Buena Vista County, IA
USGenWeb Project

Extracted from:  Wegerslev, C. H. and Thomas Walpole. 
 Past and Present of Buena Vista County, Iowa
Chicago:  S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., 1909, p. 408-09.

Transcribed by Paul Nagy

Biography of  W. D. Foster

W. D. Foster, a prosperous and progressive farmer and stock-raiser, residing on section 26, Washington township, was born in Avoca township, Livingston county, Illinois, November 14, 1856, a son of Russell B, and Mary Jane (Bodley) Foster, both natives of Fountain county. Indiana.  The father's natal day was March 8, 1831, and he was reared in the state of his nativity.  In 1855 he removed to Livingston county, Illinois, where he cleared a farm and was successfully engaged in its cultivation until called to his final rest on the 31st of May, 1908.  His wife, whose birth occurred August 21, 1831, passed away February 24, 1908. W. D. Foster, of this review, has two brothers and four sisters, namely; I. O., a resident of Pocahontas county, Iowa; W. K., of Calhoun county, Iowa; Mrs. J. K. Ostrander, who makes her home in McDowell, Illinois; Mrs. Walter Tucker, also living in McDowell, Illinois; Mrs. A. M. Wagoner, of Champaign, Illinois; and Mrs. R. P. Bentley, who resides in Pontiac, Illinois.


W. D. Foster was reared on the home farm and was afforded excellent educational advantages, attending Wesleyan University for five years.  Subsequently he taught school for ten consecutive years, imparting clearly and readily to others the knowledge that he had acquired.  He afterward established himself in business at Ancona but after eight years' connection with the mercantile interests of that town he sold out and removed to Pocahontas county, Iowa, in 1896.  During the following ten years he was there engaged in the operation of rented land and then bought a farm which he leased.  In the spring of 1906 he purchased his present place of one hundred acres on section 26, Washington township, taking up his abode thereon in the spring of 1907.  He devotes his time and attention to general farming and stock-raising and is well known and highly esteemed as one of the successful and enterprising agriculturists of the community.  His farm, which is situated within two miles of Storm Lake, is well improved and indicates in its neat and thrifty appearance the supervision of a practical and progressive owner.


On the 11th of August, 1886, in Livingston county, Illinois, Mr. Foster was united in marriage to Miss Mattie Pierson, a native of Avoca township, that county.  She was there reared and, like her husband, attended Wesleyan University and also taught school for several years.  By her marriage she has become the mother of two children:  Oma L., who is a sophomore in the college at Storm Lake; and Harry, a student in the Storm Lake high school.


In his political views Mr. Foster is a stalwart republican and while residing in Livingston county served as township clerk, school treasurer, etc., but has never been a politician in the sense of office seeking.  Both he and his wife are devoted and faithful members of the Methodist Episcopal church at Storm Lake and the latter is a Sunday school teacher and an active worker in the church.  He is past grand of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows at Storm Lake, having joined the fraternity in Illinois and served through all the chairs.  He and his wife are likewise identified with the Modern Woodmen of America.  Though their residence in this county has been of comparatively brief duration, they have already gained an extensive circle of friends here, the hospitality of the best homes being cordially extended them.