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KESTERSON BIOGRAHIES
And Allied Families


William Riley Brock
- Sheriff of Morgan County. Born in Morgan County on Sept. 8, 1873, of English- Scotch-Irish descent. His parents were Milton T. and Cordelia T. Kesterson. His paternal grandparents were Lindsay and ( ) Brock. His maternal grandparents were James and Elizabeth Walker Kesterson. Educated in the public schools of Morgan County. Member of the Baptist Church; Mason; K.P.; Republican. Mr. Brock was elected Sheriff in August, 1936 over his opponent by an overwhelming majority. Previous to this he had served as Deputy Sheriff for five years. Prior to that he was in the lumber business for several years, was Postmaster at Pilot Mountain for twenty years, and was store manager for a lumber company. His long public career has earned for him a reputation of dependability. His overwhelming vote on his election as sheriff is evidence of the high esteem in which he is held by the citizens of his county. Mr. Brock is the father of ten children: Mrs. Delta Mae Smith; Virgil Brock; Mrs. Mabel Emerson; Otto Brock; Mrs. Bertie Anderson; Ava Brock; Carl T. Brock; Edward Brock; Hazel; William Riley, Jr. Mr. Brock has eleven grandchildren. He says that his hobby is "making friends". His grandfather Kesterson and his father fought with the Federal forces during the Civil War. He was first married to Malissa M. Phipps on August 2, 1892, and later to Susie Gann on January 15, 1900. (Contributed by Angela Meadows Prominent Tennesseans, 1796-1938 Who's Who Publishing Co. - Lewisburg, Tennessee Copyright, 1940 )


George Brown
Cleveland county is proud to number among her representative citizens George Brown, a well known attorney and statesman with residence in Rison. His birth occurred on the 3rd of December, 1874, a son of John W. and Josephine (Case) Brown. The paternal grandfather, Abner Brown, enlisted for service in the Civil War from Tennessee and shortly after the close of that conflict removed with his family to Arkansas. Here John W. Brown was reared to young manhood and commenced farming. He has since followed agricultural pursuits, achieving more than gratifying success, and he is now living in the northern part of Cleveland county, on a highly improved farm. He is sixty-eight years of age. In Tennessee in 1872, was celebrated the marriage of Mrs. Brown to Miss Josephine Case, who is likewise in her sixty-eighth year. She is of Irish descent, members of her family having come from Ireland to America in 1850, location in West Tennessee. There Mrs. Brown was born. To the union of Mr. and Mrs. Brown three boys and six girls were born, all but one girl living. George Brown, whose name initiates this review, is one of twins, they being the first born.

In the acquirement of an education George Brown attended the public schools of Cleveland county and as a boy of fourteen years he started out in life on his own account as a farm hand. He likewise worked as a laborer in various sawmills in Mississippi, Tennessee, Louisiana, Texas and Oklahoma and at the age of twenty-five years started to study for the ministry. For three years he held pastorates in the rural districts of Cleveland county but in 1902 returned to his work in the sawmills, also securing work on various farms throughout the state. During his spare time Mr. Brown studied law, Judge Woodson Mosley, further mention of whom is made elsewhere in this work, being his preceptor. In 1907 he was admitted to practice in the circuit court of Cleveland county and he remained a constant student of his chosen profession, attending many lectures in the law department of the State University at Fayetteville. He never received his LL.B. degree, but in 1917 was admitted to practice in the supreme court. He now practices in all state and county courts and has an extensive and lucrative general clientage. He also does corporation work and is local attorney for the Lane & Bowler Company of Stuttgart, attorney for the Boke Oil & Gas Company of Rison and looks after the legal affairs of I.E. Moore and other large planters of this county. In 1905 Mr. Brown was elected to the office of justice of the peace, holding that position until 1090. Subsequently he represented Cleveland county in the Arkansas state legislature in the session of 1909-1911 and introduced the first state-wide prohibition bill in the legislature. He has served for short periods as deputy prosecuting attorney and in the absence of the regular prosecuting attorney served through one session of court in that office. He has also served through part of two terms as special judge, in the absence and disqualification of the regular judge and during the sessions of 1917 and 1919 and in the special session of 1920, was a member of the state senate. In 1919 he was joint author, with Senator Greathouse and Senator McFarland, of the bank guarantee bill, which was introduced by failed to pass in that session. In August, 1917, he volunteered for service in the United States army and went into training at Leon Springs near San Antonio, Texas. There the Seventh Infantry Officers Training Corps was stationed. After a tryout of twenty-seven days, however, he was honorably discharged and a short time after ward was commissioned by the president of the United States, Woodrow Wilson, as a member of the district exemption board for the eastern district of Arkansas. After serving three months in that capacity he resigned to accept a commission as first lieutenant in the Arkansas National Guard and he was active in recruiting work until the government abandoned the volunteer system. He then offered his services to Major Moore, constructing quartermaster in charge of the government acid plant at Picron, this stae, was accepted and assigned to position as checker in the government store room. He served in that capacity until twenty days after the signing of the armistice, when he again received his honorable discharge.

On the 23rd of January, 1910, was celebrated the marriage of Mr. Brown to Miss Mattie Harrison, daughter of Jessie Harrison; a well known citizen of Rison. They have one adopted daughter, Hazel Kesterson Brown, seven years of age, who is a student in the local schools. Mrs. Brown is prominent in the social and club circles of Rison and is president of the Robert H. Crockett Chapter, Daughters of the Confederacy at Rison. She is likewise worth matron of the chapter of the Order of the Eastern Star here.

The religious faith of the family is that of the Baptist church, to the support of which they are generous contributors. Mr. Brown is active in the affairs of the American Legion and is a charter member of Hale Post of Rison. Mr. Brown’s career has been notable, inasmuch as he has worked his way upward to a prominent position in legal and financial circles and also by reason of the excellent service which he has rendered in public office. Possessing a most genial and pleasing personality he has made many stanch and true friends and has won the confidence and respect of all with whom he has come into contact.

Mattie Melvina Harrison d/o Jesse & Belsora (Kesterson) Harrison was the grandaughter of Vincent & Dolly (Chandler) Kesterson, pioneer settlers in Saline Co AR


Harvey Cline , a farmer of Platte Township, Andrew County, MO., was born in Monroe County, OH, November 25, 1840. He is the son of Lewis and Sarah (Beaver) Cline. The former was born in Virginia, June 29, 1796, and was of German lineage. He received a common-school education and was reared on the farm. He learned the carpenter's trade, but chose farming as a vocation. He was married in Ohio, and lived there till the spring of 1854, when he removed to Wisconsin, where he followed agricultural pursuits until the fall of 1858. He began a removal to North Texas by traveling with horses and wagons, but while passing through Iowa he met with relatives, with whom he remained over winter. In the spring of 1859 he removed to Worth County, MO., where he purchased land, and remained until his death in 1879. He never aspired to public life, but preferred the life of a prosperous and independent farmer. Harvey was reared on the farm, and received a limited education in the country schools of Ohio, Wisconsin and Missouri. He remained on the farm with his father till August 16, 1862, at which time he enlisted in Company D, Thirty-fifth Missouri Infantry, of the United States army, and served until the close of the war. He was mustered out of service as a non-commissioned officer at Little Rock, and was discharged at St. Louis, July 15, 1865. Soon after this he visited his father, then went to Whitesville, Andrew County, and became a clerk in his brother-in-law's store. He clerked for various parties in Whitesville till 1873, when he went into business for himself. In 1870, on April 3, he was united in marriage to Miss Lucinda Kesterson, daughter of Merda Kesterson. She was born in Indiana, December 11, 1849. Four sons and two daughters have blessed this union: Ada, Harry Edgar, Arnon Ogden, Norman Garfield, Paul Curtis and Lullie Maud. Mr. Cline is an energetic and enterprising man, and a well respected citizen. For fifteen years he was postmaster at Whitesville. He is a member of the G.A.R., and in politics is a Republican.


Dr. James F. Crump , of Pine Bluff, who since 1905 has engaged in the practice of medicine in Arkansas, was born in Cleveland County, this state, in 1873, and is a son of James F. and Priscilla (Tisdale) Crump. The Crump family has long been represented in America. Early generations resided in Virginia, whence a removal was made to North Carolina. The grandfather was James Crump, who married a Miss Kendall, and their son, James F. Crump, Sr., was born in Anson County, North Carolina. He wedded Priscilla Tisdale, a daughter of Elbert and Fannie (Smith) Tisdale. Her father was originally from Tuscumbia, Alabama, and the Smith family was also established in Alabama at an early day. The grandfather in the maternal line was Abraham Smith, who came to Arkansas in 1840. The first of the Crump family to arrive in this state was James F. Crump, Sr., and his brother, who came about 1865 and settled in what was then Dorsey County, but is now Cleveland county. The first of the Tisdale family in Arkansas was the grandfather of Dr. Crump of this review, who also settled in what is now Cleveland County, and the Smith family was established in the same neighborhood, so that in several lines Dr. Crump is descended from old families of this state. His father served for four years under General Lee in the Confederate army. To him and his wife were born four children: James F.; Sidney, deceased; George E.; and Robert E., who is now superintendent of schools at Durant, Oklahoma.

