Transcribed by Mary Ann Kaylor
FOSTER, Samuel Lewis - The Foster family has been prominent in Sangamon County, Ill., since the father of Samuel Lewis, Ivins Foster, came to Illinois from Kentucky in 1829. Samuel Lewis Foster was born in Curran Township, Sangamon County, June 29, 1830, and was one of the oldest native-born residents of the county. He was the son of Ivins and Margaret (McKee) Foster, both born in Harrison County, Ky., the former November 23, 1794, and the latter January 24, 1796. The McKee family is of Scotch-Irish descent and came to Kentucky from Muddy Creek, Pa. Ivins Foster was a son of Samuel and Mary Mayhall (Veatch) Foster, who moved from Muddy Creek, Pa., to Harrison County, Ky. Ivins Foster located in Curran Township, Sangamon County, in 1829, and his death occurred there near the village of Curran, January 4, 1866, and that of his wife April 19, 1880.
Eight children were born Ivins Foster and wife, as follows: William David, died in Edinburgh, Scotland, in 1843; Mary Jane, married Samuel Dunn, who died about 1900, and his widow resides with her daughter, Mrs. Ackers, at 1505 South College Street, Springfield; Joel Sanford, born in Harrison County, Ky., died December 9, 1847, in Curran Township, aged twenty-three years; Rebecca Ann, born in Kentucky, died August 15, 1837; Samuel Lewis; John Wesley, born in Curran Township, January 29, 1833, was married, in that Township, March 26, 1883, to Jerusha Dennis, an died in Sangamon County, October 4, 1898; James Thomas, born in Curran Township, March 29, 1836, died August 4, 1840; Martha Elizabeth, born March 23, 1838, died March 29, same year.
Samuel Lewis Foster was reared on a farm one mile southeast of Curran, and received his early education in the country schools. In 1849 he entered McKendree College, at Lebanon, St. Clair County, Ill., where he graduated in 1853 and afterward taught school two years, after which he engaged in farming in Curran Township. In 1860 he sold his interests in Sangamon County and moved to Elk River, Sherburne County, Minn., lived there during the Indian troubles, and in 1863 returned to Curran Township, where he again engaged in farming and sheep-raising. He found good profit in producing wool, remaining on his farm until 1882, when he located in Springfield, buying a house on the corner of Edwards and New Street, which he later sold and moved to the village of Curran. He kept a general store there four years, then moved to a farm southeast of Curran, where he was engaged in farming until 1894, when he moved to his present residence, 701 South English Avenue, Springfield, later selling his farm. For about five years he had been an invalid. He was energetic and industrious during his active career and was successful in whatever he undertook. He was a public-spirited citizen and always ready to contribute his share towards the welfare of his community.
Mr. Foster was married by Elder Crane, of Springfield, December 27, 1855, to Miss Lydia Lee, who was born in Dover, Del., February 8, 1834, and they became parents of the following children: Mary Alice, born in Curran Township, October 5, 1856, was married, July 12, 1881, to Archibald Maxwell; Charles, born in Curran Township, April 7, 1858, died September 13, same year; Louis Kossuth, born in Curran Township, July 12, 1859, was married in Springfield, in 1885, to Miss Lucy Ewell, and they now live in Denver, Col.; Robert Lee, born in Sherburne County, Minn., November 6, 1861, was married in Menard County, Ill., May 10, 1883, to Miss Margaret Elsie Foster, and they now live in Springfield; Margaret May, born in Curran Township, July 3, 1870, was married December 25, 188, to James P. Sims, who is Principal of the Iles School, Springfield.
Mr. Foster never cared for public office though he had been an ardent Republican since the organization of that party. He was an active member of the Methodist Episcopal Church and fraternally was affiliated with the Masonic Order, which he joined in 1851, in St. Clair County, Ill., when he became a member of Lodge No. 110. He was a member of Chatham Lodge, at Chatham, Ill. He was genial and kindly of disposition and enjoyed the society of his friends of whom he had a large number. He died in April, 1911.