Peter Edward Kern was born in New Riegel, Ohio on October 13, 1860. Kern apprenticed as a jeweler in Ohio in his early teens. Kern’s occupation in the Rio Grande railroad led him to Santa Fe and then to El Paso. In El Paso, Kern established a jewelry store and was among the largest in the city during the time frame. Kern was seen as largely eccentric even by his peers. He acquired land from the Ascarate family and also purchased the McKelligon tract, which would later become “Kern Place”. Kern was also involved in the Elephant Butte dam which he encouraged some of his friends and masonic brothers to support.
His daughter ended up suing his father on behalf of her mother and what resulted were legal fees, that ultimately forced Kern to sell his property. He was hired by some prominent masons of his lodge and according to our historian, he was given simple landscaping tasks and duties.
Kern was a member of El Paso Lodge # 130 A.F. & A.M. or Pioneer lodge and gave a valuable clock to the masonic lodge in the late 1800s. Kern was initiated in 1884.
In 1932, Kern started living in the Masonic Home for the Aged later changed to the Texas Masonic Retirement Center. He was killed in a collision with a Texas and Pacific passenger train in Arlington, Texas.
Peter Edward Kern
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