The Foster family was well-known
family in Knickerbocker, Texas. They were distinguished citizens of Tom Green
County with their roots in the "Bonny Sunny South". Eugene was born in
1874, the son of Confederate Capt K. R. and Malissa Mayo "Miss Lissia"
Foster of Chattooga County, Georgia. He was one of 14 children born on a large
cotton plantation in the Northwest Georgia mountains, several years after the
Civil War. He was baptized into the Methodist faith.
Papa Foster (as he was affectionately
known by his grandchildren) came to Texas evading the love of an older woman...
.....This love-sick youth, had his heart set on marrying her . She was 32 and he
was 19. He went to Captain and Mrs. Foster and asked for their approval of the
marriage. Captain Foster, somewhat hesitant replied," Go out west young
man! I have some land on the Concho and I need someone to oversee it. If you
still love her after six months, you have my blessing. Then, you may return home
and marry her. "
His father had traded land on the
banks of the Concho River (bought sight unseen) outside San Angelo, Texas for a
vineyard in Georgia. The deed is dated 1895.
Eugene was a part of the movement of
settlers, who had picked up and, "Gone To Texas (GTT)!" Eugene
arrived in Tom Green County, Texas with 75 cents in his pocket. He went to work
clearing land starting with a job where he cleared 10 acres for $10.00 it took
him 31 days. He recalls this as the hardest work he had ever done in his life!
" His affection for the his first love "vanished like a morning
mist," these were the words of his older sister Miss Carrie Adeline, who
wrote about her beloved brother in her memoirs.
Eugene met a young schoolteacher in
the area. Being quite taken with her, he relocated to Knickerbocker, Texas. He
sold his land along the banks of the Concho and began to court Miss Bessie
Arthur. She was a southerner like himself and they shared many interests. Miss
Bessie was a red-headed southern belle from Alabama. She recalled, in a piece
the San Angelo Standard Times did on early pioneers: "The first time I saw
him," she said," That he was the ugliest man I ever saw!!!" The
native Georgian, Foster proposed to her on a bridge over Dove Creek in
He must have won her heart. She
accepted his proposal and they set out to make a home . She entered a contest by
West Texas Utilities Co in San Angelo, Texas. She later won the title "Best
biscuit maker in Tom Green." They began farming, ranching and ran a dairy.
He later spoke of land being sold for between 75 cents to $1.50 per acre in the
Knickerbocker area. (His daughter-in-law, Grace Foster noted in her memoirs,
that a good buffalo hunter could kill 50 head in one day-each hide selling for
The Foster Family bought
approx. 900 acres in Knickerbocker, Texas. This gives you a little taste of the
"Land fever" most Southerners had for TX.
The sweet southern girl he married,
was the daughter of Stephen Dexter Arthur (CSA). He was rancher and known for
driving a herd of 100 Longhorns to Knickerbocker from Falls County, Texas.
Feeding them cottonseed along the way, he found out it would grow well in this
area. He raised the first bale of cotton in these parts. Eugene & Bessie
were pioneers in Tom Green County, Texas. They were married by Rev. Thomas
Gregory on August 30, 1896. Rev. Gregory came out in a livery rig to perform the
rites of matrimony.
Eugene served as Sunday School Supt.
in the Knickerbocker Church for 40 yrs. Foster Park is named in honor of him. He
was County Commissioner of Precinct 4 from 1924 until 1944, with the
exception of years 1935-36. During his tenure in office he helped to build the
new Tom Green County Courthouse, County Library, Oaks Street Bridge, Seven Mile
Bridge, most of the hard surfaced roads in the county and the paved streets in
Christoval. He was a member of the county school board for many years and served
as a trustee in his own district for a long period. He was a member of the
Methodist Church since the age of 12 and a member and officer of various
agricultural organizations. Foster was also instrumental in building the
Knickerbocker Community Church . He was a loving and devoted father and husband
who walked in the Christian faith.
This couple had three children:
Ernest E., Fannie, and Arthur Rambo Foster.
This information was taken from
various newspaper articles, family memoirs, and his eulogy. This was compiled by
his great-great-granddaughter, Michelle K. Doss of Tom Green County, Texas.