Peter Getto

This is the first post on this blog, dated March 21, 2007.

Peter Getto (12/31/1841-3/10/1902) married Theresa Zimmerman (12/16/1846 – 4/26/1924). One of their daughters, Sophia Adele Getto (MeMa) , married T.J. (Thaddeus John) McDonald (9/8/1866 – 7/xx/1937) on January 10, 1900. (Family photo here.)

The 1878 Wichita City Directory states that Peter Getto is a “mcht., fr. Cincinnatia, OH, r. 2nd bet. Main and Water” (One of Sophia and T.J.’s daughters was Josephine McDonald (aka JoJo) (1/21/1901 – 12/18/1994) who married Dr. Louis S. Roberts (PaPa). JoJo and PaPa’s son, Robert Thaddeus Roberts (1928), married Patrica Ann Morley (1928 – 1971) in 1951.

JoJo’s brother was William Getto McDonald, born January 25, 1902 or 1903. He had 4 children: Alice, Karin (Maloney?), Ted, and William (Will). (Brief outline of family here.)

PETER GETTO, manufacturer of mineral and soda water. He was born in Germany, 1841, son of Michael Getto and Sophia Eckert Getto. He married in 1872 Miss Theressia Zimmerman, and has three children – Sophia, Josephine and Theressia. He came to Kansas in 1871 and located at Wichita. He engaged in the grocery business in the firm of Hess & Getto and continued in that business for six years, then engaged in the business of manufacturing mineral and soda water. His factory is located on the corner of Main and Second streets. He owns the building and also residence on Second street and a farm in Section 10. Is a member of the K. of H., Wichita Lodge, No. 528, and of the K. of P., Warwick Lodge, No. 54, and of the Turn Verein of Wichita. Is a member of the Wichita City Council, and has served in that capacity for four years.

“History of the State of Kansas,” by William G. Cutler, “SEDGWICK COUNTY, Part 9, BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES (FABRIQUE – GUTHRIE).,” 1888

Hess & Getto Grocers was located at 111 Douglas Avenue according to the 1877 Wichita Directory (page 11 of a 28 page pdf)
Josephine Getto, (2/2/1877-3/7/1957), Aunt DoDo, JoJo’s aunt, her mother’s sister. Dodo never married.
Mema was Sophia Adele Getto McDonald, JoJo’s mother.

Ordie was Rose (Rosalie) Getto, who never married, was born in 1887 and died in December 1959, JoJo’s aunt.

Theresa (Theressia) Getto, JoJo’s aunt, married Wallace K. Jones (in 1921?), in Wichita.
Highland Cemetery records, Wichita, KS, by Bill Pennington, 1999
(Marion Morley Nist, Patricia Ann Morley Roberts mom, wanted to be called Mimi.)
Bango was Clera Bell Tarynor

The Wichita Soda Factory was opened in 1878, by Peter Getto, the present proprietor, in a frame building, 18×40, on the corner of Second and Water streets. Capacity, first year, twenty-eight dozens daily. In December, 1882, a brick, 25×80 feet, was erected and the corner of Second and Main streets, and occupied for the purpose of manufacturing and bottling all kinds of soda and mineral waters. In 1881 a $33,300 business was transacted.

“History of the State of Kansas,” by William G. Cutler, “SEDGWICK COUNTY, Part 6, WICHITA, PART 3,” 1888
Also see “Residences, businesses, real estate maps, Garden City, Newton and Wichita. L.H. Everts & Co. 1887” and Getto’s additon in Wichita, KS

JONES, Mr. and Mrs. Wallace K.
1308 North Topeka Avenue.
Mrs. Jones, who was before her marriage Miss Teresa Getto, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Peter Getto, attended Mt. Carmel Academy. She belongs to the Pioneer Society.
Mr. Jones was graduated from Illinois University. He is a charter member of the Country Club and of the Knights of Columbus, and belongs to the Wichita Club.
. . .
MCDONALD, Mr. and Mrs. T. J.
3557 East Douglas Avenue.
Until her marriage Mrs. McDonald was Miss Sophia Getto. She attended Lewis Academy and Mt. Carmel Academy. She is President of the Monican Circle, a member of the Queen’s Daughters, Twentieth Century Club, and is Secretary of the Pioneer Society.
Mr. McDonald attended St. Benedict’s College at Atchison. He is a member of the Press Club, and the Pioneer Society.

