Biography - Samuel Hester

SAMUEL W. HESTER. A very neat and well-kept establishment is that of Samuel W. Hester, who is a successful merchant of Metropolis, Ill., his stock of goods being large and complete in the most select and latest styles and designs. It is needless to add that Mr. Hester thoroughly understands every branch of the business and is able to give his patrons the benefit of the very best experience. He is a son of John J. Hester, who was born in Virginia in 1817, was there reared on a farm, and obtained a thorough common-school education in the rural districts. Upon becoming legally responsible for his actions he started out in life for himself, and, as was but natural, chose the occupation of farming, for with that he was the most familiar. He became a resident of the State of Illinois in 1853, and settled in Randolph County, where he made his home until 1856, when he entered a tract of land in Johnson County, which he continued to work and improve until 1862. He then accepted the position of Deputy Sheriff, the duties of which he discharged in an able and praiseworthy manner for several years, and was then chosen Sheriff, his official career meeting with such general satisfaction that he was retained in the position for twelve years. He is now living at New Burnside, in Johnson County, Ill. He was married in 1838, to Miss Elizabeth Matthews of Kentucky, and to them thirteen children were born, of whom the following named are living: Samuel W.; Mary M., widow of D. Sherer; Newton J.; and Adaline, widow of David Renfro. John, William E. and Josiah are dead, and the remaining members of the family died in early childhood.
Samuel W. Hester was born in Trigg County, Ky., December 23, 1841, and his youth and early manhood were spent on a farm. On the 22d of August, 1861, he could no longer repress his patriotic feeling and accordingly enlisted in Company D, Thirty-first Illinois Infantry, under John A. Logan, and with his command was sent to the scene of action. He was afterward in the engagements at Belmont, Ft. Henry, Ft. Donelson, Shiloh, Corinth, Ft. Gibson, Raymond, Jackson, Champion Hills, Vicksburg, Lost Mountain and Atlanta. He was with Sherman in his notable march to the sea, and closed his military career with the Grand Review at Washington, D. C. He received his discharge at Springfield, Ill., and returned to his home with the consciousness of having performed every duty assigned him to the best of his ability and to the satisfaction of his commanding officers. He was faithful, courageous and zealous, and it is to such men as Mr. Hester that the country owes its salvation. His health was much impaired by the hardships in the field and on the march and he was almost blind with sore eyes, with which he had been troubled for three years.
For several years Mr. Hester worked as a laborer in a gristmill and also at carpentering, then clerked in a dry-goods store for one year. He then gave up his clerical position to turn his attention to tilling the soil, and after farming on rented land for two years, he purchased a place of his own and spent three years in bringing it to a good state of cultivation and improvement. He then sold his property and took up his residence in Metropolis, where he founded his present mercantile establishment, which has been a financial success from the start. Mr. Hester has always been a live, energetic business man and he has ever retained the confidence of the community at large, and brings to bear the qualifications essential to maintain a leading place in his line of trade.
Mr. Hester has been married three times, first in September, 1865, to Amanda Depoyster, of Vienna, Ill., who bore him four children: Clara Bell (deceased), Edgar A., Franklin J. and Cora May. The mother died in December, 1874, and in July, 1876, he wedded Alice Johnson, of New Burnside, Ill., and to them four children were also given: one who died in infancy; William, deceased; Arthur and Kirk. In October, 1885, Mr. Hester was again left a widower, and in June, 1886, he espoused Miss Sarah A. Baker, of Illinois. They have three children: Robert C. (deceased), Gracie and Bessie. Mr. Hester is a member of Post No. 365, G. A. R. and politically is a Republican. He and his wife are members of the Baptist Church.

Extracted 16 Dec 2016 by Norma Hass from 1893 Biographical Review of Johnson, Massac, Pope, and Hardin Counties, Illinois, pages 457-458.

Templates in Time