Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Franklin H. Foust

Franklin H. Foust was the original owner of the Historic Brick Outhouse recently moved from Springfield, Ohio to Columbia City, Indiana. He was married to my 3rd Great-Grand Aunt Maxia Jones Foust.

The portrait engraving on the left is from "Counties of Whitley and Noble, Indiana Historical and Biographical", Weston A. Goodspeed Historical Editor and Charles Blanchard Biographical; Chicago: F.A. Battey & Co., Publishers, 1882 and the one on the right is from "The History of Whitley County, Indiana" by S. P. Kaler and R. H. Maring; B. F. Bowen & Co. Publishers, 1907. Below is the gravesite for Franklin and Maxia, in the Masonic Section of Greenhill Cemetery, Columbia City, Indiana.

Franklin's obituary, published in The Columbia City Commercial-Mail on Friday, May 24, 1912 is pretty much a combination of his biographies that were published in the above mentioned county histories in 1882 and 1907. I have added some paragraph breaks to make it a little easier to read and a link for "fanning mills" since I didn't know what they were :^)

Franklin H. Foust, pioneer merchant, banker and farmer, Oddfellow and Methodist, who had reached the ripe old age of 87 years last January 10, died at his home on east Van Buren street this city Saturday morning at 9:55 o'clock.

Franklin H. Foust retired from the presidency of the Columbia City National Bank on January 10, 1910 and gave his time to overseeing the work on his farms near Columbia City from that time until last fall, when he was confined to his home on east Van Buren street with infirmities due to his advanced age. He was unable to leave the home after that only on two occasions this spring when he was given an automobile and a buggy ride.

Mr. Foust was taken to his bed in his last illness on last Sunday and realized that he could not recover, though he had a desire to live to be a centenarian. The last three days of his illness he was in a semi-conscious condition and slept peacefully away at 9:55 o'clock Saturday morning.

Franklin H. Foust was the last and oldest of 15 children, 9 of whom grew to manhood and womanhood. His surviving relatives are: Mary Foust, daughter of the late Archie Foust, who with her mother Mrs. Jessie Foust have resided with the deceased since the death of his wife which occurred March 11, 1910; Cleon Foust and Mrs. Fred Morsches, his nephew and niece, children of his late brother Allison, and Franklin B. Foust, a son of his brother, the late Jacob Foust of Atlanta, Kas. The survivors of his wife are Curtis W. Jones, Mrs. Mary Sherwood, Charles I. Jones, Mrs. Harry L. Taylor and Frank L. Jones. All of the relatives named reside in Whitley county, and all but F. B. Foust in Columbia City.

In addition to the relatives mentioned, three children of Jacob Foust, deceased, a brother of Franklin H. Foust, reside in the west. They are: Orpha Ridpath, of Goodnight, Okla.; Mrs. Mary Clover, of Cambridge, Kas.; and Charles V. Foust of Atlanta, Kas. These children were born to Jacob Foust's second wife. F. B. Foust of this county is a child of Jacob Foust by his first wife.

Judge Walter Olds of Fort Wayne who was called to the Foust home as soon as the death occurred and came at once, is a distant relative of the deceased. The Mother of Franklin H. Foust was Mary Olds and Judge Olds is a descendent of the same family.

The funeral of Franklin H. Foust occurred from the home Tuesday at 10 o'clock, Rev. C. W. Shoemaker officiating, and interment made in the Masonic cemetery. The business houses were closed during the funeral. The active pallbearers were Frank E. Kenner, J. E. North, Alton Beeson, John M. Mowrey, Jacob Jontz and C. W. Tuttle.

Franklin H. Foust was born in Delaware county, Ohio, January 10, 1825. The paternal grandfather, Jacob Foust, was born in Germany, and when a youth accompanied his father to the United States, settling in Cumberland county, Pennsylvania, where the family became tillers of the soil. Jacob Foust removed to Delaware county, Ohio, being one of the first settlers in that section.

He located where the city of Delaware now stands and constructed the first bridge across the river between that point and Columbus. The family lived in their wagons until they could hew timbers and complete the erection of the primitive log cabin which served as their domicile. The land was wild and the Indians still disputed dominion with the incoming pioneers. Jacob Foust bore arms in the war of the Revolution and in recognition of his service was awarded a pension, which he continued to draw until the time of his death.

