Smoky Mountain Family Historian

Tuesday, August 02, 2016

James Best Hester


1880 U.S. Federal Census, Monroe County, Mississippi, population schedule, Boyds Precinct, SD 1, ED 139, p. 294A (stamped), p. 11 (written), dwelling 114, family 114, lines 20-24, J. B. Hester household; digital image, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:33S7-9YBV-8DQ : accessed 30 July 2016); citing National Archives microfilm publication T9, roll 658.

Hester, J. B. - W - M - 45 - Farmer - MS - MS - MS
--, Elizabeth - W - F - 35 - wife - Keeping house - MS - MS - MS
--, A. E. - W - F - 14 - daughter - At home - MS - MS - MS
--, Leanna - W - F - 12 - daughter - At home - MS - MS - MS
Rawlins, Watt - W - M - 16 - bords - Works on farm - MS - MS - MS

In spite of what is said on the 1880 census, James Best Hester was probably born in Autauga County, Alabama. His parents are John Hester and Elizabeth Gray. He first appears in the 1850 census for Itawamba County, Mississippi in the household of his parents John and Elizabeth. He is enumerated as James B., age 12, born in Alabama.1 According to this census, he would have been born sometime between 2 June 1837 and 1 June 1838. He was the last of John and Elizabeth's children born in Alabama which shows that the family moved to Mississippi by about 1840 or 1841 when his brother Jesse was born.

He married Elizabeth Hawkins 9 September 1858 in Monroe County, Mississippi.2

Son Benjamin B. Hester was born 4 Aug 1859.4 The three of them and a nineteen-year-old Mary Finkle who was born in Alabama are enumerated in the 1860 census for Monroe County.3 James is listed as age 21, born in Mississippi, and working as a laborer. During the Civil War, he was a member of the 43rd Regiment of Mississippi Infantry, Company G.5

A second son William W. was born 16 April 1862.6 Son Benjamin died 21 September 18627 and William died 29 September 1864.8 Both are buried in the Carolina Cemetery in Itawamba County, Mississippi.

The family appears in the 1870 census for Gibson County, Tennessee.9 James was listed as a 32-year-old male, born in Alabama, and working as a farmer. Also in the household were his wife Elizabeth and daughters Anna and Leanna. Mother and daughters were listed as having been born in Tennessee in this census although the 1880 census gives Mississippi as the birth location for all of them. The location of Tennessee is definitely wrong for Elizabeth who was born in Monroe County, Alabama, although I will save that documentation and discussion for a future post. However, it seems more probable Anna and Leanna were born in Tennessee. It is unknown why James and Elizabeth moved to Tennessee, but whatever took them there did not last. They were back in Monroe County, Mississippi by the time the 1880 census was taken. In her application for a widow's pension, she originally had a date of 1880 recorded for the date they moved to Texas but changed that to 2 December 1879.10 In light of the 1880 census, her original year was likely correct.

James and Elizabeth have not been located in the 1900 census. Presumably they are residing in Texas.

James Best Hester died 21 February 1910,11 presumably in Bastrop County, Texas, near Elgin. Elizabeth resided a few months later with her widowed daughter Lee Glover and grandchildren Vester, Lizzie, and Clifton. Vester's father was listed as William R. Glover with the Social Security administration.13

Elizabeth resides in the home of her grandson B. V. Glover in 1920 on Josephine Street in Holland, Bell County, Texas.14 She has not been located in the 1930 census.

Elizabeth died in the home of her grandson C. Glover on 8 September 1932 in Temple, Bell County, Texas.15

So, how is James Best Hester related to Dock Hester? Dock's father is John H. Hester. John H.'s father is not proven. John Hester, father of James Best, is possibly a brother of a James Hester (born about 1790 in North Carolina) who may be the father of John H. Hester. James married a Jane Hunt, but she was not John H.'s mother. The difference in age between James and Jane is great enough that she may be a second wife. This, of course, is very much speculative, and the relationships have not been proven.




