Biography of Alexander E. Forster
Lucas County, OH Biographies

Alexander E. Forster, whose forcefulness and resourcefulness in business, combined with substantial qualities of integrity and reliability, have made him most popular and highly esteemed in commercial circles, is now engaged in the wholesaling and retailing of coal, coke and fuel and also conducts a real estate business. Diligence and determination have enabled him to overcome all obstacles and difficulties in his path and he never stops short of the attainment of his objective in any commercial way. A native of England, he was born in Norfolk, October 24, 1856, and is a son of Thomas William and Pleasance Earl (Duffield) Forster, who were also natives of the "Merrie Isle," where they were reared, educated and married. The father was a seafaring man who became master of several ocean going vessels, following the sea throughout his life. He and his wife have passed away. Their family numbered five children, four of whom are living; Thomas William of Toledo; Walter C., residing in Buffalo, New York; Ellen Duffield, now in England; and Alexander E.

In his boyhood Alexander E. Forster attended the public schools of England and after coming to this country continued his education in the Franklin school at Toledo. He crossed the Atlantic at an early age and when a youth of thirteen had begun learning the blacksmith's trade in his native country, so that after a brief residence in the United States he started out to provide for his own support, as he had already become acquainted with the value of industry and perseverance as factors in the workaday world. For a time he occupied positions at the Toledo and at the Detroit stockyards, working in. that way until 1890. It was his desire, however, to establish business on his own account and he believed that he would find a congenial and a profitable field in connection with the coal trade. Accordingly he started out in that way with limited capital and small resources, but as the years have passed he has developed his interests to extensive proportions, being today a large wholesale and retail dealer in coal, coke and fuel, while the real estate department of his business is also of considerable proportions. His office is located on the east side and he is one of the pioneer merchants of that section of the city and one who has been most earnest in his advocacy of its development and improvement. He is sole proprietor of the fuel business and he is a director and the president of the Yondota Masonic Building Company and a director of the Peoples State Savings Bank. He is likewise a director of the Maul Stone Company of Toledo, and thus his business interests and activities have covered a broad scope, while his cooperation with these different concerns is regarded as a most valuable asset in their development.

In September, 1878, Mr. Forster was married to Miss Laura A. Brown of Toledo, daughter of Captain and Mrs. Sylvester Brown, well known residents of this city. Mrs. Forster passed away in 1883, leaving three children: Alexander S., who was born in Toledo in 1879, was educated in the public and high schools and is now connected with the De Vore Engineering Company, industrial engineers of this city. He married Miss Ruth Jean Campbell of Forest, Ohio, and they have two children: John Alexander, who was born in Toledo and is now in his third year in Scott high school, where he has won two gold medals for efficiency in his studies; and Laura Jean, who is attending high school. Frank H. Forster, the second son of Mr. and Mrs. Alexander E. Forster, was born in Toledo in 1881 , completed a high school course here and is now associated with his father's wholesale coal business. He wedded Miss Addie E. Gascbigne of Toledo, and they have one child, Frank Herbert. Erie Hamilton, the third in the family of the subject of this review, was born here in 1883 and married Miss Ruth Myers, by whom he has two sons, Howard and George. During the World war he enlisted and served in five different departments of the government service, winning a commission as maj or of artillery. He is now with the Home Savings and Building Company of Toledo. For his second wife Mr. Alexander E. Forster chose Eva A. Caldwell, a teacher in Toledo public schools, daughter of James O. Caldwell. They were married on the 29th of September, 1887. There is one child of this marriage, Eva Fern, who is now the wife of M. M. Planck, employment manager of the Toledo Auto-Lite Corporation. They have two children, Virginia Fern and Robert M., both born in Toledo.

Mr. Forster has always manifested a helpful interest in public affairs and from 1890 until 1892 he was amember of the equalization board of this 'city. Mr. Forster is a very prominent Mason, holding membership in Yondota Lodge, No. 572, F. & A. M.; Port Lawrence Chapter, No. 176, R A. M.; Vistula Council, No. 108, R. & S. M.; Eu-Tah Commandery, No. 66, Knights Templar (being a charter member and past presiding officer in all of these bodies); and in the Scottish Rite has received the honorary thirty third degree. He is also a Noble of Zenobia Temple, Mystic Shrine. He is perhaps as well known as any other representative of the fraternity in this section of the state, by reason of his intense activity in support of the order and his close conformity to its high principles. He is a member of the Toledo Chamber of Commerce and the East Toledo Chamber of Commerce and the well organized efforts that are put forth by these two bodies receive his hearty endorsement and cooperation. He also belongs to the Toledo Automobile Club and to the East Toledo Young Men's Christian Association, while his religious faith is evidenced in his membership in the Methodist Episcopal church. Ennobling principles have characterized his entire career and his high purposes have been manifest in every relation of life. A careful analysis of his character shows how closely he has conformed his course to the advanced teachings of Masonry and of the church wd throughout his career he has ever stood ready to extend a helping hand to those who are seeking to advance along the lines of character building.

Toledo and Lucas County, Ohio
BY: John M. Killits, A.M., LL.D.
S. J. Clarke Publishing Company
Chicago and Toledo

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