Miss Josephine McDonald has attended Mt. Carmel Academy, and has studied at the College of Music in Cincinnati. She is a member of Sigma Alpha Iota.

Getto McDonald, son of Mr. and Mrs. McDonald has attended the Catholic University in Washington, D.C.

1921 Social Register, Wichita, Kansas, on rootsweb

The Wichita Beacon, Friday, March 14, 1902, page 6.
Detailed report of Peter Getto’s funeral yesterday at Pro-Cathedral, conducted by Father Tihen. Burial at Highland cemetery.

Article gives Father Tihen’s complete eulogy (“Peter Getto’s Funeral”).

Tihen Notes,” notes from Wichita newspapers, by Edward Tihen (11-page pdf)

For that matter, there was a Catholic family named Getto, the descendants of old Peter Getto, who came to Wichita when it was an Indian trading post, with a pack on his back. It never occurred to me, despite the obvious surname, that the family might be part Jewish, gradually being absorbed into Kansas Christianity, until I came to New York, where Getto and Ghetto are prominent names in the garment district. [Driscoll, 158]

Since my office had told me to get an interview from the bishop, I hunted out that dignitary, and started to walk up and ask questions, as I would of any other person, royal or lay. My arm was gently caught by Ted McDonald, who was acting as a sort of equerry to His Lordship.

Now Ted, a bald, fat, mustached, smiling traveling salesman, had married into the wholesale liquor business and family of Getto, and therefore, under rules then and there existing, was not eligible to join the Knights of Columbus. This bar to temporal and spiritual glory was irksome to Ted, who loved nothing so much as to be portly and portentous in public places. In fact, so much was he annoyed by this discrimination against booze merchants that he regularly refused to give up his rented pew, near the front of the church, to the Knights when they received Communion in a body, one Sunday morning each month.

But Ted had announced that he was going to make a magnificent gift to the new Cathedral, a marble altar, thirty feet high, and today he was harvesting the first fruits of the glory that was to be his as a result of his sharing his liquor profits with the Lord, even though times had been bad with him since Carry Nation and Henry J. Allen had aroused the Baptists to a foaming fury against King Alcohol. It was against the law to sell liquor, end one had to take certain chances in a wholesale business of this kind. Yet Ted was going to do something handsome for the great new temple of worship.

So one might not walk right up and shake the pudgy ecclesiastic by the hand as a preliminary to an interview. One had to be formally presented by Ted.

As this was not a ceremonial occasion, so far as I could observe, I did not kneel or kiss the episcopal ring, but immediately stated that I was a reporter for the Eagle, and wished to ask a few questions concerning progress of the work, probable cost of the project, and so forth. [Driscoll, 186-187]

EAST AND WEST OF WICHITA,” by Charles B. Driscoll, undated and unpublished manuscript available in electronic form from Western Institute of Irish Studies

William Getto McDonald died at his home in Naples, FL, September 2, 2006. He was born September 21, 1939 in Wichita, KS and was the son of Getto and Florence T. McDonald who preceded him in death. He was the great grandson of Peter Getto, a Wichita pioneer. Mr. McDonald graduated from Loyola University in New Orleans with a business degree and was an officer in the U. S. Army Signal Corps. He was a resident of Denver, CO and later, New Orleans, before moving to Naples. Will spent most of his working career as an accountant and sales manager and, most recently, worked as a sales manager for Lifestyle Choice Realty. He was a member of the North Naples Chapter of Rotary International and the Gulf Coast Runners Club. Will is survived by his sons, William and Thomas, both of Denver, CO and Robert of San Francisco, CA; grandchildren Ian, Alec, and Devyn McDonald; sisters Alice McDonald and Karin Maloney, both of Wichita, KS; and his brother, Ted of St. Louis, MO. A memorial service celebrating Will’s life will be held at a later date and will be announced. Contributions in his memory may be made to the Gulf Coast Runners Youth Development Fund, P.O. Box 8636, Naples, FL 34102. Fuller Funeral Home Pine Ridge Road 592-1611

From a posting at Gulf Coast Runners Forum

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