Dr. James F. Crump of Pine Bluff was educated in the schools of Cleveland county and in the University of Arkansas, in which he pursued his medical source, being graduated in 1905. He at once located for practice in Cleveland county and in 1913 came to Pine Bluff, where he has remained. He specializes in the treatment of the eye, ear, nose and throat and has developed his skill and ability in this line to a high edge and ability and is thoroughly conversant with the most modern and scientific principles that have to do with his branch of the profession.

Dr. Crump was married to Miss Dora Harrison, a daughter of Jesse Harrison of Cleveland and of Balzora (Kesterson) Harrison. They have become parents of four children: Hazel, Lauriene, Jesse and George. Dr. Crump and his wife are member of the Methodist church and he is identified with the Masonic fraternity, being interested in all those forces which make for the uplift of the individual and the benefit of the community at large. Along professional lines he has membership with the Jefferson County, the Arkansas State and the American Medical Associations and he is a worthy exponent of the highest standards and ethics of the profession.

Source: Centennial History of Arkansas Volumes II and III

*** Dora E Harrison the d/o Jesse & Belsora (Kesterson) Harrison was the grandaughter of Vincent & Dolly (Chandler) Kesterson, pioneer settlers in Saline Co AR


Stephen Davis
For some years past a high rank among the agriculturists of Pike County has been held by the gentleman above named, who is now prosecuting his calling on section 13, Derry Township. He is one of those who has risen from poverty to affluence by dint of assiduity, tact and enterprise in business affairs, and the exercise of sterling principles and prudent habits. His home, though not so pretentious perhaps as some in the county, is extremely comfortable, well built, and set in midst of attractive surroundings. It is a commodious frame house, erected in 1875 at a cost of $2,000 and is surrounded by one hundred fertile acres, whose appearance at every point indicates the neatness and good judgement of the manager.

The natal day of Stephen M. Davis was January 18, 1823, and his birthplace what is now the province of Ontario, Canada. His schooling was obtained in the old fashioned log schoolhouse whose construction and furnishings are a matter of history and whose teachers “boarded around” and were paid by subscription. At the early age of eighteen years the young man married and began life for himself. He busied himself as a shingle-maker, in this way earning money with which to remove to this State in 1846. He left Kingston, Canada, October 23, went by boat to Buffalo and then took passage for Chicago. On the way a severe storm was encountered during the prevalence of which Mr. Davis stood for four hours one night in his berth with the water over his boot tops and the wind and water raging about.

Eleven days after leaving Buffalo the passengers landed in Chicago and Mr. Davis paid the last twenty-five cents he had for wharfage, and was left without means and with a wife and two children to support. He went to a hotel and gave the landlord his few household goods as security for board for himself and his family until he could get work. He spent a few days in fruitless search for work, then leaving his wife and children in a cottage he had rented, struck out for Pike County on foot, carrying an ax and a little bundle containing a clean shirt. He walked 300 miles, reaching this County December 1st.

Mr. Davis struck the Illinois River at Peru where there was a little hotel into which he walked and called for the landlord. Telling that gentleman of his penniless condition and the fact that his feet had become too sore for him to continue his journey, he asked for work to pay for his lodging until he could rest. His request was granted and for three days he sawed wood for his board. He then fell in with three men and a boy who were going on foot to New Orleans and started on with them, walking with the boy. By nightfall our subject was tired out, and telling his companions to go on, he lay down in the fence corner and fell asleep. He would doubtless have perished in the cold had not his companions roused him in a short time and succeeded in getting him to a town at midnight where they secured a bed.

After this effort, Mr. Davis worked his passage on a boat down the Illinois River, but before they reached Peoria the vessel was ice bound and he and others broke the ice with cordwood until they reached that city. He landed at Florence, receiving from the captain a silver half dollar which was all the money he had. He had relatives in this vicinity and was able to send a nephew with a team to Chicago after his family, who reached here January 16, 1844.

During the remainder of the winter Mr. Davis worked in Detroit Township and in the spring rented a farm, continuing to operate rented land until 1849. He then purchased the farm he now occupies and on December 1, moved to a log cabin with a stick chimney which he was proud to call home. At one time Mr. Davis owned two hundred and forty acres but has reduced his estate to the size before mentioned. In former years he has carried on farming quite extensively, putting in as much as one hundred acres of wheat in a year and he has also raised considerable stock.

Having labored long and arduously, Mr. Davis feels that he is entitled to more ease and leisure and is therefore withdrawing somewhat from the active life which has raised him to his present financial position, although he is too energetic to entirely give over the business of life as long as his strength will permit him to bear a hand. His duties as a private citizen have been all that he desired, but he served two terms as Township Collector very acceptably. His first Presidential ballot was cast for James K. Polk, and he has always voted the straight Democratic ticket. He is a man of intelligence, keeping himself well informed regarding the world`s events and particularly those which have a special bearing upon National affairs. He is interested in every idea which is promulgated for the benefit and growth of civilization. He has therefore risen to a prominent position in social circles, as well as among the members of the agricultural community.

On March 16, 1841, Mr. Davis led to the hymneal alter Miss Harriet Young, a native of Canada, who was spared to him but a few years. She bore him three children, named respectively, John L., Julia A, and James P. The daughter is now Mrs. Kesterson.

July 2, 1848, Mr. Davis was united in marriage with Miss Lucinda M. Foreman, who was born in Ohio, March 16, 1824. This lady was an enterprising Christian, to whom Mr. Davis owes much for encouragement, good council, and the joys of home; she died July 20, 1886, strong in the faith of the Christian Church. She was the mother on nine children, eight of whom grew to maturity, namely: Sidney W., Sarah E., Louis M., Mary J., Flora E., Henry E., Ella F., and Charles W.H..

Contributed by Rosemary Reeves from Portrait and Biographical Album of Pike and Calhoun Counties, IL, V.2 Published 1891
Stephen Davis was the father of Julia Davis, wife of Berry A. Kesterson who was the son of Peter & Betsy (Cherry) Kesterson.


James Ward Headlee was born on the old homestead here, and here he grew to manhood and was educated in the public schools at Hickory Barrens. He, too, has devoted his life to general farming, and is now owner of a very productive place of eighty-three acres, which lies close to the old homestead. He learned the blacksmith's trade when he was a boy and this he has followed to some extent ever since, following the same fourteen years in connection with farming, maintaining his shop at his home place. He is a natural mechanic, and is regarded as a very highly skilled blacksmith. On December 2, 1894, he married Dora Kesterson, a native of Greene county, and a daughter of David C. and Minerva (Ketcherside) Kesterson, natives of Ohio and Georgia, respectively. They came first to Arkansas, and from there to Missouri, locating on a farm in Franklin township, Greene county, where Mr. Kesterson spent the remainder of his days engaged in general farming. During the Civil war he enlisted in Company K, Second Arkansas Cavalry, was appointed second corporal of his regiment on April 28, 1864, and was mustered out of the service and honorably discharged at the close of the war at Memphis, Tennessee. He was in the command of Col. John E. Phelps, of Springfield, Missouri. Mr. Kesterson was born on March 18, 1837, and died on November 8, 1911. He was a tanner by trade, which he followed in Arkansas and also for a time after coming to Greene county, but after his marriage devoted his attention to farming. He came to this county immediately after the close of the war, in 1865. His wife was born on September 14, 1841. She was a daughter of James and Genette (Scabberry) Ketcherside. Her death occurred in November, 1903. He died at the Soldiers' Home at Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas, while her death occurred on the farm in Franklin township. James and Genette (Scabberry) Ketcherside were both natives of Tennessee, but from that state they moved to Georgia, where they spent the remaining years of their lives. David C. Kesterson's family consisted of seven children, of whom Mrs. Dora Headlee was the fourth in order of birth. She has three brothers living at this writing--John E., of Kansas City; Arthur U., who is farming near Hickory Barrens, this county; and Arvel D., of Los Angeles, California. Politically, Mr. Headlee is a Republican, and he belongs to the Cumberland Presbyterian church at Mt. Comfort, to which Mrs. Headlee also belongs. The Headlees have always enjoyed excellent reputations, being neighborly and honorable in all the relations of life.
By: Jonathan Fairbanks and Clyde Edwin Tuck
Early and Recent History and Genealogical Records of Many of the Representative Citizens


Archibald Kesterson
Reverend A. A. Myers, a Congregationalist minister, came to the Cumberland Gap in 1888. He succeeded in opening the Harrow School, established for the purpose of providing elementary education to mountain youngsters. On a visit to the area to give a series of lectures at the Harrow School, General O. O. Howard remembered his commitment to fulfill Lincoln's request and he joined Reverend Myers, M. F. Overton, C. F. Eager, A. B. Kesterson and M. Arthur in establishing Lincoln Memorial University. That group, along with Robert F. Patterson, a Confederate veteran, became a board of directors and purchased The Four Seasons property. In commemoration of Lincoln's birthday, the institution was chartered by the State of Tennessee on February 12, 1897, as Lincoln Memorial University.

