The substantial rewards that come to the able and upright man as the result of well-doing, small as they may be in comparison with the fortunes and apparent honors won by questionable methods, bring With them a sense of satisfaction to which the sharp financier and the corrupt politician live and die as strangers. A man who wisely and honestly adjudicated the small misunderstandings of his fellow citizens for sixteen years, and who has the respect of all those for or against whom he has decided, as has Justice Chester, of Soda Springs, Idaho, has a greater reward than the perjured judge who ends his days in a bitter struggle to enjoy thousands obtained by oppression, injustice and a systematic affront to the law he has falsely sworn to uphold.
William Chester, who is a member of the board of county commissioners, has been for sixteen years justice of the peace at Soda Springs, and is well and favorably known throughout eastern Idaho. He is a native of Lincolnshire, England, and was born May 3, 1843. His father, Thomas Chester, died when William was only a year old, and the baby was taken into the home of his grandfather, John Chester. He was educated in a plain, practical way, worked on the farm and learned the machinist’s trade. He came to America in 1873, with the expectation of having employment in machine shops at Lockport, New York, but the panic of that year prevented the realization of this hope, and Mr. Chester came west as far as Council Bluffs, Iowa, and from there, in the winter of 1873-4, he came to Utah. He did not find employment at his trade, but found other work at which he busied himself until, in the spring of 1874, he located at Soda Springs and took up a farm of two hundred acres, which, when the town had been surveyed, adjoined the town site. This property he improved and put under cultivation, and it is now one of the good farms of this part of the country.
In political affiliations Mr. Chester is a Democrat. He was postmaster at Soda Springs eight years, in the administrations of Presidents Cleveland and Harrison, has been elected eight times to the office of justice of the peace, and was in 1898 elected a member of the board of county commissioners of Bannock county, which important office he is now filling with great fidelity and ability, and to the entire satisfaction of his fellow citizens, without regard to politics. He has in all relations of life made an excellent reputation as a reliable and worthy citizen, and he is a prominent member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. He is patriotically and helpfully public-spirited and has the weal of his town and county close to his heart.
Mr. Chester was married, in 1866, to Miss Susannah Popple, a native of Gainsborough, England, and she and their three sons born in England came with him. These sons were named Joseph Thomas, William H. and Charles Edward. Five more children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Chester in the United States: Lucy, who married Lorenzo Marriott; Fred; Hattie; Colin and James. Mrs. Chester died in 1892, and her loss was deeply regretted by all who knew her.