Local News

Local Innovator, Adventurer Passes Away

(La Porte, IN) - A well-known member of the La Porte area community passed away. 


Dr. Peter Kesling was an orthodontist with a practice in the Westville area. The La Porte man held over 50 patents on products related to orthodontic appliances.


Former La Porte Mayor Leigh Morris called Kesling a genius and a one of a kind.


“He was an individual. He was unique; there’s no question about that. He was a very self-confident person, as he should have been. He had reason to be self-confident. He was very talented. He was very focused. He was no-nonsense, and I respected all of that,” Morris said.

Kesling also had an extensive antique car collection.


About 20 years ago, Kesling traveled from coast to coast in his 1903 Winton, an open-air car that looked somewhat like a horse and buggy on rubber spoked wheels.


La Porte County Sheriff John Boyd said his mother and father were friends with Kesling and his wife.


“There are so many words that can describe him. He was an innovator. He was a creator. He was an adventurer. He was a pilot. He was very cerebral. Just a really unique individual,” Boyd said.

Boyd said Kesling loved his antique automobiles and could work on their engines.


Kesling had a mansion-like building constructed years ago on U.S. 35 on the southern edge of La Porte to house his extensive automobile collection. 


The building later became home to the La Porte County Historical Society Museum, which has his automobile collection on display and countless other historical pieces related to La Porte County's history.


Peter Kesling was 90 years old. 

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