My Contribution: I fundraised for the fledgling church that would become Capital Presbyterian Church. I remained active in Harrisburg society circles even after relocating to Philadelphia with my husband.
My Legacy: I invested in my community, making churches for African Americans of Harrisburg fiscally possible. Capital Presbyterian Church, still in existence today, would not be possible without my work.
About Me: “The ladies of the Second Presbyterian congregation of this city, for several months in a sewing circle capacity, have been preparing articles for their annual fair. The cost of erecting a house for worship and purchasing the ground upon which it stands, reached nearly $4,000….The ladies hope to be successful enough to pay the portion of the pastor’s salary yet due, the interest on church debt, and considerable on the principal…Mrs. Amelia L. Chester and Mrs. Priscilla Cann have been appointed receivers.” Harrisburg Telegraph, February 7, 1873.
Full Name: Amelia Lydia Chester; Amelia Chester White
Birth Date: ca. 1836-1841 (based on estimates from census records and obituary).
Death Date: January 1, 1921. Buried next to her husband, David Chester, in Lincoln Park Cemetery in Penbrook, Pennsylvania.
Place of Birth: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (1880 Federal Census); Columbia Pennsylvania; or Michigan (1920 Federal Census).
Race: Black (1880 and 1920 Federal Censuses)
Places of Residence: 305 Chestnut Street, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; 1039 Lombard Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (1880); 49 Greenwood Avenue, Montclair, New Jersey (1920-1921).
Connection to the Old Eighth Ward: Lived a few blocks south of the Eighth Ward.
Family Members: Husband: M1: David R. Chester. Husband: M2: Jacob C. White (married May 12, 1898).
Education: Could read and write.
Church Membership: Elder Street Presbyterian and Capital Presbyterian Church.
Activism: Elder Street Presbyterian Benefit Bazaar Committee; Second Presbyterian Benefit Fair Committee; Miriam Household of Ruth.
Connections: James Auter, David R. Chester, T. Morris Chester, Jane Chester, Annie E. Amos, Josephine Bibb.