Biography - Ellsworth Foster

ELLSWORTH FOSTER was born in Pickaway Township, Shelby County. December 23, 1863, his birthplace being the farm that he is now so successfully managing, and he has taken his place among the manly, independent, wide-awake young fanners and stock-raisers who within recent years have stepped forward to help carry on the great agricultural interests of this county so well developed by their pioneer sires.
Our subject is a son of John Foster, an old and well-known citizen of this county, now living in honorable retirement at Shelbyville. He in turn was the son of another John Foster, both being natives of Yorkshire, England. In 1843 the grandfather of our subject left his early English home to seek another in this country, bringing with him his wife and six children. The family set sail from Liverpool on the good ship Glasgow, and after a voyage of six weeks and four days, landed at New York, and proceeded directly to Ohio, journeying by the Hudson River to Albany, thence by Erie Canal to Buffalo, from there on the lake to Cleveland, Ohio, and then by canal to Madison County, in the same State.
In 1849 the elder John Foster brought his family to Shelby County, and was one of the first settlers on the prairie of Todd's Point Township, but few pioneers having preceded him to that locality, and they had selected homes in the timber. The country was mostly in its primitive condition, with deer and other kinds of wild game plentiful. Mr. Foster entered a tract of Government land, and building at once, devoted his time afterward to stock-raising and general farming until his life was rounded out by death at a ripe age. His wife also died on the home farm in Todd's Point Township. In her maiden days she bore the name of Ellen Atkinson. She was a native of Yorkshire, England, and a daughter of Thomas Atkinson. She reared six children, named as follows: Joseph, Mary, John, Alice, Thomas and James.
The father of our subject was a lad of thirteen years when he came to America with his parents, brothers and sisters, and still has a vivid remembrance of his boyhood's home and of the pioneer life that the family was obliged to lead after coming to this country in the newly settled regions where they located in Ohio and this State. He was bred to the life of a farmer, and resided under the parental roof until his marriage. He then engaged in farming in Todd's Point Township a few years. His next venture was to buy one hundred and twenty acres of prairie in Pickaway Township. He busied himself in the years that followed in the improvement of his place, erecting a substantial set of frame buildings, putting the land under admirable tillage, and greatly adding to the attractiveness and value of the farm by planting fruit and shade trees. In 1889 Mr. Foster yielded the management of his farm to the competent hands of his son Ellsworth, and retired from active labor to a pleasant home at Shelbyville, which he then purchased.
John Foster took Rachel Dobson as his wife in 1848, and for more than forty years they have shared life's joys and sorrows together. Mrs. Foster was born in Westmorelandshire, England, and is a daughter of John and Jane (Clark) Dobson, who were also natives of that shire, and came to America about 1836. They settled among the pioneers of Stark County, Ohio, and there spent their remaining days. Both Mr. and Mrs. Foster are sincere members of the Presbyterian Church, and are people of high principle and character. They are the parents of six children, namely: Ann Amelia, J. Williams, Wesley T., J. Ellsworth, Norman H. and Jennie.
Ellsworth Foster grew to man's estate in the home of his birth, and was educated in the local public schools. He was an active, sturdy, self-reliant little lad, and even when very young was of much assistance on the farm, and early acquired a thorough familiarity with agricultural pursuits. He lived with his parents until his marriage, and then they removed to town and he took charge of the farm. He is managing it judiciously and with good results, and has already acquired a good reputation for his skill and practicality in carrying on farming after the most approved modern methods. He is straightforward and candid in his dealings, stands well financially, and his pleasant social qualities make him popular with his associates. He is an active member of William Penn Camp, M. W. A. He holds sound and sensible views in regard to politics and is a true Republican.
To the lady who presides so pleasantly and graciously over his home, and co-operates with him in extending its hospitalities to friends or strangers who may happen beneath its roof, our subject was married in 1889. One child, whom they have named Faith, completes their household. Mrs. Foster was formerly Edith Noon, is a native of Waukesha County, Wis., and a daughter of James and Hannah (Fear) Noon, an extended sketch of whom appears elsewhere. Mrs. Foster is a lady of culture, and in her the Unitarian Church has a valuable member, who is active in its every good work.

Extracted 08 Apr 2017 by Norma Hass from 1891 Portrait and Biographical Record of Shelby and Moultrie Counties Illinois, pages 260-261.

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