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Jess W. Foster, M. D. Biography


This biography appears on pages 1001-1002 in "History of Dakota Territory" by George W. Kingsbury, Vol. IV (1915) 

Dr. Jess W. Foster, engaged in the practice of medicine and surgery in Aurora, is one of the younger representatives of the profession, yet already has displayed ability and attained a professional position that many an older man might well envy. He was born in Fayette county, Iowa, on the 14th of September, 1886, and is a son of John A. and Jessie (McNaught) Foster, both of whom were natives of Scotland. They came to the United States in childhood with their respective parents and settled in McKeesport, Pennsylvania, where they were reared and eventually married. From early manhood the father worked in the coal mines of Pennsylvania until his removal to Iowa about 1870. He was a veteran of the Civil war, being among the first to respond to the call for troops following the outbreak of hostilities in 1861. He enlisted as a member of Company E, Fourth Pennsylvania Cavalry, and served with that command throughout the war, participating in a number of hotly contested engagements. When peace was restored he returned to Pennsylvania, after which he continued work in the coal mines until 1870, when he came to the west, settling in Fayette county, Iowa, where he took up a homestead and began farming. For some time he carried on general agricultural pursuits but in his later years he retired from farm work and removed to Arlington, where his death occurred in January, 1913, while his widow still resides there. 

Dr. Foster spent his youthful days under the parental roof and after. attending the district schools continued his education in Arlington, passing through consecutive grades until he became a high-school pupil. Later he took up the study of medicine, for he believed that he would enjoy the practice of that profession, and in 1906 he entered the medical department of the State University of Iowa at Iowa City, spending a year as a student in that institution. He next entered the medical department of the Northwestern University at Chicago and was graduated therefrom with the class of 1910. Immediately after the completion of his course he located for practice at Lake Preston, South Dakota, where he successfully followed his profession for three years. In August, 1913, he went to Brookings, where he remained until he removed to Aurora, where he is enjoying a fine practice. 

Dr. Foster recently erected in Brookings a handsome residence, which is supplied with all modern improvements, equipments and conveniences and which he sold advantageously. In 1911 he was united in marriage to Miss Blanche Welch of Arlington, Iowa, and they have gained many friends. Dr. Foster belongs to the Brookings Commercial Club and has membership in Brookings Lodge, No. 24, F. & A. M. He is a member of the Third District Medical Society of South Dakota, of the State Medical Society and the American Medical Association. He has built up a remunerative practice and undoubtedly has a bright professional career before him. He and his wife are members of the Methodist Episcopal church and their sterling traits of character have established them in the high regard of their fellow townsmen.