Chester Aurelius Easley
b. 18 November 1876, d. 11 September 1938
- Father: Edward Charles Easley b. October 1846, d. between 1900 and 1910
- Mother: Margaret Frances Brigance b. 10 June 1847, d. 4 July 1925
- Chester Aurelius Easley was born on 18 November 1876 in Roans Prairie, Grimes County, Texas.
- Edward Charles Easley and Margaret Frances Brigance appeared in the US federal census of 1 June 1880 in Anderson Precinct, Grimes County, Texas. Other members of the household included Chester Aurelius Easley, Charles Brigance Easley, Walter Easley, E. V. Easley and Robert B. Easley. Also in the household was niece Mary Maddox.
- The following appeared on 3 October 1898 in The Daily Examiner: Hospital Steward Sam Goodman and Sergeant Chester Easley returned home from Dallas last night and are meeting friends after five months absence.
- The following appeared on 1899 in The Scroll of Phi Delta Theta: (Texas Beta, University of Texas - May 15, 1899) Since our last letter the chapter has initiated Br. Banton Moore, law, '00; Isaac McFadden, '02, and Chester Aurelius Easley, '02. Owing to unforeseen circumstances, however, Bro. Easley was obliged to withdraw from school before he had enjoyed the benefits of the fraternity a month. . . .
- The following appeared in the 1899 issue of The Scroll of Phi Delta Theta: Texas Beta, University of Texas. Since our last letter the chapter has initiated Br. Banton Moore, law, '00; Isaac McFadden, '02, and Chester Aurelius Easley, '02. Owing to unforeseen circumstances, however, Bro. Easley was obliged to withdraw from school before he had enjoyed the benefits of the fraternity a month. . . . Austin, May 15, 1899.
- He was a lumber clerk, according to the 1900 census.
- Chester Aurelius Easley appeared in the US federal census of 1 June 1900 in Beaumont, Jefferson County, Texas.
- He married Cecil Lorena Keith, daughter of J. Frank Keith and Alice Carroll, on 5 November 1902 in Jefferson County, Texas.
- The following appeared on 6 December 1908 in The Dallas Morning News: (Beaumont, Dec. 5) The handsome residence of Chester A. Easley at 2236 Broadway was destroyed by fire at 2:30 o'clock this morning. The servant's house, belonging to J. J. Donnelly, on the adjoining lot, was also destroyed. The residence of mr. Easley was valued at $7,000 and the contents at $3,000, while Mr. Donnelly's loss will aggregate $1,000. The losses are partially ocvered by insurance.
The origin of the fire is not known, but is believed to have been the result of an explosion of the heater in the Easley residence, as neighbors claim to have heard an explosion just prior to the discovery of the fire. The family was not at home last night, spending the night at the home of J. F. Keith, Mrs. Easley's parents. The fire was discovered by neighbors and the alarm turned in. This home was just completed, and had been occupied only a short while.
- Chester Aurelius Easley and Cecil Lorena Keith appeared in the US federal census of 15 April 1910 in Beaumont, Jefferson County, Texas, at 12?? McFadden Avenue. Other members of the household included Alice Keith Easley.
- He was proprietor of Seaport Lumber Company, according to the 1910 census.
- Chester Aurelius Easley registered for the draft on 12 September 1918 in Jefferson County, Texas, while living with his wife Cecil at 2285 Calder Avenue in Beaumont, and proprietor of Seaport Lumber & Coal Company.
- Chester Aurelius Easley and Cecil Lorena Keith appeared in the US federal census of 1 January 1920 in Beaumont, Jefferson County, Texas, at 2285 Calder Avenue. Other members of the household included Alice Keith Easley and Margaret Frances Brigance. Also in the household was one female domestic servant.
- He was owner of a coal yard, according to the 1920 census.
- He officially witnessed the death of Margaret Frances Brigance on 4 July 1925 at 2285 Calder Avenue in Beaumont, Jefferson County, Texas; at her residence.
- Chester Aurelius Easley and Cecil Lorena Keith appeared in the US federal census of 1 April 1930 in Beaumont, Jefferson County, Texas, at 1960 Calder Ave.
- He was owner of a coal company, according to the 1930 census.
- At the time of his death Chester Aurelius Easley was living in Beaumont, Jefferson County, Texas, at 2210 Calder Avenue.
- Chester Aurelius Easley died on 11 September 1938 at age 61 in Beaumont, Jefferson County, Texas, at St. Therese Hospital . His death was officially witnessed by Cecil Lorena Keith.
- His wife Cecil Lorena Keith became a widow at his death.
- He was buried at Magnolia Cemetery in Beaumont, Jefferson County, Texas.
- The following appeared on 12 September 1938 in the Beaumont Enterprise: Chester Arthur [sic] Easley, prominent in Beaumont business, social and civic life for many years, died yesterday morning at 4:45 o’clock in a local hospital. He was 62 years old. Mr. Easley suffered a stroke more than a year ago while in a conference with directors of the Beaumont Building Material company. He has been an invalid since that time. He spent the past several months at the Keith summer home on the coast and it was there that he was again stricken. His condition critical, he was removed to the hospital last Wednesday night. He never regained consciousness.
