Willoughby Griffith Hester was named for his paternal grandmother's father (his great grandfather), Willoughby Griffith. This name appears often among the descendants of Evan Griffith and his wife Sarah (Willoughby) Griffith. This couple were Willoughby Griffith Hester's great great grandparents. Willoughby was 5' 10" (177 cm) tall, besides his work as a tobacco farmer he coached the local baseball team, the Hittville Nine.
On Feb. 26, 1888 at Aberdeen, Ohio, Willoughby Griffith Hester married Ellena McConnell. She was born Mar. 5, 1869 in Robertson Co., Ky. She died Apr. 9, 1935 in Cynthiana, Ky.
In 1955 their son Pau1 was living in their former horne near Hittsville,
Robertson Co., Ky. Paul Hester told Miss DeBell that at one time
a store had been attached, but by 1955 there were only the 1iving quarters.
Willoughby Griffith Hester and Ellena McConnell had 8 ehildren:
He2-1 Lucinda "Lutie" Hester, b. Sept. 21, 1890;
He2-2 Mabel Hester, b. Oet. 21, 1892;
He2-3 Garrett Henry Hester, b. Oet. 21, 1894;
, b. Jan. 27, 1898;
He2-5 Paul Nelson Hester, b. June 18, 1902;
He2 Dr med Eustace Granger Hester, b. Dec. 6, 1906 d. Sep 8,1966
He2-7 Hazard Worrell Hester, b. June 21, 1908;
He2-8 Katherine Hester, b Jan. 4, 1910
Picture taken in front of the Hester homestead and general store about 1930.
Standing left to right: Paul Nelson Hester, Harry Clifton Hester, Garrett Henry Hester, Mabel Hester Linville, Lucinda (Lutie) Hester, Elena McConnell Hester, Willoughby Griffith Hester
Sitting left to right: Eustace Granger Hester, Hazard Worrell Hester, Katherine Hester Workman
The Hester Homestead in Hittville used to stand along the road 165 from Mt. Olivet to Brooksville Ky at the junction with Old Germantown Road just above
The New Corinth Church is on the edge in the lower left. They seem to have improved the road with a more sweeping curve at the bottom since I was a boy. The house in the pictures was torn down after the neihgbor in the house under the ""Mt" bought most of the property from Phillip Hester, who kept only the triangular area between the roads mentioned above. it was still there in 1995 and was just above the letters "Germ..." as I remember, This is the highest point in Robertson County with a good view in all directions, but particularly down over the Old Germandtown Road in the direction towards Maysville, KY, which progressively descends down to the banks of the Ohio River with few hills undulating in the area inbetween.
The barn for the cows and the Milkhouse that used to be under "Kent.." in the picture have also gone. The old tobacco curing barn in the middle is still there.
The water hole at the top behind it was excavated about 1952 as I remember, and the building to the west of it was added later. The homestead was on the highest
ground and the Old Germantown road came up a rather steep hill here. The building down that road must be Uncle Paul's house. His family moved into
grandmother's house after she died in 1954. His son Phillip took over the farm when Uncle Paul died after settling up with Nelson Wayne and Nina Rose.
We always visited Hittville just after the school holidays started in June and over Thanksgiving weekend in November. In June I helped Nelson Wayne set
out the tobacco seedlings dropping them one by one into middle well of the planter, while Nelson Wayne moved it to punch a new hole in the ground and
pushed the levers to widen the hole for the plant and release water from the side chembers of the planter and then lift and move to start the procedure all
over again. I got a "wonderful" sunburn doing it, as they did not have suntan lotions in those days. In November we went to the binding room to bind the
tobacco leaves and put them on the 4 foot sticks for hanging in the curing barn, where they were later taken and hung up.
The old homestead was built in several stages and additions as the family grew. It must have been started in the late 1880's by Grandfather. Uncle Garrett
learned his carpentry skills while helping with the additions. In the middle downstairs was grandmother's long dark general store. To the right of it were
two store rooms and grandmother's commode room father back, which was converted to a bath room for her in the early 50's. The dining room was directly
behind the store and the kitchen with the old wooden stove on the right. To the left was the parlor which was never used and opened out on the Veranda and
entered from the master bedroom behind it, which also had door into the dining room and an addon bathroom that was never used for lack of a proper drain
septic tank system, except by me by mistake instead of going out to the outhouse. Upstairs were three large bedrooms where the eight children and a foster
child slept. There were open fireplaces in the parlor and the master bed room and a big stove in the general store. The store and the filling station were shut
down in the 30's about the time of Grandfather's death, when grandmother had her bed moved into the store. The long glass counters along each side and
the benches in front of them remained until after her death. In Noverber the only heat in the house was that big stove so we all sat on the benches for long
chats. Uncle Paul - who ran the farm - and his boys were always there and aunt Kate and Uncle Harry always stopped by for a while too. The beadroom
above the store was "heated" through a grid in the floor, but by the time the fire in the stove died the temparature started plummeting and a glass of water
would be ice by the morning. There was not much to insulate with back the days when Uncle Garrett was learning his carpentry, glass wool came in the 50's
and styrpore and polyurthane in the 60's. Not even cardboard boxes were around for the cheap recycling purposes of the frugal Hesters, which they certainly
would have resorted to with great success. No wonder grandmother slept her last 17 years in the general store room where the best stove was. But she loved
the store: in her hayday as a young mother it drew everyone within a radius of 3 miles - perhaps more than 200 people back then but not more than 50 these
days. It together with the church and the one room school house around the bend (ther red area next to the road) after the church made Hittville a center
of culture for many in the days of horse draw vehicles and kept her up to date and on all the gossip best informed of all the girls, of course. But the 20's
brought Henry Ford's Tin-Lizy within the reach of every man's budget and bigger towns and market pllaces withing 30 minutes reach. For a while the filling
station - where Uncle Hazard learned how to keep a gas station - kept them coming but not for long. By the 30's the oil companys were setting up "fancy"
new franchises and pricing independents out of business. In the 40's Uncle Hazard took over a Shell franchise at the corner of Michigan and Davenport
Ave. in Saginaw. He had to pay for Shell decor and siding to make the place look snazzier and improve business, which he kept doing for years. But
every time he increased his turnover they increased the lease payments to keep his margin of profit from becoming too big (he might have been able to
finance and independent station of his own if they had not). When Aunt Can developed pleurecy in '53, he got a better franchise from Sunoco in Tampa