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John Wesley Kesterson was born on the 8th of May 1848 in Greene County Tennessee. He was the son of Gross Scruggs & Narcissa (Easterly) Kesterson. When he was just a shall child the family moved to Lafayette County Missouri. They settled in the area of Odessa.

On the 22nd of September 1873 John was married to Rozella Parkhurst. They had a daughter named Rosa. Rozella must have died young as John married for the second time to Kate Ganther around 1890. John had only one son with Kate - he was John Wesley Kesterson Jr, born 18 September 1902 who lived only a few months. John adopted and raised the four children that Kate had with her previous husband. They were Hazel, Willie, Dixie and Thelma Poorman.

There is some indication that the children did use the Kesterson name. Kate died in 1904 and John married her sister Etta Ganther around 1905. John and Kate had five children together. The photo shown here is that of John, Etta and their first child, Mabel Viola Kesterson who was born on the 6th of September 1906.

Four more children were born to this marriage; Joseph Warren, Bernice Lucille, Francis Xavier and Robert Wayne.

Children of John Wesley & Rosa (Parkhurst) Kesterson
Rosa Kesterson born 1874 married Mitchell

Children of John Wesley & Kate (Ganther) Poorman Kesterson
Hazel Poorman Kesterson 1891 m Horace Gray
Willie Poorman Kesterson 1895 m Caldwell
Dixie Poorman Kesterson 19 Apr 1897 - 9 Sep 1987 m Theodore Potter
Thelma Poorman Kesterson 28 Nov 1899 - 13 Jun 1997 m Campbell
Tottie Poorman Kesterson married Ivan Caldwell
John Wesley Kesterson Jr. b 18 Sep 1902 died 23 Dec 1902

Children of John Wesley & Etta (Ganther) Kesterson
Mabel Viola Kesterson 6 Sep 1906 m W. Ernest Kizer
Joseph Warren Kesterson 13 Feb 1908 - 24 May 1989 m Grace
Bernice Lucille Kesterson 20 Aug 1913 - 03 Sep 1990 m Donald Porter
Frances Xavier Kesterson 21 Nov 1918 - 26 Sep 1989 m Peggy Winifred Starsmore
Robert Wayne Kesterson 26 Oct 1920 - 1 Nov 1993 m Lillie Mae Cessor

John Wesley Kesterson -- in his later years

Selma Cemetery, Drew County AR
Photos courtesy of David Kesterson

John Wesley Kesterson
08 May 1848 - 13 June 1923
Son of Gross Scruggs & Narcissa (Easterly) Kesterson

J W Kesterson Jr
18 September 1902 - 23 December 1902
Son of John Wesley & Katie (Ganther) Poorman Kesterson

Rozella Parkhurst
Born & Born ?
1st Wife of John Wesley Kesterson

Kate (Ganther) Poorman
10 March 1867 - 25 May 1904
Daughter of Xavier & Nancy Jane (Campbell) Ganther
2nd Wife of John Wesley Kesterson

Etta G (Ganther) Kesterson
10 July 1888 - 10 April 1970
Daughter of Xavier & Nancy Jane (Campbell) Ganther
3rd Wife of John Wesley Kesterson

Obituary of John Wesley Kesterson - from the Cotter Arkansas Record Jan. 26, 1923
J.W. Kesterson of Cominto Ark., a prominent lumber and business man, died at his residence on January 13, 1923, at 8:10 p.m. of dropsy and pneumonia. He was 74 years, 8 months and six days old. Mr. Kesterson was born in Greene County TN on May 8, 1848. When he was six months old his parents moved to Odessa, Lafayette County Missouri. On August 24, 1873 he ws married by the Rev. J.B. Jackson to Miss Rosella Parkhurst to whom one daughter was born,Mrs. Rosa Kesterson Mitchell of Ft. Worth, TX. On September 6, 18??, he was married by the Rev. Chas. H. Bruce to Katie G. Poorman to whom was born six children, three of whom survive, Mrs. Willie K. Caldwell of Hugo OK., Mrs. Dixie K. Potter of Cotter AR, Miss Tottie Kesterson of Sapulpa OK. On November 2, 1905 at Pine Bluff AR he was married by the Rev. Sam Campbell to Miss Etta Ganter of Ganter MO, who survives him. To this union eight children were born, five of whom are now living; Viola, Mabel, Joseph Warren,Bernice Lucille, Francis X., and Robert Wayne. He is also survived by two sisters, Mrs. Mary Musser and Mrs. Lucy Brown of Odessa MO: three brothers, F.M. Kesterson of Kansas City KS; Isaac Kesterson of Yates Center KS, andDick Kesterson of Odessa MO and one stepdaughter Mrs. Hazel Gray ofSapulpa OK. Mr. Kesterson was a Civil War veteran who served his commander well. His business career was devoted principally to the lumber business with the exception of the earlier years of his life when he was a successful farmer, school teacher and merchant. He was the organizer and first president of the State Exchange Bank of Yates Center Kansas. Funeral services were held at the Cominto Baptist Church, January 16, 1923 conducted by the Rev. A.D. Jacks. He was laid to rest with Masonic honors at Selma AR, by the Monticello Masonic Lodge.

Bernice Lucille (Kesterson) Porter & Hazel (Poorman-Kesterson) Gray
Dixie (Poorman-Kesterson) Potter; Mabel Viola (Kesterson) Kizer; Etta Ganter Kesterson & Gail Kizer

Hazel (Poorman-Kesterson) Gray with daughter Virginia

Billie Kesterson d/o Tottie Poorman Kesterson Caldwell

Lillie May (Cessor) Kesterson
Wife of Robert Wayne Kesterson (son of John & Etta)

Mrs. Lillie Cessor Kesterson, 94, of Moulton, AL, died Friday, September 17, 2004 at her residence in Moulton. Mrs. Kesterson was a native of Drew County, a resident of Moulton for the past 11 years and a former resident of Ashley & Drew counties. She was a homemaker and a Baptist. She is survived by a daughter, Jean Blevins of Moulton; a sister, Lorene Fulbright of Monticello; 21 grandchildren, 50 great-grandchildren and 13 great-great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her husband, Robert "Smiley" Kesterson in 1993; two sons, Charles Thurman and Edward Davis; three daughters, Dorothy Wilson, Ruby Kelly and Jenette Kelley; and her parents, Albert & Salena Pruitt Cessor. Grave-side funeral services and burial were planned for 2 p.m., Tuesday, September 21, at the Prairie Grove Cemetery in Drew County with Rev. Bobby O'Fallon officiating. Funeral arrangements are by Jones-Hartshorn Funeral Home of Hamburg. From the Ashley County Journal

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