James B. FOSTER, a progressive and influential agriculturist, now
residing on section 15, Belle Plain township, was born on the old family
homestead on the adjoining section , September 2, 1856. His father,
Benjamin FOSTER, was born in Franklin county, Ohio, twelve miles from
Columbus, on the 4th of January, 1820, and at an early day came to
Illinois, taking up his residence in Richland township, Marshall county,
where he remained through the following winter. He then removed to
Hopewell township, near Henry, and about twelve years later came to
Belle Plain township, locating on section 16. The land was then wild,
the only improvement upon the place being a small frame house in poor
repair, but he energetically began the task of developing a farm and
soon placed the tract under a high state of cultivation. He also engaged
quite extensively in stockraising in an early day and drove his cattle
to market at Chicago. He butchered them on the prairie and sold to the
dealers in the city. He was very prosperous, accumulating considerable
property, and at one time was the owner of fourteen hundred acres of
valuable land, which before his death was divided among his children.
Benjamin FOSTER was united in marriage with Miss Mary LINDSEY, who was born in North Carolina about 1824. By this marriage they became the parents of eight children, five of whom are now living, namely: Thomas, Harding, James B., Kendrick D., and Charles. The father died April 26, 1889, in his seventieth year, but the mother is still living.
James B. FOSTER has spent his entire life in Marshall county, and has witnessed its growth and development for forty years. To the common schools he is indebted for the educational privileges which he enjoyed. As soon as old enough to handle the plow he began work on the home farm and continued his labors there until his marriage. He is now the owner of a rich and fertile tract of two hundred and sixty acres, and the well tilled fields yield a golden tribute to his care and cultivation. There are good improvements upon the place and its neat appearance well indicates his careful supervision.
On the 30th of January, 1880, was celebrated the marriage of Mr. FOSTER and Miss Julia REED, daughter of Wesley REED, of Varna. She was born in Wisconsin in 1861, and two interesting children grace this marriage: Iva, born in October, 1887, and Edith, born November 23, 1892. Politically, Mr. FOSTER is democratic and cast his first ballot for president for Samuel J. Tilden; never an aspirant for or wanted office, but gives his time to his farm and business.
Extracted May 2011 by Norma Hass from The Biographical Record of Bureau, Marshall and Putnam Counties, Illinois, 1896.