Charles Foster (Ohio politician)

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Charles Foster
Charles Foster, Brady-Handy photo portrait, ca1865-1880.jpg
40th United States Secretary of the Treasury
In office
February 25, 1891 – March 6, 1893
PresidentBenjamin Harrison
Preceded byWilliam Windom
Succeeded byJohn G. Carlisle
35th Governor of Ohio
In office
January 12, 1880 – January 14, 1884
LieutenantAndrew Hickenlooper
Preceded byRichard M. Bishop
Succeeded byGeorge Hoadly
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Ohio's 10th district
In office
March 4, 1873 – March 3, 1879
Preceded byErasmus D. Peck
Succeeded byThomas Ewing Jr.
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Ohio's 9th district
In office
March 4, 1871 – March 3, 1873
Preceded byEdward F. Dickinson
Succeeded byJames Robinson
Personal details
Charles William Foster Jr.

(1828-04-12)April 12, 1828
Tiffin, Ohio, U.S.
DiedJanuary 9, 1904(1904-01-09) (aged 75)
Springfield, Ohio, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
Spouse(s)Ann Olmstead

Charles William Foster Jr. (April 12, 1828 – January 9, 1904) was a U.S. Republican politician from Ohio. Foster was the 35th Governor of Ohio, and later went on to serve as Secretary of the Treasury under Benjamin Harrison.


Bureau of Engraving and Printing portrait of Foster as Secretary of the Treasury.

Foster was born outside of Tiffin, Ohio, and grew up in the western Seneca County boomtown of Rome. This town would merge in 1854 with the nearby town of Risdon to form one city, named Fostoria in honor of Charles W. Foster, Sr., his father. He was elected to the United States House of Representatives in 1870, serving from 1871 to 1879. He was defeated for re-election in 1878, but was elected to the governorship a year later, serving two two-year terms between 1880 and 1884. Foster was unsuccessful in a bid to return to the House in 1890, but was appointed by Benjamin Harrison a year later to become Secretary of the Treasury upon the death of William Windom. Foster served out the remainder of Harrison's term before retiring. From 1891 to 1893, future Postmaster General Robert Wynne served as his personal secretary. Charles Foster was married November 7, 1853 to Ann M. Olmstead of Fremont, Ohio. They had two daughters, Jessie and Anna.[1]


In January 1904, Foster planned to attend the inauguration of Governor Myron T. Herrick. He stopped overnight at the home of his old friend, General J. Warren Keifer, in Springfield, Ohio. He died at Keifer's home the next day, January 9, 1904.[2]



  • United States Congress. "Charles Foster (id: F000299)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.
  • A centennial biographical history of Seneca County, Ohio. Chicago: Lewis Publishing Company. 1902. pp. 176–185.
  • Foraker, Joseph Benson (1917). Notes of a Busy Life. 2 (3 ed.). Cincinnati: Stewart & Kidd.

External links[edit]

"Foster, Charles" . Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography. 1900.