Charles F. Koester, a prominent pioneer of northern Kansas, who passed away August 15, 1902, after a successful business career filled with the events of a useful life, was a native of Germany. He was born in Hesse Castle, January 27, 1841, and when nine years of age immigrated to America with his parents. When a mere boy we find him engaged in the restaurant and confectionery business at Atchison, Kan., and in 1857, when scarcely eighteen, he came to Marysville, which at that time was the extreme western town of any importance in northern Kansas territory. There were not more than twenty houses in the settlement when he came here, and they were one-story affairs of the pioneer type. This was before the days of the California pony express and prior to the establishment of the daily overland stage coach, but the Salt Lake mail coach passed through once a week from Atchison.
In 1861 the daily overland stage was established. Mr. Koester was a man of strong character and the people of Marshall county recognized his worth from the first. In two years after settling at Marysville he was chosen register of deeds of Marshall county and for eight years filled that important office. He was next elected county treasurer for two years, and reëlected at the expiration of that term. Besides these he held a number of other positions of trust. He was one of a commission of three members to revise the tax laws of Kansas, and in 1876 was selected as one of the state commissioners at the Centennial Exposition at Philadelphia. In 1882 he was elected mayor of Marysville and reëlected to several succeeding terms. He erected the first three-story brick building in Marysville, which still remains a prominent landmark of the town. He was an extensive real estate owner and personally managed several well improved farms near Marysville. For over thirty-five years Mr. Koester was identifed[sic] with the banking business of Marysville and was president of the Exchange Bank of Schmidt & Koester until his death. This bank was established by the late Frank Schmidt in April, 1870, and is the oldest bank in Marshall county.
There were few people more generous and warm hearted than Charles Koester. He was a man of honest, upright character, and in looking over his long and useful life his descendants may well be proud of the position he won in the esteem and confidence of his fellow men. He was a Knight Templar Mason and a member of Corinthian Commandery, No. 40. He was also a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and the Ancient Order of United Workmen. Mr. Koester was united in marriage, in 1876, to Miss Sylvia C. Broughten, a native of Richland county, Illinois. Mrs. Koester was a well educated woman, and a teacher before her marriage. She died in early life, leaving the following children: Tinnie L. married Guy T. Helvering, a Marysville attorney, and the present congressman from the Fifth Kansas district; Jennie L. married Arthur J. Scott, a traveling salesman, of Marysville; and Charles John Daniel, the youngest of the family, was born June 9, 1881, at Marysville. He received his early education in the public schools and graduated from the Marysville High School in the class of 1899. He then took a business course in the Gem City Business College, Quincy, Ill., graduating in the class of 1900, and entered upon his business career as a clerk in the Exchange Bank, of Marysville. After the death of his father he became vice-president of that institution, and is now actively connected with the management of the bank. He married Miss Hyacinth Pulleine, a daughter of Judge W. T. and Julia A. Pulleine, natives of England and early settlers in Kansas. Mrs. Koester was educated in the public schools and Baker University at Baldwin, Kan. To Mr. and Mrs. Koester have been born two children, Charles William and Julia Constance.Pages 508-509 from a supplemental volume of Kansas: a cyclopedia of state history, embracing events, institutions, industries, counties, cities, towns, prominent persons, etc. ... / with a supplementary volume devoted to selected personal history and reminiscence. Standard Pub. Co. Chicago : 1912. 3 v. in 4. : front., ill., ports.; 28 cm. Vols. I-II edited by Frank W. Blackmar. Transcribed October 2002 by Carolyn Ward. This volume is identified at the Kansas State Historical Society as microfilm LM196. It is a single volume 3.
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