Hancock Co TN History

Archibald Kesterson was the son of Reuben Neil Kesterson & Adaline Henderson and the grandson of David Chadwell Kesterson a pioneer family of Claiborne Co TN


Arthur Kenneth Kesterson , radio engineer-inventor; manager and co-owner with Charles Penix, KCLA, Pine Bluff (AR) Bn, Oct, 1907, Pine Bluff (AR). Son of Robert and Oral Pearl (Bunn) Kesterson. Maternal grandfather made and patented the first pill-rolling machine. Interest in science and invention began to roll with this. As schoolboy pioneered radio, operating ham station M-5-JXW. Built first two way radio system in Southeast Arkansas, KQGT, Jefferson Co. Court House, November 1, 1939, for police work. Prior to WWII, did preliminary communications work for special corps., Pine Bluff; continued as civilian employee during war. With financial backing of Dr. C. B. Capel, partners and staff built KCLA with own hands,1947. Since Kesterson designed and built emergency generator, 1952, KCLA never got off air more than 35 seconds from power failure. This record held through tornadoes, other emergencies when station facilities aid relief agencies and supply uninterrupted news coverage. Subsequent contributions to radio engineering include man improvements in console design, notably the square peg type nonslip capstan for turntable speed reducer, adopted by manufacturer in present models. Devoted two years engineering for audio improvements of quality of reproduction. Edu. Pine Bluff HS, attended discontinued Judkins Business College, Pine Bluff. Grad. Government Radio course conducted in LR in 1936 by Prof. Cordray of ASTC. Mason, Shriner; mem. Bd. Stewards, Lakeside Methodist Church. Md. Negie Lee Capel, June 16, 1934. Two sons, Arthur Gerald, ham radio W-5-BHG; and Kenneth Lee.

Contributed by Dale Kesterson


Charles Kesterson was the first son of Thomas Kesterson and Nancy Jackson,Charles Kesterson was born in Tennessee in 1819. He married Mary A. Dunagan in Greene Co. in 1841 and they had 6 children, Thomas, Catherine, James, Elizabeth, Nancy and Charles, all born in Tenn. In 1854, the family set out by river boat for Mills Co., Iowa, where Mary's parents, 5 brothers, 1 sister and a widowed sister-in-law lived. Enroute, Mary died of cholera and was buried on the bank of the Mississippi River in Illinois. On arriving in Iowa, Charles and the 6 children made their home with his parents-in-law, Nicholas and Rebekah Dunagan south of Malvern. Charles married Elizabeth Brooks in 1858 and they had 8 children in the "second family," Marinda, Zylphia, Azuba, Ida Mae, William, John, George and Mary. A pioneer in Mills Co., Charles reared his 2 families on a farm there, died in 1899 and is buried in Malvern Cemetery beside his wife Elizabeth. Thomas J. Kesterson served in Company B, 29th Iowa Infantry in the Civil War; later he was a scout, a bear hunter and bounty hunter in Montana and ranched on the Dismal River in Nebraska. Married to Miranda Brown in 1868, they had 14 children, 10 living to adulthood. Thomas died and is buried in Albion, Nebraska. Catherine Ann Kesterson married the French immigrant, John Lang, in 1861 in Mills Co. where they spent their lives. They had 9 children and 243 descendants at last count, many living in western Iowa. James Cannon married Julina Read in 1870-71 in Mills Co. where their 7 children were born. Twins Eddie and Marietta died in infancy. The family moved to Latham, Kansas where James and "Lina" are buried. Descendants have been found in Del Norte and Monte Vista, Colorado and in Washington state. Elizabeth J Kesterson married the English immigrant Walter Aistrope in Mills Co. in 1868 where they had 4 children. Son Walter died in infancy. George B.Kesterson married Mary Heikes.

Mary Birdie married Seymour Rhode and lived in Ft. Lupton, Colorado where they owned a bank. Charles R. Kesterson married Edith Maloy; he died of Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever in Colorado. Walter and Elizabeth are buried in Malvern Cemetery, as are Charles R. and Seymour and Mary Birdie Rhode. Nancy Rebecca Kesterson married (1) John Allen Hodgin, a Civil War veteran, Co. F, 15th Iowa Infantry. Their children were Edwin L., Maude (Albert) Lowell and Clara (Andrew) Thompson. This family lived near Ashland, Nebraska. Nancy married (2) James Potter. They had 1 son, Jim, who died of diptheria at age 4. Nancy Potter died of diphtheria in Red Cloud, Nebraska, in 1887. She is buried in Malvern Cemetery. Charles, a 3-month-old baby at the time of the family migration from Tennessee, grew up near Malvern. He tried the Colorado mines in 1880 around Leadville, returned to Iowas where he married Jeanette Oriola "Nettie" Russell in Malvern in 1883. They moved to Wakefield, Nebraska where their 4 daughters were born and grew up. LoDema B. (Herman) Beckenhauer, Bessie B. (Albert) Carnes, Elsie (Albert) Marsh and Ruth R. (Will) Hall. Nettie Kesterson died Christmas Eve, 1894 at Wakefield; Charles in 1927 in Council Grove, Kansas. They are buried in the Wakefield Cemetery.

The second family of the older Charles Kesterson was born near Malvern. Miranda married Richard Ainley; Zylphia married Fate Davis - lived at Memphis, Nebraska; Azuba married Jesse "Ham" Read - they're buried at Malvern; Ida Mae married Ed Liggett; Williwm married Daisy Coon - buried Malvern; John no record; George married Mrs. Ethel Rossiter - they lived in Drain, Oregon where he is buried. Mary married Clarence Smith and they lived near Ashland, Nebraska.

Contributed by Larry Miller
Reference: Mills County History Book 1985. Information submitted by William Beckenhauer Descendant


George Washington Kesterson a prominent young farmer of Columbia Township, Dubois Co., Ind., was born August 6, 1861; he is the only child of Albert and Martha E. (Beaty) Kesterson, who were born and married in Dubois County, where they remained until the Rebellion, when Mr. Kesterson enlisted in Company G, Forty-ninth Indiana Volunteer Infantry; he was killed in battle, at Perryville, Ky., October 8, 1862; the mother married John W. Simmons, who is now deceased, and still resides in Columbia Township. Our subject, George W., made his home with his mother and step-father, and received a good common school education. He was married, March 9, 1881, to Miss Lucinda Nicholson, daughter of Joseph H. and Elizabeth (Coonrad) Nicholson. To them were born three children: Charles C., William F. and Ida E. Mrs. Kesterson was born November 13, 1863. They own a good farm of eighty acres, and are energetic and enterprising young people. Mr. Kesterson is a Democrat in politics.

**From the History of Pike and Dubois Co's IN
**Goodspeed Bros & Co 1885 Colubmia Twp


Harry Lee Kesterson - Six stalwarts of agriculture and forestry in West Virginia will be honored with enshrinement into the West Virginia Agriculture and Forestry Hall of Fame Saturday, July 10, during a ceremony at West Virginia University Jackson’s Mill. This year’s honorees are Harold G. Burke, Maurice L. Allman, the late George D. Curtin, Sr., William N. Grafton, the late Harry Lee Kesterson and Edward W. Rock.The late Harry Lee Kesterson, formerly of Parkersburg, was a leading figure in West Virginia’s cattle industry. He helped lead the development of the new United Livestock Market in Mineral Wells, serving on its board of directors and as the company’s treasurer. Kesterson helped introduce the Limousin breed of cattle to West Virginia and was a lifetime member of the North American Limousin Association. In addition to managing his family’s 350-acre dairy farm, he established a successful farm machinery business. In 1974, he was named Farmer of the Year by the West Virginia Soil Conservation Society. An active supporter of youth in agriculture, he was a member of the 4-H Board of Directors and hosted field days at his farm. Kesterson was also active with the Little Kanawha Soil Conservation District, the West Virginia Farm Bureau and the Farmer’s Home Administration. He died in 1984


Hugh Kesterson
Mr and Mrs Hugh Kesterson lived on a farm about four miles west of Harris MO and reared a family of 12 children. They are both buried in the Harris Cemetery. Hugh Kesterson was born in Knox Co KY on Jun 20 1837 and died Nov 27 1917. He was the son of Squire Kesterson (1805-1881) and Nancy (Tensley) Kesterson (1805-1877). He married Mary P Goodrich in 1859. She was born in TN Mar 13 1839 and died Dec 28 1921. She was the daughter of John Goodrich (1817-1881) and Eliza (Adkinson) Goodrich (1819-1901). Hugh and Mary became the parents of 13 children. One died in infancy. The others were Squire, Eliza Ellen, Steven Douglas, Rosie Ella, Walter Hale, William B (Billie), Lura G, Leah, Emma, Delia, Maggie and Enna.

