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CHESTER, Anna, Mrs. (nee OLESON; wed CHESTER, Lawrence)
Portrait & Biographical Record Winnebago & Boone Cos., IL. Chicago: Biographical Pub. Co., 1892, pp 590-593

Mrs. Anna CHESTER, who is at present residing on a splendid estate on section 10, LeRoy Township, Boone County, IL, is the daughter of Ole and Betsey (SONDRESON) OLESON.   She was born in Norway in 1835 and came to America in the fall of 1849, in company with her parents.  The party set sail on the brig "Uno" from Arndahl, and landed in NY six weeks later.  They went by water to Milwaukee, WI, where they secured a team which took them to Blue Mound [Blue Mounds, Dane County, WI], where the father purchased 80 acres of land.  After a residence there of one winter, Mr. OLESON sold his property and removed to Rock County, WI, where he became the proprietor of 80 acres and resided until his decease in 1856.  While making her home at Fort Dodge [Webster County], IA, with her daughter Helen, Mrs. Edwin HAATVEDT, the mother, died 01 Jun 1892, at the advanced age of 97 years.

Our subject was married in Rock County, WI, 16 May 1856, to Lawrence CHESTER.  He was a son of Chester and Nellie CHESTERSON, who came from Norway to America in 1849, when their son was 14 years of age.  The father, who had been an invalid for many years, died while on route to this country and was consigned to a watery grave.  Mr. and Mrs. CHESTERSON were the parents of four children and were accompanied on their removal to America by a son and daughter, one having been left in their native country.  The eldest son had preceded them two years to their new home.

Mr. CHESTER located with is widowed mother on 40 acres of land in Boone County, IL, soon after which he added 40 acres more.  A few years later he purchased 120 acres, and in 1876 added to his already splendid estate 80 acres, for which he paid $2,200.  His mother departed this life in the fall of 1872, when 80 years of age.  Our subject brought her husband at the time of her marriage a dowry of $400, one cow, one sheep and one horse.  To Mr. and Mrs. CHESTER have been born 12 children, all of whom grew to mature years with the exception of four.  Nellie died when 15 years of age; Nellie (second of that name) died at two years; Betsey when 18, and Julia at the age of 16 years.   The living are Charles, Oscar, John Severt, Edward, Martin William, Frank Theodore, David Samuel and Henry Bennett.

Lawrence CHESTER was one of the early settlers of this township [LeRoy Township] and passed through many of the hardships which beset the path of a pioneer.  As before stated, he was 14 years of age when locating here, and for the first five years in his new home worked out on farms by the month.  The first land of which he became the owner was a timbered tract, which by persistent industry he cleared and placed under excellent cultivation.  He met with a severe accident when 27 years old by losing his right arm in a threshing machine, and for 25 years thereafter performed more hard farm labor than most men with both their arms.  When 52 years of age, he broke his leg, which accident finally resulted in his death, 30 Jul 1883.

Mr. and Mrs. CHESTER were members in good standing of the Norwegian Lutheran Church, of which body the children are also members.  Mr. CHESTER erected a house valued at $2,000 which was [p 593] the result of honest toil and economy.  His handsome farm gives abundant evidence that he understood business as a farmer and possessed the enterprise and energy essential to keeping his estate in good shape and making it abundantly productive.

Submitted by Cathy Kubly.