Posted By: County Coordinator (email)
Date: 4/21/2010 at 15:22:51
Willard Foster may truly be called a self made man, for the sucess which has come to him has been won entirely through his own efforts. He started out to make his way in the world when a lad of but thirteen years and since that time has led a busy life, his growing effectiveness and usefuleness in business circles finding tangible evidene in his property holdings, consisting of an attractive home and a large feed and coal yard. He was born in Story county, November 4, 1856, and is a son of John R and Elizabeth (Jackson) Foster, both of whom were natives of Indiana. They came to Iowa in 1852, taking up their abode in Story county where the father followed farming until 1860. Following the outbreak of the Civil war he immediately responded to the country's call for troops, feeling this to be his paramount duty. With his command he went to the front and was among those who laid down their lievs on the altar of their country, his death occurring while he was serving as a soldier. His wife had previously passed away and thus their three children were ophaned. The daughter Suzanna, is now the wife of C P Meredith, a resident of Clark Fork, Idaho. The elder son Willard, and the youngest of the family was Thomas, who died in childhood.
When his father went to the army Willard Foster went to live with his grandparents, with whom he remained through much of the period of his youth. He continued with them through winter seasons, while in the summer months he earned his own living by working at farm labor from the age of thirteen years. When crops were harvested in the late autumn he would return to the home of his grandfather and spend the winter season in attending school. It will thus be seen that he had no special advantages or opportunities at the ouset of his carer, being forced to enter so early upon the task of earning a livelihood. When twenty-one years of age he was married and located upon a farm in Boone county. After renting land for about three years, during which time he lived most economically, he invested his earnings in an 80 acre tarct. After cultivation that propety for a time he sold out and bought 100 acres. Later he rented his farm and removed to Boone, where he became an employe in the shops of the Northwestern Railroad Company, there spending three years. He was afterward in the street car service for ten years and later was elected township constable, to which position he was reelected at the close of his first term. Ere he retired from the postion he was elected sheriff of the county and filled the office most acceptably for five years, discharging his duties without fear or favor. He next purchased a feed and coal business on Tenth street and has thus been identified with commerical interests in the city to the preset time. Evidence of his success is seen in his fine home, which is one of the meodern residences of Boone, situated at the corner of Sixth and Harrison streets. It is attractively furnished and moreover, is the abode of a warmhearted hospitality, which makes it the center of a cultrued society circle.
On July 15, 1877, Mr Foster was united in marriage to Miss Mary A Moyer, and unto them has been born a daughter, Bertha who is now the wife of W H McLain, of Emmetsburg, Iowa. The religious faith of Mr and Mrs Foster is that of the Methodsit Episcopal church, and his fraternal relations are with the Ancient Order of Untied Workmen. He votes with the republican party, and it was upon this ticket that he was elected to office. He has never been remiss in the duties of citizenship, while in business he has never failed to show that enterprising spirit and unfaltering determination which overcome obstacles and advance steadly toward success. He certainly deserves much credit for what he has accomplished, in as much as he started out for himself at a very early age and has been dependent entirely upon his own resoures from that time to the present.
1914 Boone County History Book
Boone Biographies maintained by Jan Bony.
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