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The Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture


Located in Garvin County, six miles west of Elmore City and approximately fifteen miles west of Pauls Valley, the town of Foster developed in Section 26 of Township 2 North, Range 3 West in the early 1890s. A post office established on August 12, 1891, may have been named for Noah Foster, the first postmaster. The U.S. Census corroborates his continued presence in the area in 1900 as well as the emergence of a dispersed community with a population of approximately 50 in Section 26 of Township 2 North, Range 3 West in the Chickasaw Nation. The town of Foster was surveyed and platted in October 1902, and in 1903 the U.S. Department of the Interior approved the plat. It became a part of Garvin County at 1907 statehood. A Masonic lodge was organized circa 1902, and a public school had been established by 1907. By 1910 Foster had grown to 125 residents and supported a variety of businesses, including two general stores, a hotel, and M. G. Mullens's cotton gin. Baptist, Methodist, and Episcopal churches provided places of worship. By 1918 Foster provided many needed services for the surrounding rural population that engaged primarily in farming. The town supported a doctor and a drug store as well as four general stores. Mullens's cotton gin continued in business. The 1920 population was estimated at approximately two hundred.

As Foster did not incorporate during the twentieth century, no U.S. Census figures are available, but it is likely that after the depression of the 1930s and into the later part of the century the number of residents stabilized or declined. At its incorporation on March 14, 2002, Foster comprised an area of approximately sixteen square miles. The community has a number of residences. State Highways 29A and 76 provide transportation access. The census of 2010 found 161 people living there. In April 2020 the census reported 245 residents.

Dianna Everett

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Pauls Valley Chamber of Commerce, From Bluestem to Golden Trend: A Pictorial History of Garvin County (Fort Worth, Tex.: University Supply and Equipment Co., 1980).

Foster Town Plat Map, 1903, Research Division, Oklahoma Historical Society, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

R. L. Polk & Company, Oklahoma State Gazetteer and Business Directory (Detroit, Mich.: R. L. Polk & Company, 1909–1918).

George H. Shirk, Oklahoma Place Names (2d ed.; Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1974).


The following (as per The Chicago Manual of Style, 17th edition) is the preferred citation for articles:
Dianna Everett, “Foster,” The Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture, https://www.okhistory.org/publications/enc/entry?entry=FO059.

Published February 4, 2015
Last updated March 1, 2024

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