Julius T. Foster, chief engineer of the waterworks of Racine, his native city, was born September 16, 1S49, his parents being John and Elizabeth (Hawthorn) Foster, the former a native of London, while the latter was born in Ireland. They were married, however, in England and in 1845 crossed the Atlantic to the new world, becoming residents of Racine. The father was proprietor of the Western Hotel and so continued up to the time of his death, which occurred in 1863. The business was then continued by the mother and her sons, who conducted the hotel for a long period, and Mrs. Foster passed away in the year 1894.
Julius T. Foster acquired a public school education and afterward learned the machinist’s trade, which he followed in various factories here. With his increasing ability and experience he won advancement from time. to time and for eleven years occupied the responsible position of chief engineer of the Case Plow Works. Later he was master mechanic for the Northern Wisconsin Lumber Company for four years and in 1893 he was given charge of the power house for the Racine Street Railway. In 1898 he became chief engineer of the Racine Waterworks and has so continued to the present time, covering a period of eighteen years. It is a splendid record of capability and fidelity, his long connection with the position standing in incontrovertible evidence of his worth in the office.
In 1882 Mr. Foster was united in marriage to Miss Cornelia Hayden, of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, a daughter of George L. and Mary Hayden. The children of this marriage are: Frank, who is manager of the Battery Service Company of Racine: Ruby, the wife of W. H. Van Duser, a traveling man representing the Chicago Creamery Package Company George, who is chief engineer for the Racine Trunk Company; and J. R., who is engaged in the oil business under the name of the J. R. Foster Oil Company.
In polities Mr. Foster is a republican but never seeks nor desires the rewards of office in recognition of his party fealty. Fraternally he is connected with Racine Lodge, No. 18, F. & A. M., and has also taken the Chapter degrees in Masonry, while of the Eastern Star he is a past patron. He is likewise past chancellor of Racine Lodge, No. 32, K. P., is a member of the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks and is a past president of the National Association of Stationary Engineers. Marked ability has brought him prominently to the front in this connection. He understands every phase of his work both in principle and detail, having comprehensive knowledge of the scientific phases of engineering as well as the practical elements of the business, and there is perhaps no official of Racine who has been so long in public office, while the record of none has been more faultless in honor and stainless in reputation.