Reverend Artemas Lester (17 March 1857-20 March 1934) was an itinerant circuit rider whose ministry was concentrated in Northeast Georgia. He is considered the founder of Young Harris College, and the school website notes: Young Harris College started in 1886 as the McTyeire Institute with the purpose of providing the first and only educational opportunities to the residents of the isolated area in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Rev. Artemas Lester secured support for the idea of a school and secured the services of Rev. Marcus Edwards as the first principal. Classes were held in a vacant storefront beginning in January 1886.
This bronze statue of Reverend Lester on horseback was placed in 1986, to commemorate the centennial of Young Harris College.