"History of Lincoln, Oneida, and Vilas Counties Wisconsin"

Compiled by George O.Jones, Norman S. McVean and Others. Printed in 1924 by H.C.Cooper. Jr. & Co., Minneapoli-Winona MN. ill. 787 pages. The first two hundred pages are history of the three counties, the remainder of the book is biographies.


Foster, George H. a well known and respected citizen of Tomahawk, now in the employ of the Marinette, Tomahawk & Western Railway, was born in Portland, Maine, Nov. 14, 1860, son of Jefferson and Lucy Foster. The father a native of Scotland, came to America when a young man, locating in Quebec, where he found work on the docks loading timber vessels. Before the breaking out of the American Civil War he crossed the border into the state of Maine, where he later enlisted in a Maine regiment, went to the front and was killed in action. His wife, who was a native of Canada of French descent, died when her son George was born in 1860. George H. FOSTER, being thus left an orphan while yet an infant, was reared by his material grandparnets in Canada, where he grew up and attended school. He started work at an early age, when 15 years old being engaged in firing an engine of a steamboat plying between Montreal and Portland, Me. When 18 he settled in Bedford, Maine, where he worked in cotton mills for a time, and from there went to Menominee, Mich., where he worked one year for the Curley-Carpenter Lumber Co. - in the woods in winter and on their farm in summer. Then in 1882 he came west to Stevens Point, Wis., buying land in the town of Plover, Portage County, which he cleared and improved and on which he lived for five years required by the homestead law. That done, he went to Ironwood, Mich., where he ran a hoisting-engine for the Ashland Mine Co. It was in 1888 that he came to Tomahawk, soon after the place was started. He found things busy here and at first did carpenter work for the Bradley Company, erecting several buildings at Jersey City, after which he ran the engine on the Bradley tug boat which hauled the family Bradley pleasure train on the Wisconsin and Soma rivers. Subsequently he became locomotive engineer for Mr. BRADLEY on the Wisconsin & Chippewa Railway, later the M. T. W., and has since remained with that road. He is a member of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers, and also of the Catholic Order of Foresters. Mr. FOSTER was married in the town of Plover, Portage County, Wis., in 1883, to Emma LAWSON, by whom he had two sons, Herman and Elmer. Herman is now dead, Elmer is the proprietor of the Foster Lumber Co., of Tomahawk. On Feb. 15, 1904 Mr. FOSTER was married secondly to Mary O'NEILL, daughter of Patrick and Elizabeth (BONCHARD) O'NEILL, the father being a native of Hartford, Wis., and of Irish descent, and the mother of Fond du Lac, Wis. The O'NEILL family lived on a farm in Lincoln County, one mile north of Grandfather Falls, where Mr. O'NEILL died in 1915 and Mrs. O'NEILL in 1900. Of their ten children six daughters are living, namely: Mary, Margaret, Della, Josephine, Rosa and Lucy. Margaret is the wife of Albert DAVIS, Della the wife of William DONALDSON, Josephine married Charles KIBLER, Rosa is now Mrs. Edward CASSELL and Lucy also married. Mr. and Mrs. FOSTER are the parents of two children: Grace A., a graduate of Tomahawk High School, is now a student in the Oshkosh State Normal School and Lawrence a student in the Tomahawk High School.

Transcribed by Susan Swanson, from pages 608-609; History of Lincoln, Oneida and Vilas Counties Wisconsin; Compiled by George O. Jones, Norman S. McVean and Others 1924, H. C. Cooper, Jr. & Co

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