The Caleb Foster Family

Compiled by Ann Simmons Eldredge

Caleb Foster (1786-about 1873) is believed to have been born in Maryland, and migrated to Lower St. Clair around 1811 where he married Polly “Mary” Snodgrass (1783-1854), daughter of Robert Snodgrass and Jean White. Robert, a native of Lancaster County, was an early settler of Allegheny County, having purchased his land from the Penn family in 1794. This land, located in what is now the Banksville area, was inherited by Robert’s children after his death. In 1835, Caleb sold digging rights for coal on this land. Caleb was a successful farmer and a member of MLEP Church, where he became an elder in 1854.

Caleb and Polly had seven children including Robert Snodgrass (1819-1864), Ross (1819-1864), Addison (1822-1869) and  Jane (1813-1899). Addison, a local constable, married  Isabel (1834-1911-see obituary below) and had at least six children (including Emma, who died at age 23, and Willie, died age 3). Caleb’s daughter, Harriett, married James Milholland. When Harriett was left a widow with young children, her unmarried sister, Jane, stepped in to help raise the children until Harriett married Richard Knowlson, a native of England.

Caleb’s second wife, whom he married shortly after Polly died, was named Maria.

Below is the obituary for Isabel Foster from The McDonald Record, April 21, 1911

Mrs. Isabel FOSTER, aged about 77 years, widow of Addison
FOSTER, a former resident of Canonsburg, died Sunday night, April 16,
at the home of her daughter, Mrs. G. S.CAMPBELL, in Station street.
Mrs. FOSTER was born at Wilkesbarre, being a daughter of the
late Mr. and Mrs. John HADLEY. The early years of her life however,
were spent in Pittsburg. For the past 35 years she had resided in
Washington County. For several years she had been residing with a
daughter, Mrs. John PATTERSON of Canonsburg, but five weeks ago was brought to the CAMPBELL home at this place. Mrs. FOSTER was widely known and held in high esteem by her many friends. A member of the Greenside Avenue United Presbyterian Church of Canonsburg, she took a great interest in church work and attended services regularly. Her marriage to Addison FOSTER occurred on October 18, 18(6?)3, at Pittsburg. One son and three daughters survive as follows: C. R. FOSTER of Lorain, Ohio, Mrs. L. G. MCELHANY and Mrs. John PATTERSON of Canonsburg, and Mrs. G. S. CAMPBELL of this place, at whose home her death occurred. One brother, John HADLEY, and one sister, Mrs. William BROWN of Canton, Ohio, survive. Mrs. FOSTER is also survived by 23 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.
Funeral services were held at the CAMPBELL home in Station
street Wednesday morning at 10 o’clock by the Rev. C. B. FULTON of
Canonsburg, assisted by the Rev. J.P. JORDAN and the Rev. W. D. IRONS, D. D., of this place. The interment was made in Mt. Lebanon cemetery (sic), Pittsburg.

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