Biographies


Transcribed by G McCall from:

A HISTORY OF THE STATE OF OKLAHOMA

By Luther B. Hill, A. B., With the Assistance of Local Authorities, Volume II, Illustrated, The Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago / New York, 1909, Page 320-322

CAPTAIN GEORGE B. HESTER. The late Captain George Benjamin Hester, husband of Mrs. G. B. Hester who for so many years has been one of the most prominent Methodist missionaries of the southwest, was a brave and useful character and a power for good in all the country now included in eastern Oklahoma. He was a native of North Carolina, born March 26, 1832, and at an early day (1855) located as a merchant at Tishomingo (now Johnston county), then the capital of the Chickasaw nation. His business with the Indians brought him in close relations with both their political and social affairs, and his influence as a man of honor and fair dealing left a deep impression on them. As a man of affairs his advice was often sought and freely and unaffectedly given, his influence being ever for peace and progress and tending to smooth the way for the advent of white settlers and the new and better order. He married Miss Elizabeth Fulton, then a missionary in the Indian country and a daughter of Rev. D. T. Fulton, a Methodist divine, who, in the midst of her widespread missionary work proved ever a most devoted wife and mother. Their children were as follows: Fannie Fern, Mrs. J. W. Perry, of Denison, Texas, now deceased; Daisy Dean, wife of Hon. Robert L. Owen, senator from Oklahoma, and Robert Lee Hester, who died at the age of five years. At the breaking out of the Civil war the family moved from Tishomingo to Boggy Depot, Indian Territory, which was a supply station for the government and at which point he for a time continued his mercantile operations. Later, however, he enlisted in the Confederate service, being commissioned captain in a regiment commanded by Colonel Fulson. As such, he saw much active military service until the conclusion of the war. He then returned to Boggy Depot, where he continued to reside until his death, March 11, 1897.

Mrs. George Benjamin Hester, now a resident of Muskogee, Oklahoma, is, as stated, a daughter of Rev. D. T. Fulton, a Methodist clergyman. He was a Virginian, and long engaged in missionary work among the Cherokee Indians while their home was in the state of Georgia, until their removal to the Indian territory. In 1870 he went to Texas, where he died six months later. The early education of his daughter, Elizabeth, was largely conducted through his tender but thorough tutelage. Mrs. Hester completed her preparatory education at the Southern Masonic Female College, at Covington, Georgia, from which she was graduated with the class of 1856. She taught in that institution for a time before accepting her call to the missionary field of the Indian Territory, with a special assignment to the Chickasha schools at Tishomingo. The journey to her destination was slow, irksome and fraught with continual difficulties and dangers. The ox-teams crept through bogs, timber and untracked land; the steamboats becamed marooned on sand-bars, and the stage coaches were attacked by bandits or threatened by wild beasts. But through it all the tenderly nurtured and cultured young lady finally arrived at the place of the “ringing bells,” which is the interpretation of the Indian name Tishomingo.

Mrs. Hester was a mission teacher at that point for three years, and during this period of her life married Captain Hester. At the outbreak of the Civil war she removed with her husband to Boggy Depot, where he continued as merchant and a soldier of the Confederacy until his death in 1897. Their home was ever a center of sociability, hospitality and elevating influence, and during the progress of the war Mrs. Hester extended her good offices to soldiers and officers of both armies. Colonel Levering, a Union officer now residing at Dayton, Ohio, is one whom she remembers as having entertained with hospitable impartiality. After the death of her husband Mrs. Hester remained at Bobby Depot for four years, engaged in missionary work, when she removed to Muskogee in the interests of the Woman’s Home and Foreign Missionary Society, being still active in that field, which is under the general supervision of the Methodist Episcopal Church South conference of Oklahoma. She was treasurer of the Home Missions of Indian Territory for eighteen years, and holds the same position for the territory now covered by the new state, being also president of the Woman’s Foreign Missionary work of Oklahoma. She is an ardent worker in the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union and the Associated Charities of Muskogee, and in memory of her husband’s brave service for the lost cause is identified with the Daughters of the Confederacy attached to the General Forrest Chapter of Oklahoma.

When Mrs. Hester cam to Oklahoma she found witchcraft very prevalent and knew of a number being killed and accused of being witches, but the work of the missionary paved the way for civilization. Mrs. Hester has been interested in the prisons, and holds services every Sunday. She buys Bibles and gives them to the prisoners and has interceded for boys in prison. With a noble character she is devoting her time to charity, education and missionary work.



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