THE JESTER FAMILY
These short biographies were published in
History of Navarro County [Texas]* in 1933.
The Jester family is closely interwoven with the social and economic life of Navarro County. The first member of this outstanding family was Mrs. Diadema Jester, the widow of Levi Jester, who came to Texas with her children in a covered wagon about 1858. Her father, Hampton McKinney, with his family, settled in Navarro County some years before Mrs. Jester arrived.
Shortly after the arrival of Mrs. Jester her two oldest sons, Charles and George, began hauling brick with which the first brick court house was erected. Records indicate the two boys earned 50¢ a day each for their labor. Besides the three sons there were two daughters, Vina (Mrs. Robt. Bates), Mary (Mrs. J. D. Hamilton). The Jester family for a time lived near where the telephone building now stands and across the street from what was then the R. N. White home. A short distance East of their home was a beautiful grove of oak and persimmon trees which was a favorite place for gatherings of all kinds. Sam Houston spoke in this grove and around the Jester home many warm discussions on topics of the day occurred. By strange coincidence temperance was then one of the foremost topics of politica debate and from that time until the present has continued to be so.
The two Jester boys, who helped erect the court house, entered business, Charles buying out the Jernigan Saddle Shop and George T. Jester entering the world of finance. His wife, Frances Gordon Jester, and son, Beauford Jester, and family live in Jester Place, Corsicana.
C. W. Jester was for years a leading member of the business and religious life of Corsicana and helped erect the first Methodist Church which was built in 1871. The early records of this church are still treasured by Judge C. L. Jester, his son.
*History of Navarro County (Dallas, Tex.: Southwest Press, 1933), pp. 261-63.