Santa Cruz County History - People

Old Soldiers: Santa Cruz County Civil War Veterans
by Robert L. Nelson

FOSTER, EVERETT W (1835-1933)

Watsonville Pajaronian (July 22, 1933)

Photograph of Everett W. Foster
Everett W. Foster

Col. Foster, 98
Commander of Local Post of G.A.R.
Passes at Home in Corralitos

Colorful Career of Civil War Veteran Ends This Morning -- Private Funeral Services to be Held on Monday -- Legion Post Will Furnish Guard of Honor at Rites

Dead ended a colorful, useful and kaleidoscopic career when Col. Everett Worthington Foster, 98, passed away at 6:59 o'clock at the home of his son-in law and daughter Mr. and Mrs. Frank L. Selleck of Corralitos.

Col. Foster, who was one of the most beloved residents of the community, was commander of the McCook Post, Grand Army of the Republic, and had a notable Civil War and public service record behind him.

Born in Massachusetts

He was born in Belchertown, Massachusetts, on March 17, 1835, the son of Samuel and Mary Walker Foster. His education was received in Ohio where he attended an academy at Chester. He was a schoolmate of James A. Garfield, who was later to become president of the United States.

The Civil War broke out in the spring of 1861 and he enlisted in the First Minnesota regiment, which had been called for three months enlistment.

On October 1, 1861 he organized a company which afterwards became Company G, Third Minnesota Volunteers, and was elected captain of the company which commission he resigned when he was elected lieutenant colonel of the Third Minnesota Regiment.

Taken Prisoner

He was taken prisoner with other officers of the regiment and was confined to a confederate prison at Madison, Georgia. Later he was transferred to Libby prison where he remained for a few days, being exchanged by the Union for Confederate prisoners and returned to his regiment.

Col Foster was married in 1864 to Miss Laura Josephine Beal who died in 1878 at St. Paul Minnesota.

Takes up Cotton Planting

Following a meritorious record in the Civil War he engaged in cotton planting in Arkansas for two years. About this time President U.S. Grant appointed him surveyor general for the state of Louisiana. During his term of office he resurveyed the city of New Orleans. This was made necessary because of disputes, which had arisen over old Spanish grants. The survey he made at the time still stand and is to this day the standard of property rights in that city. He held the office of surveyor for four years.

Returns to New Orleans

His work done, he removed to Bloomington, Illinois, but returned in 1877 to New Orleans, called there by the illness of his wife. A yellow fever epidemic which had broken out in New Orleans forced him and Mrs. Foster to leave for St. Paul, Minnesota, where his wife died.

After Mrs. Foster's death he went to Spink County, South Dakota, occupying himself there in grain farming and implement business.

Appointed Indian Agent

In 1890, President Benjamin Harrison appointed him Indian agent of the Yankton Sioux tribe and he proceeded to Greenwood, South Dakota to take up his duties.

On leaving the Indian service he went to Washington D.C. to serve as private secretary to his brother, Senator Addison Foster of the state of Washington.

Becomes Senate Doorkeeper

At the close of his brother's term he was employed by the United States Senate as doorkeeper, serving in that position until 1918, when he came to live in California. He was placed on the soldiers' roll as an employee of the senate, receiving this benefit until his death. His reappointment to the roll was confirmed by the democratic administration on March 14, 1933.

Since his removal to California Col. Foster had made his home with his son-in-law and daughter, Mr. and Mrs. Frank L. Selleck of Corralitos.

Knew Late Sen. Walsh

Among the many celebrities he counted among his acquaintances was the late Senator Thomas J. Walsh.

His fraternal affiliations were the Washington, D.C., F & A.M., Sons of the American Revolution, the Loyal Legion, an organization of Union officers; Society of Colonial Wars, National Genealogical association and the Grand Army of the Republic.

Interested in Genealogy

For the last 60 years he had been interested in the genealogy of the Walker family (his mother's family).

Col Foster was a man of a facile mind and up to his last years retained an alert mind, which made him a fascinating conversationalist. His background and education was such that he had at his grasp a multitude of facts and reminiscences, which made him an interesting personality.

His survivors are, beside his daughter, Mrs.. Selleck, one son Edward Walker Foster of Los Angeles, three grand children and on great granddaughter.

The funeral services, which will be private, will be held Monday afternoon at 1:30 o'clock from the Selleck residence in Corralitos. The remains are to be cremated at Santa Cruz and taken to Bloomington, Illinois where burial will be held in the family plot, beside the remains of his wife.

Friends are kindly requested to omit flowers.

The body will lie in state at White's funeral home, 609 Main Street, until 9 o'clock Monday morning when the body will be removed to the Selleck home.

Honorary pallbearers will be the three surviving members of the McCook post, A.A. "Dad" Story, R.W. Eaton and Fred Jennings. The acting pallbearers will be his son, E.W. Foster, his nephew, Burt Walker of San Jose, Frank L. Selleck, T.S. MacQuiddy, Harlow Ford, and A.C. Davis.

The local post of the American Legion, in recognition of his record will officiate. The Rev. E.C. Philleo of the Presbyterian Church will officiate. A curious fact is that the Rev. Mr. Philleo's father was a member of Col. Foster's Third Minnesota Regiment.

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