Foster Copeland has been a resident of the city of Columbus for over forty years, and is one of the city's leading
bankers and men of affairs. His career reflects credit upon his pioneer ancestors, who were early identified with
the history of Ohio.
Mr. Copeland was born at Evansville, Indiana, March 9, 1858, the son of Guild and Eliza Jane (Foster) Copeland.
On both sides he is of Revolutionary ancestry. His great great grandfather, Elijah Copeland, was a soldier in Daggett's
Massachusetts Regiment in the Continental Army. His great grandfather, Samuel Guild, was a Revolutionary soldier
and also a member of the Committee of Public Safety of Massachusetts. Josiah Copeland, grandfather of the Columbus
banker, fought in the War of 1812. He came to Ohio and settled at Zanesville in 1821. He was the first mayor of
that town. Eliza Jane Foster, mother of Foster Copeland, was a sister of the distinguished Indiana diplomat and
statesman, John W. Foster, who died a few years ago and who had served as an American minister abroad and as secretary
of state under President Harrison.
Foster Copeland acquired most of his early education in the Brooklyn Polytechnic School and in Mount Pleasant Preparatory
School at Amherst, Massachusetts. In 1876, at the age of eighteen years, he went to work as errand boy in his father's
office in New York City, and in 1882 came to Columbus and entered the office of H. C. Godman, who later became
a manufacturer of shoes and who incorporated the H. C. Godman Company. He was with that concern for many years
and was treasurer of the company from 1889 until 1899. In the meantime he had become interested in the old City
Deposit Bank, and in 1899 became president of that institution, and when it was reorganized in June, 1905, as the
City National Bank of Commerce, he was made chairman of the Board of Directors. He has also been president of the
Columbus Forge & Iron Company and a director of the Midland Mutual Life Insurance Company.
Mr. Copeland's general contributions and his strong influence have for many years been behind worthy civic, social,
educational and religious movements in Columbus. From 1908 until 1913 he served as president of the jury commission
of Franklin County. He was a trustee of the Teachers' Pension Fund at Columbus, and was formerly president of the
Columbus School for Girls and Columbus Academy, treasurer of the Anti Saloon League of America, and president of
the Columbus Home for the Aged. He has been president of the Young Men's Christian Association, Columbus, for a
number of years, and is a director of the Columbus Academy. He was a member of the Evangelistic Committee of the
Presbyterian Church of the United States of America. He is an elder of the Broad Street Presbyterian Church, Columbus,
and treasurer of its benevolences.
Mr. Copeland is a member of the Sons of the American Revolution. He has been crowned a Thirty third Degree Mason
of the Northern Masonic Jurisdiction of the United States, and is a member of the Columbus Country Club.
On January 26, 1893, Mr. Copeland was united in marriage with Miss Martha Hoge Thomas, of Columbus. She is a grand
daughter of one of the remarkable pioneer characters of Ohio, Rev. James Hoge, who arrived in Ohio in 1810. He
established the First Presbyterian Church in what is now Columbus, this church being established at Franklinton,
on the west bank of the Scioto River on the scene of the original settlement here. Reverend Hoge was commissioned
by the General Assembly to Ohio, Indiana and territory adjacent thereto. He continued as pastor of this church
for half a century. When the Indians in 1810 threatened the settlers of Franklinton, Reverend Hoge was chosen the
leader and given charge of the defense of the settlement. Later, when the community was visited by plague and many
left, he took care of the sick and buried the dead. He donated the land for the first deaf and mute asylum in Ohio
and was a patron of education. Throughout his life he was a powerful influence for good in his community and state.
Mr. and Mrs. Copeland are the parents of four children: Alfred Thomas, Eleanor Foster, Martha H., and Foster, Jr.
History of Franklin County, Ohio
Historical Publishing Company
Topeka - Indianapolis 1930
Franklin County, OH
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