Sunday, January 13, 2013

Kester Winfield Staib (1865-1915), Kester Ulm Snyder (1891-1961)

Portrait from the Middletown Daily Times

   Hailing from the small town of Hancock in Delaware County, New York, Kester Winfield Staib's career on the New York political stage was quite brief, lasting all of a few months. His placement here on the site rests on his short tenure as Mayor of the city of Middletown, New York in 1903, after which he removed to New York City to began a new career as an architectural draughtsman.
   Born in Peakville, New York in 1865, Kester Winfield Staib was one of two sons born to Henry and Adaline Fuller Staib. Kester and his family removed to New York City shortly after his birth and it was here that he attended school. Staib later studied at the Hancock Union School and went on to graduate from the Lowell Business School in Binghamton.
   On October 17, 1892 Staib married in New York to Ms. Mary Kane, and they later became the parents of one daughter, Virginia Fuller Staib (born 1901). The Staib family removed to Middletown, New York sometime in the mid-1890s, where Kester became employed as a roadmaster's clerk in the chief engineer's office of the Ontario and Western Railroad. Staib later left this employ and was elected as a Democratic alderman for Middletown, later becoming President of the Common Council of that city in the early 1900s.
  In February 1903 then Mayor of Middletown George W. O'Neil (1851-1936) resigned after serving only three months in office. As president of the Common Council, Kester Staib assumed the position of Mayor and served out the remainder of O'Neil's term, which concluded at the end of 1903. Staib did not run for his own term as Mayor in 1904 and Aaron J. Hornbeck won that year's election. Staib returned to life as a private citizen and underwent a career change of sorts when he removed back to New York City in 1904. Here he began the study of architecture and later designed houses in both New York and New Jersey, while also being engaged in the manufacture of a "leading window device" with his father. Staib's obituary also lists him as being a member of the "police force of the Croton aqueduct"  as well as being a foreman at the Monhagen Hose Company.
  Kester Winfield Staib died at his home in Brooklyn on July 20, 1915, at age 49. The cause of death was listed in his Middletown Daily Times obituary as a result of "acute indigestion", and his remains were later removed to his native town of Hancock for burial in the St. Paul's Cemetery. Staib's wife Mary and daughter Virginia both survived him.

 From the 1915 Middletown Times.

                An obituary for Staib that appeared in the Middletown Daily Times on July 22, 1915.

Portrait from the Kansas Government Journal.

   A lifelong resident of Kansas, Kester Ulm "K.U." Snyder represented Johnson County in the Kansas State Senate for two terms beginning in the late 1940s. Born on September 9, 1891, in Ashland, Kansas, Kester U. Snyder was the son of William Kester and Della Amanda Snyder. Known by the nickname "Kess", Snyder would study at the Kansas State Agricultural College until 1914, whereafter he left to join the U.S. Navy. He would serve in the Navy during the First World War and upon returning to Kansas engaged in farm work.
  In the early 1930s Snyder enrolled at the Kansas City School of Law and following his graduation practiced law in both Kansas and Missouri. In 1948 he was elected to the Kansas State Senate from that state's 6th district and would serve two terms, the last concluding in 1953. He would later run an unsuccessful candidacy for Probate Judge of Johnson County and died at Bucyrus, Kansas on March 30, 1961 at age 69. He was survived by his second wife Mina (1898-1997) and was interred at the Mount Moriah Cemetery in Kansas City, Kansas.

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