OBITUARY OF LT. GOV. GEORGE TAYLOR JESTER
This obituary was published in
The Dallas Morning News* in 1922.
Obvious typographical errors have been corrected.
Bracketed matter has been added.
FORMER LIEUT. GOV. G. T. JESTER IS DEAD
AGED POLITICAL AND SOCIAL LEADER DIES AT CORSICANA WEDNESDAY.
Special to The News.
Corsicana, Texas, July 20 .—George Taylor Jester died at his home, 308 [numerals are unclear] South Fifteenth Street, at 11:30 o’clock Wednesday night. Although in bad health for nearly two years, his death was not expected.
Former Lieutenant Governor Jester was considered one of the prominent citizens of Texas. In social, political, religious, educational and business life of the State he was a leader whose influence was felt. He has had a prominent part in the development of Texas for the last fifty or more years and his record is one of public service.
Occupying, as he has, some of the highest offices within the gift of the people of the State, he has long been known as an able statesman. From a business standpoint, his good judgment and unusual ability was ever recognized. In social and religious service he excelled. As a lay member of the Methodist Church he has helped solve the problems and policies of the church for years. He has encouraged and aided educational institutions and social service organizations throughout the State.
Ill for Two Years.
Mr. Jester was 75 years old. He has been suffering with heart trouble for two years, but was not considered seriously ill. Late Wednesday evening he talked to friends while standing on the sidewalk of his home. His last remarks to these friends were to the effect that he was deeply interested in the present political campaign and expected to come down and hear the election returns Saturday night.
Mr. Jester is survived by his wife, four children, Claude Jester of New York, Mrs. Clay Johnson of Fort Worth, Charles G. Jester of [sic] Beauford H. Jester of Corsicana; one brother, L. L. Jester, of Dallas, and two aunts, Mrs. Jane Beaton and Mrs. Mary Miller of Corsicana.
A message received this morning from Claude Jester announced that he would arrive here Saturday afternoon. Mrs. Clay Johnson reached Corsicana at noon today. Mr. L. L. Jester and family sailed for Alaska last Tuesday and efforts to communicate with them have failed.
The funeral will be held at 5 o’clock Sunday afternoon from the first Methodist Church. The Rev. Horace Bishop of San Angelo will conduct the services, assisted by the Rev. D. K. Porter, pastor of the First Methodist church. The Knights Templar will conduct the services at the grave.
Held Several Places.
Mr. Jester was at the time of his death a member of the board of directors of the Corsicana Y. M. C. A., of the board of directors of the First State Bank and of the board of trustees of the First Methodist Church.
He was born on a farm in Macoupin County, Ill., Aug. 23, 1846, the son of Levi and Diadema Jester. His father died in 1852, leaving the mother and six children.
Hampton McKinney, grandfather of George T. Jester, removed to Texas in 1847, and built the first house—a log cabin on the site now occupied by the city of Corsicana. On the death of Mr. Levi Jester in 1852, his widow and six children made their way to Mr. McKinney’s home, traveling from Macoupin County, Ill., to Corsicana, in a two-horse wagon. Soon after their arrival, the county commenced the construction of a courthouse, the first brick building erected in that part of the State. George T. Jester and his elder brother, Charles W. Jester, secured employment hauling and bearing brick at 50c a day.
At the age of 17 year[s] he abandoned reading law and joined Hood’s Fourth Texas Regiment. For a time following the war he clerked in a dry goods store and in a few years went into business for himself. He later retired from the merchandising business to go into the banking business with his brothers, C. W. and L. L. Jester. Later he was connected with the Corsicana National Bank, and until a few years ago was the president of the First State Bank of Corsicana.
Delegate to Conference.
Mr. Jester was a lay delegate to the general conference that met at Richmond, Va., in May, 1886, and elected Bishops Duncan, Galloway, Hendricks and Kay, and was also a delegate to the general conference that assembled at St. Louis in May, 1890, and elected Bishops Haygood and Fitzgerald. The general conference is the highest body known to the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, and the most distinguished honor that can be conferred on a lay member of the church is to be sent as a delegate to this august conference, which makes ecclesiastical laws and ordinances for the Methodists of the Southern States.
Mr. Jester was one of the founders of Southern Methodist University at Dallas and was on the first board of directors of that institution. He gave liberally in the way of contributions and advice and counsel to the school and was looked on as one of the foremost benefactors of the institution.
He was one of the five citizens of Corsicana who subscribed $5,000 each in the campaign for the erection of a Y. M. C. A. in this city.
He was a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, and helped to erect the first church of this denomination in Corsicana. He has always been a prominent member of the first Methodist Church of this city, and was one of the trustees of that institution.
Served in Legislature.
In 1890 Mr. Jester was nominated by acclamation by the Sixtieth District, Navarro County, and at the ensuing election, in November, was elected to the House of Representatives of the Twenty-Second Legislature, without opposition. Every page of the House journal abundantly testifies how well he discharged the duties entrusted to him by his constituents. Mr. Jester was a member of the following committees: State affairs, revenue, taxation, roads, bridges and ferries; insurance, statistics and history, and stock and stock raising.
After his service in the House of Representatives, Mr. Jester was elected for two terms to the state Senate, where he rendered distinguished service for the State.
He then became Lieutenant Governor during the administration of Governor Charles A. Culberson. During a part of Culberson’s second administration, in 1896 to 1900, he was out of the State due to the illness of his wife, and Mr. Jester occupied the Governor’s chair.
*The Dallas Morning News (Dallas, Tex.), Friday, 21 Jul 1922, sec. 1, p. 4.