Funeral In Home
Funeral services will be held this afternoon at 3 o’clock in the J. Frank Keith residence, 2210 Calder Avenue, with Rev. J. A. Smart, Baptist minister, and Rabbi Samuel Rosinger of Temple Emanuel, officiating. Burial will be in Magnolia cemetery under direction of Pipkin and Brulin. Since early boyhood Mr. Easley had been in the lumber and coal business in Beaumont, associated with the larger concerns. He served as Beaumont postmaster for two years. He was organizer of the Seaport Coal company, and in later years was an officer of the Beaumont Building Material company. Hosts of Friends A man with hosts of friends, Mr. Easley was in turn a friend to many. Always ready with a pleasant greeting, never in such a hurry that he could not stop for a chat with acquaintances. “Check” was widely known and loved. He had the faculty for putting a stranger completely at ease, and the faculty for making friends quickly and keeping his friends through the years. Mr. Easley was born at Roan’s Prairie, Grimes county, Texas, on November 18, 1876. He was the son of Mr. and Mrs. E. C. Easley. “I didn’t stay on the farm very long,” “Check” had said. “First thing I knew I was in lumber.”
Came Here in 1888
He attended school at Roane’s Prairie until 1886, when the family moved to Navasota, and he continued school there for two more years. Then, in 1888, he came to Beaumont, a boy of 12 years. His first job was with the Reliance Lumber company here, starting out as office boy. In the meantime he continued his schooling here and then attended Vanderbilt University for one year.” He also attended the University of Texas, working between school sessions.
Lived in Tampico
On his return to Beaumont he became associated with the Keith Lumber company and for several years was in charge of that company’s offices in Tampico, Mexico. He returned to Beaumont and in 1904 left the Keith company to organize the Seaport Coal company, which he owned and operated continuously from that time. In 1931 he also became associated with the Keith Lumber company again, this time as vice president, and about two years ago was made a vice president of the Beaumont Building Material company. He was postmaster here from May 1, 1934, until 1936, at which time he became connected with the Beaumont Building Material company.
Enthusiastically interested in the Rotary club, Mr. Easley had been a member since its organization here, was a past president of the organization, and had attended several conventions of Rotary International. He became known in Rotary circles over the country through his writings for the “Rotarygram,” publication of the local Rotary club, and the club here received requests from Rotarians all over the country asking that they be put on the mailing list. Likewise his interest and activity in community service was untiring. As a vice president of the Beaumont Family Welfare bureau he was instrumental in the founding of Keith camp for underprivileged children and served on the camp board. He took part in every Community Chest drive staged in Beaumont and in practically all other movements of this kin Mr. Easley was a member and past president of the Round Table club and belonged to the Beaumont club and to the Beaumont Country club. Surviving him are his wife, Mrs. Cecil Keith Easley; a daughter, Mrs. Walter Taber of Corpus Christi; two grandchildren, Walter Taber, Jr., and Cecil Taber, and two brothers, C. B. Easley of Richards, Texas, and E. V. Easley of San Bernadino, Cal. ????????????????
6118 Piping Rock LN Housotn TX 77057 Walter R. Taber Lois ?????????????
Active pallbearers for the services this afternoon will be E. A. Fletcher, J. Cooke Wilson, J. F. Roane, Alfred Jones, W. C. Gilbert, P. P. Butler, E. Conway Broun, I. J. Feray, P. B. Doty, Keith Hotchkiss, George Caswell, N. M. McKee and Dr. T. A. Fears. The family has designated as honorary pallbearers all members of the Rotary club and all other friends.
- The following appeared on 12 September 1938 in the Beaumont Enterprise: (Editorial Essay) Chester A. Easley. “A man that hath friends must show himself Friendly; and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.” This quotation from Proverbs applies with singular force to Chester Easley, who made friends-- more than he could ever count-- by being a friend himself. All who knew Chester Easley, even those who merely heard the sound of his voice, and his friendly laughter, or caught the gleam that was ever in his eye save at his most serious moments, knew him to be what he was, a friend to his fellow man, one whose heart was filled with charitable and kindly impulses, one who so lived that most of the petty frailties of human nature simply passed him by, as if he were not aware of them in others because they had so small a part in his own life. He did not envy others, but he himself was envied because he was always cheerful, always ready with a quick laugh and a handclasp. There was a warmth in his nature that affected all who came in contact with him, which even radiated beyond a friendly circle in which he happened to be at the time and affected others not of his company. This was the reason why, wherever he went, Chester Easley was greeted with smiles and words of welcome. They might come from a newsboy, a waiter, a porter, or someone else in humble employment. Chester Easley did not confine his friendships to those who were his social and intellectual equals. He was friendly with people in all walks of life and they loved him because he was friendly. When a man dies who has made many friends, who has touched the life of a community in a great variety of ways, most of them helpful, it is customary to praise his character and speak him well. But whatever spoken eloquence may follow Chester Easley to his grave, that which is unspoken, but deeply felt, will be the greatest tribute of respect and affection his friends can pay him.
- The following appeared on 12 September 1938 in The Dallas Morning News: (Beaumont) Chester A. Easley, 62, prominently identified with the coal and lumber business here for many years, and former Beaumont postmaster, died Sunday.
He was organizer and head of the Seaport Coal Company, vice-president of the Keith Lumber Company and vice-president of the Beaumont Building Material Company.
Funeral services will be held Monday.
- Last Edited: 8 May 2017