J Best Foster Photographs

These photographs come from an album kept by my great-uncle, John Best Foster.  

J Best Foster was born in 1870 in Lucas County, Iowa. He was eldest of the twelve children of John Madison Worth Foster and Rachael B Best.

J Best Foster's maternal grandparents, Jacob Cruzen Best and Harriett Walker Bitner, moved to California, eventually settling in Tulare. In the early 1890's J Best Foster followed his grandparents (and other maternal relatives) to California, setting up a photography business in Escondido.

By 1899 J Best Foster had moved his photography business to Lorimor, Iowa.  A younger brother James B. Foster (1875-1938) had married Ethel Donner in 1898 in Lorimor.  J Best called his Lorimor business "Foster's Fancy Fotos."  He is listed as a resident of the Hillman Hotel in Lorimor in the 1900 Census.  The hotel was located on the north side of Main Street near the railroad.

He married Mina Victoria Westfall in September 1905 in Saline County, Kansas. [Mina appears in several of the Lorimor photographs.]  They had one child, Martha Ellen (b. July 1906 in Clay County Missouri, d. Dec 1998), who married Ben Jones in 1926.   Collections of J Best Fosters' Photographs from Escondido and Lorimor were given to my mother, Leona Foster Marshall in the early 1980's by her first cousin, Martha Ellen.

By the early 1920's J Best Foster was living near Donaldson, Arkansas where he died in July 1950.

There are three groups of J Best Foster photographs:

1. Prints marked with his Escondido stamp or obviously made in the same studio as those photos (the originals prints were donated to the San Diego Historical Society in 1999).

2. A collection of 50 prints bound in a hardback album most of which are known to have been made in Lorimor, Iowa (the subjects of this web page).

3. Miscellaneous lose photos - primarily family photos.


Click on image to enlarge

Photo 1
Main Street, Lorimor, Iowa
Looking east at town pump at intersection with Missouri Ave.

Photo 2
Bank Burglary in Lorimor

Photo 3
A Foster family gathering
brothers Frank & Leo Foster (my grandfather) in center wearing overalls

Photo 4

Photo 5
J Best Foster in center

Photo 6
Looking at north side of Main Street just west of Minnesota Ave.

Photo 7

Photo 8

Photo 9 
Mina Westfall (Foster) dressed in men's clothing

Photo 10

Photo 11

Photo 12

Photo 13
T. Beaumont
Scientific Horse Shoeing

Photo 14
Foster Fancy Fotos

Photo 15

Photo 16

Photo 17

Photo 18

Photo 19
Doctor in front of his office on north side of Main Street

Photo 20

Photo 21

Photo 22

Photo 23
Main Street, Lorimor, Iowa
looking east from Missouri Ave

Photo 24
Dentist Office

Photo 25

Photo 26

Photo 27

Photo 28

Photo 29
Looking east along Main St from Minnesota Ave (note Hillman Hotel in background)

Photo 30
Bank Interior - August 1899

Photo 31

Photo 32
Circus parade headed west on Main Street

Photo 33
steam shovel

Photo 34

Photo 35
Rail Car of Chickens

Photo 36

Photo 37

Photo 38
Looking east along Main St from north side of town pump
on the Fourth of July (or other holiday)

Photo 39
Looking southwest from north side of Main St near Minnesota Ave.
Note Orr Brothers Hardware

Photo 40
Ladies in front of Milliner Shop on south side of Main Street (Orr Brothers Hardware in bacground)

Photo 41

Photo 42
Eating watermellons

Photo 43
J Best Foster standing in front of Foster Fancy Fotos

Photo 44

Photo 45

Photo 46

Photo 47
J Best Foster & Nina
Westfall (with cats)

Photo 48

Photo 49
Looking east at eight boys at town pump on Main Street

Photo 50
Doctor in his buggy
Looking east along Main Street from Nebraska Ave

Hillman Hotel
North side of Main Street between Minnesota Ave & Railroad

Created 10 January 2011