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Below is a family biography included in The History of Darke County, Ohio published by W. H. Beers & Co. in 1880.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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GEORGE KESTER, farmer and wagon-maker, P. O. German. The subject of this memoir was born in Montgomery Co., Ohio, near Germantown, in 1809; he is of German descent and is the son of George Kester, Sr., who was born in Pennsylvania in 1777, and emigrated to Ohio in the beginning of the present century. The older Kester remembered having seen George Washington at his father’s private inn, in Pennsylvania. He celebrated his marriage with Miss Julia Ann Wolfe, a relative of the famous soldier, General James Wolfe. When he came to Ohio, he settled in Montgomery Co., near Dayton. The westward march of civilization had then just reached Montgomery Co., and he constituted one of its early settlers; he served as a soldier in the war of 1812 for a period of six months, and was at Ft. Greenville when the Wilson children were murdered by the Indians; he in company with one or two others gave the murderers chase; a favorite dog of Mr. Kester, previously trained, leading them on their track; he would most probably soon have overtaken the villians and brought them to justice, but for the fear of the Captain of the garrison who ordered them, back to the fort. In February, 1837 he came to this county and settled in German Township, on the southwest quarter of Sec. 14, on a part of which a portion of Palestine has since been built; in March, 1838, he met with a severe and what afterward, through the negligence or rather ignorance of the attending physician, proved a fatal accident; he was a great lover of the chase, and, while out on a fox hunt with several more, he received a kick from the horse of David Ketring, which completely shattered the lower bone of his leg; from the effects of this he died in the following May; his wife died, when our subject was about 8 years old, with a rose cancer on her face; she was a woman of more than ordinary intelligence in her day, having received a fine German education. Mr. and Mrs. Kester were the parents of fourteen children. Our subject’s early life did not differ much from that of many other boys in the early period of the settlement of this county; he remained at home till 16 years of age, devoting his time with his father on the farm; at this age, he worked three months on the Miami Canal, which was then in the process of construction, and the completion of which was looked to with great anxiety, some believing that it would prove an invaluable blessing to the country, and many others that it would prove equally as great an injury; he was then apprenticed to the wagon-maker’s trade, and served a term of two and a half years; he then pursued this occupation for several years as a journeyman, setting up on his own responsibility, first at Sunbury, in 1833. May 10th, 1835, he was united in marriage with Miss Eve Frank, and on the 20th of the same month he, accompanied by his wife, started to this county to improve a piece of land which he had previously entered; the journey was made by team and required two days; he began at once to erect a log house, but before completing it the privations necessarily connected with it proved too severe, and he was prostrated with sickness; after he recovered, he returned to Montgomery Co. with his team, after some household goods which he could not bring on the first trip; while here, he was again prostrated with sickness, and thus becoming somewhat discouraged with his new home in Darke County, he was easily persuaded by his friends to remain in his native place and resume his former occupation; this he did till April, 1838, when he again moved to German Township, locating on the east half of his father’s farm, which he subsequently purchased for $2,000, the amount paid for the whole quarter a few years previous by his father; at his father’s death he administered on the estate, and then made the purchase above referred to; he remained on the farm till about nine years ago, superintending it and at the same time carrying on his shop in Palestine; he formerly dealt largely in fine blooded horses, his opinion being regarded as that of an expert on such horses; about nine years ago he moved to Palestine, where he still resides. Mr. and Mrs. Kester are the parents of six children, three of whom are deceased; Mrs. Kester died in 1855, lamented by all who knew her; Mr. Kester gave his second daughter a collegiate education, at Oxford, Ohio; she subsequently engaged in teaching, and was united in marriage to Capt. Moore, of Greenville. Mr. Kester consummated his second marriage with Viola Mikesell; two children, a son and daughter, have been born to this union; the son is married and had two children, one of whom has deceased; he is much given to instrumental music, and is at present (1880) a member of the “Palestine Brass Band.”

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This family biography is one of 659 biographies included in The History of Darke County, Ohio published in 1880 by W. H. Beers & Co.  For the complete description, click here: Darke County, Ohio History and Genealogy

View additional Darke County, Ohio family biographies here: Darke County, Ohio Biographies

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