A legacy of goodness and land

If anyone tries to tell you the family farm industry is dead; go ask the descendants of George and Margaret (Johnson) Foster. They have another story to tell.

This patriarch of a local farm family came to this country from County Down, Ireland at the age of 12 and with his family settled first in Richmond, Ind., later moving to Niles Township.

It was here he met and married the daughter of one of Berrien County’s pioneer farm families headed by John Johnson. The newlyweds settled on what was known as section 9 of the township.

When they moved to live their senior years in the city of Niles, their son, also George, took over the operation of the farm homestead. George Jr. was born on the farm May 3, 1860, fifth in a family of six children.

He was raised there attending district schools and spending his summers learning the family business as had his older brothers before him. In the History of Berrien County, Judge Orville Coolidge writes: "he also had the further advantage of instruction in the St. Joseph Valley schools and during the periods of vacation he worked in the fields, assisting in the labors of the home farm, his efforts being a valuable element in care and cultivation of the property which is now well improved and valuable."

 Click here to read the full article at the Niles Daily Star website

September 5th, 2009