Smith County, Texas
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Levin Levi JESTER and Mary Eliza CAIN
Levin Levi JESTER, son of Levi JESTER and Diademia McKINNEY. L. L. was born 6 Jan 1851, Waverly, IL. He married on 16 December 1881, Smith County, TX, Mary Eliza CAIN, born 14 June 1862, Wetumpka, Coosa County, AL. She was the daughter of Washington G. CAIN and Sarah Ann BUTLER. She came from Alabama to Texas with her parents during the Civil War.
Levi Jester claimed that his bank, Jester National Bank in Tyler, was the only bank in Smith County which didn't fail in the 1909 crash. In 1912 he sold the bank and his home to Judge T. B. Butler, a cousin of Jester's wife Mary Eliza or Minnie as she was better known. The Queen Anne Victorian home is one of the most historic homes in Tyler and still owned by the Clyde family, decendants of Judge Butler
In 1912 Levi moved to Dallas and organized Merchant's National Bank, one of several banks that later merged to form Mercantile Bank. He served as president of the Merchant's National Bank. In 1814 the Jesters built a home in the recently opened second addition of Highland Park located between Lakeside Drive and Hackberry Creek.
Children of this marriage:
Herbert tried ranching in West Texas but moved back to Dallas in the early 1920s. He founded the American Motors Finance Co. He and Elizabeth had two children: Martha and Bert.
John joined the banking business with his father and served as the vice president of Mercantile Bank for 13 years. He arranged an exhibition gold match at the Dallas Country Club to boost the war effort. He was able to secure Bob Hope and other dignataries and golfers to join the Dallas Victory Open Golf Tournament where they sold $3,650,825 in war bonds. He did so well that he was asked to be chairman of the Dallas County Liberty Bond Drive. He also helped organize support for Southern Methodist University's first football program.
Levin, Jr., was very outgoing and described as the Beau Brummel of Dallas. At one time he sold real estate for Flippen-Prather Realy Co.
Ralph graduated from Yale University and became an art director for movie producer and director Cecil B. DeMille. He was nominated for two Academy Awards.
The family were avid golfers at the Dallas Country Club. Minnie liked to put on the putting green in front of the grand old Tudor Clubhouse. Elizabeth became Dallas County Club's first women's golf champion in 1924 and John won the Dallas Senior Title in 1942 .
Beauford H. Jester, who was elected Governor of Texas in 1946, was the son of George Taylor Jester, a brother of L. L. Jester. George was lieutenant governor of Texas for two terms (1894-98) under Governor Charles A. Culberson
Levin Levi Jester died 11 Mar 1938 in Dallas, Dallas County, TX. Minnie died in 1946 in Dallas.
SOURCES OF INFORMATION
Picture of L. L. Jester's Home - circa.1907
Dallas Morning News, Three Part Story on the L. L. Lester Family, beginning 25 December 1991.
Cemetery Records of Smith County, Texas, Vol.I, Oakwood and Rose Hill Cemeteries, East Texas Genealogical Society,1981
Marriage Records of Smith County, Texas 1846-1899, East Texas Genealogical Society, 1979
Smith County Marriage Records, Book II - 1900-1926 (Tyler, TX: East Texas Genealogical Society, 1999)
Obituaries from the Lindale News & Troup Banner, Smith County, TX, Published by the East Texas Genealogical Society, P. O. Box 6967, Tyler, TX 75711
Social Security Index - Elizabeth Jester, 463-78-09968, Herbert Jester, 456-05-4437, John Jester, 457-40-7964, Lorna M. Jester, 451-03-2127
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