His son Henry, who was born in Pennsylvania, married Mary Old, of the same state, in 1812, and settled ten miles north of Delaware where they began housekeeping in a log cabin, typical of the place and period. He enlisted as a soldier in 1812, while his wife contributed what she could to the cause by doing camp work at Fort Norton. After the war they were reunited and for more than sixty years lived happily on the farm which they had reclaimed from the wilderness, where both eventually found graves. Henry Foust was a successful farmer and accumulated a competency. He was a man of strong individuality and integrity of character and served many years as a local preacher of the Methodist Episcopal church. He had nine children who grew to maturity.

Franklin H. Foust was reared on the old homestead in Ohio and bore his part in its reclamation and cultivation. Schools were scarce and poor in those days, but he managed to acquire an elementary knowledge of the ordinary English branches and arithmetic. In his boyhood he partially learned the shoemaker's trade at which he frequently worked until twelve o'clock for the compensation of fifty cents a night. The frequent want and need of a dime taught him to realize the value of money, a lesson never forgotten during his subsequent career. He made most of the footwear worn by members of his family, and in every way did his part toward their support. He hauled wheat from Delaware county to Sandusky City by team, a distance of seventy-five miles, and sold it at sixty cents per bushel.

In 1848, unable to command a single dollar, he hired to Adam Wolfe to peddle
fanning mills, retaining his position for two years, receiving for the first year eight dollars per month and expenses, which was increased to fifteen dollars the second year. Even at this small compensation he managed to save some money, and in the fall of 1849 formed a partnership with his employer under the firm name of F. H. Foust & Co., for the manufacture of fanning mills. This association was maintained without interruption until the death of Mr. Wolfe in 1892 at Muncie, Indiana.

At the time above mentioned partnership was consummated, Mr. Foust came to Columbia City, rented a room and began the manufacture of fanning mills, the firm continued this enterprise for three years. In 1852 the firm purchased a stock of dry goods, valued at about ten thousand dollars, and opened a store which the partners operated about nine years. Mr. Foust hired an experienced buyer to accompany him to New York to purchase the original stock, but subsequently attended personally to all purchases. The firm retired from the mercantile business to engage in other lines in which the senior partner, Franklin H. Foust, especially was destined to achieve a notable success.

Mr. Foust for some time did collecting and banking business of modest order. During the war he received deposits, and the confidence which was placed in him is shown by the fact that his system of accounts contained in merely making a note of how much he received and from whom, making no charge for his services. In this way he had in his old-fashioned, large fire-proof safe at one time deposits aggregating sixty thousand dollars. Realizing the necessity as the town grew, he opened a private banking house in 1867 in partnership with Mr. Wolfe. This enterprise prospered and became the center of the most reliable financial concerns in northeastern Indiana, its conservative management gaining public confidence and making it widely known.

The firm acquired ownership of about one thousand acres of land contiguous to the city, of which three hundred acres were brought under cultivation, the remainder being devoted to pasturage. In April, 1904, the bank was organized as The Columbia City National Bank, Mr. Foust being made president. About this time the properties of Foust & Wolfe were divided, [rwNote: a line is illegible, but it probably mentions the settlement of the estate of Mr. Wolfe] Mr. Foust retaining about seven hundred acres of land, all personal property, and the banking building for his share, the balance going to the Wolfe estate. Later he sold the bank building to the bank.

Mr. Foust after retiring from the banking business devoted such of his time as his health would permit to his large farming interests but two years ago became interested in the banking business, although not in active capacity. At that time he became a stockholder and was elected a director, in which capacity he has since served, of the Farmers Loan & Trust Co., of this city.

Franklin H. Foust joined the Odd-fellows order soon after reaching 21 years of age and had been a loyal and enthusiastic member of that order until death. He was the oldest member of the local lodge of the order at his demise.

His father before him being a staunch Methodist, and for many years a minister of that denomination, Franklin H. Foust was born and reared in Methodism and never departed from its teachings. He had been affiliated with the Methodist church of this city during the entire history of the church and had always been one of the church's strongest aides, both with his active held and in a financial way. He was greatly interested in the erection of the proposed new Methodist church to occupy the site of the present edifice. Mr. Foust taught a Sunday School class in the Methodist church for over 40 years, and among his last inquiries for the welfare of old friends, was concerning members of his old Sunday School class. He had been a trustee of the church many years.

1 comment:

Kirk said...

Was Franklin Foust related to Charles Foust. A Methodist in Hancock County, Indiana.