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John C. and Laura Jane (Parks) Foster

John C. Foster was born January 21,1859 in Arkansas. He lived in Arkansas his whole life. Inez Hixson describes him as having dark hair and a mustache. She also said he was always made a point of using the name John C. instead of just John.

On July 16,1878, in Conway County, Arkansas, he married Laura Jane "Janie" Parks. Janie as born March 30,1861 in Dover, Pope County, Arkansas. Janie is described as a red-headed lady with green eyes and freckles.

To this union nine children were born:1) Sarah was born in July 1883 and married W. C. Christian 2) Tisha was born in February 1885 and married Winford Rose 3) Ellen was born April 28, 1888 and died August 31, 1888 4) Pearl was born in August 1889 and died November 04, 1951. Pearl was married to William C. Norman 5) Lillian Mae was born December 17, 1890, died October 10, 1943, and married Harry Estes Hawkins 6) Nellie was born February 1893 and married Clifton E. R. Martin 7) Willie was born April 09, 1896 and died March 29, 1910 8) Claude was born June 24, 1897, died January 19, 1975 and married Minnie ___ 9) Ethel was born March 11, 1902, died September 02, 1972 and was married to Willis Houston Ballentine.

One childhood story told was that once Willie was out at the barn and sat down and couldn't get up. He continued to go to school however, as the older kids would pull him in a wagon.

According to homestead papers, John C. Foster moved to the Big Flat area in March 1895 and built a house in June 1895. The house was described as a "Box house, log smoke house, log barn, about 3 acres of orchards and 25 acres cleared with $250.00". He states that 20 - 25 acres have been farmed for 6 seasons. The papers also say that he homesteaded in Conway County, Arkansas, in about 1875 which he relinquished. He states also that he has a store in Big Flat and livestock at different places on the range.

John operated a general store in Big Flat, Baxter County, Arkansas. In 1888 business directory listed him as an operator of a saw, gristmill and gin in Big Flat. Goodspeeds book lists a Foster and Character general store in Cleveland, Conway County. Perhaps John got his start there.

John C. Foster died April 16,1913 in Big Flat, Baxter County, Arkansas. He had kidney disease. Laura Jane died of TB on September 7,1921 in Big Flat, Baxter County, Arkansas. Both are buried in the Big Flat Cemetery.

At the time of her death, Laura was living with her daughter Sarah Christianís in Flippin, Arkansas. The Flippin newspaper Mountain Echo gave the following notice in September 1921:

Mrs. J. C. FOSTER mother of Mrs. W. N. CHRISTIAN at Flippin who had been an invalid for many months, died at the home of Mr. and Mrs. W. N. CHRISTIAN of Flippin, Wednesday evening of last week. The body was taken to Big Flat, her former home, Thursday and laid to rest in the cemetery at that place. Rev. J. W. BLACK of Cotter conducted the funeral service, She is survived by six daughters, Mrs. W. N. CHRISTIAN of Flippin, Mrs. W. C. NORMAN , Mrs. C. E. MARTIN and Mrs. H. E. HIXSON of Mountain View, Mrs. I. W. ROSE of Brent, Okla., and Mrs Willis BALLENTINE of Big Flat, and one son, Claude FOSTER of Melbourne. Mrs. CHRISTIAN and other members of the family have the sympathies of their many friends in their sorrow.



1900 Census

Big Flat, Baxter County, Arkansas :

Number Family Name Birthdate Years married #children/
#living
Born Father Born Mother Born
9
9

Foster, John C.
Foster, Jane L.
Foster, Sarah
Foster, Tisha
Foster, Pearl
Foster, Lillie
Foster, Nettie
Foster, Willie
Foster, Claude
Jan 1859
Mar 1872(?)
July 1883
Feb 1885
Aug 1889
Dec 1890
Feb 1892
Apr 1896
June 1898
19
19
8/7
AR
AR
AR
AR
AR
AR
AR
AR
AR
TN
TN
AR
AR
AR
AR
AR
AR
AR
TN
TN
AR
AR
AR
AR
AR
AR
AR


1910 Census

Big Flat, Baxter County, Arkansas :

Number Family Name Age Born Father Born Mother Born
163
168

Foster, John C.
Foster, Laura J.
Foster, Sarah
Foster, Lillie M.
Foster, Nettie
Foster, Claude
Foster, Ethel
57
49
18
16
11
8
AR
AR
AR
AR
AR
AR
TN
US
AR
AR
AR
AR
TN
AR
AR
AR
AR
AR


References:
Personal interviews and visits
1888 Folk's Business Directory
IGI File
History of Conway County - Goodspeed
Mountain Echo
Census

John Foster Marriage Certificate
John and Laura Foster Tombstones
Laura Jane Parks Foster Obit