Fountain Valley News - Your Hometown Community Newspaper

Local History: How I came to be in Fountain The Clarence Foster Family


Last updated 10/4/2022 at 2:07pm | View PDF

The Foster children pose together in this old family photo. Pictured back from from left are Nellie and Ward; front row, from left, are Charles, Jess and Robert.

Fountain Valley Historical Society

The article in the Fountain Valley News dated September 3, 2022, was about Arthur and Alice Ward, who were my grandparents. This article is about the Fosters.

Clarence Foster was born in Yakima, Washington, on January 1, 1903 to Jess and Mira Foster. They moved to Missouri, then to Fountain in 1933. Mira had TB. She died in 1933. Jess died in 1937.

Clarence married Gail Ward in March 1924. They had five children: Nellie, October 20, 1925; Ward, April 6, 1927; Robert, January 26, 1929; Jess, November 8, 1934 and Charles, March 30, 1937.

They [Clarence and Gail] first lived on a farm about a mile east of Fountain that was later called the Charles Janitell dairy and farm. Nellie and Ward were born there. Then they moved in 1933 to a farm east and north of Fountain in the Security District. They sharecropped for the Gidding Corp, that also was the Elsinore Cattle Company out of Texas. They bought the property in 1942. This consisted of 1,800 acres. They farmed alfalfa, sugar beets and had a small dairy of about 30 cows. They also fed and took care of cattle for other people.

The house was across a creek. They lived there until a new house was built closer to the main road. There was also another house in which Nellie and her husband, Delmar (Buggs) Johnson, lived until the farm was sold. He [Delmar] worked the farm for Clarence until it was sold.

Clarence had two brothers, Vic and Ray Foster. They had a farm south of Fountain about one mile. I was told that this farm raised sugar beets as early as the 1920s. They later built a house on Main Street in Fountain.

Clarence was on the Widefield School Board for several years. The Widefield School football field stadium is called the C.A. Foster Stadium. Clarence started the soil conference in the area and held the offices of secretary, treasurer and also president.

Gail was born in May 10, 1907, to Alfred and Alice Ward, my grandparents. Her parents originally came from Iowa Falls, Hardin, Iowa. Gail passed away from cancer August 28, 1947. There were eight living children. One had died at birth. They are: Grace (Sample), July 9, 1904; Gladys, July 21, 1911; George, June 14, 1913; Genevieve (Story), June 16, 1915; Gwendolyn (Skinner), my mother, April 8, 1921; Glee (Nichol), January 14, 1923; Glenn, December 2, 1924. [The Ward family was first introduced in the article and picture in the Fountain Valley News dated September 3, 2022.]

Nellie said that her mother, Gail, didn't drive till she was in the band and had to have some way to get to school so her mother learned to drive. Then she [Gail] drove for the Red Cross Motor Pool at Petefield to transport people coming and going out of the post. [This family history was first written by Nellie Foster Johnson]

To be continued...

Look for more articles to come and learn how our first families interconnected and helped make Fountain what it is today.

Learn more fascinating local history: The Fountain Valley Museum, 114 N. Main St. in Fountain, is open to the public every Saturday from 10 a.m.-3 p.m., as well as by appointment.

The next meeting of the Fountain Valley Historical Society and Museum is scheduled for 10 a.m. Monday, Oct. 10, in the downstairs of the museum.

To set up tours of the museum, call President Elaine MacKay at 719-382-7625.


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