Crawford County, Iowa, IAGenWeb


George Hester

Germany has contributed many capable and successful farmers to Crawford county, among whom is George Hester, who resides on sections 17 and 18, Washington township, where he engages in general farming and stock-raising.

His birth occurred in Baden on the 4th of February, 1839, where his parents. Jacob and Madeline (Shaffer) Hester were born and married. The parents emigrated to the United States in 1850, first locating in Chicago, which at that time bore little resemblance to the cities of the fatherland as not even the streets were paved.

They remained in the city one year and at the end of that period bought a farm twenty miles northwest of there, where they resided for three or four years and then rented a place in Du Page county, Illinois. They spent nine years in that county, living on two different places during that time, and then removed to Geneva, Illinois, where they lived the remainder of their days, the mother passing away first.

Unto Mr. and Mrs. Hester were born the following children: Ursula, deceased; George, our subject; Mary, who is living in Aurora, Illinois; Ellen, deceased; Carrie, a resident of Geneva, Illinois; Sophia, living in Elgin, Illinois; and three who died in infancy.

George Hester never had the opportunity of going to school, such education as he acquired being obtained through his own efforts and the assistance occasionally rendered by others. He remained at home, assisting in the cultivation of the farm, until he was twenty-nine years of age, at which time he began working for himself. Going to Geneva, Illinois, he engaged in draying for twelve years and then rented a farm in Geneva township but the chinch bugs destroyed his crops and he gave up the place at the end of the year. He rented another farm, however, and during the seven years he lived there met with most gratifying success.

In 1882 he removed to Crawford county, Iowa, and bought his homestead, containing one hundred and twenty acres of land, upon which he has made extensive and substantial improvements during the period of his occupancy. He makes a specialty of breeding and raising thoroughbred Durham cattle and is meeting with success in his undertakings.

Mr. Hester was united in marriage in 1867 to Miss Augusta Polzien, who was born in Prussia in 1848 and is a daughter of August and Caroline (Winke) Polzien. Her parents emigrated to the United States in 1856 and located in Batavia, Illinois, where they continued to live during the remainder of their days. They were the parents of twelve children, those surviving being Augusta and William, living in Aurora, Illinois. The ten who have passed away were as follows: Emma, Fred, Minnie, Julius, August, Herman, John, Charles, Henriette and Caroline.

Seven children have been born unto Mr. and Mrs. Hester: George and Edward, both deceased; May, the wife of Robert Pazmore, of Des Moines; Cora, who married Dr. Windette, of Aurora, Illinois; Harry, living in the same place; Albert, who lives on the farm adjoining his father; and Edna, who is the wife of John Cole, Buck Grove, Iowa.

The parents hold membership in the Methodist Episcopal church. Mr. Hester is a veteran of the Civil war, having enlisted and gone to the front with Company C, Illinois Volunteer Infantry in 1862. He was in the service for three years, during which time he engaged in some important battles, among others that of Chickamauga. While in Georgia his company was attacked by the guerrillas who took everything they had, but a few days later they captured the same band, many of whom were shot during the action. Mr. Hester knew General Shennan personally and went with him as far as Savannah on his famous march.

Ever since acquiring the right of suffrage Mr. Hester has voted for the republican party. His first ballot was cast for John Fremont and he voted for Lincoln both times. Although he has never aspired to public office he served as road supervisor one term, the duties of which position he discharged satisfactorily.

Source: History of Crawford County, Iowa. Vol. II. Chicago: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., 1911.