Lancaster for three years.

Mr. Wetten was the owner of O.H. Wetten Jewelry Store from 1951 until his retirement in 1989. He served as Mayer of Watsontown for 16 years, from 1970 to 1986. He was active in the Watsontown Merchants Association and served as president for 14 years. He was instrumental in the building of the Watsontown Manor where he served on the board. He was also a member of Watsontown Masonic Lodge, No. 401, Milton Elks #913, Williamsport Consistory, Irem Temple, Red Cross, Salvation Army Advisory Board, Sunbury Shrine Club, and the West End Democratic Club. He was a life member of the Clyde F. Mowrer American Legion Post #323 and the Milton Rotary where he was honored as a Paul Harris Fellow. He was also past T.I.M. of the Adoniron Council, past Master of Warrior Run Royal Arch Chapter, past Commander of Baldwin Commandry 22, an associate member of Pennsylvania Mayor�s Association, Warrior Run Fort Freeland Heritage Society, and the International Ford Retractable Club. He enjoyed gardening and was an avid Penn State sports fan.

The Wetten�s were members of the Watsontown Baptist Church where Mr. Wetten served as trustee and deacon. Mr. Wetten died on October 2, 1997 at his home after a lengthy illness. He was buried in the Watsontown Cemetery. His wife, Grace, died on October 14, 2004 and was buried next to her husband and son in the Watsontown Cemetery.
[The Milton Standard, October 4, 1997, obituary]

2 Responses

  1. Anne Biddle Tantum Says:

    I lived in Watsontown from birth 1936 until 1954.

    I recall that Oliver Wetten had a jewelry store on Main Street, right??

    Comment by James Robison: That is correct. Mr. Wetten was the owner of O.H. Wetten’s Jewelry Store from 1951 until his retirement in 1989. Mr. Wetten died in 1997 followed by his wife, Grace, in 2004.

  2. Kathy Edinger Says:

    I also grew up in Watsontown. Mr. Wetten’s store was in the little space next to the south side of the Watson Theatre; then moved to the corner of Main & Brimmer in what was Swope’s Pharmacy and is now an insurance agency. Mr. Wetten was a nice man who loved kids –even let us call him ‘Ollie’. I still have several pieces of jewelry that were purchased from him.

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