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December 31, 1981


PIX #1 - The Foster-Stahl clan, reading left to right. Top row: John Stahl, Sherman Foster, Elden Good, Grant Foster, Charles Foster, Carles Flack, Second Row: Cora Stahl, Alice (Foster) Good, Sampson Foster, Margaret (Stahl) Foster, Isabelle (Foster) Ash, Ellen (Foster) Flack. Front Row: Earl Ash, Clarence Good, Herb Ash, Carmen Ash (Lyons), Bessie (Good) Kissabeth.

PIX #2 - Isabelle (Foster) Ash photographed with her husband Charles Ash at time of marriage in 1883

PIX #3 - Sampson and Margaret Foster

Most readers know about the Charle W. Foster family, who with the Crockers, settled in Loudon Township in 1832 and organized Rome, eventually to join with Risdon to become Fostoria.

Another Foster family, Christian the father, settled in 1829 in what became Jackson Township. In 1933, when the township was organized, it was Christian who named it.

In Potluck (Nov. 29, 1981), I said I would attempt to clarify the relationship between the two families, if any. It can now be said with certainty that there was none.

Ethel (Reese) Ash, wife of deceased Earl, told me on several occasions that when Annie and the other descendents of Charles Foster were still living. Earl would often to go town to visit hos "cousins". I also knew that Earl Ash's mother was a Foster and was one of the Fosters buried in Zion Cemetery.


At that point I consulted Jesse Myers, Toledo, grandson of Charles Foster. He said he wasn't aware of any other Fosters in this area who were relatives. Mary Fish, who has researched the Charles W. Foster family, also said there was no relationship between the two families, but she did not have avaiable evidence at hand to confirm it. It was Willis Wyant, another local geneology researcher, who provided the reference in Beers History of Seneca County (1886) which said... "Christian and Mary (Groves) Foster, the former of German and the latter of English extraction..." Since the Charles W. Foster family originated in England, and those of today's story in Germany, the uncertainty of any relationship between that two can now be put to rest.


Earl Ash, who was a descendent of the Christian Foster family, undoubtedly elected to refer to the Fostoria Fosters as "cousins" in a jovial, friendly of Earl's characteristics.

Since the other Foster family of today's story contributed greatly to their country and to this area, it is important to provide details about them.


Christian Foster was born in the Shenandoah Valley, VA., in 1796. He died at age 77, Sept. 27, 1873, and is buried in Zion Cemetery, east of Fostoria. His wife, Mary, born 1802, died at age 73, March 4, 1875. Christian's father William, was active in the Revolutionary War, and was a Lutheran minister at that time.

At age 16, Christian enlisted with the Virginia troops to fight the English and the Indians in the Northwest Territory (War of 1812). He was stationed at Fort Ball, near Tiffin, and was so impressed with the area that he later moved with his young family, consisting of wife Mary and four children, to the area which later became Jackson Township.

The Christian Foster family did not come directly from Virginia to thia area.


"Making the journey to Ohio in a covered wagon, they settled on the bank of Wolf Creek in 1829, near three large oak trees", so the old records say. They unloaded their earthly good and built a log cabin. They were the fifth family to enter government land in Jackson Township.

Their log cabin on Wolf Creek became part of the German settlement which located in that area, and where Rev. Adolph Conrad organized the first church and school in 1838, to became known as Zion.


Unknown is how many of the Christian Foster family were boys and girls, and what part each plated in the history of Jacson Township. The only one mentioned in old records was Jonas, the fouth child. by 1842, at age 16, Jonas had acquired his education in the one-room school and had learned the carpenter trade and farming. His father gave him 40 acres of wild land, which he improved and added to ut until he owned 200 acres.

He married Elizabeth, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Michael Stahl, and had 10 children.

In 1861, when Fort Sumpter was fired on, Jonas rode by horse to Fostoria to join the Army in defense of his country. He first enlisted in the 21st Ohio Volunteer Infanctry. he became a lieutenant and later was promoted to captain. He was wounded at Mission Ridge and in 1864 resigned. Returning home, his health was broken and he was no longer able to do hard work.


In Jonas' early life, he had been a Lutheran and attended the Zion Church. After returning from service, he joined a group which founded and built Zion Chapel Methodist Protestant Church. It was that church which was believed to have been located in the building south of Zion Lutheran Church, mentioned in Potluck feedback Nov. 25, 1981.

Estell Saalman, 11007 Columbus Ave., owned and lived in that property from 1954-69. Saalman says during a remodeling program, they discovered under five coats of wallpaper that the walls and ceiling were decorated to resemble a church. They also found a small tabernacle which had hung on the wall of that room. Records for the property dated back to 1872. That date would seem to support the story of the formation of the Zion Chapel MP Church after Jonas returned from service.


Jonas Foster died in 1895 and was buried in Zion Cemetery with all the other members of the Foster family. The imposing tombstone which marks his burial site indicates he was captain of the Masonic Lodge.


Another one of Christian Fosters sons was Sampson. He married Margaret Stahl. Jonas Foster married Elizabeth Stahl; the brothers married sisters.

To the union of Sampson and Margaret was born Isabelle who married Charles Ash. And to that union was born Earl, Herbert, Carmen, William and Rebecca, the last two dying dying in infancy. Carmen (Ash) Lyons is the only living member of that family. She lived in the house in Amsden, built by her grandfather William Ash in 1861. In that house Charles Ash married Isabelle Foster in 1883.


The two Stahl sisters who married the Foster brothers were daughters of Michael and Sarah (Hampshire) Stahl.

Jonas Foster and wife had 10 children, while Sampson Foster and wife had seven children. A number of children in both families died in infancy or very young.

From the marriages of Stahls, Fosters, Ashes and other early settlers in Jackson Township came other unions, such as the Rinebolds, Goods, Kissabeths, Walters, Boyds, Dicken, Lemons, and Bennetts, many of which became successful farmers and business people in Fostoria and surrounding areas.

The accompanying photos were provided by Mrs. Earl Ash from the collection of her deceased husband.

Sherman and Grant Foster, shown in the group photo, were bachelors each living alone.

The story is told that Grant was continually bombarded by car salesmen, even though he didn't have any interest in a car. Finally, he bought one to escape their sales pitch.

On the way home with the new car, he ahd an accident. Arriving home he put the car in the barn and never drove it again. At his death the car still sat in the garage, and Earl Ash, who settled the estate, practically gave it away to some kids, according to Ethel Ash.

Ellen (Foster) Flack, shown in the group photo, lived to a ripe old age, in her last years at Good Shepherd Home.

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