Biography of Joseph C Foster

Joseph C. Foster, carrying on general farming interests for many years in East River township but now leaving the arduous labor of the farm to others, although he still gives to it his general supervision, was born in Madison county, Ohio, December 23, 1826. He is a son of Joshua and Sarah (Silver) Foster, both of whom were natives of Bedford county, Pennsylvania. The father was born there May 17, 1794, and when six years of age accompanied his parents to Ross county, Ohio, where he lived until eighteen years of age. A removal was then made to Madison county, Ohio, and with the exception of six years spent in Indiana, he continued in Madison county until 1848. At that time he removed to Knox county, Illinois, where he lived for two years, after which he spent five years in Fulton county, whence he returned to Knox county, where he made his home for twenty-seven years prior to his demise. He engaged in general farming and stock-raising, purchasing stock which he drove over the mountains from the west. He was married when twenty-two years of age to Miss Sarah Silver, of Bedford county, Pennsylvania, and unto them were born thirteen children, all of whom were living at one time, while eight of the number were living at the time of the father’s death. His wife passed away March 9, 1879, and their graves were made side by side in the Uniontown cemetery of Knox county, Illinois. In early life Mr. Foster joined the Methodist Episcopal church and ever afterward lived a consistent Christian life. He always looked on the bright side of every question and when clouds of adversity were darkest was never known to complain. He was devoted to the welfare of his wife and family and was a most estimable citizen. The cause of education found in him a stalwart advocate and he was ever interested in the movements which tend to promoting the interests of civilization.

Joseph C. Foster was the youngest of four sons in his father’s family and there were seven daughters younger than he. Born and reared in Madison county, Ohio, lie there resided until his marriage, after which he went to Knox county, Illinois, where he made his home until 1873, when he removed to Fulton county, that state. In the spring of 1875 he came to Page county, Iowa, settling first on the Linderman farm west of Clarinda. After spending four years there he removed to East River township, settling on the Hatfield farm, which he made his home for five years. He next purchased his present home of one hundred and thirty-two acres on sections 2 and II, East River township. This is a well improved property, having upon it good buildings which have been erected by Mr. Foster. Everything about the place is modern and substantial and he has met with substantial success in carrying on general farming and stock raising. His place is yet devoted to those two pursuits and both branches of the business return to him a substantial income.

It was on the 26th of October, 1848, that Mr. Foster was united in marriage to Miss Maria C. Kingham, who was born in Wallingford, Berkshire county, England, September 16, 1827. When two years of age she lost her mother and with her father came to America in the fall of 1832 on the sailing ship Cosmo, which was seven weeks in completing the voyage. The family home was established near Springfield, Ohio, where Mrs. Foster remained until seventeen years of age, when she went to Madison county, Ohio, where she was married. Her parents were William and Elizabeth (Cooper) Kingham and the father died in Madison county.

Unto Mr. and Mrs. Foster have been born nine sons: William, a resident of Missouri ; Thomas and John, twins, the former living in Nebraska township, this county, and the latter in South Dakota ; Homer, who is a resident of East River township ; Smith, residing in Fulton county, Illinois; Bruce, who is living in Shenandoah, Iowa; Scott, who died in Oklahoma ; Richard, a resident of Taylor county ; and Frederick, at home. All of the sons are farmers and most of them own large tracts of land. They all give their political allegiance to the democracy.

The father is also a stalwart democrat and has filled some township and school offices but has always preferred to leave office holding to others. He has been a Mason since 1861 and now belongs to Clarinda Lodge, No. 140, F. & A. M., and to the chapter, R. A. M., in Knoxville, Illinois. He has almost reached the eighty-third milestone on life’s journey and his has been a creditable record, for he has lived a life of continuous business activity and his carefully directed labors have brought him the success which has enabled him for many years to enjoy not only the necessities but also many of the comforts of life. His estimable wife is a member of the Methodist Episcopal church.



Kershaw, W. L. History of Page County, Iowa: also biographical sketches of some prominent citizens of the county. Chicago: S.J. Clarke Publishing Co. 1909.

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