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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 

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