California Genealogy and History Archives
San Bernardino County and Riverside County
HOLLIS J. FOSTER was one of the brilliant, interesting and
vigorous personalities in the early history of the Cucamonga community
of San Bernardino County. On account of his health he practiced medicine
very little after coming to California, but he used his capital and
business judgment in a way to advance the best interests of this
section, and developed some of the land that is now contained in one of
the greatest fruit growing districts in Southern California.
He was born at Norwich,
Vermont, July 3, 1843, and had many of the fine characteristics of the
old New England stock. He acquired his early education in Vermont and
later graduated from the Eclectic Medical Institute at Cincinnati, Ohio.
For several years he enjoyed an extensive professional practice in
several Middle West communities, but when his health failed he came to
California and first settled on a ranch near Santa Ana, but six years
later sold that and moved to Cucamonga. Here he bought forty acres on
the old San Bernardino Road, including a portion of the old Orchard
ranch. While developing this property he also owned and operated a drug
store in Cucamonga, and was owner of that business when he died March
On November 12, 1872, in
Iowa, Doctor Foster married Miss Isabel Lanning, who was born in
Clinton, Iowa, April 30, 1852, daughter of Samuel and Sarah (Welch)
Lanning, the former a native of Newark, New Jersey, and the latter of
West Virginia. Mrs. Foster was educated in the public schools of
Clinton, Iowa. Dr. and Mrs. Foster had three children. The oldest, M. H.
Foster, who was born at Piano, Illinois, October 10, 1874, acquired his
education in the Chaffey College, Ontario, California, and now has
active charge of the home ranch of forty acres. He is a young business
man noted for thoroughness in everything he undertakes, and has made the
home ranch one of the notable properties in this vicinity. On May 8,
1901, he married Miss Susie Austin, a native of Kansas, and they are the
proud parents of a son. Burton Foster, who was born at Cucamonga
February 2, 1921. This heir of the Foster family is a particular idol of
his grandmother, Mrs. Foster.
The second of the children
is Nell Foster, who was born in Near Clinton, Iowa, March 17, 1878, also
finished her education in the old Chaffey College at Ontario, and on
February 21, 1905, at Los Angeles, was married to Stanley M. Frew, an
accountant who now lives in Los Angeles. The third child, Ethel, born in
Melbourne, Iowa, March 29, 1885, was educated at Chaffey College, and on
April 7, 1906, was married to F. C. Hillyard, who is in the government
service at San Francisco. They have one daughter, Beth Loraine, born
April 12, 1918.
About six years after Doctor Foster's death, Mrs. Foster bought her present home on West Ninth Street in Upland, where she is living retired, her son operating the home ranch. Doctor Foster was a member of the Masonic Fraternity.
Transcribed by Peggy Hooper 2011