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Biography of Benjamin R. Foust


Honorable Benjamin R. Foust, second son of Anthony Foust, was born in Shirley Township, Huntingdon County, PA on December 20, 1830. His father was a farmer. Benjamin lived with his parents until he was twenty years of age, when he began an apprenticeship with George Foust, a relative, who was a cabinet-maker at Pleasant Hall, Franklin County, PA. After finishing his trade he went to Fredericksburg, VA where he spent a year in making patent grains fans.

He came to Shirleysburg and spent three following summers at the Juniata Academy, teaching school during the winters intervening. In the spring of 1856 he associated himself with James G. and Colonel John A. Doyle in the mercantile business at Mount Union, Huntingdon County and continued with them ten years; then went to Mill Creek and engaged inthe same business. In May 1856, he was united in marriage with Miss Julia, the youngest daughter of Peter Etnier. Their only child is a son, I. Newton, born August 1857.

During the year 1864, Mr. Foust was financial ageent of Shirley township while recruiting to fill the quota for volunteers for the Union army. While thus engaged he disbursed eleven thousand five hundred dollars in bounties. The incidental expenses attending the securing of thirty-six substitutes were only one hundred and seventy dollars, while many other townships spent thousands of dollars in the performance of the same or less work.

Mr. Foust's son, I. Newton, attended the academy of Bell Fount and Port Royal. He married Miss Charlotte, daughter of James Willson, Esq. They have two children, I. Newton and Harry, aged three and one year. I. Newton, Sr. is now his father's partner. The firm is B.R. Foust & Son. They are proprietors of Mill Creek Glass Sand Works, Juniata Steam Flouring-Mills, and dealers in general merchandise, grain, coal and lumber.

In 1878 Mr. Foust was elected as a Greenback-Democrat to serve his county in the Legislature. Has served as school director almost continuously for twenty-five years. He has been active in local politics. Is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church.