Squire Kesterson (1860-1944) married Laura Belle Casteel (1867-1953) in 1884 and they were the parents of Lelia Ora (1885-1968) who married James (Rit) Thompson (1879-1970) in 1906; Edna May (1888 - still living) married, 1st, Dr Charles Hawkes (1885-1919), 2nd, Quincy Thogmartin (1896-1973); Mabel (1890-1963) married Joe Martin (1892-1957) in 1918; Wilbur Edmund (1893-1947) married Elva Cisco (1893-1925); Laura Marie (1896-still living) married Cecil Miller (1893-1956); Walter Dwight (1900-1942) married Florence Solel (1906-Still living 1997).

Eliza Ellen Kesterson (1861-1943) married William H Reid (1862-1928) in 1883. Their children were Bessie, born in 1884 and married Henry Terry in 1906; Millard Reid (1886-1969) married Elsie Candler (1886-1969)in 1916; Homer Reid (1888-1957) never married; Hugh Reid (1892-1944) married Elizabeth Condora; Laura Reid (1895-) married Aasron H Chapman in 1952. He died in 1958; Georgia Reid (1897-) married Paul F Albright in 1922. He died in 1964; Mary Reid (1900-) married Glen Bradley in 1921; Harlie Reid (1903-) married Della Harkins in 1923. She was born in 1902 and died in 1965.

Steven Douglas Kesterson (1863-deceased) married Mollie Wilson in 1885. Their chidlren were Hugh Wilson born 1888, Vesper Car born in 1891 and Mattie Irene.

Rosie Ella Kesterson (1864-1887) died of typhoid fever.

Walter Hale Kesterson (1866-1953) married Anna Eleanor Hanson of Ipava, IL in 1915. She was born in 1874 and died in 1942 with no children.

William B (Billie) Kesterson (1868-1949)married Jennie Ruth Coon(1868-1952) in 1891 and they had the following children, Gay Russell born in 1892 married Lena Loveland; Leo Marie (1894-1966) married Murl Mastin; Bonnie Frances (1898-1931) married Howard Lindsay; Eugene C(1900-1940) married Dora J DAVIS of Iola, KS; Amber Olive (1905-1970) married Joe LaMinta.

Lura G Kesterson (1870-1931) married Fred W Coon in 1896. He was born in 1873 and died in 1932. They had one son, Nathan Porter b 1897 and now deceased.

Leah Kesterson (1872-1949) and never married.

Emma Kesterson (1873-1957) married W Fred Wolz in 1894. He was born in 1871 and died in 1944.

Delia Kesterson (1876-1955) married Grant W Purdy in 1901. He was born in 1868 and died in 1928.

Maggie Ann Kesterson (1878-1924) married John C Brown in 1904. He was born in 1888 and died in 1964. Their children were Merle Brown born in 1905 an dmarried in 1927 to Mildred Purdy born in 1906. Marion was born in 1911 and died in infancy.

Enna E Kesterson (1883-1964) married John C Brown in 1926, her widowed brother in law.

Delia Kesterson Purdy daughter of Hugh and Mary P Goodrich Kesterson, was born May 7 1876 in Mercer Co MO and died May 5 1955. She received her education in the Mercer County Schools and taught school in the county and in the county seat of Princeton for several years. Delia was married May 22 1901 to a well known Shorthorn Cattle Breeder, Grant W PURDY, Harris MO. He was a widower and the father of four children, Thomas, Earl, Neal and Mary Virginia, whose mother was Mary E Rowan who died in 1897. Grant and Delia were the parents of three children, Grant, a baby boy born and died in 1909, Elizabeth Vern and Enna Mabel.

Elizabeth Vern Purdywas born near Harris MO Apr 21 1906. She attended school in Sullivan County and later was a student at Missouri Wesleyan College, Cameron MO and taught school in Mercer County and at Newtown grade school. On August 18 1929 she was married to William K Meek, a teacher, coach and school administrator in Colorado KS and MO for 44 years before he retired in 1973. They have one son Navy Capt. Kenneth L Meek, born Sep 15 1930 and married to Joanne Baker. They are the parents of four children, Cynthia A, born Dec 9 1955, Corine E, born Jan 23 1959, Bryan B Born Oct 2 1960 and John Gavin b Sep 13 1966.

Enna Mabel Purdy was born near Harris MO Mar 26 1908. She was educated in the public schools of Sullivan Co and MO Wesleyan College, Cameron MO. She taught school at Harris MO. On Jun 10 1928 she was united in marriage with Walter C Stoller, a farmer near Jamesport MO. The Stollers are the parents of three children, Dorothy Louise, Jerry Lewis and Betty Marie. Dorothy was born Apr 15 1931 and graduated from Jamesport High School and attended Trenton Jr College. She was married to Lewis H Borst Apr 1951. They have one son Jeffry H born May 22 1960. This family lives in Colorado Springs, CO. Lewis is an electrician. Jerry Lewis was born Sept 21 1934 and lives with his parents. Betty Marie was born Jun 17 1940. She has a B A Degree and a Masters Degree from Eastman School of Music, Rochester NY and continues to live in Rochester where she teaches music in her own studio and also in the Rochester Schools. She married Jack Walker Aug 1966.

Walter Dwight Kesterson was born Jun 22 1900 in Princeton, MO the son of Squire H Kesterson who was born in 1860 near Harris MO and Laura Belle CASTEEL Kesterson whow as born at Princeton in 1867. Squire died in 1944 and Laura died in 1953. Both are buried in the Princeton Cemetery. Walter attended Princeton Grade and High School. He was attending the University of MO when he enlisted in the US Army Oct 1 1918. He also attended Valparaiso IN University where he took accounting. He later held responsible positions in the Commerce Trust Co of Kansas City MO and in banks at Waldo and Gallatin MO. On December 18 1924 he married Florence Alice SOLEL who was born March 9 1906 in Princeton. She was the daughter of Joseph C SOLEL who was born Jul 7 1876 on a farm near Cainsville MO and Montana Smothers SOLEL who was born Jul 13 1879 in Mercer Co MO. Joseph Solel died in Jan 1930 and Montana Solel died Jan 25 1913. Mr Solel is buried in the Princeton Cemetery and Mrs Solel in the Cain Cemetery. Walter and Florence were the parents of two children, Walter D Kesterson Jr born Oct 1 1926 in Princeton and passed away May 12 1950 in Chicago IL while stationed there with the US Air Force. He had enlisted Jun 30 1944 having served almost 5 years.

Montye Belle Kestersonwas born Aug 14 1928 in Princeton. She was married Jun 7 1946 to Quinton Gladfelder and they became the parents of 3 children. Walter Quinn born Jun 18 1947 in Trenton MO. He enlisted in the Air Force in Jun 1965 and served 4 years. He enlisted in the Navy in 1975 and is now on an aircraft carrier near Japan at the time of this writing. Laura Sally was born Jun 7 1948 in Princeton and was deceased Apr 28 1967. Tommy was born Jun 25 1951 in Princeton and was deceased Sep 20 1952.

Walter and Florence were both members of the Princeton Baptist Church. Walter was a member of Ellis-Casteel Post, American Legion while Florence was a member of the Ladies Auxiliary. Florence has been both President and Secretary of the Business and Professional Women's Club of Princeton. She worked in the rationing office during WW II. Walter Dwight KESTERSON passed away Jul 24 1942 after a long illness and is buried in the Princeton Cemetery. He is well remembered as a talented musician a trait that he passed on to his two children. Florence, at the present time, lives in Kansas City MO and has worked at K U Medical Center for several years.


