William J. Lester was born in Dutchess Co., N.Y., Dec. 15, 1843, and settled in Louisville, Ky., in Jan. 1894. His parents no longer living, were Timothy and Margaret (Hauver) Lester, both deceased. April 28, 1869, he was united in marriage in Wappingers Falls, N.Y., to Mary O’Connell who was born in Brooklyn, N.Y., Aug. 14, 1847. Her father, James O’Connell has passed from life. Three children have been born to them: William, Mary and Charles, the two former of whom have passed away. The subject of this brief sketch was a farm laborer and was but 18 years old when he entered the Federal army, during the late war, Sept. 5, 1862, at Hudson, N.Y., as a private member in Co. F, 128th N.Y.V.I., which was assigned to 3d Brig., 2d Div., 19th A.C. He was detailed several weeks as safe guard in the fall of 1863, on a plantation at Baton Rouge, La. He also took active part in the following battles: Pt. Hudson, Monnett’s Bluff, Alexandria, Mensura Plains, Halltown, Bettyville, Winchester, Fishers Hill, Jackson and Cedar Creek. He was granted his final honorable discharge July 12, 1865, at Savannah, Ga. His grandfather, Isaac Lester served in the War of 1812, and his great-grandfather Lester served in the Revolutionary War in the Continental army. His wife’s brother, Hugh belonged to the 57th N.Y.V.I. and was wounded in service. Comrade Lester is a member of Ketcham Post, 88, in which he has been P.P.C., and held several other offices, his is foreman in a pants factory and his address is New Albany, Ind.
From the book, Presidents, Soldiers, Statesmen Vol. II
H.H. Hardesty, Publisher
N.Y., Toledo, Chicago
Copyright 2004 by Sharon Pike