Friday Finds

In my FOSTER file is a photocopy of some of the pages from the book, State Centennial History of the County of Ross (Ohio) about the FOSTER family in Ross County. Unfortunately, I don’t have a photocopy of the title page.

State Centennial History of the County of Ross (Ohio) vol. 2
Gateway Press, c1981

Call # (likely KS Hist Soc)

page 308
It is known that Rev. John Foster, and his brother Thomas. were the first white settlers within the limits of Franklin township. These were sons of John Foster, sr., who settled in Piketon, in the year 1798, the sons selecting their home in Franklin the same year. They were natives of Marylnnd. Others of the family emigrated to the county, from time to time, and this became a numerous and prominent family in the early days of settlement. The first elec­tion held in the township was ordered at the house of Benjamin Fos-

page 309
ter, a member of this family. Rev. John Foster was the first preacher in the township, and a zealous Methodist who was active in establishing the church in the wilderness. He was a captain in the war of 1812, and a useful and honored citizen in later life. There were five brothers of the parent stock of the Foster fam­ily in Ross county — Thomas, John, Benjamin, Joseph and Richard. According to the “Pioneer Record of Ross County,” the last named of these was the first settler of Franklin township, other authorities giving this honor to John and Thomas. But it is a matter of little moment, since, in either case, the distinction belongs to the Foster family.
Col. John Foster, son of Thomas, was born in Franklin township, August 4, 1801, and spent his entire life on the farm where he was born, and more than seventy years in the same house. He was a practical and successful farmer, not caring for political honors, a high achieving some distinctin both in civil and military life. He was colonel of a militia regiment for some years, and a represen­tative in the legislature in 1848. He held various township offices, and was appointed associate judge of Ross county, a distinction which he ignored by resigning the office soon after his election. Colonel Foster had a family of nine children: Joseph William R., Mary (Davis), Thomas, Jane (Davis), John W., James P., Sam­uel D., and Rebecca Ann. The last named son was an officer in the civil war, attaining the rank of major. It is said that the father and granfather of Colonel Foster were the first white men who ascended the Scioto river in a canoe.
Thomas C., son of Colonel Foster, had a family of six children who lived to years of maturity. These were Martha, Hannah, James C., William . John and George. While they were alll highly respected and upright citizens, one in particular, deserves more than passing notice. Reference is made to Maj James C. Foster, who achieved distinction in his young manhood days, as a soldier in defense of the Union. He entnrd the service under the first call of the President for three years’ volunteers, and served faithfully for four and a half years Beginning in the ranks, his soldier like bear-
ing, intelligence and capability won him promotions, until he attained the rank of major in 1864, serving in that capacity· until his discharge in January, 1866. A portion of the time he did staff duty under General Veatch, and was always at the front. Return­ing to his home after the war, he resumed the pursuits of civil life, and while busied as a farmer, was also active in local and general politics, serving in various official positions. He was for several years treasurer of Franklin township, and in [1901] was elected representative from Ross county in the State legislature.
One of the earliest settlers of Franklin township was John Johnson …

page 477

The Foster Family :-The founder of this numerous and influen­tial family in Ohio was the Rev. John Foster, who came from near Cumberland, Md., and settled in what is now Pike county in 1706. He died in January, 1800, leaving eight children. of whom there were six sons and two daughters. Among the former was one who became the Rev. John Foster, No. 2. He was born March 3, 1771, and died August 22, 11839, in Madison county, Ohio, while on a visit to some of his children. Of the latter there were ten in all and among the number was Thomas C. Foster, born July 2, 1813, in Ross county. He spent his whole life in Franklin township and died there December 18, 1882. His wife was Jane E. Davis, member of one of the pioneer families of the township, who died July 12, 1852, leaving six children. Of these, Martha was born July 31, 1849; James C. May 3, 1842, Hannah, born September 4, 1844, and died February 25, 1893; John, born January 4, 1847; William, born September 16, 1850 and died February 14, 1874; George, born June 21, 1852, and died June 23 1881. Major James C. Foster, the oldest son in the above mentioned list was educated in te public and private schools of his native county. Shortly before the civil war he spent a term at a private military school in Chillicothe, and the experience acquired there proved valuable in the years immediately succeeding. On October 17, 1861, he enlisted as a private in Company F. Fifty third Ohio infantry, being made first sergeant at the organization. January 1, 1862 his service and politics were awarded by promotion to the second lieutenancy and in the following September he was transferred to Company I. On June 3, 1863, he was commissioned as captain of Company A Fifty-ninth regiment of colored troops which had recently been called into service. On June 18, 1864 he was given a commission as major of that regiment, in which capacity he served until the close of the war, being in command of the regiment for several months. Major Foster participated in the battles of Shiloh, Falling Timbers, Tupelo, Brice’s Crossroads and the siege of Corinth. At the battle of Brice’s crossroads, near Guntown,

Miss., June 10, 1864 Captain Foster was placed in charge of the skirmish line, composed of his own and another company. They made a heroic fight until dark, when, all the troops retiring in the direction of Ripley and the· lieutenant-colonel being-totally disabled by a wound, he assumed command of the regiment, from which he was not relieved until the following-September. During his long army service, Major Foster was often detailed on important special service. During the winter of 1862-3 he was a member of the general court-martial, and he served on courts of inquiry, as chief of
pickets and in other responsible positions, which showed his high standing with his superior officers. He was mustered out of the service January 31, 1866, after a military career which reflects upon him
the highest credit. After the close of the war, Major Foster returned home and for a time attended a commercial school at Cleveland, after
which he settled down to a farmer’s life, near his birthplace, where he still resides. September 7, 1869, he was married to Emma, daughter of James Mary Davis, who died August 2, 1872, leaving 0ne child, Daisy D., born June 7, ]870, who is now the wife of H. J. DuBois, of Pike county, Ohio. October 19, 1875, Major Foster was remarried, his second wife being Mary D., daughter of
Joseph I. and Jane D Vanse. This union resulted in the birth of four daughters and three sons, all of whom are living: Ada C., born March 16, 1877; J. Vance, born April 29 1879; Jean M., born July 16, 1881; Harry L, born March 14, 1884; James C., born November 25, 1887; Mary H., December 19, 1889; and Sallie, Sep­tember 13, 1894. The Major has filled various township offices and at the fall election in 1901 he was chosen representative in the Ohio general assembly from Ross county, receiving 5,239 votes to 4,531 for Robert. L. Irvin, his opp0nent. He was a prominent member of the Grand Army of the Republic and has been commander of Joseph Climer post, No. 6,092 at Omega, Ohio, ever since it was organized in 1883. He also holds membership in the other patriotic organization devoted exclusively to Federal officers and called the Loyal Legion. His ancestors were mostly Methodists, but the Major has
no church affiliations.