Monterey County California Genealogy and History

Monterey County: Biographies


Jacob Foster, one of the substantial ranchers of Santa Cruz county, proprietor of a well kept and successfully operated place on the Beach road, overlooking the ocean, is now making his home in Watsonville, where he and his family are very comfortably situated. He was born on the place he now owns along the Beach road and has been a resident of this community all his life. His father developed that place and he has since made such improvements as have been regarded essential and now has one of the best kept garden plots in this section. His parents, Jacob and Margaret (Koopman) Foster, were both natives of Germany but were married in California and their last days were spent here.

The senior Jacob Foster grew up to the sea and after years of sailing became established in San Francisco in 1854 and became the owner of sailing vessels of his own, engaged in the coastwise trade. Like many seafaring men, Captain Foster cherished a dream of some day retiring from the sea and becoming a landowning farmer. This dream he realized in 1870, when he sold his fleet and established himself as a resident farmer on the Beach road, overlooking the sea out of Watsonville, where he created a good piece of property, owning three hundred acres of land, and where he and his wife spent the remainder of their lives, substantial and respected members of that community. Captain Jacob Foster died in 1906 and his widow survived him for thirteen years, her death occurring in 1919. They are survived by four children, the subject of this review having two brothers, Henry and Charles Foster of Watsonville; and a sister, Celia, wife of John McCollum, also a resident of Watsonville.

Reared on the home farm the junior Jacob Foster acquired his education in the local schools and from the days of his boyhood has been devoted to the development of the home ranch, one hundred and twenty acres of which he now owns. On this place he has made substantial improvements and is giving his chief attention to the cultivation of sugar beets and other profitably marketable vegetables, his operations being carried on in accordance with up-to-date practices, and he has done well. In 1921 Mr. Foster moved from the farm into Watsonville in order to secure the better advantages there offered his children in the way of schooling and he and his family have since made their home in the city, having a very pleasant home at No. 425 Blackburn street.

In 1907 in Watsonville, Jacob Foster was united in marriage to Miss Helen M. Ryason, daughter of James M. Ryason of that place. Mr. and Mrs. Foster have two children: A son, Jacob G. Foster, and a daughter, Eleanor M. Foster. Mr. Foster is a Knights Templar Mason and a Noble of the Mystic Shrine; a member of the parlor of the Native Sons of the Golden West in Watsonville and is also affiliated with the Improved Order of Red Men, the Knight of the Maccabees and the Sciots. Both he and Mrs. Foster are members of the local chapter of the Order of the Eastern Star and in other ways take a proper and helpful interest in the general social affairs of the city.

Source: History of Monterey and Santa Cruz Counties, California : cradle of California's history and romance : dating from the planting of the cross of Christendom upon the shores of Monterey Bay by Fr. Junipero Serra, and those intrepid adventurers who accompanied him, down to the present day. Chicago: S.J. Clarke Pub. Co., 1925, 890 pgs.