James H. Kesterson was born in Ray County, Missouri, April 10, 1849, and he was one of the best known, most influential and most popular citizens in the southern part of Nebraska for many years. James H. Kesterson was a son of James C. and Kate Kesterson, and he was a child at the time of the family removal to Nebraska Territory. Here he received the advantages of the pioneer schools, and among his classmates was the late Paul Morton, son of Hon. J. Sterling Morton, who was one of the foremost figures in Nebraska history. In the late '60s Mr. Kesterson accompanied his parents on their removal to DeWitt, Saline County, and there he engaged in the general merchandise business. In 1879 he sold his business and property interests at DeWitt and became one of the pioneer settlers in the newly founded town of Superior, Nuckolls County, where his ability, his energy and his resources forthwith made him an influential force in the development and upbuilding of the town and in the general advancing of the interests of this section of the state. Mr. Kesterson here purchased several lots in the newly platted townsite, and he here erected several business buildings, as well as a number of houses. His first enterprise here was the implement business, and he established also the first drug store and the first jewelry business in Superior. In the early days he was compelled to bring all of his merchandise in wagons from Edgar, the nearest railroad point. His integrity, his progressiveness and his versatility well fortified Mr. Kesterson for leadership in community affairs, and he was signally prosperous in all his business undertakings. He was a prominent figure in promoting the construction of the line of the Missouri Pacific Railroad between Superior and Prosser, and it was mainly due to his influence and efforts that lines of the Chicago & North Western and the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroads were brought through Superior.

Mr. Kesterson was a fancier and judge of fine horses, and brought with him several when he came to Superior. He developed many speedy standard-bred horses of the Wilkes strain, took great pleasure in racing them, and became one of Nebraska's most prominent representatives in turf events of the various racing circuits. His buoyant and generous nature won to him a host of friends, and he made his life count for much in its every relation and interest. He had no desire for political preferment, but was a loyal supporter of the principles of the Democratic party, and he was long and actively affiliated with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows.

At Friend, Saline County, Nebraska, on the 17th of July, 1878, Mr. Kesterson was united in marriage to Miss Ella J. McLaughlin, who was born at Zanesville, Ohio, February 28, 1856, a daughter of James R. and Elizabeth McLaughlin, who removed from Ohio to Illinois when she was a child. Mrs. Kesterson was graduated from the high school at Moline, Illinois, as a member of the class of 1873, and thereafter she taught a year in the schools of that state, whence she then came to Nebraska and became a popular teacher in the schools of Saline County, where her service was in the public schools at Friend and DeWitt. She was lured from her pedagogic activities by Mr. Kesterson, and after their marriage they continued their residence at DeWitt until their removal to Superior in 1879. Mrs. Kesterson has long been a gracious and loved figure in social and church activities at Superior, she being a devoted member of the Methodist Episcopal Church and also an influential member of the local organization of the Daughters of Rebekah. Of the two children of Mr. and Mrs. Kesterson, Mrs. Zona Berg, of this review, is the elder, and the younger, Lombard Ray Kesterson, was a resident of Lincoln, this state, and was there engaged in the automobile business at the time of his death.

Miss Zona Kesterson married Herbert Spencer Berg at Superior, Nebraska, the death of Mr. Berg occurred February 12, 1912, he having been born in Pennsylvania February 7, 1875, and having been there reared and educated. At the time of his death Mr. Berg was engaged in the mercantile business at Villisca, Iowa, his untimely death having been mourned by his wide circle of friends in Nebraska. Jack Kesterson Berg, only child of Mr. and Mrs. Herbert S. Berg, was born at Villisca, Iowa, May 24, 1903 and is now his mother's partner in the successful music business at Superior where they have a large stock of musical instruments and merchandise and where they control a large and representative trade. The Berg music store is known as one of the largest and most important of its kind in this section of Nebraska. After his graduation from the Superior High School Jack K. Berg was for two years a student in the law department of George Washington Law School, Washington, D. C., where his widowed mother likewise studied simultaneously, as previously noted in this context. Jack K. had previously, in 1912, been a student in Principia Christian Science Parochial School at St. Louis, Missouri. March 12, 1924, recorded his marriage with Miss Ruth Stansbury, of Superior, and they have a fine little son Bert Kesterson Berg, born January 22, 1925.

Mrs. Zona (Kesterson)Berg is indebted to the public schools of Superior for her early educational discipline which included that of the high school. Thereafter she was for two years a student in George Washington Law School, Washington, D. C., where her only son was a student at the same time, and in the national metropolis she availed herself also of [p.275] instruction under the direction of leading exponents of voice culture, her musical training in this line having included also study under leading teachers in the City of Chicago. Mrs. Berg thus has a finely cultivated voice, and through her talent, as well as through her splendidly equipped music store, she has done much to advance musical art in her native city and county.

Mrs. Zona K. Berg has become a prominent representative of business enterprise as well as social and cultural activities in her native city of Superior, Nuckolls County, where she owns and conducts a well equipped music store that gives the best of service in all of its departments. Mrs. Berg was born at Superior, on the 21st of June, 1880, and is a daughter of James H. and Ella J. (McLaughlin) Kesterson, who were among the first settlers in Superior. The father died in 1922 and the mother is living on the old homestead.

Lombard Ray Kesterson, only brother of Mrs. Zona Berg, was born at Superior March 8, 1883, and his death occurred in Omaha, March 24, 1917, his home at the time having been in the city of Lincoln, where he was engaged in the automobile business. He married Miss Matilda Grigsby, of Superior, who survives him.

The first permanent settlers to locate (Saline Co) were J. H. Artist, Dr. L. J. Cross, J. W. Brown and William Wall. They located soon after the town was surveyed. A post office was established and J. H. Artist was appointed Postmaster. He also put in a small stock of goods and started the first store. William Wall was a blacksmith and put up a shop and began working at his trade at once. J. W. Brown was a lawyer and railroad land agent. Dr. Cross was engaged in the practice of his profession as a physician. Soon after this, and in the year 1872, William Wild moved here and opened a drug store. Not long after, J. B. Kesterson & Sons, built and opened a general merchandise store. They also sold lumber. In the spring of 1873, G. A. Hunt removed from Swan City and started a general store. In the fall of the same year he was followed by W. J. Dunn, who opened a store in the same line. A hotel had been erected in the early history of the town and with the railroad buildings grain warehouses, residences, and smaller structures, DeWitt was by this time quite a respectable little village.

L. J. Cross, M. D., druggist, DeWitt, was born in Athens County, Ohio, in 1840. In 1844 went with his parents to Quincy, Ill., where he remained until 1851, going from there to Monroe County, Iowa, where he lived until he settled in Nebraska in 1870. In 1862 commenced the study of medicine at Bremen, Iowa, with Hildreth & Huffard, finishing at Keokuk, graduating in the winter of 1865-6, and located at Swan City, Saline Co., Neb., about 1870, remaining there about one year, when he went to DeWitt, and commenced the practice of medicine. Soon after he settled in the county. The physicians who had settled in Swan City, previous, three in number, moving away. Mr. Cross had most of the practice in the county for six years. In the spring of 1877, opened a drug store and has devoted most of his attention to this business since. In 1880-81, erected a commodious brick building for his business, and has one of the largest stores in the county. In 1863 and a part of 1864, was Hospital Surgeon in the employ of the government at Keokuk, Rock Island and St. Louis. Was married in November, 1874, at DeWitt, to Miss Barbie Kesterson. They have two children, Guy and Fanny. He is a member of the Blue Valley Lodge, A., F. & A. M., Wilber.


John Kesterson
It is amazing that 7 generations of any family in this day and age are still represented in the same town. Families today are scattered and move frequently. This is not the case with the Kesterson family. Since 1860 the Kesterson family has lived in Marshfield, Missouri.

John Kesterson was the first Kesterson to come to Marshfield from Illinois. He married Ellen Faucett from North Carolina and they had two children, William and Martha. John was a laborer, and died at age 49 in a wheat field of "bloody flux" in 1882.

William Kesterson was born in 1861 in Marshfield and married Rose McKnight in 1891. They had two sons, French born November 11, 1894 an dEverett born December 20, 1902. William died in 1946.

French Kesterson was a WWI veteran and a local farmer, owning at one time more than 200 acres. Like many farmers of the time, he and his family lived completely "off the land" on a self sufficient farm. He raised Jersey cows, hogs, and chickens. He grew hay, corn and tomatoes. At one time he had a tomato canning factory. The farm is located south of Marshfield near "Turnbo Creek". The site is marked today by a large barn built in 1944. French married Goldie Andrews in 1917. They raised two children. Paul Raymond and Nellie French. French is described as a hardworking friendly man who was always ready to help a neighbor. He died October 24 1983.

Paul Raymond Kesterson born July 7 1921 followed his father's profession and became a farmer. He married Helen Eugenia Price and had 5 children. Robert William, Peggy, Paul, Brenda and Joe. Paul Raymond currently lives on property neighboring his fathers farm he purchased in the 1950's. He admits to witnessing many changes in his lifetime, not only in the area of farming and technology but especially in people. He fondly remembers a time when neighbor helped neighbor and people were trusted on their word alone.

