Biography of William H. Foster
Cuyahoga County, OH Biographies

WILLIAM H. FOSTER is one of the veteran officials of the Standard Oil Company of Ohio, having gone into the Cleveland offices more than forty five years ago, and having reached the post of vice president of the corporation.

Mr. Foster was born in the old Foster home in Cleveland, on Cedar Street, near Perry, now Twenty second Street. His father, Nelson K. Foster, was born at Seneca Falls, New York, in 1826. The grandfather came to Ohio in 1832, in the absence of railroads bringing his family by canal boat to Buffalo and thence by sailing vessel which landed them at Fairport. In the meantime his oldest son made the journey with wagon and ox team, transporting the household goods and farm implements. The grandfather bought a tract of land a mile west of Painesville, on Mentor Avenue, and devoted the rest of his industrious life to clearing the land and tilling the soil. He married Clarissa Bryant, and both lived to a good old age, rearing four sons and four daughters.

Nelson K. Foster married Mary Whitlock. She was born at Langtry in Devonshire, England, in 1829. Her father, Elias Whitlock, accompanied by his wife and nine children, came to America in 1842, making the voyage by sailing vessel, and after landing at Quebec, went on to Montreal and from there came down the river and lake and located in Orange Township, where he bought a tract of timbered land. In a small Bearing was erected a house, which became the first home of the Whitlock family in the United States. Elias Whitlock spent the rest of his life as a farmer in that vicinity. Mrs. Nelson K. Foster died in 1921, at the age of ninety two years. There were three sons, Charles W., William H. and Frank.

William H. Foster was educated in the public schools of Cleveland. It was in 1877, when little more than a boy, that he went to work as a clerk in the offices of the Standard Oil Company of Ohio, and has been with the corporation continuously forty seven years.

On June 25, 1884, he married Miss Laura H. Dillon, a native of New York State and daughter of Horatio and Mary Dillon. Mr. and Mrs. Foster have reared five children: Nelson, Herbert, William, Robert and Ruth.

A History of Cuyahoga County
and the City of Cleveland
By: William R. Coates
The American Historical Society
Chicago and New York, 1924

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