MARK LESTER.-A man of undoubted enterprise, industry and ability, Mark Lester, of Carlisle, is actively associated with the industrial progress of this part of Sullivan county, and as the owner of a sawmill is carrying on a substantial business. He was born, October 20, 1854, in London, England, which was also the birthplace of his father, Henry Lester. His grandfather, Mark Lester, who was for many years a captain in the Royal Navy, married a Scotch lassie, Isabelle Keeling.

In his earlier years, Henry Lester was engaged in the drug business in London. He was a man of talent, a genius in his way, and invented and patented the waterproof match. He then began the manufacture of matches in London, being a pioneer in that industry. Being burned out in 1855, he transferred his residence and business from London to Nottingham, where he erected a match factory, which he managed until his death. He married Hepzibah Gimbert, who was born in Cambridgeshire, England, a daughter of Thomas Gimbert, a velvet weaver, and she, too, spent her last years in Nottingham. They were both active in religious work, and were prominent members of the Church of England. Eight children were born of their union, namely: Thomas, deceased; Harry died in Sullivan, Indiana; George is engaged in mining in Nottingham, England; Ruth, deceased; Mark, with whom this sketch is chiefly concerned; Alice, wife of Joseph Hopkins, of Nottingham, England; William, a lace maker, resides in Nottingham; Jane died in infancy.

Receiving a limited education in the Nottingham schools, Mark Lester remained at home until eighteen years of age, when he enlisted in the British army, in which he served three years, and one hundred and ninety-five days, as a private. Returning home, he worked in the mines until 1879, when he emigrated to this country, locating October 1, of that year, in Shelburn, Sullivan county, Indiana, where for three years he was profitably employed in mining pursuits. Going back then to England for a vacation, he staid there awhile, and then returned to Indiana, and during the summer of 1884 mined for coal in Sullivan. On April 17, 1885, Mr. Lester, in the employ of the Carlisle Coal Company, began sinking a shaft about a mile north of Carlisle, and superintended its management for nine years, after which he operated it on his own account for three years, from 1892 until 1895. In 1893, Mr. Lester, in company with Walter Bugher, embarked in the threshing business, and continued in it seven years, when his partner sold out to Mr. Lester. In 1896 these gentlemen established themselves in the milling business, carrying it on in connection with their threshing operations until 1900, when Mr. Lester bought the sawmill, and thresher, and has since conducted it most successfully. He does considerable custom work, and is an extensive shipper of lumber, having a prosperous trade, and in addition to his mill in Carlisle also has one in Knox county, which he has operated since 1906. He formerly owned a farm of twenty-four acres, but was burned out in August, 1894, and has since lived in Carlisle.

On September 9, 1878, Mr. Lester married Sarah Jane Rigley, who was born December 6, 1862, in Derbyshire, England, a daughter of William and Charlotte Elizabeth (Hardy) Rigley, life-long residents of England. Of the union of Mr. and Mrs. Lester, eleven children have been born, namely: Ernest M., deceased; Horace H., born in England, December 30, 1883, received his early academical education at Vincennes College, afterwards being graduated from the University of Minnesota with the class of 1905, was principal of the Anacortes high school in Washington, and is now Professor of Botany in Bellingham high school, Washington; Ivan Jefferson, born February 22, 1885, was graduated from the Carlisle high school in 1905, and is now in partnership with his father-he is a Mason, from Blue Lodge to Council, the same as his father; Grover died in infancy; Bertram died in early childhood; Paulina C., born January 17, 1890, was graduated from the Carlisle high school with the class of 1908, is now a successful teacher in Haddon township; Albert Carroll, born March 14, 1893; Thomas William, born December 5, 1895; Raymond Kelling, born September 24, 1898; Elizabeth Eloise, born September 23, 1901; and Jennie Gretcham, born March 21, 1904. Politically Mr. Lester affiliates with the Democratic party. Fraternally he is a member of Carlisle Lodge No. 3, F. & A. M., of Sullivan Council; and of Sullivan Chapter, R. A. M. Religiously, his wife, daughter and two sons are members of the Methodist Episcopal church. Mrs. Lester is a member of the Eastern Star at Carlisle.