Robert William Kesterson born February 14 1947 is currently a self employed Truck Driver and owns a portion of his grandfathers property. He enjoys farming it in his spare time. He is married to Janet Sense. They have six boys. Robert William Jr., Paul Reese, David Eugene, Samuel Wayne, James Aaron and Andrew Jay. Five of the six boys are living in Marshfield.

Peggy born April 15 1948 married Jerry Price and they have two children. Colby and Clayton now currently living in Strafford MO. Jerry is growing a reputation of raising the best tomatos in the area.

Paul Dale born July 7 1951 married and divorced Loita Letterman. They have two children, Michelle and Greg. Dale currently works at General Electric in Springfield and is a horse enthusiast. He lives on the same property previously owned by his grandfather and his chilren live in Ozark Missouri.

Brenda born February 24 1953 carried on the dairy tradition with her parents until 1996. She currently lives with her father.

Joe born November 25 1956 married and divorced Anita Andreatta. They have w children , Kalup and Amanda. Joe currently works at the Sweetheart Cup in Springfield. He also works at farming a protion of the same property his grandfather owned. He is married to Beverly Mitchell and his children currently live in Marshfield.

Submitted by Belinda Kesterson 1996 Webster County Mo History
Contributed by Christine Kesterson

**John Kesterson was the son of William (b 1800 KY) & Sally (Nichols) Kesterson. The family arrived in Lawrence Co MO sometime before 1857 and were from Pike Co IL. Prior to IL the family lived in Caldwell Co KY.


Reuben Neil Kesterson president and treasurer of the Greenwood Cemetery Co. is one of the substantial citizens of Knoxville. He was born in Claiborne Co, on his fathers farm, on the 12 of Jul 1858. On both paternal and maternal sides he is descended from old and honored ancestry. His paternal grandfather, David Kesterson, was a prominent agriculturist and one of the leading citizens of this section of the state. Reuben Kesterson was born in Claiborne Co and died in 1882. Like his father before him he was successful in agricultural pursuits and a representative citizen. Reuben Kesterson married Adline Henderson, who was born in Claiborne Co and whose demise occurred in 1860. She was a daughter of Jerry Henderson and Betsey (Mills) and a grandaughter of Thomas Henderson, a gentleman, of Fifeshire, Scotland and through William and Margaret (Bruce), Samuel Henderson, who came to the US and died in Augusta VA 19 Jan 1782 and then through Andrew Henderson, the father of Thomas Henderson, grandfather of Mrs Kesterson.

The early education of Reuben Neil Kesterson was received in the country schools of his native county and subsequently in Mossy Creek College, now the Carson and Newman College of Jefferson City. He took up the study of dentistry in the University of TN in 1879 and was graduated in 1881, with the DDS degree. He began practive at Richmond, KY where he remained 4 years, enjoying substantial success. In Jan 1887, he came to Knoxville, where he has since resided. He was active in professional circles here until 1908. In 1900 he obtained the charter of the Greenwood Cemetery, and he gradually retired from active practice in order that he might give his entire time and attention to hisduties in connection with the development of the cemetery. In 1912 he became president and treasurer of the Greenwood Cemetery Co., a position he holds at the present time. The Cemetery contains some 175 acres of land and is located north of Knoxville on the Tazewell Pike. The grounds are beautiful and everything is kept in splendid condition. Mr Kesterson is likewise president of the Grandview Cemetery at Maryville.

On the 13th of October 1885, was celebrated the marriage of Mr Kesterson and Miss Frances Otey, a daughter of Frazier Otey, a native of Bedford Co VA. She is descended from one of America's oldest and most honored families. The progenitor of the family in this country was Capt John Otey, who served in Washington's Army throughout the Revolution. : He was born in England and came to the US in 1760, locating in Bedford VA. His son was Frazier Otey and his son the Frazier Otey who became the father of Mrs Kesterson. The father was a Baptist minister and a cousin of Bishop Otey, the first bishop of the Episcopal church in TN. Mrs Kesterson is a member of the DAR and has been vice president of the Daughters of the Confederacy. She is prominent in club and social circles and is a zealous worker in the Church. To Mr and Mrs Kesterson 2 children were born. Robert Neil, who died at the age of 3 and Thomas Otey, who was born in 1890. He is a veteran of the World war, having volunteered in the aviation branch of the service in Apr 1917. He married Miss Barbara Davis daughter of Willis P Davis of KY on 18 Apr 1922. Although Mr Kesterson gives his political endorsement to the democratic party he has never been active in party affairs. He is a public-spirited citizen, however, and wields a great influence for good in the city and county. Fraternally he belongs to Bright Hope Lodge of the Masons and to Knoxville Lodge, B.P.O.E He is an active member of the Rotary Club and the Board of Commerce and is identified with the (Page 884) Association of American Cemetery Superintendents of which body he has been president. Mr Kesterson is a man of culture and high intellectual attainments. For recreation from his business affairs he turns to music and all things artistic, and his home cotains much of the best in arts, literature and science.


Samuel Kesterson was the son of John T and Mary (McCune) Kesterson. He was convicted of killing his stepfather and received a life sentence in the Indiana State Prison. The murder occured on January 12 1889 in Hillham, Dubois Co IN. John T, the first husband of Mary McCune apparently died young. She married Daniel Nicholson 13 Sep 1880 Dubois Co IN. Samuel married Minnie Byrum 13 Sep 1888 in Dubois Co IN, so Samuel was married and out of the parental home at the time of the murder. We can only guess as to the reason. A change of venue for the court and the trial was held in Orange County, Paoli Circuit Court with Judge Collins.

Jenna Cain sent to the Indiana State Archives for the papers or any information on Samuel Kesterson and received them April 6, 2001. This is what they tell us:
DESCRIPTIVE LIST OF CONVICTS IN THE INDIANA STATE PRISON, AT JEFFERSONVILLE
NAME: Samuel Kesterson
OCCUPATION: Farmer
COUNTY WHERE CONVICTED: Orange
CRIME: Murder, 2nd degree
TERM: Life
AGE: 18? (hard to read)
HEIGHT: 5 ft. 8 1/2 in.
COMPLEXION: Light
EYES: Brown
HAIR: Dark
NATIVITY: Indiana
FORMER CHARACTER: Temperate
SOCIAL RELATIONS:
Married; reads and writes
REMARKS:
Hare lip; freckle face; indentation over left corner of mouth; prominent scar across right wrist; dark freckle on right forearm; little finger on left hand crooked; scar above right knee; scar on left foot across border of big and of second toes; two scars on lower back; uses tobacco. Wife and one child; Minnie Kesterson, William; Dubois Co., Indiana WHEN SENTENCED: October 21, 1889
WHEN AND HOW DISCHARGED:
July 10, 1893; escaped: Missed from place in shop about 4:45 or 5:00 P. M. No trace found. A ladder was discovered under a lumber pile but had apparently not been used. July 10, 1893.

NOTES: (His 1st attempt to Escape from Prison)
Escaped from prison on November 16, 1891 by scaling the wall midway between No. 293 ???, at which time wall guard Andy Wheeler fired 4 shots at him without effect. Kesterson went to schoolhouse in Ohio Falls, mounting a horse hitched to a delivery wagon, and rode the horse by Akron brick kiln, where he abandoned him and took to the woods, and was recaptured at Edwardsville in Floyd Co., and returned to prison November 18, 1891. Reward $100.00

CHANCERY NOTICE: Notice is hereby given to you, Samuel Kesterson, that Minnie Kesterson, complainant, heretofore filed her bill of complaint to the circuit court of Effingham county, Ill., for the October term, 1894, on the chancery side thereof for divorce, and summons thereupon issued out of said court against the above named Samuel Kesterson, as defendant, returnable on the first day of the said October term, 1894, of said court to be held at the court house in Effingham, Ill., on the third Monday of October, 1894, as by law required, and which suit is still presiding.
HENRY HUBRICH, Clerk,
August??, 1894 (ink blot)

**This information apparently given to Samuel Kesterson in Prison 1894.. So it appears as though both his attempts to escape failed. However there is no record of his death.

There seems to have always been hard feelings between the Nicholson and Kesterson families in Dubois Co IN. In 1849 Zachariah Nicholson shot and killed Squire Kesterson. Now some 50 years later Samuel Kesterson kills Daniel Nicholson. Was it just part of the ongoing fued between the families - or was it personal between Samuel and Daniel Kesterson?


