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Below is a family biography included in History of Shawnee County, Kansas and Representative Citizens by James L. King, published by Richmond & Arnold, 1905.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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The roster of distinguished jurists who have brought honor to the bench and bar of Kansas contains many names of deserved eminence, and among the great leaders in the legal profession was the late Judge Cassius G. Foster. Judge Foster was born at Webster, Monroe County, New York, January 22, 1837, and died at his beautiful home in Topeka, on June 21, 1899. He was a son of Rufus W. and Prudence (Stewart) Foster, members of families whose ancestral lines reach back to colonial days.

Cassius G. Foster’s early education was obtained in the common and high schools of his native place, and that he was fitted for the law, in Michigan, was something of an accident. He had become a member of the family of a maternal uncle, who lived near Adrian, Michigan; after a short time spent in the Adrian Academy, he became a law student in the office of Hon. Fernando C. Bowman, of that city. One year later he went to Rochester, New York, continuing his law studies, which he later completed with Bartaw & Olmstead, at Leroy, New York, and was admitted to the bar in the spring of 1859. In June of the same year, he removed to Kansas, selecting the healthy little town of Atchison as the scene of his first legal struggles. There he formed a partnership with S. H. Glenn and the firm soon became one of importance, handling cases of all kinds with the skill and ability which brought in a large income for the young firm and much prominence for its members.

Judge Foster possessed too ardent a temperament and too much force of character to stand aside during those stormy days in the political field, and his influence was soon felt. During the Civil War he served with the rank of colonel on the staff of Governor Carney until, in 1862, he was elected by the Republican party to the State Senate. Upon the close of his term, he resumed his law practice and in 1867 he was called to fill the position of mayor of Atchison, then a city of largely increased importance. In March, 1874, he was honored further by appointment as United States district judge, an office he filled with the greatest efficiency until his retirement on January 6, 1899, by special act of Congress.

Judge Foster sat upon the bench for a quarter of a century and during this long period of judicial life proved himself to be one of the ablest men that has ever administered justice in the State of Kansas. His opinions showed him to be learned, fearless and impartial. Personally, he was a man of deep sympathies and wide interests, an appreciative supporter of educational, scientific and moral movements. The Topeka Foster Humane Society is the outcome of his efforts in one direction, and this benevolence, like many others, was supported mainly through his liberality.

On September 12, 1878, Judge Foster was married to Angie V. Ludington, who was a daughter of R. W. Ludington, a prominent citizen of Lawrence, Kansas. Mrs. Foster still survives, with two daughters, Beatrice and Lillian; they reside in a beautiful residence on the corner of 11th and Harrison streets, and move in the best society of Topeka. During the later years of Judge Foster’s life, the family traveled in many lands, in a vain search for health for the beloved husband and father. Although perfect recovery from his malady was not granted, his days were prolonged. He was permitted to pass away surrounded by his family and friends and in the city where he had gained so many legal triumphs.

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This family biography is one of 206 biographies included in History of Shawnee County, Kansas and Representative Citizens by James L. King, published by Richmond & Arnold, 1905.  For the complete description, click here: Shawnee County, Kansas History, Genealogy, and Maps

View additional Shawnee County, Kansas family biographies here: Shawnee County, Kansas

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