Biography - Nathan Chester

NATHAN L. CHESTER, a successful agriculturist of Burnside Township, Johnson County, was born in Calloway County, Ky., February 4, 1844. His father, John Chester, was born in Christian County, Ky., September 17, 1816, to William Chester, a native of the Carolinas, who died in Calloway County, aged about seventy years. John Chester had by his first wife, who was a Miss Elizabeth Frizzell, of Calloway County, Ky., four sons and five daughters. She died in Johnson County in 1871, aged fifty-two years, leaving four children: Nancy Jane, widow of John Rushing, now residing on her farm in Burnside Township; Nathan L.; Rebecca, widow of Thomas C. Cole, of Burnside Township; and James M., a farmer in Kansas. John Chester was married to his second wife in 1873, and she died in 1880. He is still living and resides with N. L. Chester. John Chester's mother died in Calloway County, Ky., in 1891, at the age of ninety-five years.
The parents of Nathan L. Chester came to Illinois in the fall of 1850 by team, and drove stock. They bought a small farm and deeded eighty acres, to which they added eighty acres more, making one hundred and sixty acres, to the whole of which Mr. Chester has a deed from the Government. He had but limited opportunities for securing an education in his youth, but by application to his books he made himself competent to teach school, and taught seven terms. Failing health, however, compelled him to desist, and he has never since been a strong man, being able to do but little hard labor. He was married March 2, 1865, in Williamson County, this State, to Sarah M. Holland, of Kentucky, daughter of Bryant Holland and his wife, Nancy Harrell, both of Kentucky, who came to Illinois in the spring of 1860, and died in Arkansas.
Mr. and Mrs. Chester have buried two daughters and two sons, all of whom died in early childhood. They now have three sons and five daughters, viz: Rilda B., wife of Joseph Lay, a farmer of Pope County, and who has two sons living; Lizzie, a young lady of twenty-one years, who is teaching her second term of school; J. Walter, a young man of nineteen; Mary S., sixteen; Roxie, fourteen; Arthur L., twelve; Emma C., seven, and John R., five, all of whom are still under the parental roof and attending school. Mr. Chester has a farm of one hundred and thirty-seven acres on section 26, Burnside Township, on which he has resided for twenty-five years, and has been a general farmer, though he raised some tobacco in former years. He has been school Trustee six years and Justice of the Peace three years. In politics, he has always been a Democrat, and both he and his wife are regular church-goers, attending the Baptist Church, of which they are influential members.

Extracted 16 Dec 2016 by Norma Hass from 1893 Biographical Review of Johnson, Massac, Pope, and Hardin Counties, Illinois, pages 608-609.

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