38. The Rest of Chester’s Story, 1842–1902

Grave Marker for Chester Beers and his wives.
Grave Marker for Chester Beers and his wives.
On January 8, 1884 Chester Beers (widowed nine years) married Ida M. Taggart. Chester and Ida’s daughter Clara Janet was born September 11, 1887.

Chester, Ida, and Clara lived on the 183-acre family farm that Chester inherited.

Chester had attended Delaware Literary Institute, of Franklin, New York and obtained a first-grade certificate. For twelve years Chester taught school in the winter, and worked on the farm in the summer.

We learned from Chester’s letters to Emma Austin that he taught one summer in Deposit. Lumberland seems to be the first school where Chester taught.

Chester kept a diary* in which he wrote about his and his family’s daily activities, the phone line going in, working on the highway, the Walton Fair, local fires, paying $5 for his hired hand’s teeth, selling his farm products in town, and paying $7.50 for a course in arithmetic. Also mentioned in the diary were people in Brooklyn, New York that he corresponded with.—Chester’s 1902 handwritten diary.

We also learned from Chester’s letters that he loved to fish and farm. Along with his horses and cattle, Chester raised vegetables and made “fine dairy butter and maple sugar.”

“Mr. Beers is a man of integrity and strong convictions, and is held in high consideration in the neighborhood where he has spent his life. He is a man of large physique and fine presence, being six feet four and one-half inches tall, and weighing two hundred and forty pounds…”—1895 Biography of Leading Citizens in Delaware County, NY.

Chester Beers** passed away on December 21, 1902, Walton, NY, several days after illness, one day before his sixtieth birthday.

* A year ago I found Chester’s 1902 Diary offered for sale. The dairy info referenced people Chester corresponded with in Brooklyn, New York, who I imagine were Emma Austin, Emma’s family, and others Chester had mentioned in his letters.

But the owner of Chester’s Diary could not figure out Chester’s “relationship to the people in Brooklyn that wrote to him.”

Chester’s daughter Clara, completed the diary. She wrote of his last days, his death and funeral, and the sad days after his death.

** In addition to the grave stone for Chester Beers and his two wives, the findagrave site includes the stone of a Charles Beers and his wife.

Previous Posts
1. Is that the New Teacher?
2. The Math Tutor
3. Chester Beers to Friend Emma, Correspondence Continues
4. What is the News? October 29, 1869
5. The Merry Laugh of the Village School
6. Teaching Advice in a Poem
7. I Would Not Wait for Erie’s Train
8. 1870 Highland
9. Mrs. Prindle’s Soliloquy
10. February 28, 1870, What Is the News?
11. Who Teaches in the Village, April 1870
12. Fair Hagan’s Pool, June 1870
13. Shades of Night, 1870
14. Deposit, New York, 1871
15. Dear Father, January 1872
16. Emma Attends Albany Normal, March 1872
17. Lumberland Schoolhouse, 1872
18. Verdant Meadows, June 1, 1873
19. I Have Been Very Busy, August 30, 1873
20. 1874–1875
21. 1876, A Challenging Year
22. Impossible To Be Your Friend, 1876
23. The Old Schoolhouse, May 1876
24. Centennial 1876
26. Save Your Patience, June 1876
27. More 1876 Centennial Images
28. Old Acquaintance, February 1877
29. New York Visit? 1877
30. Fall 1877
31. Letter to Miss Aida Austin, October 1877
31B. Aida Receives Another Letter, December 1877
32. School, January 1878
33. Not Always in a Humor to Write, July 1878
34. The Same Broken Phrases, Fall 1878
35. December 1878, Give Me All the News
36. Chester’s Last Letter, December 8, 1878
37. The Rest of the Story, Emma Austin, 1879

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