Charles Foster

Gov. Charles Foster


January 12, 1880 - January 14, 1884

April 12, 1828

January 9, 1904



Birth State

National Office(s) Served:
Representative, Cabinet secretary

Married Ann M. Olmsted; two children


CHARLES FOSTER, the thirty-fifth governor of Ohio, was born in Seneca County, Ohio on April 12, 1828. His education was limited and attained at Norfolk Academy. Due to his father’s poor health, young Foster left school to work in the family store. He eventually became a partner in the family business, as well as having interests in the railroad and banking industries. Foster first entered politics as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, a position he held from 1871 to 1879. He next secured the Republican gubernatorial nomination, and was elected governor in the 1879 general election. He went on to win reelection to a second term in 1881. During his tenure, state agencies were restructured; a higher tax on liquor was supported; and several internal improvements were promoted. After completing his term, Foster retired briefly from politics. In his last position, he served as President Benjamin Harrison’s secretary of the treasury, a post he held from 1891 to 1893. Governor Charles Foster passed away on January 9, 1904, and was buried in the Fountain Cemetery in Fostoria, Ohio.


Sobel, Robert, and John Raimo, eds. Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978, Vol. 3, Westport, Conn.; Meckler Books, 1978. 4 vols.

The Ohio Historical Center

The United States Department of the Treasury