Charlestown Township, Clark County, Indiana

Click photo above for larger picture of the stone of Rev. Andrew Briggs Hester (04/21/1830-04/21/1870).

"Sorry.  I must have moved the camera just as I snapped the shutter.  This photo is a bit blurred, but shows one end of the cemetery."

This cemetery is located in Grant 117, behind "the Project" in Charlestown, behind 318 Hampton Court in Charlestown. Jeanne Burke reports that, in 1998, parts of the stone wall are still standing, but some stones are scattered, broken or knocked down.

The current property owners have expressed an interest in restoring the site and we are investigating how we can assist them.
The photo on the right is half of the stone that reads, "Sons of George K. Hester"; the other half is missing.  The dates are Dec. 16, 1820 - Sept. 25, 1823 for the above.

Jeanne offers the following index of the burials known to be at Hester-Rowland Cemetery:

.            .                                    .           .

CRAWFORD     Eleanor Samuels, 2nd wife of

             Nathaniel                            12/03/1833  05/28/1894
CRAWFORD     Nathaniel                            03/23/1817  08/22/1900
CRAWFORD     Zerilda D., 1st wife of Nathaniel    09/23/1816  01/24/1882
HESTER       Andrew Briggs, Rev.                  04/21/1830  04/21/1870
HESTER       George K., Rev., born in Scotland,   12/12/1789  09/09/1878

             died near Charlestown, Indiana
HESTER       George Knight, Rev.  "He was 56      09/26/1794  09/02/1874

             years a minister of the Gospel in

             the M. E. Church.  His last words

             were, 'I am a sinner saved by

             grace divine.'"
HESTER       Sons of George K. (this stone is     12/16/1820  09/25/1823

             for two children of Rev. G. Hester,

             but the other half is missing, as

             it says "sons of Geo. K.")  The

             dates are Dec. 16, 1820 - Sept.

             25, 1823 for the above.
HESTER       Maria Stevenson, consort of          03/12/1829  09/24/1882

             Melville C. Hester
HESTER       Mathias, died in his 58th year       circa 1765  11/24/1823

               (See bio below)
ROWLAND      Marietta, wife of B. R. Rowland      12/11/1830  05/08/1849
RO(WLAND?)   Martha R.                            02/12/1814  09/06/1823
ROW(LAND?)   Minerva                              10/27/1821  01/31/1822
ROWLAND      William ("Our Father")               02/16/1787  10/12/1833

From Baird's History of Clark County, published 1909, p. 74:
The History of the Ohio Falls Counties, Vol. II, p. 527, provides this biographical sketch:
Judge Melville C. Hester, of Charlestown, is a grandson of John Mathias Hester, who was born in Hanover, Germany, July 4, 1767, emigrated to Philadelphia in 1772.  His father not being able to pay for this family passage (price sixty pounds), they were sold into servitude for a term of years to pay the debt.  The family remained in hard and cruel bondage for the space of twelve months, and after serving a year, the cruel tyrant compelled him to pay the sixty pounds money he had borrowed before he would grant him and his family their freedom.

John Mathias Hester emigrated to Kentucky when nineteen years old, and descended the Ohio on a flat-boat, making narrow escapes from the Indians.  On one occasion a party of them headed by a white man, after failing to decoy them ashore, fired many shots into their boat.  After arriving in Louisville, Mr. Hester teamed a great deal, and on one occaion, in removing two families from Pond settlement to Shelbyville, were fired on at a place called Benny Hughes station, by a party of Indians, two of the company wounded, and Mr. Hester shot above the left eye with a rifle ball, which broke his skull, but did not enter the brain.  He immediately dismounted, and would have escaped, being fleet of foot, but the streaming blood from his wound obstructed his sight, and after a run of 175 yards he was overtaken, tomahawked ["The ax glanced, only chipping the skull"], and scalped, from which he, however, survived.  Eighteen months after this event, he was married to Miss Susan Huckleberry, and in 1799 moved to a tract of land adjacent to the present site of Charlestown, and a mile and a half from Tuleytown, known afterwards as Springville.

He [John Mathias Hester] raised a large family of children, of whom Rev. George K. Hester, the father of Judge Hester, was the oldest son.  He became a minister of the gospel in the Methodist Episcopal church, and continued as such until his death, a period of fifty-six years.  He died September 2, 1874.

Craven P. Hester, the second son, became a distinquished lawyer, and judge of the circuit court in the State of California.

Uriah A., another sone, was a physician.

Milton P., another son, became a farmer in Illinois.

There were also two daughters who married prominent men.

Rev. George Knight Hester married Miss Briggs in 1820, and had seven sons, two of whom died in infancy.  Four of them, Francis A., Mathias A., William M., and Andrew B., became Methodist ministers, and have served with a zeal worthy of their calling.

Judge Hester, the youngest of the family, was born in Scott County, Indiana, January 20, 1834.  He was educated at Asbury university, Indiana, in 1855, and attained to the highest average class standing for scholarship and deportment, but graduated at the University of Bloomington, Indiana.  He studied law, and engaged in the practice of his profession in 1857, in partnership with Judge Baker, afterwards Governor Baker, and in 1859 removed to Charlestown, where has since remained.  In 1870 he was appointed by Governor Baker as prosecuting attorney of the Twenty-seventh judicial circuit, and afterwards appointed judge of that circuit court to fill an unexpired term of six months.  He was married to Miss Mariah S. Williard, of Vanderburg county, Indiana, December 27, 1855, and his children by this marriage are all living.

His [Craven Hester's] mother Bence Briggs, was born in Scotland, December 12, 1789, and died at his house September 9, 1878.  In 1820 she and Judge Scott organized a Sunday-school, said to have been the first in the State, in the old court-house.  She was a well-educated woman, and had a remarkable intellect, and was held in high esteem by those who knew her.

I presently have no further information on this cemetery.

E-mail: Dee Pavey

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© Nov 2004