Finding Aids

Foster Family Correspondence

Manuscript Collection Number:
George W. Foster family
George W. Foster Family Correspondenc
Data Span:
1860 - 1922
0.4 Linear Feet

Processed by: Kathryn Stallard
Date Processed: 2/18/2014

  • George Washington Foster (1834-1921) was a Texas physician who attended medical school at the University of Louisiana, New Orleans, and eventually practiced in Georgetown, Texas. Foster survived three wives according to notes provided by his descendants. Foster’s second wife, Margaret (Bettie) J. Elizabeth Thompson (1848-1872) lived in Travis County while Foster attended medical school in New Orleans. After the death of his second wife, Foster married Martha (Mattie) Louise Hoskins (1846-1919) and they had six children. Correspondence indicates that they moved to Georgetown around 1886. Their daughter (Stella Ann Foster 1879-1963) married Stephen Halcuit Moore, Sr., a classics professor at Southwestern University from 1894 until 1919, when he accepted a chair at Southern Methodist University in Dallas. Correspondence between other family members, most of whom lived in Texas, is also found in the collection.  These include relatives of his wives as well as Foster’s own relations.

  • The collection is almost exclusively correspondence, much of it between Dr. Foster and his second and third wives.  The two largest folders are 1) Correspondence written from Dr. Foster to his second wife (Bettie) while Foster was in medical school in Louisiana, 1867-1869 and 2) correspondence between Foster and his future wife (Mattie), all written during 1873 when Hoskins lived in Oyster Creek, Brazoria County, Texas, and Foster resided in Wesley, Texas.

    Correspondence from Foster to his second wife “Bettie” includes descriptions of his trip to Louisiana; the challenge of finding housing; living conditions; finances; health concerns related to cholera, yellow fever, and consumption; and Bettie’s pregnancy. Foster met the Mr. Dolbear, the founder of Dolbear Commercial College (a flyer for the college is found in the collection) whom he describes in most genial terms.

    Correspondence between Foster and his third wife “Mattie” is predominantly from 1873 during a year of courtship with a few letters from much later when Dr. Foster traveled. There is also considerable correspondence from Mattie’s relatives to her. Letters from relatives often speak of family matters, crops (cotton), weather, illness, births and deaths, and hard times.

    Non-correspondence items found among the papers include a July 29, 1865 transfer title “of a negro woman slave, Nancy” from E. H. Allen to his his daughter Amanda M. Kiefer; Parole of Honor form for F. M. Thompson (brother of Bettie?) in which he vows not to serve in the Confederate Army; T. B. Stone (Georgetown, Texas) drug store prescription form; 1881 annual circular from the President of the Texas State Medical Association to the members, matters related to settling estates.

  • Box and Folder

    1.1   Correspondence from J. C. Foster (father) to G. W. Foster (son)
    Oceola, Iowa
    1867, 1890.  
    Donor organization letter A. Two letters.

    1.2   M. J. Elizabeth (Bettie) Thompson Family
    Texas: Mill Creek; Washington County; Walker County
    Donor organization letter B.   Correspondence from F. M. Thompson to his brother R. W. Thompson; 1860 transfer of slave named named Nancy (from C. H. Allen in Walker Co. to his daughter Amanda Keifer, Washington County, Texas); 1865 Civil War Parole of Honor for Confederate soldier Robert W. Thompson; 1867 loan and 1868 estate claim documents between L. Reddick and F. M. Thompson.

    1.3   Correspondence to the G. W. Foster family from siblings and relatives
    Wesley Texas; Osceola Iowa; Galveston Texas; Sherman Texas; Columbus MO?
    Donor organization letter C.    Health, weather, crops and stock .

    1.4   Correspondence to Martha “Mattie” Foster from her siblings
    Oyster Creek Texas; Ranch Prairie; Velasco Texas; Phair Texas; Willowdale
    n.d.; 1874-1894.
    Donor organization letter D.  V. A. Caldwell; Charles Hoskins; Anne; M. R. Hoskins; Emily Foster. About: family illnesses and death; travels and visits; daily events.

     1.5 Correspondence between Martha “Mattie” Hoskins [Foster] and Emily G. Foster
    Phair Texas; Galveston Texas
    May 1873-Oct. 1886.
    Donor organization letter E. Daily life, family matters.

