The Benedict Family

Hester, Missouri

Round Grove Township, Marion County

The Marion county History tells us that a village called Hester was established in 1874 on section 13-59-7 in the eastern portion of Round Grove Township. A post office here has been in existence for some years.

The Missouri Whig and General Advertiser of Thursday July 11, 1850 published at Palmyra tells us that “A post office has been established at the house of Mrs. Coons on the state road about eight miles north of this place. The office is named Hester and Mrs. Coons has been appointed post mistress.”

William Walter Benedict built the first store at Hester in 1874. It was on the north bank of a small stream called Grassy Creek. Mr. Benedict was born in Kentucky on December 23, 1841, the eldest of the ten children of Frederick S. & Martha (Ewing) Benedict. He was but a lad of thirteen when, with his parents and two brothers Henry and Charles, and three sisters Emily, Martha Jane, and Mary Ellen came to Marion County from Meade County, Kentucky in 1854.

The Benedict family came down the Ohio river and up the Mississippi to Quincy, Illinois and crossed over the river into Marion County, Missouri. Here they settled on a farm in sections 23 & 24, southwest of where Hester was later located. Frederick Benedict purchased the farm from Levi Lake on September 22, 1854. After they came to Missouri four other children were born: Lucy, Isabel, Frederick Ames, and Louisa Proctor.

In later years the old Benedict house where William with his brothers and sisters grew up was vacant, and the boys of the neighborhood used it for a clubhouse and called it Farley Hall.”

William grew up on this immense stock farm and no doubt was a farmer until he decided to try the merchandising business. On February 17, 1859 he married Harriet Johnson, daughter of Alfred & Margaret (Neale) Johnson of Hester, Marion County. Harriet’s family lived on a farm adjoining the Benedict farm on the north. Harriet (Johnson) Benedict died on May 5, 1865, leaving William with two small daughters, Catherine Ann and Mary Elizabeth, and a baby son William Thomas not quite three months old.

Mr. Benedict married Sarah Ann Carter, daughter of Achilles &Louisa (Wiseman) Carter. Sarah was born Aug. 3, 1850 and died May 8, 1899. She ran the post office in Benedicts Store until the Republican administration came when and it was moved to the August Schallenberg store with Edward Gardh__,postmaster. Sarah (Carter) Benedict is buried in the Hester Baptist Church cemetery, being a member of that church.

William Benedict’s son William Thomas died of typhoid in 1879. William Benedict died two years earlier on October 20, 1877, and is buried\tab in the Johnson family cemetery located southwest of Hester.