1 1850 U.S. Federal Census, Itawamba County, Mississippi, population schedule, District 6, p. 335B (stamped), dwelling 655, family 662, lines 5-13, John Hester household; digital image, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HY-64KS-89B : accessed 30 July 2016); citing National Archives microfilm publication M432, roll 373.
2 Monroe County Mississippi Marriages (1821-1921) (s.l.: s.n, n.d.), vol. 2, p. 262; Evans Memorial Library, Aberdeen, Mississippi. This is a 4 volume unpublished set.
3 1860 U.S. Federal Census, Monroe County, Mississippi, population schedule, Western Division, p. 425, sheet 1, dwelling 4, family 4, lines 14-17, James Hester household; digital image, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:33S7-9BS7-XL5 : accessed 30 July 2016); citing National Archives microfilm publication 653, roll 587.
4 Find A Grave, database (http://www.findagrave.com : accessed 30 July 2016), memorial no. 36938294, Benjamin B. Hester (4 Aug 1859-21 Sep 1862), created by "FamilyResearcher"; citing Carolina Cemetery, Itawamba County, Mississippi.
5 National Park Service, Soldiers and Sailors Database, database, National Park Service (https://www.nps.gov/civilwar/search-soldiers-detail.htm?soldierId=223613A8-DC7A-DF11-BF36-B8AC6F5D926A : accessed 30 July 2016), entry for James B. Hester, 43rd Regiment, Mississippi Infantry, Company G; citing National Archives microfilm M232, roll 18.
6 Find A Grave, database (http://www.findagrave.com : accessed 30 July 2016), memorial no. 36938268, William W. Hester (16 Apr 1862-29 Sep 1864), created by "FamilyResearcher"; citing Carolina Cemetery, Itawamba County, Mississippi.
7 Find A Grave, database (http://www.findagrave.com : accessed 30 July 2016), memorial no. 36938294, Benjamin B. Hester (4 Aug 1859-21 Sep 1862), created by "FamilyResearcher"; citing Carolina Cemetery, Itawamba County, Mississippi.
8 Find A Grave, database (http://www.findagrave.com : accessed 30 July 2016), memorial no. 36938268, William W. Hester (16 Apr 1862-29 Sep 1864), created by "FamilyResearcher"; citing Carolina Cemetery, Itawamba County, Mississippi.
9 1870 U.S. Federal Census, Gibson County, Tennessee, 14th Civil District, p. 450A (stamped), sheet 15, dwelling 95, family 95, lines 19-22, James Hester household; digital image, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HY-D1PQ-269 : accessed 30 July 2016); citing National Archives microfilm publication M593, roll 1528.
10 "Alabama, Texas, and Virginia, Confederate Pensions, 1884-1958," database with images, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : 30 July 2016), Elizabeth Hester, no. 18669, "Form B: For Use of Widows of Soldiers Who Are in Indigent Circumstances," approved 5 June 1910; citing Texas State Library and Archives Commission, Confederate Pension Applications, 1899-1975, collection CPA18661, roll 256. Another document within the file says she moved to Texas in March 1880.
11 "Alabama, Texas, and Virginia, Confederate Pensions, 1884-1958," database with images, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : 30 July 2016), Elizabeth Hester, no. 18669, "Form B: For Use of Widows of Soldiers Who Are in Indigent Circumstances," approved 5 June 1910; citing Texas State Library and Archives Commission, Confederate Pension Applications, 1899-1975, collection CPA18661, roll 256.
12 1910 U.S. Federal Census, Bastrop County, Texas, population schedule, Justice Precinct 4, Elgin, SD 10, ED 8, p. 167B (stamped), sheet 24B, dwelling 465, family 466, lines 76-80, Lee Glover household; digital image, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:33SQ-GYBS-GWD : accessed 30 July 2016); citing National Archives microfilm publication T624, roll 1529.
13 "U.S. Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007," database, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : 30 July 2016), entry for Buna Vester Clover (b. 21 Feb 1893).
14 1920 U.S. Federal Census, Bell County, Texas, population schedule, Justice Precinct 3, Holland, SD 11, ED 7, p. 106B (stamped), sheet 4B (written), dwelling 88, family 89, lines 63-68, B. V. Glover household; digital image, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:33SQ-GRJM-Z64 : accessed 30 July 2016); citing National Archives microfilm publication T625, roll 1776.
15 "Alabama, Texas, and Virginia, Confederate Pensions, 1884-1958," database with images, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : 30 July 2016), Elizabeth Hester, no. 18669, "Application for Mortuary Warrant," approved 5 June 1910; citing Texas State Library and Archives Commission, Confederate Pension Applications, 1899-1975, collection CPA18661, roll 256.

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