This information is part of the Champaign County ILGenWeb Project. If you have reached this site by means other than The USGenWeb Project, The ILGenWeb Project, or directly, please visit the main Champaign Co, ILGenWeb site for more information regarding Champaign County, IL ancestors. Information contained here was transcribed by Celia Snyder. Please do not repost this information without the express written permission of Celia Snyder.

Champaign County, Illinois

Biography of Captain John B. Lester

SOURCE: "History of Champaign County, Illinois with Illustrations," 1878


. Among the representative farmers of Newcomb township, we take pleasure in mentioning the name that heads this sketch. He was born in Switzerland county, Indiana, February 2d, 1836, and was the son of Benjamin and Deliverance R. LESTER. Benj. Lester was a native of New York, was of English and Swiss descent; he emigrated with his family from Indiana to Newcomb township, in the fall of 1853; he was among the first settlers of the township. The subject of our sketch was then but eighteen years of age. He assisted in the improvement of a farm. Attended school very little, three months being all the schooling he received, but in after life, by diligence, acquired the rudiments of an education.

When the war broke out, with patriotic zeal, he enlisted in 1862, in company F., 125th Illinois volunteers, under Col. Harmon, of Danville, Illinois. He was commissioned first lieutenant before the company left the state. He received his commission October 8, 1862. The following January his captain resigned, and he was commissioned captain of his company, March 2d, 1863. He led his company through the entire war, and was with the 14th corps; made the memorable march to the sea with Gen. Sherman, and was in the many battles incident to this march. He never received an injury during the entire campaign, but at the battle of Kennesaw Mountain, in a single charge, he received seven shots through his clothes. Those were dark days. The terrible burden of the war, bore heavily upon us. There were many absent in the strife. Many anxious hearts were left beating. Some wore the weeds of mourning for those who would never return. But afterward came the joy of victory and peace.

He was united in marriage to Miss Elizabeth A. TROTTER, October 12th, 1865, daughter of Hiram TROTTER, all old and prominent citizen of Newcomb township. By this union they have had six children born to them, four of whom are living. Marion, Rosa, Wiley and Lydia.

Politically, he is a Republican; he represented his township in the county board, for six years. He is a member of the Masonic Benevolent Association of central Illinois, and a Master Mason in good standing, where we leave him, believing that in all proper places, he will prove himself worthy and well qualified.

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