The Farming School Head Mistress Whose Brother Was The Last Miller
Children Of George Chester 1827-1908 Of Willow Farm
George Chester of Willow Farm (between Centre Farm and Robin Hood) had seven children, click on the names to read more:
- Emma 1854-? – Married railway engine driver Alfred Smith and moved to Lincoln.
- Walter Henry 1859-1933 – Married the step daughter of John Hough, owner of Hough Mill, combined farming with landlord of the Railway Inn on the corner of Tan Yard.
- Mary Ellen 1861-1935 – Known as Ellen. Continued to farm Willow Farm after her father’s death, Headmistress of Swannington Infants School.
- Mary Ann 1863-1953 – Never married, after 1911 moved to Westlands, Station Hill.
- Joseph 1864-1929 – Married Mary Ann Henson (widow of blacksmith Thomas Rowse) in 1907 and continued farming while living at the Stone House.
- Georgina 1871-1949 – Georgina married farm bailiff Rhodes Blake at St George’s Church on the 11th November 1908. After his 1929 death she moved to Westlands, Station Hill to live with Mary Ann.
- John George 1872-? – After being a pupil teacher in Swannington, John George and his wife were teachers in 1911 at Buxton Industrial School, Marsham, Norfolk, a boys reformatory.
Emma Chester 1854-?
Married railway engine driver Alfred Smith and moved to Lincoln.
- 1881 Farmer’s daughter.
- 13th July 1882 Married widower Alfred Smith at St George’s church. Coalville born Alfred worked for the Chesters at Willow Farm in 1871.
- 1891 Living in Lincoln with Alfred, a railway engine driver, his daughter and their three children.
- 1901 Living in Lincoln with Alfred, a railway engine driver and their four children.
- 1911 Emma in Lincoln, all children have left home. Alfred a railway engine driver a visitor at Ilkeston
Walter Henry Chester 1859-1933
Walter Henry Chester – Farming Life
- 1881 Farmer’s son at Willow Farm.
- 1891 Farmer’s son at Willow Farm.
- 1893 Married Jane Maria Taylor Hough the step daughter of John Hough, owner of Hough Mill, on 12th April
- 1899 Farmer at Mill House (Kelly’s Directory), owned by father-in-law John Hough. Mill no longer used commercially, Walter Henry probably learnt how to operate it sufficiently to produce animal feed.
Walter Henry Chester – Landlord Of The Railway Inn
- 1901 Walter Henry combined farming with landlord of the Railway Inn on the corner of Tan Yard. Wife Jane probably served customers while he was farming.
- 1911 Publican at Railway Inn, likely to still also be farming.
- 1916 Railway Inn, Kelly’s Directory. It is believed that Walter Henry was using Hough Mill occasionally to produce animal feed, which would be consistent with still farming.
- 1925 Railway Inn, Kelly’s Directory.
- 1928 Frederick Stanyard was the landlord at the Railway Inn. Walter Henry had probably retired to Laburnum Cottages (near current village hall) where he died on the 6th October 1933.
Mary Ellen Chester 1861-1935
Known as Ellen. Continued to farm Willow Farm after her father’s death and is listed in Kelly’s Directory in 1916 as a farmer along with her brother-in-law Rhodes Blake.
Mary Ellen Chester – Headmistress Swannington Infants School
- School log 29th July to 2nd August 1878 – Rev Crane came in on Monday …. Gave teachers and examination. E. Chester progress is fairly satisfactory except in Grammar and Composition.
- Census 1881 – Assistant School Teacher
- HMI School Report 1886 – Miss Chester will shortly receive her certificate
- Census 1891 – School Mistress
- Census 1901 – National School Mistress
- School Managers Minute Book 1903 – Increase of salary to Miss Chester, Infant Mistress recommended.
- Census 1911 – Head Teacher
- School Managers’ Minute Book February 1922 – Miss E Chester resigns after 40 years as Teacher and Head of Infants
- School Managers’ Minute Book June 1924 – Headmistress retires. Applications for Headship required. Managers decide to eliminate all candidates under 40. Mrs. H. A. Rowse appointed.
Wesleyan Methodist Chapel
The Chester family were staunch Wesleyan Methodists and were members of the Wesleyan Chapel in Main Street. It is believed that Mary Ellen was the Miss Chester who performed the opening ceremony of the Wesleyan Methodist Church in New Swannington in 1906.
After her brother-in-law Rhodes Blake died in 1929 the Chesters gave up Willow Farm and moved to Station Hill.
Mary Ann Chester 1863-1953
- 1881 Farmer’s daughter at Willow Farm.
- 1891 Farmer’s daughter at Willow Farm.
- 1901 Mary Ann’s mother had died, so Mary Ann would have been spending more time on domestic duties and less time assisting with the farm.
- 1911 Wife’s sister, dairy work.
- 1930 John Edwin Roy Dalby farming at Willow Farm. Mary Ann and her sister Ellen were living at Station Hill, probably Westlands.
- 1939 Living at Westlands, Station Hill with sister Georgina and niece Emma Smith (daughter of sister Emma).
- 1953 Died 12th January at Westlands.
Joseph Chester 1864-1929
- 1881 Farmer’s son, Willow Farm.
- 1891 Farmer’s son, Willow Farm.
- 1901 Farmer’s son, Willow Farm,
- 1907 Married Mary Ann Henson (widow of blacksmith Thomas Rowse), probably moved to the Stone House at that time.
- 1911 Farmer living at the Stone House with his wife and her children from her first marriage. These included William Henson Rowse and John Rowse who were both blacksmiths, their forge being on the corner of Main Street and Church Lane.
- 1921-1929 Electoral register, The Rowlands, with wife Mary Ann
- 1929 Joseph died
The 1930 electoral register shows that Joseph’s widow Mary Ann had remained at The Rowlands, her youngest son Thomas James Rowse was living with her.
Georgina Chester 1871-1949
Georgina married farm bailiff Rhodes Blake at St George’s Church on the 11th November 1908. After his 1929 death she moved to Westlands, Station Hill to live with Mary Ann.
John George Chester 1872
After being a pupil teacher in Swannington, John George and his wife were teachers in 1911 at Buxton Industrial School, Marsham, Norfolk, a boys reformatory.
- 1891 – Education Department letter to Swannington National School, 2nd May 1891 – John G Chester cannot be recognised as Assistant Teacher until he has passed Queen’s Scholarship Examination.
- 1893 – John George is probably the national schoolmaster listed at Calverley, Yorkshire.
- 1897 – Married Elizabeth Ann Keadle (or Kendle) in Yorkshire. In 1896 and 1897 John George was a schoolmaster in Masham, Norfolk, while Norfolk girl Elizabeth Ann had been a servant in Yorkshire.
- 1901 – Schoolmaster at Buxton Industrial School, Marsham, Norfolk (described as a Reformatory) 10 staff and 90 boys, Elizabeth Ann schoolmistress.
- 1911 – Superintendent at home for the feeble minded boys, Mary Ann matron, daughter Olive Gertrude Chester aged six. With a live-in assistant master and cook there were 36 inmates. North Eastern Association For The After Care Of Feeble Minded, Monkton Hall, Monkton, Durham. Monkton Hall is an 18th century house in Jarrow, Durham, it is now a psychiatric hospital and listed with Historic England.