Thursday, January 9, 2003

From merchant to tycoon to governor

Ohio Moments

On Jan. 9, 1904, Charles W. Foster, former Ohio governor for whom Fostoria was named, died in Springfield. Born in Seneca County in 1832, Foster quit school at 14 to help with his ailing father's mercantile business in Rome, Ohio. The store, located in a log cabin that was also the Foster home, became the foremost one in the area and was so successful that when Rome and nearby Risdon combined in 1854, the resulting town was called Fostoria. Charles took over the business when he was 19 and became one of the state's most enterprising businessmen, investing in railroads, oil, mining and rubber. In 1870 he was elected to Congress as a Republican. In 1879, he was elected governor and served four years. President Benjamin Harrison appointed him the 40th secretary of the treasury in 1891.

Rebecca Billman

Ohio Moments will appear here daily during 2003. Have a suggestion? Contact Rebecca Billman at or call (513) 768-8361.

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From merchant to tycoon to governor

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