FRED E. LESTER, -- A native son of Santa Clara County, Fred E. Lester was born at the old Lester family home on South Lincoln Avenue, San Jose, April 5, 1888, a son of Nathan L. and Sarah E. (Spicer) Lester, pioneer settlers of the county, represented on another page in this work. He is next to the youngest of their seven children and was reared on the home farm, educated in the public schools and at the Pacific Coast Business College, where he graduated in 1908. From a boy he was trained in horticulture and early in life took charge of the home place and is still operating it, two ranches in all, of which sixty-seven acres are devoted to prunes.
In 1915 Mr. Lester was married to Miss June Von Dorsten, the
ceremony taking place at her parent’s home, a daughter of Otto F. and
Matilda (Snyder) Von Dorsten, natives of Colusa and Calaveras counties,
respectively. Her grandfather, H. A. Von
Dorsten, crossed the plains with an ox-team train in pioneer days and
was one of the earliest settlers of Colusa County, becoming a stockman
and grain grower near Princeton; afterwards he came to Santa Clara
County and improved the Von Dorsten orchard on Foxworthy road, that is
still owned by his two sons. Mrs. Lester’s
maternal grandfather, P. N. Snyder, came to San Francisco via Cape Horn
and was a pioneer miner in Calaveras County, where his active business
life was spent; but he died in Santa Clara County.
His wife, Caroline Hodecker, came via Panama with her parents to
Calaveras County and married there, and she also died in Santa Clara
County. Mrs. Lester is the oldest of two
children and a graduate of the San Jose State Normal School.
While still operating his mother’s ranch, Mr. Lester finds time for still further enterprises. In 1914 he became interested and associated with his brothers, Nathan L. and William W., in a 175 acre orchard and was active until 1918, when they divided the property and the partnership was dissolved. He then became associated with Otto F. Von Dorsten in orcharding, and they own a splendid orchard on Foxworthy road and a large orchard on Almaden road, devoted to the raising of prunes. He is a member of the California Prune & Apricot Association and the California Walnut Growers’ Association. Mr. And Mrs. Lester have three children: Edith Annette, Fred Raymond, and Marjorie Alice. In politics Mr. Lester is a Republican, and he belongs to Fraternity Lodge No. 399, F. & A. M. , of San Jose, and with his wife is a member of the San Jose Chapter No. 31, O. E. S., and both are members of the First Congregational Church of San Jose.
Transcribed by Susan Schooler , from Eugene T. Sawyers' History of Santa Clara County,California, published by Historic Record Co. , 1922
. page 1022