Clock Tower

Out of the Clock Tower

Hello and welcome to the Greene County Archives' blog, "Out of the Clock Tower".  Please join us as we share information on archival issues, news, special events, and highlights from our collection.

Before the archives program began in Greene County in 1996, permanent records were stored in every conceivable space, in basements, garages, and closets. Usually they were in boxes of various shapes and sizes, although seldom adequately labeled, but occasionally they were just in loose piles of books and papers. Most notable were the old records stuffed into the clock tower of the County Courthouse, where they shared their home with pigeon droppings.

Now, there is a clean, environmentally controlled, well appointed location for the county archives, where our historical records are housed in standard sized boxes on steel shelves. We have taken note of their journey in the name for our blog.

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Feb 05

Edwin S Foust: An Early Pillar of the Community

Posted on February 5, 2016 at 1:16 PM by Elise Kelly

This week's blog post is written by Paul Dority. Paul is interning here at the Greene County Archives. He is a graduate student at Wright State University.

As I have been working through the probate files as an intern here at the Greene County Records Center & Archives, I (as one would imagine) have developed a pretty good picture of the community from these estate files. One of the more interesting figures I have come across was a farmer by the name of Edwin S. Foust.


                                  (Source: Green County Ohio, Broadstone. Vol. II)

Mr. Foust was, at first glance, an average farmer from Xenia. As I kept working on his ever expanding probate,I noticed that in his trust funds he was worth $1,732,716.52 by the time of his death in 1948 at the age of 79. This was an astronomical amount of money at that time and led me to wonder how he had accrued it.

As I looked further into his past the answers came forward as to how he had amassed such a fortune over the years. Mr. Edwin S. Foust was born to Solomon Foust and Mary Jane (nee Bickett) Foust on his father’s Xenia Township farm on January 7, 1868. Once Ed. S Foust had made his way in the community, he built an eleven room house on the same property about two miles east of Xenia on Foust Road. Ed. Foust’s role in the community was more complex than it at first seemed. Aside from operating “Miami Valley Farms” he was also the vice president and a member of the director’s board at the Commercial Bank of Xenia. The final big non-agricultural commercial connection he had with Xenia was through the Huston-Bickett Hardware Company.

Two of Ed. S Foust’s greatest contributions to Greene County was the introduction of purebred Duroc Jersey swine and his breeding of purebred Cheviot sheep. His breeding stock program would constitute a considerable portion of annual livestock shipments out of Xenia to Canada, South America and Europe.

 Foust also was the recipient of a number of Grand Champion titles for his Duroc Jersey swine that carried names like “Tip Top Notcher”, “Tax Payer XIII" and the most formidable, “Orion Cherry King, Jr” - a massive Duroc Jersey boar that tipped the scales at 1,030 lbs. Another contribution of his was a breeding program for Barred Plymouth Rock chickens. hogs
The Breeds of live stock , and the principles of heredity, by James Harvey Sanders (1887) via Wikimedia Commons

                         Advertisment for Foust's Duroc Swine
                                  Xenia Daily Gazette - August 21, 1915

Overall, this man was quite impressive for his time and quite possibly one of the wealthiest sons to come out of Xenia’s agricultural industry. His contributions to helping create a name for Xenia through his work with the commercial sector and his contributions to animal husbandry helped to define Xenia in the frame of agricultural and commercial growth in the early 20th century.

Until Next Time!

This Week's Trivia Question: In 1918, guess how many different vegetables were grown in the gardens of Greene County?

Answer to Last Week's Trivia Question: What was the Coinage Act of 1857? Answer: The Coinage Act forbade the use of foreign coins.


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