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Born near Waynesboro, Georgia, Lester was graduated from Mercer University, Macon, Georgia, in 1857. He studied law. He was admitted to the bar in Savannah, Georgia, and commenced practice in 1859. He entered the military service of the Confederate States Army in 1861 and served throughout the Civil War. He resumed the practice of law in Savannah. He served as member of the State senate in 1870-1879 and served as president of that body during the last three years. He served as mayor of Savannah from 1883-1889.
Lester was elected as a Democrat to the Fifty-first and to the eight succeeding Congresses and served from March 4, 1889 until his death in Washington, D.C., on June 16, 1906. He served as chairman of the Committee on Expenditures in the Department of State (Fifty-second and Fifty-third Congresses).
He died after an accident in which he fell through a skylight on the roof of the Cairo apartment house, where he resided. Lester went to the roof to look for his two young grandchildren and apparently missed his footing, and fell about 30 feet through the skylight, and landed on the building's eleventh floor. He broke both legs and sustained internal injuries which proved fatal.
He was interred in Bonaventure Cemetery, Savannah, Georgia.
| Mayor of Savannah
|U.S. House of Representatives|
Thomas M. Norwood
| Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Georgia's 1st congressional district
March 4, 1889 - June 16, 1906
James W. Overstreet
This article incorporates public domain material from the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress website http://bioguide.congress.gov.