John Newton Foster
FOSTER, John Newton. — The career of John Newton Foster is interesting as marking the development of agricultural science in McDonough County, and as showing what may be accomplished by a youth who starts out in life with the right kind of ideas and with sufficient perseverance to make his ideas of use to himself and the community in which he lives. The changes of seventy-eight years have passed before the eyes of this honored pioneer. He was born in Dubois County, Ind., February 8, 1829, the third in order of birth of the seven children of Arthur J. and Sarah (Kelso) Foster, natives of South Carolina. His parents came to Logan County, Ill., in 1831, where they remained for a short time, when they came to McDonough County, where they established their permanent home. Foster's Point, where his family located thus early in the history of the county, was the home of John Newton until his twenty-second year. His father, who was born in 1800, died September 25, 1843, leaving the lad of fourteen heir to a good name and plenty of hard work. He managed, however, to acquire a fair education, and through constant industry and economy was able to purchase eighty acres of land on Section 10 in Eldorado Township, which since has been his home. The years have brought him more of success than failure, and he has added to his original farm until he now owns 240 acres in the same township under cultivation, besides twenty-seven and a half acres of timber land. Conservative and painstaking, he has lost nothing of the method and practicability of the early farmers, while taking advantage of the research and innovations of those of the present day. All within the borders of his farm is in order, and the general atmosphere of his place is that of a man who understands the value of attention to details, and of doing well whatever has to be done at all.
October 25, 1852, Mr. Foster was united in marriage to Francis J. McClintock, a native of Coshocton County, Ohio, born April 7, 1834, and who became the mother of three children: Lois C., now Mrs. Bailey, of Chicago; Sanford K., who lives near his parents; and Wylie M., Mrs. Kerr, of Eldorado Township. Some time since Mr. Foster handed over the active management of his farm to his son-in-law and grandson, but still has general oversight of his property, and takes the same keen interest in the crops that he did when far more dependent upon their outcome. For many years he was actively interested in Republican politics, and locally did much to maintain the integrity of local offices. His three terms, each, as Supervisor and Assessor of the township, were conducted with excellent results, and as a School Director for many years, he lavishly encouraged opportunities to which he was a stranger in his own youth. That he has lived up to the letter and spirit of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, of which he has been a member for many years, is believed by all who are privileged to know him.
Source: The Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois and History of McDonough County, compiled by Dr. Newton Bateman, and Paul Shelby, 1907, volume 2, pages 879-880, extracted 04 Jan 2019 by Norma Hass.