Squire Kesterson
It has been the unlucky fortune of Jackson Township to be the scene of a number of tragic deeds. The first of these occurred about the year 1850, at the store of John A. Wininger, in the northwest part of the township. This was one of the old-fashioned "grocery" stores, where the custom was prevalent to keep plenty of whisky in the back room for accommodation of customers and others. The facts that brought about this affair seem to have been about as follows: Squire Kesterson, the victim, went to the Mexican war, and left his business affairs in the hands of Zachariah Nicholson, both of whom were residents of Dubois County. Soon after his return home, Kesterson became violently jealous of Nicholson, and accused him of being unduly intimate with his wife. It is said that Kesterson had several times threatend and attacked Nicholson, who had often avoided him, as Kesterson was a large and powerful man. On this occasion of their meeting at the store of Wininger, Kesterson had been drinking considerably, and when Nicholson came in, drew a knife on him. The latter immediately left the room, Kesterson following. When he had reached the farther end of a long porch in front of the building, Nicholson stopped, and having his gun with him, said that he would shoot Kesterson through if he came out to him. Kesterson said he was not afraid and started for him, but before he came in reach, Nicholson took deliberate aim and shot him. Death occurred soon after, and Nicholson succeeded in escaping, and has never since been heard from. It is said that the woman whom Kesterson called his wife, was not such. Some effort was made, mostly by ex-soldiers of the Mexican war, to capture Nicholson: other than this, popular opinion seems to have been charitably inclined toward him.

Source: History or Orange County Chapter 3. See "Samuel Kesterson" (above) for the story of the Nicholson Murder
The parents of Squire Kesterson still remain a mystery. Squire was married to Rebecca Watson 11 December 1837 in Dubois IN according to County Records but this article seems to indicate he might not have been living with her? Their children were George, Nancy, Emily, Victoria and Taylor.


Thomas Otey Kesterson
Charles McGhee Tyson was a Lieutenant in the U.S. Navy Air Corps when he was killed in action during World War I, over the North Sea on October 11, 1918. The city of Knoxville named the airport in his honor when Tyson's mother, Bettie McGhee Tyson, donated Tyson Park with the understanding that the city's principal Airport would be named in memory of her son. Knoxville's first airport opened on Sutherland Avenue in 1927. By the mid-1930's, this airport became to small and the city built the airport at its present site in 1937. After several expansions to this terminal, construction began in 1970 for McGhee Tyson Airport's current terminal building, which was dedicated in May 1974.

The Knoxville Downtown Island Airport is located on Dickinson Island. The airport is within the Knoxville city limits, southeast of the central business district which lies on the banks of the Tennessee River. Knoxville Downtown Island Airport has one runway designated 8/26 which is 3500 feet long by 75 feet wide. Originally owned by Tom Kesterson, Island Home Airport was opened to traffic in 1930. Two grass landing strips, an office, and a small hangar made up the original Island Home Airport. Shortly after the airport opened, Mr. Kesterson became a dealer for several aircraft companies and began flying Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) officials throughout eastern Tennessee as they planned for the development of TVA's power generation program.

In 1934, passenger service began at Island Home. Within a few years, air travel had grown to a point where the physical limitations of Island Home Airport made it necessary to look for another airport location. In 1937, American Airlines landed its first aircraft at McGhee Tyson Airport to mark the end of commercial airline service at Island Home Airport.

In 1942,Kesterson sold the airport to U. S. Flying Service, Inc., an operator engaged in military flight training during World War II. One year later, Island Home Airport was sold to Mr. Wattenbarger, who subsequently sold it to the city in 1963.

Numerous improvements to the airport such as paving the runways and taxiways, construction of hangars and apron area, and installation of various lighting systems were completed several years after the city acquired the airport. These improvements were dedicated on November 4, 1966, and the facility's name was changed to the Knowxville Downtown Island Airport. The Downtown Island Airport obtained a non-precision instrument approach shortly after the Air Traffic Control Tower (ATCT) began operating in 1973. Concurrent with the instrument approach procedure was the installation of runway end identifier lights (REIL), visual approach slope indicators (VASI) and non-precision instrument pavement markings on Runway 8-26. The control tower discontinued regular service in November of 1982 although it is operational on selected weekends when the University of Tennessee plays a home football game in Knoxville

**Thomas is the Son of Reuben Neil & Adaline "Henderson" Kesterson of Claiborne Co TN
Metropolitan Knoxville Airport Authority McGhee Tyson Airport
Downtown Island Airport Historical Information


Walter Kesterson
Our whole class, except two of us who went undercover, were assigned on December 8, 1940 to traffic control in downtown L.A. The rest of my time in traffic went quickly. Several rainy days added to the congestion. The heaviest day of traffic congestion, and the last day we extra officers worked, was December 26, when Christmas presents were exchanged and the after-Christmas sales started. I was told to report the next evening to the Reserve Unit, which was also assigned to Central Division.

In the 1940's the Reserve Unit was a mobile crime-crushing unit. In a later Department Re-organization it came to be called Metropolitan Division. Its members worked in uniform or plain clothes, depending on the nature of the assignment. Reserve Unit officers were moved throughout the city to all the crime hot spots to suppress criminal activity. This was done with increased foot or motor patrol, or by staking out business places likely to attract criminal activity.

In the absence of a specific assignment, the Reserve Unit covered the skid row area of the city. This was the area from Main Street to Central Avenue, between 3rd and 7th Streets. Fifth and Main Streets were principal axis of activity. This was an area of cheap hotels, flop houses, missions, all night movies, pawn shops, liquor stores, cheap restaurants and cheaper bars, two bus stations and a street car terminal. It was mostly a masculine world. Some "flea bag" prostitutes hung out in the cheaper beer bars. Their customers were as destitute and burnt out as were the prostitutes. Female winos were a rarity. This area was frequented by winos, thieves, hustlers, drunk rollers, strong arm robbers, and ex-convicts, as well as by working men between jobs or down on their luck, construction workers, miners, lumber jacks, seamen, truck drivers an swampers and day laborers.

I was teamed up with Walter Kesterson, a veteran officer, for several nights to get the feeling of the area and the people who frequent it. Kesterson was a quiet and competent officer who knew how to get along with everyone, not only his brother officers, but also the people he put in jail. Some officers made a lot of arrests but had an equal number of altercations. Kesterson made as many arrests as anyone, but never had any trouble. He looked like he was carved out granite. He was all business, didn't raise his voice and didn't use any derogatory expressions. I was fortunate to be assigned with him. We wore plain clothes, stopped a lot of people and questioned them. I also was able to learn the geography of the area while working with Kesterson.

On Tuesday morning, February 5, 1946, I picked up the morning paper from the front yard. I would normally glance at the headlines and then put in it in the entry way hall for Grace when she got up. But when I opened it up this morning, there on the front page was sad and shocking news. Walter Kesterson, the officer who broke me in when I went to the Reserve Unit, was shot and killed at 10:00 p.m., the night before.

A theater at 126 East Santa Barbara Avenue was held up at 9:00 p.m. by three men. At 10:00 p.m., Kesterson and his partner spotted a car containing two men at 43rd Place and South Avalon Blvd. The suspects answered the description of the theater hold-up men. The officers pulled the car over. Kesterson got out and ordered the two men out of their car. His partner remained in the police car. The two men got out with .38 caliber revolvers in their hand and one, Nathaniel Cooper, age 20, shot Kesterson in the chest. Kesterson then drew his weapon a .357 magnum revolver and shot and killed both Cooper and the other man, Gus Boyd, age 18. Kesterson died at the scene. Kesterson had been on the Department eighteen years and was still assigned to the Reserve Unit.

I rode the bus to work that morning and thought of the times I had worked with Kesteson and what a great policeman and gentleman he was. I wished that I had been working with the night before, maybe the outcome would have been different. At least I would not have sitting on my ass in a police car when the shooting started.

When I got to the office, I learned more details. The two murders were now suspected of killing a City of Vernon police officer, Richard Pennington on January 24. Pennington, a motor officer, stopped a car containing two men for a traffic violation and told the driver to drive to the Vernon police station. After they arrived at the police station parking lot, the driver shot and killed Officer Pennington. Ballistic tests were being run on the two .38's carried by the men killed by Kesterson. The bullet that killed Kesterson entered his chest. Had the bullet continued in a straight line and exited or traveled upward, instead of downward, the wound would not have fatal. Tragically, the bullet traveled downward and struck Kesterson's heart. Despite this fatal wound, Kesterson's courage and determination gave him the strength to draw and fire killing both suspects.

The theater cashier identified both men as the persons who held her up. Nathaniel Cooper was also identified by a witness as the person who killed Officer Pennington. Even the ballistic test confirmed that the .38 that Cooper was carrying had killed Pennington.

