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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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Perry T. Foster, a pioneer citizen of Shawnee County, whose portrait accompanies this sketch, has a fine farm of 100 acres four miles southwest of Topeka in Topeka township, which his father owned before him. He was born on a farm in Crawford County, Pennsylvania, September 11, 1834, and is a son of Robert and Nancy (Meyler) Foster.

George Foster, grandfather of our subject, was born in England, and at an early age accompanied his father to the North of Ireland, then in later years came to America alone, settling in Pennsylvania. His foot was crippled by an accident and remained so throughout the remainder of his life. He died in Pennsylvania, leaving the following children: Robert, Thomas, William, James, George, Mary and Isabelle.

Robert Foster, father of our subject, was born in Wyoming County, Pennsylvania, in 1796, and was a farmer and stock-raiser throughout life. He tried three times to enlist in the Union Army during the Civil War, but was rejected because of advanced age. In 1864, he accompanied his son to Kansas and took up the claim in Topeka township, Shawnee County, on which our subject and his son now reside. He lived there the remainder of his days, dying at the age of 70 years, one month and one day. He was married in Pennsylvania to Nancy Meyler, who was born at Utica, New York, and died on the home farm in Shawnee County at the age of 79 years. They reared the following children: Mary, deceased; Jane, deceased; Lovina, deceased; Nancy, of California; Lorinda, of Denver, Colorado; Free man R.; Perry T., whose name heads this sketch; and Merriman, who was in the nth Pennsylvania Regiment during the Civil War, serving for two years until discharged by reason of disability. Freeman R. Foster, who served in the same company and regiment as our subject during the Civil War, was a member of the Kansas Legislature two terms. He came to Shawnee County in 1854 and assisted in laying off the city of Topeka, in which he owned some 30 lots. His death resulted from an accident on his farm, caused by a team running away.

Perry T. Foster was reared on the home farm until he was 22 years of age, then came West in 1856, to Jefferson City, Missouri, by rail, thence by boat to Leavenworth, Kansas, and by team to the southwest quarter of section 24, township 12, range 15, in Topeka township, Shawnee County, which adjoins his present home. He built thereon a log house, 11 by 11 feet in dimensions, fenced the prairie and began its cultivation. There were still buffaloes in this country and he had the pleasure of a hunt in which he killed one of a herd. He continued farming and also engaged in the butcher business until the outbreak of the Civil War when he returned to his Eastern home, enlisting August 2, 1862, in Company B, 137th Reg., Pennsylvania Vol. Inf., under Capt. Dillon Walker and Colonel Bosworth. The regiment was attached to the Army of the Potomac, and Mr. Foster participated in engagements at South Mountain and Antietam. In the latter engagement while forming in line in double-quick time, he stepped into a dugout and injured his foot which has been crippled ever since, an injury very like the one sustained by his grandfather. He was sent home and was honorably discharged in February, 1863. He remained in Pennsylvania until 1864, and then, accompanied by his wife and his parents, he came West to his Kansas home, living in the cabin until the following winter, when he sold the property and moved to the claim taken up by his father. This has since been his home. He has erected a modern house for himself and one for his son, and has made all the improvements on the place.

In December, 1861, Mr. Foster married Lucinda Thompson, who was born in Crawford County, Pennsylvania, July 4, 1841, and is a daughter of John and Betsy (Casler) Thompson, the former a native of Crawford County and the latter, of Utica, New York. Three children have been born to them: Robert J., who has four children,—Francis R., Ina, Estella and Marie; Alice, who married George Robinson, of Wabaunsee County, and has a daughter,—Myrtle; and Lena P., who married Paul E. Dallas, of Wabaunsee County, and has a daughter, Mabel, and a son not yet named. Mr. Foster is one of the substantial men of his community and has many friends of many years standing.

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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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