Lester Family Biograph

Edwin Lester, who was numbered until his death among the most respected citizens of Mannsville, was of English ancestry, tracing his descent from James Lester, whose forefathers had emigrated to the American colonies, and who was born in 1732 in Columbia County, NY. In 1826 he moved with his son, James, to Sandy Creek, Oswego Co., where they led the life of pioneers. This migration resulted in a tragedy, as James Lester the elder, being burned to death in his cabin in December 1827, when he had reached the venerable age of 95 years. The son, James Lester, married Rebecca Kline and they were the parents of six sons and four daughters.

Henry Lester, son of James and Rebecca (Kline) Lester, was born December 10, 1787, and all his life followed agricultural pursuits. About 1819 he moved to Oswego County, NY. August 25, 1810 he married Sarah, daughter of Calvin Moulton and they were the parents of ten children:

1. Robert D.
2. Adelia A.
3. James N.
4. William H.
5. Amanda
6. Edwin
7. John W.
8. Charles
9. Harriet A.
10. Samuel N.

The death of Mrs. Lester, (Sarah) the mother of the above family occurred October 6, 1854 in Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin.

Edwin Lester, son of Henry and Sarah (Moulton) Lester was born October 15, 1817 in Columbia Co., NY and was brought up on a farm. As a youth he worked on the farm of Levi P. Hughson, near Pulaski, NY. A flourishing dairy was attached to the estate and Edwin assisted in the making of the large cheese that was presented to General Jackson on his election to the presidency. At age 19, he began to learn the trade of wheelwright, a trade at which he worked in Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts and North Carolina, remaining eight years in the last-named state from the age of 35. In 1859 he settled in Mannsville, Jeff. Co., NY, where he engaged in the furniture and undertaking business which he conducted during the remainder of his life. He was much respected by his neighbors and for many years held the office of school trustee. He was a member and trustee of the Baptist Church. On August 12, 1858 he married Laura (Owen) Eaton, a native of Chepachet, RI, daughter of Arnold Owen and widow of Samuel Eaton. Mrs. Lester has a daughter, Mary Ennsworth Eaton, who became the wife of Nathaniel Wood of Woodville. Edwin Lester and Laura became the parents of three daughters:

1. Sarah M. who was for 15 years engaged in teaching but after the death of her father, has conducted the undertaking business, being a graduate of the Renouard Embalming School of NYC
2. Annie L. who was the wife of Dr. Homer Halyerd Hitchcock, a physician on the Isthmus of Panama, who died in April 1901 after which she married the Rev. David B. McMurdy, a Scotch Presbyterian clergyman of New Bedford, MA.
3. Cora B., who graduated from the Mannsville High School and the Oswego Normal School, for some years was a teacher in the Sandy Creek Academy, and died November 4, 1899 at the age of 39. The death of Mr. Lester, which occurred March 3, 1897, was lamented by all who knew him, as that of an upright businessman, a kind neighbor and a good citizen.

Gen. and family history of Jeff. Co., Oakes, Vol. 1.

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