David Foster

Photo courtesy of the Howard County Historical Society

2: DAVID FOSTER

David Foster was the founder of Kokomo. He was born in Albemarle County, Va., on July 30, 1808. At 19, he settled in Johnson County, Ind., and learned the cabinet-making trade. He married Elizabeth M. Grant on Jan. 17, 1832, and they had 11 children. They later moved to Carroll County, and he began to trade with the Indians. In 1842, they moved to Center Township and took possession of a cabin erected by the Indian chief, Kokomo (although there is some dispute on whether he was a chief). Foster opened a trading post, and for many years dealt largely with the Indians. The Howard County Commissioners told Foster they would locate the county seat to what is now Kokomo if he would donate 40 acres and build a log courthouse. He agreed to do so and Kokomo became the county seat. Foster is said to have named it "Kokomo" because the Indian was the "ornriest Indian on earth" and the town was "the ornriest town on earth.” Foster died Nov. 27, 1877.

Sources: “Counties of Howard and Tipton, Indiana,” F. A. Bettey & Co.

Chicago 1883.

HELP US OUT: It’s time for 100 Objects! The 2018 theme is “The 100 People, Places & Things” that have shaped the Howard County community. Do you have a person from our past who changed the community for the better? A favorite landmark, present or past, that is beloved by residents? Here’s what you do: Take a photo, write a caption explaining why you chose this person, place or thing. One lucky reader will win a $100 gift card! Submit your photos and captions at www.kokomotribune.com or email them to KTNews@kokomotribune.com.

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