FOSTER, GEORGE W., who has resided for the last ten years at 146 North State Street, Springfield, Ill., as a retired farmer, was born in Woodford County, Ky., December 28, 1834, son of William O. and Nancy (Beavis) Foster. The father, who was a farmer, was born in Virginia, in 1800, and died in Kentucky in 1840. The mother, who was born in Kentucky in 1796, spent her entire life there and died in April 1869. The grandmother of Mr. Foster, Juliann (Kraft) Beavis was very wealthy for those times and owned stock in several ship companies. When the assessor called at her house she carried out her gold to him in her apron. William O. Foster and his wife had four children, of whom two died in infancy and two grew to maturity.
George W. Foster received his education in the public schools of his native State, attending school in a log building. After leaving school he worked on a farm for his parents, until taking up farming on his own account. He remained in Kentucky until 1876, the moved to Illinois and there spent one year, after which he returned to his former home. In 1880 he moved to Salisbury, Sangamon County, Ill., where he lived eight years, then locating at his present home in Springfield. He owns the house he occupies and formerly owned sixty acres of land in Kentucky, which he sold and then bought property in Springfield. He is a member of the Christian Church and in politics is a Democrat. Mr. Foster has won many friends in Springfield and is respected by all who have dealings with him. He is interested in public affairs in the community, although taking no active part in them himself.
The marriage of Mr. Foster occurred in Woodford County, Ky., April 7, 1867, when he was united with Melvina Gaines, who was born January 12, 1849, a daughter of Robinson and Frances Jane (Ellis) Gaines. Mr. Gaines was born in Virginia and his wife in Kentucky, and neither lived to middle age. The grandfather of Mrs. Foster, John Robinson Gaines, was wealthy, owning land and plantations in Woodford and Franklin Counties, Kentucky. He died in 1833 and his wife in 1840. Six children were born to Mr. Foster and wife: William B., born March 6, 1869, now a farmer; Anna L., wife of R. E. Parkes, of Pawnee, Ill.; Minnie, married Edward Lacy, a farmer living near Salisbury, Ill.; Oliver J., living at home, has been employed for the past seven years at Fogarty's shoe store in Springfield; Hattie and Thomas, died in infancy. Four children were born to Edward Lacy and his wife, namely: Gale, Linn E., Keith F. and Lloyd M., all living with their parents.