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William Harvey Foster


Posted By: County Coordinator (email)
Date: 5/10/2010 at 11:48:46

William Harvey Foster deceased, was a soldier of the Civil war and a respected citizen of Boone. For many yeas he as a trustworthy engineer on the Northwestern Railway, having practically spent all his life in connection with railway service. He was born in Zanesville, Muskingum county, Ohio July 17, 1836, and was a son of Jonathan and Elizabeth Foster. Jonathan Foster, who was born in Maryland, was a well to do farmer, also dealing extensively in stock. He moved his family to Ohio and later to Indiana, where they settled on a farm north of Millersburg, and there he spent the remainder of his life, dying at the age of seventy-five years in the faith of the Methodist Episcopal church. The mother died before the family removed to Indiana, in Ohio and her father subsequently married a widow, Mrs Johnson, whose maiden name was Self. The second Mrs Foster died in Indiana. Sherman, a stepson of Jonathan Foster, served four years in the civil war and died in the soldiersí home in Indiana. By his firth marriage the father had the following children; Sarah, who married John Matthews and died in Indiana, near Leesburg, William Harvey of this review, Martha, the widow of John Harriman, Phoebe, who became Mrs Fisher Fry and died in Ligonier, Indiana. Thompson who died at the age of twenty-four, and Willis who married and died in Indiana.
William Harvey Foster was educated in the country schools and subsequently followed farming. In February 1865, he enlisted in the One Hundred and Fifty-second Indiana Volunteer Infantry, joining Company D, of which Captain, Smith was at the head as a private. He served until the close of the war. On November 2, 1865, he married Miss Matilda Jane Tomlinson, and they came to Boone in January 1866. This community then had but six houses, and the Northwestern Railway was completed west only as far as Woodbine. Mr Foster bought a farm close by and lived thereon for one year. He then entered the shops of the Northwestern Railway as engine cleaner and subsequently became fireman and engineer. He had the run between Boone and Moingona and also ran a pusher engine which helped the trains over the hills. He died on October 18, 1897, and was buried in Linwood cemetery.
He was an active member of the Methodist Episcopal church and one of the founders and lifelong friends of the Young Menís Christian Association. Fraternally he belonged to the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and was a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. His political adherence was given to the republican party.
To Mr and Mrs Foster were born the following children. Ida who is Mrs Herbert Cronk of Chicago, was born in Boone county and educated in the city of Boone. She taught school there and subsequently celebrated her wedding in that city. Later she removed to Clinton, Iowa, where her husband was a passenger conductor on the Chicago & Northwestern Railway, having the run between Clinton and Chicago. She now conducts Fosterís Restaurant at No 221, South Wabash avenue, Chicago, and is manager of the Womanís Athletic Club, which has its building at No 606 South Michigan avenue in Chicago. She is prominently engaged in up life work and interested in all vital social questions. She has no children. Melvin, who was a fireman with the Northwestern Railway, died at the age of twenty-two . Lulu married Charles Pendarvis of Boone, Edith married Benjamin B Wiley, who is extensively mentioned in another part of this work. Harvey Norman died in infancy. Olive resides in Watertown, Illinois. Mrs Foster, the mother of theses children was born on a farm in Noble county, Indiana, May 13, 1844. She attended the country schools and was reared among strangers, as her mother had died when he was quite young. Her father, Andrew Tomlinson, was a native of Maryland, an her mother before her marriage was Miss Julia Danner, also a native of the Old Line state. The father was a carpenter and he subsequently followed that trade in Indiana, whither the family had removed. He later went to Missouri, where he died at the age of seventy-five, his wife having passed away in Indiana when seventy years of age. In their family were the following children: William of Topeka, Indiana, Silas, who was drowned in the Mississippi river when on his way from New Orleans on a transport which was sunk during the war, Henry who lost his life in the battle of Baton Rouge on the day when he was twenty years old, and Mrs Foster.
Mr Fosterís memory is still with his many friends in Boone, all of whom regarded home affectionately because of the genuine qualities of his character. He as a kindly, courteous gentleman of the old school who readily made friends and who eagerly participated in all matters pertaining to the public welfare, and he was ever ready peace and war to make sacrifices in order to render service to his country or raise humanity to a higher plane.

1914 Boone County History Book


Boone Biographies maintained by Jan Bony.
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