A Brief History
July 1, 2016
Richard Ketterman and Neysa Saville met at Hopemont Sanitarium, a tuberculosis hospital in West Virginia. Neysa's TB was in her lungs, but Richard's infected his spine, so he spent six years on and off in a body cast. While he was bed ridden, he learned to repair watches and clocks. As he laid in bed, he would work on the timepieces on his chest, he became an expert repairman. He also had a greeting card business. He would send out a pack of greeting cards with a return envelope. If the recipient liked the cards, he or she kept them and sent back a dollar (people were much more honest back then). The business was so successful that Richard employed other patients to help him.
After medical advances allowed for a spinal fusion,
Richard was able to leave the hospital and, along with his new wife, Neysa, open an office in Vienna to house the thriving greeting card business. They had enough mail passing through Post Office Box 7 (yes, the seventh P.O. box in Vienna) to have the Vienna post office upgraded from level C to level A.
After a few more years, the retail space just below their office became available, they filled it with a variety of gifts and necessities and Vienna Variety was born. Like a modern day Dollar General, they carried everything from panty-hose to snow sleds, children's toys and gifts.
One afternoon in the store, Richard was sitting down with a salesman, Jack Katz. A young man popped his head in the door and asked if they had any diamond rings, he was looking to get engaged. Mr. Ketterman apologized that they didn't, but Jack quietly told Richard that he did happen to have a few diamond rings in his bag. That day, Mr. Ketterman sold his first diamond, and Vienna Variety became Ketterman's Jewelery and Gifts.
The greeting card business did end after the retail store opened, but after Dan and Tammi Ketterman were married, they remember Neysa receiving an envelope with a one dollar bill and a note stating, "I will no longer be responsible for debts in regard to greeting cards." A faithful customer had made her final payment, and since the store never changed their mailing address, the letter still made it to P.O. Box 7