John S. Hester
JOHN S. HESTER, son of John S. and Martha P. HESTER, was born in
Elk Prairie, Jefferson County, Illinois, September 4, 1847. He
died at the home of his son-in-law and daughter, Mr. and Mrs.
Evan E. KELLEY, at Mt. Vernon, Illinois, August 13, 1939 at the
age of 91 years, 11 months and 9 days.
He was the youngest of a family of four and the last to go. His
father died before he was born and he remained with his widowed
mother and took care of her until she died. Reaching the age of
young manhood he married Susan BEAN, a fine young lady of his
community. They lived happily together about two years when the
young wife who had become a mother closed her eyes in death and
a few months later was joined by her infant daughter.
In March 1889, some 20 years after the death of his first wife,
he was united in marriage with Mrs. Adelaide BAGSBY whose maiden
name was JOY. This union continued until June 1st, 1935 when death
again invaded his home and took his companion. To this union were
born one son and four daughters all of whom survive except one daughter
who died in infancy. The surviving children are: Gordon HESTER,
Elgin, IL; Mrs. Ed IHMELS of East. St. Louis, IL; Mrs. Niles JOHNSON of
Benton, IL; Mrs. Evan KELLEY of Mt. Vernon, IL and one step-son Charles
BAGSBY of El Paso, IL and seven grandchildren.
About 42 years ago he accepted Jesus as his Lord and Savior, united with
the Elk Prairie Christian Church and remained true and loyal to his faith
until death. "Uncle John" as he was affectionately known to a host of friends
and relatives grew old in years but was always young in spirit. He was the soul
of good nature and cheerfulness. He was always glad to meet his friends and
often delighted them by recounting some of the remarkable events of his live
a life extending far beyond the common lot of men. The greater part of his life
was passed on the little HESTER homestead in Elk Prairie. Here he cleared the
primitive forest, cultivated the rugged soil with crude implements of the day,
wresting a meager sustennance from his little field fenced with rails and brush.
Through toil and hardship and poverty were his lot, he murmured not, neither
was he cast down when drought, or flood or pest destroyed the prospect of his
daily bread. Honesty and sincerity in word and need were as natural to him as
perfume to a rose, and though his lot was cast among the lowly and humble, yet
his life was such that all the world can say,
"Here lies the noblest work of God - an honest man."
Copied from published obituary in scrapbook of Martha (HESTER) IHMELS
submitted by: Kay
Sept 1, 1997