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California Genealogy and History Archives

Sacramento County



The life which this narrative depicts began August 31, 1860, and closed March 31, 1909, and throughout that entire period was identified with the city of Sacramento. The earliest experiences of the child were associated with this then straggling and unimportant city. Here the boy passed through the grammar and high schools and here' he entered upon the task of earning a livelihood. Here, too, when destiny called him into eternity, he closed his eyes upon the scenes of earth while still in the prime of manhood, when it might not have been unreasonable for him to anticipate many further years of industrious application to his chosen work. It is to such intelligent and industrious citizens as Mr. Kestler that the city owes its high standing, growing prosperity and substantial development, and as a native-born son and lifelong resident his name is entitled to perpetuation in local annals. While in his youth and immediately after leaving school he acquired a thorough knowledge of the trade of wagon-maker, which he followed afterward, working with his father for many years and eventually acquiring a business of his own. The death of his father, Martin Kestler, the pioneer carriage maker of Sacramento, occurred prior to his own demise, but his mother still survives and continues to make Sacramento her home. On the organization of the Oak Park Lodge of the Odd Fellows he became a charter member and his active connection with that society continued unbroken until his death, besides which he also held membership with the tribe of Ben Hur in his home city. In politics he voted with the Republican party, but took no part in partisan affairs and at no time solicited official honors, preferring to enjoy in Ms home and among Ms friends such leisure as the activities of business allowed him. Every movement for the advancement of the city and county received his support and he belonged to that class of public-spirited citizens whose quiet but positive identification with righteous and progressive principles makes for the upbuilding of a community.

Surviving Mr. Kestler is the lady who from their union in 1888 until his death remained his devoted wife, wise counselor and capable assistant, and who since his demise has managed the affairs of the estate judiciously, meanwhile continuing her residence at No. 2608 S street. Mrs. Kestler, formerly Miss Minnie M. Steadman. was born in Hudson, Ky., and was reared at Laporte, Ind., being a daughter of Arthur H. and Adeline (Dean) Steadman, natives, respectively, of England and Kentucky. Deprived of parental care by the death of both her father and her mother when she was yet very young, she made her home with friends in girlhood in Indi- ana and received a common-school education and later at Northern Indiana Normal at Valparaiso. Since the year 1887 she has been a resident of California. The early loss of her parents was not the only bereavement she was called upon to bear, for an even greater blow came in the death of her devoted husband, and the shock of the bereavement was doubled by the loss on the very same day of their only son. Father and child passed away within aii hour of each other and were interred in adjoining graves. The son, Harold D., a lad of unusual intelligence, was born in 1896, and at the time of his death was twelve years and seven months old. As a pupil in the grammar school he not only won the friendship of all associates, but also established a record for scholarship and rapid progress in his studies. 

History of Sacramento County, California
Biographical Sketches of The Leading Men and Women of the County Who Have Been Identified With Its Growth and Development from the Early Days to the Present
History By: William L. Willis
Historic Record Company, Los Angeles, California (1913)

Transcribed by Peggy Hooper 2011