Charles E. Foster, BiographyPorter County biographical sketches . . . .

Transcribed biography of Charles E. Foster

CHARLES E. FOSTER, the president of the Foster Lumber and Coal Company, Incorporated, of Valparaiso, was born in Porter County. Indiana, on April 17, 1873, the son of Jerry and Jane (Hesser) Foster, the former of whom was a native of Canada and the latter of Ohio. To their union were born two daughters and five sons, of whom the subject of this sketch was the youngest.

Charles E. Foster attended the Valparaiso High School and Valparaiso University, and on the completion of his studies he became associated with Louis A. Kirk in the contracting business, which eventually grew into his present business. The Foster Lumber and Coal Company, Incorporated, of which he is now the directing head, is a corporation with a capital stock of $100,000. In 1896 Mr. Foster engaged in a partnership business with Mr. Kirk, an architect and builder. After the death of Mr. Kirk it continued under the individual management of Mr. Foster until 1803, at which time the Foster Lumber and Coal Company was organized. The officers and directors at that time were: Charles E. Foster, president; Jerry Foster, vice-president; and Harry E. Smith, secretary-treasurer. This organization continued until 1920, when the business was incorporated with the following officers: Charles E. Foster, president; Charles Foster, Jr., vice-president; and Frank M. Clifford, secretary-treasurer. The concern does an extensive business in the handling of building materials and coal, and also does general contracting business. Yards are maintained in Valparaiso, Delphi and Gary. Probably the major part of their business is transacted in the counties of Lake and Porter. The main yards are in Valparaiso and cover 50,000 square feet, and the Gary and Delphi yards are also extensive. In the contracting field of business they have erected some of the largest buildings in Valparaiso, including the Elks Home, the Banta Public School, Gardner School and several buildings of the university. Another activity of Mr. Foster is as president of the Chicago Lumber Sales Company of Chicago, which maintains offices in Chicago, Portland, Oregon, and Houston, Texas, the latter being a wholesale department.

Mr. Foster was married to Carrie Skinner, daughter of S. S. and Josepha (Crosby) Skinner, of Valparaiso, on February 18, 1896. To them were born three children: Monabille, who married Frank M. Clifford, the secretary and treasurer of the firm; Kathryn, who is a student at Starrett School for Girls at Chicago; and Charles, who is vice-president of the firm. His marriage was to Thelma McMillan, of Valparaiso.

Mr. C. E. Foster was president of the Indiana Retail Lumber Dealers Association, is a member of the Kiwanis Club, Chamber of Commerce, Masons, Elks, K of P. and Shrine. During the war period he was especially active in the various war drives, and his firm also constructed a number of cantonments for the government.

Source: Cannon, Thomas H., H. H. Loring, and Charles J. Robb. 1927. History of the Lake and Calumet Region of Indiana Embracing the Counties of Lake, Porter and Laporte. Volume II. Indianapolis, Indiana: Historians' Association. 827 p.
Page(s) in Source: 230-231

This biography has been transcribed exactly as it was originally published in the source. Please note that we do not provide photocopies or digital scans of biographies appearing on this website.

Biography transcribed by Steven R. Shook


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