    1.6   Correspondence between Martha “Mattie” Hoskins [Foster] and friend Sallie
    Belton Texas July 1884.
    Donor organization letter F. Illness and price of food; decorative envelope from John Farley, dealer in Anheuser Busch…ice and coal.

    1.7  Correspondence to G. W. Foster from his children, nieces and nephews
    Europe; Kansas City; Los Angeles 1913-1919.
    Donor organization letter G.  Postcards of Westminster Abbey and Naples.

    1.8  Correspondence from relatives to Martha “Mattie” Hoskins Foster
    Columbus Texas; Glidden Texas; Galveston; Lockhart; Houston; St. Joseph MO
    Donor organization letter H.    Sue Wesson; T. H. Wesson; Daisy: Jenny Davis: May Foster; Dr. John Foster.

    1.9  Correspondence between Children of G. W. Foster and Martha “Mattie” Hoskins Foster
    Donor organization letter J (there was no “I”).  Mrs. R. G. Mood (nee Gertrude Foster, daughter of G.W. and Mattie);  Letter from George Foster concerning selling the “home place.” This would be the Foster home at 912 Forest Street, Georgetown.

    1.10  Unidentified correspondence, postcards, miscellaneous
    n. d.; 1870, 1881.
    Donor organization letter K.  1870 correspondence between S. (?) H. Hill and G. W. Foster regarding H. Eldridge estate; 1881 letter to Mr. A. M. Logan from Walter Patrick, Clerk of Leon County regarding taxes and land sales; photograph card of young woman; Christmas postcard “Wharton L. Foster Rural Letter Carrier”; “Bible Promises” booklet illustrated with flowers; color postcard of New State House in Waco - Mills Eng Co.; Special Music pamphlet with Rock of Ages lyrics. 

    1.11   Correspondence from  G. W. Foster to M. J. Elizabeth “Bettie” Thompson
    New Orleans; Travis Texas
    Donor organization letter L.  Over 20 letters from G. W. Foster to his wife during the time he was studying medicine at the University of Louisiana in New Orleans. The earliest letter describes his trip from Texas to New Orleans, finding housing, expenses, epidemics,and going with J. M. B. to the Commercial College where tuition was paid directly to Mr. Dolbear “who seems to be the nicest old man I have met in the city”  A flyer for Dolbear’s college is found in this folder. Other letters describe: delivering a baby, lectures and classes, illnesses personal and city-wide, the heartless and foolish women of New Orleans and his daily routine (Dec. 22, 1867). An 1869 letter includes his commencement announcement. Chappell Hill is mentioned in a Dec. 13th letter.

    1.12 Correspondence between G. W. Foster and Martha “Mattie” Hoskins Foster
    Oyster Creek and WesleyTexas1873; 1895; 1917.
    Donor organization letter M.   Over 50 letters of courtship written in 1873 and one letter each from 1895 and 1917. Dr. Foster’s letters occasionally mention matters related to his medical practice.

    1.13  Unidentified miscellaneous letters
    Dallas; Los Angeles
    1892; 1920.
    1892 Fannie to Mama (mentions train trip to Dallas; Gertrude, Daisy, and Stella; death of Southwestern Prof. S. G. Sanders);1920 from E. A. Shore to “my dear nephew”. 

    1.14  Medical and miscellaneous ephemera
    Georgetown Texas; Navasota Texas
    n.d.; 1881; 1916.
    1881 circular to the members of the Texas State Medical Association mentioning: vaccination; reports of infectious diseases; need to secure a State Board of Health and a school for nurses; list of questions that will be debated at the next meeting. T. B. Stone Drug Store prescription form from Dr. Fosters office. 1916 list of items placed in the cornerstone of the Science Building. 

    1.15 Foster and Hoskins Family Trees
    George Washington Foster and Martha Hoskins; Michael Foster and Elizabeth Ogden; M. Meredith and M. Martha; Stella Ann Foster and Stephen Halcuit Moore; Wharton Lee Foster and Ethel Betty Landrum; William Bonner and Caroline Sneigh; Eliza Mitchell and John Thomas Scott; Samuel Landrum and Rachel Hart.

    1. 16   The name and family of Haskin(s), Hoskin(s)
    Roots Research Bureau, Ltd., 1984. 

    1.17  [Empty envelopes addressed to G. W. Foster]