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MUSEUM STOREHOUSE OF RELICS PAST
Thursday October 16, 1986


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Pix #1 - Furniture and artifacts in the Foster Room, donated by heirs of the Foster family.

Pix #2 - Another view of the Foster room. Old clock, made in France, is in the three section bookcase in the left in the background.

Author's Note: Today's article is the first in a series about the Fostoria area Historical Museum, and the vast amount of history of the past, evidence by the hundreds, perhaps even thousands of items on permanent display, or loan. The articles will appeat at random. I have wanted to to this series for a long time because there are many elderly persons who are not able to take the tour, and because there are many former Fostorians, now living elsewhere who may never get back her for a tour of the museum. So, get and save articles of the series for friends and relatives, now living elsewhere.

ABOUT MUSEUM SITE AND FOSTER FAMILY

The Fostoria Area Historical Museum is located in the original Fostoria City Hall and Fire House, built in 1875 at 127 West North Street, shown in the accompanying illustration.

Since the museum has one area on the second floor where forty or more artifacts have been donated by the Foster family, it is appropriate to provide a brief history of it.

The year was 1832: John Crocker, his son Roswell, daughter Laura Crocker Foster, and son in-law Charles W. Foster were among the first to settle in Loudon Township, Seneca County.

Young Roswell Crocker and Charles Foster set to work at once clearing the land which was purchased from the U.S. Government for $1.25 an acre.

On the 30th day of August, that same year, Roswell Crocker laid out the village of Rome and David Risdon surveyed it. Later, it joined with the village of Risdon, just a mile northwest, and from that union came Fostoria ...named after the Fosters.

C.W. Foster and his wife Laura had six children; two boys, Charles and John W. and four girls Emily, Laura, Lucy and Mary.

CHARLES FOSTER LIVED MOST OF HIS LIFE IN FOSTORIA

Charles, the first-born (1828) was the only one to live a long life, dying at age 75, and it was he who brought fame to the Foster family and to the town where he spent all his life except when he was governor of Ohio (1180-84), and (1891-93) when he was Secretary of the U.S. treasury, under President Benjamin Harrison, and four consecutive terms in Congress prior to his Governorship.

Charles learned about business from his father Charles W., who had built a double log cabin which combined home and general store in 1832, when they settled Rome. That store became one of the chief mercantile and credit institutions of this area of Ohio. Periodically the "Foster wagon train" loaded with farmers grain, crossed the Black Swamp to Perrysburg and Fremont, where it picked up the merchandise used to stock the Foster store.

ACTIVE IN STATE AND NATIONAL GOVERNMENT

His elevation to public life began in 1870 with the first of four consecutive election to Congress as a Republican.

The way was prepared for reelection to Congress in 1878. Sound money was the issue in the state election of 1879, and Foster supported the policy of gold redemption of the paper money currency called greenbacks. Running for governor on the sound-money platform, he was elected and in his two terms in that office did much to inject business methods into state financial affairs.

In 1881, Foster returned to a position of leadership in the Republican party when President Harrison made him Secretary of the Treasury.

In private life, Foster developed his business interests, investing in railroads, oil, mining, rubber, and corporate ventures. He was president of the Northwestern Ohio Natural Gas Co. He became interested in the State Hospital for the Insane in Toledo.

Charles Foster died Jan. 9, 1904. He had been on a trip to Marion, Ohio, and was stricken at the home of a friend. A doctor was summoned but he failed to recover and died shortly thereafter.(Above history of Charles Foster excerpted from Governors of Ohio by N.W. Ohio Historical Society.

FOSTER ROOM DEDICATED TO FOSTER FAMILY

Dedicated in memory of Charles W. Foster and his family, the Foster Room on the second floor, is an important area of the museum, where more then forty artifacts of great interest and value are displayed.

The Society is indebted to the living heirs of that family: Jesse L. Myers, grandson of Gov. Foster, Oak Ridge, Tenn; Mrs. Jessemae Noritaki, great granddaughter, Oak Ridge Tenn; Mrs. Edith Ann McCorkle, granddaughter, McCook, Neb.; Mrs. Jean Condit, great granddaughter, Toledo, Ohio; Foster Myers Jr. great grandson, California.

Two accompanying photos of the Foster room show advantageously the larger heirlooms of the Foster family. In the background of No. 1 can be seen the grand piano, which was first in the Charles Foster home on W. Tiffin St., in Fostoria for many years. In later years, it was in the home of Dr. Park Myers, Toledo, his wife Jesse having been a daughter of Charles and Ann Foster in his earlier years before moving to Toledo. The Myers home in Fostoria was at 602 North Main St.

MANY ARTICLES FROM FOSTER HOME IN MUSEUM

The round table in the foreground of photo No. 2, was part of the dining room furniture in the Charles Foster home on W. Tiffin Street, Fostoria. The house was located where the City Municipal building is now. With all of the leaves on the table is seated the whole family, with much space for guests.

The bookcase to the left of the piano has a rolltop desk in the lower portion. It is a beautiful cabinet.

The glass case, seen in between the cabinet and the table in the one photo, holds the items Charles Foster collected when he was in charge of Indian Affairs for the U.S. Government.

All of the chairs in the photos are part of the furniture of the Foster family.

The mannequin in the background of the one photo shows the tight-fitting dress style of the Foster era.

Many pictures of the Fosters adorn the walls in the Foster room.

CLOCK STILL RUNNING IN THE MUSEUM

In photo No. 2 can be seen a clock in the 3-section cabinet in the background. The clock was brought from France to the U.S. in 1889 by Dr. and Mrs. Park Myers, where they had been attending the French International Exposition in Paris.

The clock is approximately one foot high. The clock case is black marble, and still in excellent operating condition. It has a 14-day works and runs so quietly it can scarcely be heard. Another photo shows the clock when it was presented to the museum in 1982 by Jesse Myers, grandson of Gov. Foster and his daughter Mrs. Edith McCorkle of McCook, Nebraska.

The pole that firemen used to descend quickly from their sleeping quarters on the second floor to the first floor when the alarm alerted them of a fire, is still in the one corner of the Foster Room.

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