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Frank Ayres Foster
 Frank Ayres Foster, 1859-

From American Series of Popular Biographies. Massachusetts Edition. This Volume Contains Biographical Sketches of Representative Citizens of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Boston: Graves & Steinbarger, 1891.

FRANK AYRES FOSTER, civil engineer, a resident of the Dorchester district, was born February 15, 1859, in a house at the corner of Centre Street and Dorchester Avenue, a son of James and Mary (Ayres) Foster. He comes of an old Dorchester family, being the seventh in direct line of descent from Timothy Foster, a resident of the old town in 1662. Timothy was a son of Edward Foster, of Scituate, the founder of this branch of the family in America, who came from England in 1633. Edward Foster is named as a lawyer in the town records of Scituate. He was an associate of Anthony Annable as Deputy to the First Colony Court in 1639, and he was frequently employed in public affairs. He died while yet a young, man, in 1644. He was married in April 1635, to Lettice Hanford.

Timothy Foster, born in 1640, only son of Edward, removed to Dorchester in 1662. He married October 13, 1663, Mrs. Ruth Tileston Denton. His wife, Ruth, dying in 1677, he married in 1680 Mrs. Relief Holland Dowse. He had ten children, five by each marriage. He died December 9, 1688.

Captain Edward Foster, his third son, born in 1682, died January 22, 1761. He married in 1705, as his first wife Jemima, daughter of Jonathan Turner, of Scituate. Their son Timothy, born April 12, 1709, married Abiel Williams, of Roxbury. While in advanced years he responded to the Lexington alarm. He died in 1776.

His son Edward, born March 22, 1752, served in the coast guard during the Revolutionary War. He married Polly Blake of Dorchester, and had ten children. The sixth of these was James, born in Dorchester in 1790, who married in November, 1821, Rachel Lambert, daughter of Paul and Paitence (Howe) Lambert, of Dorchester. The children of James and Rachel were as follows: James, father of the subject of this sketch; Rachel A., who married Edward Jaques, of Neponset; Suriah L., who was the wife of the late Robert Elder, of San Francisco, Cal.; Mary, who died in December, 1897, and whose husband, George F. Hersey, of Brookline, died in September, 1894; Elizabeth G., now a resident of California; Sarah M., whose husband, James W. Stearns, formerly of Somerville, butt later of California, is now deceased; Martha, widow of Charles E. Blake of San Francisco; and Samuel, a resident of San Francisco. James Foster was a farmer. A member of the militia, he served in the War of 1812, being Orderly Sergeant of his company. He was a member of Dr. Codman's church. His death took, place in 1873.

James Foster, second, father of Frank A., was born in Dorchester, September 9, 1822. He was educated in the schools of Dorchester and in his youth assisted in the work of the home farm. When twenty years old he established a milk business, which he followed subsequently for forty-three consecutive years, and then retired with a competence. He now resides in Dorchester. He was married on November 25, 1848, to Mary Ayres. Of this union there were born five children, namely: Arthur J., now a resident of San Francisco; Anna M., who died at the age of two years and two months; Mary Ellen, wife of Gideon M. Mansfield, of Dorchester; Frank Ayres; and Edward Howe, who is a resident of Dorchester. After the death of the mother, Mrs. Mary Foster, Mr. Foster married for his second wife Mrs. Elizabeth E. Kendall, whose maiden name was Farnsworth. He is a member of the Second Church of Dorchester and in politics a Republican.

Frank Ayres Foster, whose ancestry is above recorded, was educated in the Dorchester schools. In 1878 and 1880 he voyaged around the world, visiting notably China, the Philippine Islands, Java, and Sumatra. On his return, March 1, 1880, he entered the employ of the city of Boston, and served faithfully and efficiently in various capacities for fourteen years in the city engineer's department. Here he gained valuable experience, qualifying him for success in his professional and civic duties. Since 1894 he has followed his profession as civil engineer and surveyor at his present office, 34 School Street, Boston, devoting his attention latterly to the development of large tracts of unimproved land, many of them located in Dorchester. In connection with the Metropolitan Park Commission he has had charge of the two important preliminary surveys, Saugus River Valley and the Mattapan Parkways.

Politically, he has always been a stanch Republican, taking active interest in ward, municipal, and national affairs. Mr. Foster was selected to represent the Twentieth Suffolk district (which comprises the northerly portion of Dorchester) in the Legislature in 1899 and 1900. He served on Committee on Cities during both terms. Socially prominent, he was president of the Dorchester Central Club during its first and most flourishing period, and is at present honored by the presidency of the Dorchester Centre Improvement Association. He is a member of Aberdour Lodge, F. & A.M.*

Mrs. Foster was married on February 3, 1886, to Annette Sarah Lapworth, daughter of James W. And Maria (Black) Lapworth. He has two children: Rachel Lambert, born October 27, 1889; and Dorothy, born February 27, 1892.

*F. & A.M. Free and Accepted Masons.

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Created: October 31, 2004   Modified: October 31, 2004