LYON COUNTY GENEALOGY
RAILROADS HELP LESTER DEVELOPMENT
Railroads played an important part in the development of Lester. Two railroads criss-crossed in Lester and the town "settled" mainly to the south where they crossed. Later it shifted toward the north of the cross and their Main Street developed.
One of the railroads was the Great Northern. H.D. Kepner was the first agent; later was Mr. Frank Schultz, and a Mr. Ivan Gezeweski. Mr. Schultz was married to Kate Grossman and they had two children, Opal and Ervin, well-known young people who in later life became educators in public schools, Mr. Ivan Gezeweski married a local girl, Emma Wulf. Their two children, Vincent and Lola attended school here in Lester. Their father was affectionately known as "Ikey".
The other great railroad was the Rock Island. A Mr. Vasey was the agent and he lived above the depot with his five children, Ruth, Miriam, Robert, Frank and Gloria. Living above the depot had quite an advantage in that the heat from the lower floor served the upper floor too, hence free heat for the tenants.
To the west of the depot was a marvelous artesian well quite often referred to as "cast-iron Mike". Trains drew upon this water - hence another service of the Lester station.
In later years Francis Dwyer was a station agent. He and his wife Irene and their two children lived "above the depot" as well as Mr. Al Cousins and his wife. Joe and Katie Thompson were another fine couple who lived there. Katie was especially known for her lovely flower garden at the depot. She and Lena (Messner) Nester who lived near by were featured in local newspapers for their lovely gardens in Lester.
As late as 1958 telegrams were delivered from the Rock Island depot.
There were stockyards at the depots. One frequently used for shipping cattle was the Great Northern. Grain too was shipped out.
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