William Elias WESTER

Submitted by Descendant:  Deanna D. RAMSEY

William “Elias” Wester was the sixth child of William Elias Wester and Susanna Page.  After his father’s death in 1808, Elias was raised in Tattnall County, Georgia near the Altamaha River by his older brother Richard.  At the age of 21, he married Margaret Campbell and moved to Gadsden County, Florida.  Here Margaret gave birth to their first two children, Daniel Campbell in 1823 and Mary Ann in 1825.  During 1826 and 1827 he received patents and is considered one of the original land holders of Gadsden County, Florida.

On April 5, 1824, Elias was appointed to serve on Gadsden County’s first Grand Jury and on July 25, 1831 he was one of the citizens of Gadsden County that recommended Romeo Lewis to be appointed U.S. Marshall for the Middle District of Florida.  In 1829 he began investing in property in Decatur County, Georgia where he later settled.  Here he had hundreds of head of cattle feeding between the Flint and Chattahoochee Rivers and owned several slaves.  While living in Decatur County, Georgia, Margaret gave birth to William Elias, James B., Benjamin Franklin, and Margaret.  He continued to buy and sell property, paying property taxes on multiple lands in Gadsden County, Florid, and Decatur County, Georgia.  After Margaret’s death in 1844 he married Nancy Oliver and moved across the Chattahoochee River into Jackson County, Florida.  After a brief marriage and no children he and Nancy divorced in 1851.  This same year Elias married Elizabeth Byrant and had the following seven children between 1854 and 1871:  George Washington, Axey, John Robert, Henry H., Thomas Jefferson, Mathew and Edward Page.

While living in Jackson County, Florida he was appointed Road Commissioner and Election Inspector and served on several Grand and Petit Juries and as a witness in several local cases.  It is stated in “Historic Georgia Families”, by L.W. Rigsby, During the Civil War the town of Marianna, Florida was attached by a band of Union Soldiers and Elias Wester, although past fifty years of age, went with a number of his neighbors, riding at full speed to repulse the enemy and save the town.  They arrived to find the town burned and the enemy gone. 

During the war he furnished hundreds of cattle to feed the families of neighbors who were serving in the cause of the Confederacy.  He lived the remainder of his life with wife Elizabeth in Grand Ridge, Florida and is buried in the Wester Cemetery located on part of his original homestead.

William Elias Wester was first established as a Florida Pioneer in 2005