genealogy trails

Christian County Illinois

Named after Christian County in Kentucky through the influence of emigrants from that county.

Established February 15, 1839 as Dane County (Laws, 1839, p. 104). Name changed to Christian County in 1840.

Portrait and biographical record of Christian County, Illinois : containing biographical sketches of prominent and   representative citizens, together with biographies of all the Governors of the state, and of the Presidents of the United States.  Chicago, Ill. : Lake City Pub. Co., 1893, p. 274.  Transcribed and annotated by Judy Rosella Edwards, 2007.

JOY K. KESTER is a public-spirited citizen and enterprising farmer, who is engaged in agricultural pursuits on section 3, Stonington Township. He is a native of Indiana, having been born in Washington County, September 8, 1846. His father, William Kester, was also a native of the Hoosier State, and there married Miss Rebecca Hall, a native of the same State and county.

At an early day Mr. Kester came West to purchase land, and was taken sick and died in this State. He was taken back to Indiana for interment, and was buried in Posey Creek Cemetery, Washington County. His death occurred in the year 1852. His wife is still living and is yet a resident of Indiana.

They were the parents of four children, who are all living. Maria E. is the wife of Peter Hanger, of Washington
County, Ind.; our subject is the next in order of birth; May is the wife of Joel P. Grubb; and William D. completes the family. The two last-named are residents of Washington County, Ind.

Until reaching his twentieth year, Joy K. Kester was employed upon his father's farm in the usual manner of country boys, his time being divided between work on the farm and in attendance at the district school. On the llth of October, 1866, he was united in marriage with Miss Sarah A. Smith, who is a daughter of George M. and Sarah (Cathcart) Smith. Mrs. Kester was born in Washington County, Ind., where she grew to womanhood.

When in his twenty-seventh year our subject came to Christian County and first located in Taylorville. After living there some years, he settled on section 3, where he still continues to make his home and owns a valuable farm of two hundred acres. It is well equipped with substantial buildings, good fences and other improvements. It is especially adapted to stock-raising, though a large share of it is under cultivation. The owner is numbered among the most practical farmers of the vicinity, and keeps fully abreast with the times in modern methods of farm management. He numbers many friends in this locality, and is conceded by all to be a man of merit and unblemished character.

The union of our subject and wife has been blessed with a family of five children. Lorena is the wife of William McCloskey, who resides on section 3 of this township; William died at the age of four years, and was buried in Sharpsburg Cemetery; John is married and making his home in Taylorville; Charles, the youngest son, is at home; and Ida is the baby.

In his political views, Mr. Kester is a Democrat. He has held the office of School Director, Township Treasurer and Commissioner of Highways, and in each of these positions he has shown himself devoted to the interests of the public, and has tried in every possible way to promote their welfare.

Also he holds the office of Treasurer of the Mosquito Township Mutual Insurance Association. He is a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and, religiously, both he and his wife are faithful members of the Christian Church.

It is to such enterprising men that the county owes her prosperity and development from her former wild state, and Mr. Kester, as one of the early settlers, deserves a representation in the records of the pioneers.



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