Another pioneer family contributing much to the history of the Lester community was Wilhelm and Friederike Knobloch and their offspring. Wilhelm Martin Knobloch was born to Johann Christoph Dietrich Knobloch and Friederike Weilbach on April 8, 1853 in Wurttemburg, Germany. He was the oldest of three children and was taught and trained to make an honorable livelihood as a farmer. At the age of twenty-one years he was required to serve in the German army, which he did.

Wilhelm married Friederike Nester, daughter of Johann Christoph Nester and Christine Regena Ringner. Wilhelm and Friederike Knobloch owned fifteen acres of rich farm land in the Neckar Valley, which consisted of eight to ten different plots. The Knoblochs lived in a nice village called Frankenbach, which was occupied mostly by farmers. The crops raised on the farm were barley, wheat, mangel beets (used for livestock feed), potatoes, sugar beets and hay. Cows were used for the operation of the farm, as well as for the production of dairy products for market and family use. An excellent orchard produced an abundant supply of fruit for additional income, as well as food for their growing family. Eight children were born of this marriage while the Knoblochs lived in Germany. namely: Emilie, Pauline, Emma, Dietrich, Ernst, Karoline, William and Martha. Emilie and Pauline attended the little village school. The Knoblochs were of the Lutheran Faith while living in Germany.

Friederike’s brother, Ernst Nester, preceded the Knoblochs to America. It was through his encouragement of the better living conditions in America, as well as the fact that there was no compulsory military service for their sons, that prompted the Knoblochs to come to America.

The Knoblochs sold their farm and all personal property, with the exception of only a couple of trunks of clothing and bedding. The money derived from the sale was sent to Ernst Nester, who, in turn, purchased 160 acres of farm land in Lyon County, Iowa, at the cost of $21.50 per acre. Among the items brought to America were some large square nails so that they could do building in America. The older children carried additional personal items that were strapped to their backs.

It was a sad event for the family to leave their homeland the end of February. 1890. The journey commenced with a three day train ride from Heilbron, Germany to Antwerp, Belgium, where they boarded the ship called the “Freesland.” The family included Wilhelm, Friederike and the children born in Germany, with the exception of Martha, who had earlier passed away. Their boat accommodations were considered as “third class”, and the passengers who did not become sea sick were required to work on the boat, doing such duties as dish washing, cleaning and so forth. Dietrich and William were the only ones of the family not becom­ing sea sick during their voyage. The voyage lasted eleven days, and storms were encountered along the way. On March 15, 1890, the Knoblochs landed in New York. Again, they boarded a train with Rock Valley, Iowa as their destination. There they were met by Ernst Nester, who transported the Knoblochs by box-wagon to their farm in Cleveland Township, in Lyon County, Iowa. They remained on this farm for three years, and thereupon moved across the road to a larger home, but still farming the same land for another seven years. Eight more children were born to the Knoblochs at this farm. They were Maria, August, Jacob, Martha, Lydia and Benjamin and two infants who died at birth.

In the spring of 1900 the Knoblochs again moved to a half section which they purchased in Logan Township for $33.00 an acre. This farm was approximately two and one half miles south of Lester, where Wilhelm and Friederike resided until their deaths. The last child, Emil, was born on this farm, and Emil farmed the same until his retirement to the town of Lester. Emil’s son William is presently living on this farm.

The Knoblochs had a sizable milking herd, which required the labors of their growing sons and daughters. All of the farming operation was done with the use of horses. Wilhelm took great pride in having good horses and raised many colts, requiring a great deal of care. De-horning cattle in the winter­time for others was additional work done by Wilhelm.

Though the Knoblochs were acquainted with the convenience of an automobile, they never owned one of their own. However, they did take great pride in having good teams of horses and nice buggies.

In keeping up with the needs of the family, the Knoblochs had a large orchard and garden, as well as raising chickens, which were hatched by them on their farm. Along with all of the work of caring for her family, Friederike handled most of the business affairs connected with the farm. She also spent many evenings spinning and knitting clothing for her family.

The Knoblochs became acquainted with the Apostolic Christian Church through Ernst Nester and were affiliated with it throughout their lifetime.

Wilhelm passed away March 3, 1926. Friederike then lived with her children, helping them out when she was able. She passed away March 27, 1936. Both Wilhelm and Friederike Knobloch were buried in the Apostolic Christian Church Cemetery south of Lester, Iowa.

Wilhelm and Friederike would be amazed at the impact their lives have had on the Lester Community. As of March 31, 1982, they had 1,336 direct descendants, many of whom lived and are living and making their livelihood in this community.