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Edmund Luster

Updated: Dec 21, 2021

Edmund Luster is the first person in our family to have the last name Luster. Edmund parents and siblings all spell their name Lester, with an e instead of a u.

Upon moving to Chattanooga, Edmond changed his name and created a new line of decent.

Edmund is the father of Reverend Clifford Luster, Edward "Nub" Luster, Reverend John Luster, Queen Ester McGhee, Florence Luster, and D.C Luster. If you are a Luster, you are related to one of Edmund’s children!

Edmund Luster

Edmund was born on September 6th, 1887 in Hull, Georgia. He was one of 14 children to parents Lewis and Flirdie Lester. Hull is a small rural town in northeast Georgia. During pre-civil war times the population of enslaved Africans in this area was greater than the population of free whites. Both of Edmund parents were born into slavery and worked on the Lester planation in Hull, Georgia.

Location of Hull, Georgia

Edmund’s thirteen siblings were: Reverend Harry E. Lester (1871), Caroline "Yancy" Lester (1872), Green Lester (1873), Buddy Lester (1875), Mary Pass (1877), Eliza Cleveland (1879), Henry Witcher (1879), Rena Lester (1880), Josie Lester (1884), Emma Long (1886), James Lester (1888), Julie Medley (1998), Lourene Wise (1898).

Edmund’s sister Josie with her great-grandson Willie Lester

In 1909, at the age of 22, Edmund married Nancy Booker in Hull, Georgia. Nancy Booker was from South Carolina and moved to Georgia as a teenager. Nancy and Edmund moved into a home on Colbert Street in Hull. During this time Edmund worked for Ms. Ada Murray on her farm. Shortly after their marriage Nancy gave birth to her first son Clifford Luster in 1910. In 1913, Edward "Nub" Luster was born. In 1915 John Luster was born. In 1917, Queen Ester Luster was born. Florence Luster was born in 1919 and in 1925 D.C Luster was born.

Edmund Luster's World War I Registration Card

Edmund stopped working with Ada Murray and started working on his own account by 1920. Nancy assisted him on their small farm in Hull. In 1926, Edmund decided to leave Hull and move his family to Chattanooga, Tennessee to work at Somerville Iron Works. This period in from 1910-1930 in America is known as The First Great Migration, when many rural African-Americans moved northward into cities to work in industrial jobs.

Edmund moved his family of seven to Grove Place, today referred to as the College Hill Courts. Upon moving to Chattanooga Edmond and Nancy changed their family's last name from Lester to Luster. The Lusters lived at 1034 Grove Place.

In 1930, Edmund and his oldest son Clifford who was now 19 worked together at Somerville Ironworks which was located across the Tennessee river at the bottom of Signal Mountain. Nub was 16 years old and worked as a delivery boy on a coal wagon. The three youngest siblings attended school and Nancy was a stay at home mother.

The following year, Edmund moved his family to the Saint Elmo neighborhood at the base of Lookout Mountain to 1007 Elm street. Edmund worked at Somerville Ironworks until 1935 and got a job doing landscaping at the home of John Lupton, the president of Coca-Cola Bottling Works.

In December of 1947, the doctor found hemothorax in Edmund‘a left lung and treated him until March 1948. At 12:15PM on March 23rd, 1948, Edmund passed away in his home on Elm Street. His funeral service was held at Macedonia Baptist Church and his burial took place at Highland Cemetery.

Edmund Luster's Obituary from Chattanooga Free Press

Edmund made two long lasting decisions in his life. He changed his last name from Lester to Luster and he moved his family from Hull to Chattanooga. Both of these decisions changed the course of history for hundreds of descendants for years to come.

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joyelle woods
joyelle woods

This is amazing. So much I didn't know. I loved seeing the pictures and documents. Great work!

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