Article by Retired Inspector John "two gun" Powers
Note from Author: The Department's Medal of Valor was first awarded in 1925 to Sergeant Frank S. Harper in recognition of Harper's actions during a shootout and capture of a bandit. Officer Walter Kesterson's actions would have deserved this small recognition of his courage and devotion to duty. However the award of the Department's Medal of Valor was suspended from 1936 through 1952.

***Walter Henry Kesterson, husband of Peggy Louise Slagh, was born 13 May 1894 in Monona IA killed in the line of duty February 4, 1946. He was the son of William Nathan Kesterson & Rosa Eva Wood and his line descends back to Sylvester Kesterson of Anderson TN and on further back to the immigrant Thomas Kesterson of Northumberland County VA 1662.


William H. Kesterson
In 1934 or 1935, we met William H Kesterson at the Confederate Home in Higginsville Missouri. He was 91 at that time. He said his father, whose name was William Kesterson was a brother of John Henry Kesterson. He had many years before that visited the Lafayette County Kestersons. He said his grandfathers name was also William and that William I married either Patrick Henry's sister or Patrick's father's sister. I am sure there was a connection with the Henry family but I have not been able to establish it directly. At 91 his mind seemed rather hazy but he gave the following information which I hope I may be able to check sometime. He said his Granndfather William I had 3 sons - They were William II who was his father (The old soldier), James who married a Miss Yokum and went to Nebraska and George who went to Tennessee. According to William III the old soldier, was the father of John Henry Kesterson. There were two girls, Henrietta and Felicia. Each married a Mitchel. He said William I had a brother James who had sons named Addison and Fitzbugh.

From the papers of Virgie Kesterson Hammond, Researcher. Virgie thought that this man was directly related to her John Henry Kesterson of Lafayette Co MO. Further research has proved otherwise. They were related however - distant cousins from Virginia. The mention of being related to Patrick Henry has also been disproven - by the various Biographies of Patrick Henry himself. None of Patrick Henry's sisters married a Kesterson.
**William H Kesterson born about 1842 VA was the son of William H (b 1805) and Jane (Smith) Kesterson who were married in Northumberland VA 20 December 1831. They moved to Caldwell Co MO. Look at Mary Kesterson Wallace (daughter of William H) for furthur details.


William H. Kesterson
One of Clinton county's most substantial and highly respected farmers is William H. Kesterson, now living retired at his picturesque home in Jefferson township, after a long life of close work and excellent management on the farm, his place there being one of the choice and valuable farms of that section of the county. His residence of a score of years, here has been such as to bring to him the good will and esteem of his neighbors, for be has not only been industrious but public spirited and honorable in his dealings with his fellow men. His record in Tippecanoe county, where he lived for some time, is equally good. Prior to that he lived in Hamilton county, where he was born on January 7, 1846, but left there when a boy for Tippecanoe county, where he remained until about twenty years ago. He also lived in Iowa a few years when a boy, also in Illinois.

Mr. Kesterson is a son of Thomas and Susan (Norwood) Kesterson. The father was a native of Tennessee, from which state he came to Hamilton county, Indiana, when a voting man and there married. The mother of our subject was born in Hamilton county, this state. These parents spent their lives on a farm, and were honest, hard working people. Six children were born to them, four of whom are still living. Thomas Kesterson was twice married. His children were named Mary E., who is now deceased; Spicy M., George, William H., our subject; Lousina (deceased), and Delphina. William H. Kesterson grew to manhood on the borne farm and he received a good common school education, mostly in Tippecanoe county and partly in Iowa, where he lived for four years. At Lafayette, in the fall of 1864, he enlisted as a recruit in the Seventy-second Indiana Volunteer Infantry, Company E. mounted infantry, under Captain Mahon, and although he saw considerable service he was in no very important engagements. He was with the troops in Alabama and Georgia, going as far as the city of Macon. Mr. Kesterson was married on November 12, 1858, to Lillian Douglas, who was born on October 9, 1858, in Clinton county, Indiana. She is a daughter of Morland and Jane (Craig) Douglas, both natives of Ireland, where they spent their earlier years, emigrating to America in an early day and here became well established through their industry. Mrs. Kesterson grew to womanhood in Clinton county and here received a common school education.

Seven children have been born to our subject and wife, namely: Thomas, born November 23, 1869: Van, born January 31, 1871, (deceased); Anna J., born June 27, 1872; Frank, born December 1, 1874, Mattie, born March 6, 1878; George S., born February 6, 1880; Herman, born March 28, 1882.

Mr. Kesterson began farming when a young man and made this his life work. He owned a finely improved and productive place of three hnudred (sic) and twenty-four acres, all tillable but about twenty acres, which is in timber. It is well tiled and otherwise well improved and is one of the best farms of Jackson township. He carried on general farming on a large scale, and is still engaged somewhat in stock raising, formerly specializing in shorthorn cattle, and now he makes a specialty of Red Poll cows, Jersey hogs, Shire and Clydesdale horses. He understands well the handling of all kinds of live stock and no small part of his competency has been obtained in this manner. He is a member of the Grand Army of the Republic, is a Progressive in politics, leaning to the Republican party, however Religiously, he belongs to the Methodist Episcopal church.

Our subject's son, George S. Kesterson, enlisted for service in the Spanish-American war on September 18, 1899, at Frankfort in Company A, Thirty-eighth Indiana Volunteer Infantry, under Captain William H. Collier. He was sent to St. Louis, where the company remained until October 20th of that year, then went by rail to San Francisco, leaving that city in November on a transport to Philippine Islands, by way of Honolulu, landing in the city of Manila in December, 1899. From there the company was sent to Datangus, where it did guard duty, having a few skirmishes and remaining there until 1900. Then they were sent to Iloili remaining there until 1901 on guard duty, and having several skirmishes. These troops were then ordered to San Francisco and were mustered out on June 30, 1901, in that city. Young Kesterson's experiences abroad were of much value to him and he talks interestingly of them.

History of Clinton Co IN. Pages 558 - 560


E.G. Wallace
THE DEATH OF E.G. WALLACE-Narrator: E. Green Wallace, 85, Kingston, Missouri
Mr. Wallace was born in 1840, his parents being Abathal Wallace and Adaline O. Stanford of Tennessee and later Livingston and Ray Counties Missouri. Mr. Wallace was for many years a farmer in New York township owning the earlier Jim Filson farm. In his youth he had an adventure which is known to all of his friends. He tells it thus: During the Civil War he tried to get through the lines and reach his brothers in the Confederate army. He with others were captured by militia and were lined up to be shot since they were considered guerillas. At the crack of the guns Mr. Wallace received no shot but hefell and feigned death. To make sure of killing the men, the militia leader shot each of the victims through the head; but in Mr. Wallace's case the bullet passed through his hat, cut off a lock of hair and went on without harm. Thus he twice escaped death but he was reported as dead by the militia. After nightfall he crawled away to bushes and escaped. Soon after this occurrence he realized that the safety of his parents' home was well as their lives were endangered because of the son's enlistment in the Southern Army. He talked it over with his father. His father was about to move to Ray County (as he did afterwards) to avoid trouble. He advised Green to enlist in the Union Army cause as a member of the militia for his own safety. He gave him a swift riding horse and said "I hope you know how to use it." So whenever Mr. Wallace was in action as a Union militiaman, some how the unmanageable horse always turned and ran away, carrying young Green with it. Mr. Wallace married Mary A. Kesterson 1865. The Wm. Kesterson family was also of the Southern side. They had been "burnt out" by the Caldwell County Militia in the Crab Apple trouble of 1862. Not long after the family moved to Nebraska to get out of further trouble with the militia.

THE NATHAN POTTS FAMILY OF SOUTH CALDWELL COUNTY IN THE FIFTIES
Narrator: Mrs. E.G. Wallace
Mrs. Wallace was a daughter of William Kesterson of the south part of the county in the fifties. Kesterson was one of the families in that vicinity who during the Civil War fled with their families from that section to avoid trouble with the Caldwell county militia who were "pestering the Southern sympathizers to death" killing them and burning property. He took his family to Nebraska. It was while yet in this county that he served as "curator" in administering the will of his friend and neighbor Nathan Potts. He died before 1860 and Mrs. Wallace recalled him well. He must have been somewhat of a character. When he died, he in his will freed his oldest and favorite slave Jule, this being a custom in some families; but he also said that his other slaves should not be freed. In spite of the fact that he was a plantation owner and held several slaves, he could not write, could not even sign his own name and when he signed legal documents etc. he used a mark. Some one signed his name for him, he made an X and then above his name was written the word His and below it was written the word Mark. This was done on his will. Such a thing was not so uncommon in his generation, when people were reared in backwoods country, where not even the poorest schools were to be had.

Mary Kesterson was the daughter of Confederate Soldier William H Kesterson & Jane Smith.
Also see William H Kestersons Bio

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