OUR KESTER FAMILY HISTORY
compiled by Staci Anderson , January , 2004
JOHN MICHAEL KUSTER ( KESTER)
Not much is known about John Michael Kuster. He was prossibly born in Germany, sometime around 1724. He died on 29 May 1800. He was married to a Eva Barbara and they had ten children.
Leonard Kester was born in 1746 (Germany or US?). He was married in 1777 to Maria Catherine Keres (b.1756), with whom he had seven children. At some point after 1786 and before the US Federal Census of 1790, Leonard moved his family to Ontario Canada, where he died on 24 Mar 1839 in Markham Township.
JOHN MICHAEL KESTER
John Michael Kester was born in Lower Mount Bethel, Northampton County, Pennsylvania on 25 Aug, 1780. When a child, he moved with his family to Ontario. He married Susannah Johnson and they had nine children. John Michael died on 13 Sep 1852 in Markham Township, Ontario,Canada.
William Kester was born in Ontario, Canada, probably in Stouffville, near Toronto, sometime around 1827. In 1858, he married Catherine Yake, who came from a family that had lived in Stouffville for two generations. (There is even a Yake family cemetery in Stouffville. The Yake's originally came from Germany.)The Canadian 1871 Census lists him living in Ontario, District Oxford North, Nissouri East. He is also listed as his family name being "American" in origin. Under religious affiliation on the census records, he was listed as a "Disciple of Christ." William was a farmer by occupation.. William Kester died sometime after this 1871 Canadian census and sometime before the 1881 Canadian census, as Catherine Yake Kester is listed as widowed on the 1881 census.William most likely died in Stouffville, Ontario. There were 5 children on the 1881 census record: Wilmot, (see below), Adaline, Aravilla, William and Weleryton (Wellington). However, they had four other children: Willis, Ada, Washington, and Armenta.
(Wilmot as young man and Wilmot with wife Frances Maria Conklin. Notice the pin on his jacket- a Canadian Maple Leaf showing his heritage even as he lived in Oregon.)
Wilmot was born in Stouffeville, Ontario Canada on 26 February 1860. According to his "declaration of intention" paper he immigrated to the US via Detroit in March of 1882. On 5 April, 1882 in Spink County, Dakota he signed his intention to become a citizen of the United States. In Conde, South Dakota it is said he was employed as a telegraph operator for the railroad. He also had his sights on farming and owning land. On May 4th, 1883, Wilmot filed his Preemption Proof for 320 acres in Spink County. He built a house "8x10 ft. one story frame, shingle roof, floor, door and window; well 20ft deep and 10 acres of breaking. Total value at 200.00. He cultivated 6 acres to oats. It was there in Spink County that he met his wife, Frances Maria Conklin. They were married on 28 Nov, 1889 in Conde. In 1890 Wilmot and Frances traveled by train together to Tacoma, Washington. Soon after, their 1st child, Catherine Maria Kester (see below) was born. As it was difficult to get work, they moved to Oregon, just north of Salem and worked for a farmer there named Fletcher. Wilmot was a dairyman and worked in the George W Weeks dairy, and then later worked in the Coop Creamery Association. In the meantime, they had several more children: Wellington, Eva Belle, Wilmot Wesley, Ralph Victor and Harry Emery. The family moved into Polk County, near Buena Vista. Then they rented a farm on Soap Creek. The children attended school in Suver. Another child, Jessie May was born. The next fall they bought a farm west of Suver near Valley View School. In 1939 Wilmot and Frances celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. They lived on the farm, dairying, raising sheep and turkeys until they moved to Monmouth in 1942 where they lived until Wilmot died. (Information from Opal Kester, 1986.) His last known residence was 344 Jackson Street, Monmouth, Oregon. Wilmot died on 21 July 1943 in the Corvallis General Hospital, Benton County, Oregon, due to cerebral hemorrhage. His record also showed that he suffered from arteriosclerosis. Wilmot is buried with his wife, Frances, in Monmouth, Oregon.
CATHERINE MARIA KESTER (Catherine as a young girl. Taken in Salem, Oregon. See Oltoff history for a photo of her as a young woman.)
Catherine was born on 2 February, 1891 in Tacoma, Washington. She traveled with her family to Oregon when a very small child. Catherine was married on 11 Feb 1908 to John Olthoff. John had come to work for Catherine's father as a young man and that is how they met. They had 2 children together: John "Kes" and Lorraine. The children went to school in Suver until they moved to Tillamook County. They lived in (Meda?), near Cloverdale. John & Catherine divorced in Tillamook County. Catherine later married Frank Fox, sometime around 1921 when Lorraine was in the 3rd grade. In 1927 they moved to Klamath County where Lorraine attended her 1st year of high school at Henley High, and then the last years were at Keno High School. After Catherine's children were grown and having children of their own, "Grandpa Fox" and she moved to Coos Bay, Oregon - back to the coast. "Grandma Kester" (as everyone called Catherine) loved flowers and gardening. She especially loved Fuscias and sold them from her home. She also enjoyed fishing and hunting with her husband. Catherine died on 19 November, 1979 in Coos Bay, Oregon.
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