Alexander Foster

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ALEXANDER FOSTER was one of the earliest pioneers of Cowanshannock township, Armstrong county, Pa., and among his descendants may be found the oldest residents of Rural Valley, Pa. The family is of Scotch-Irish extraction and in earlier days the orthography was Forrester. The three generations of this family belonging to Armstrong county have been as follows:

Alexander Foster, born in 1775, possibly in Scotland, settled first in Westmoreland county, Pa., came as a pioneer to Cowanshannock township, Armstrong county, and died here April 22, 1854, aged seventy-eight years, eight months, eleven days. He was the owner of 210 acres of land on which stands part of the borough of Rural Valley. He was a man of much prominence in the early days, a justice of the peace and a leader in all public movements. He was one of the organizers of Rural Valley, was a promoter of the earliest school system, and one of the founders and sustainers of the Presbyterian Church. He married Martha Rolston, who died Aug. 15, 1842, at the age of seventy-three years. Their remains rest in the Presbyterian cemetery at Rural Valley. They were parents of the following children: Allen; David; Martha, who became the wife of James Speedy; Isabella, who married William Sloan; Alexander; James; Margery; and Catherine, who married John Stoops.

Alexander Foster, son of Alexander, and father of Mrs. Sarah I. Neel, of Rural Valley, Pa., was born in Westmoreland county, Pa., in 1810, but was mainly reared in Armstrong county. After securing a portion of his Father's land he cleared and improved it, making a very valuable farm, and on this he spent the remainder of his life, his death occurring in March, 1878. He erected substantial buildings which endure to the present day. Like his father he was an active member and liberal supporter of the Presbyterian Church, and served as one of its trustees for many years. In politics a Democrat, he frequently was elected to township office. He married Margaret Scott, a daughter of Andrew Scott, and they had a family of eight children. Martha J., the eldest, resides on the old home place.

Craig, the eldest son, died at Pittsburgh, Pa.; he married Margaret Moore. Elizabeth spent twenty-five years as city missionary in Pittsburgh. Jackson married Louella Seager, and they reside in Chicago. James died when aged sixteen years. Sarah I., the sixth member of the family, married Lawrence Neel, who died in October, 1867, and is buried at Rural Valley; he left one child, Margaret, who married John Sloan, and died in 1896, at the early age of twenty-nine years. Marjorie, the seventh member of the family, resides at Pittsburgh, Pa., the widow of James Mitchell, who died in 1898, from an attack of smallpox. Samuel, the youngest of the family, resides at Greensburg, Pa., where he is a well-known contractor and builder; he married Ella Craig. No family in Armstrong county has been held in more universal esteem than this.

Source: Page 468-496, Armstrong County, Pa., Her People, Past and Present, J. H. Beers & Co., 1914
Transcribed May 1999 by Michael S. Caldwell for the Armstrong County Beers Project
Contributed for use by the Armstrong County Genealogy Project (http://www.pa-roots.com/armstrong/)

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