Foster-Meyers Family Papers
Scope and Contents
Series 1: Henry and Thyra Jane Foster and their generation: a. Henry and Thyra Jane Papers; b. Charles and Hilda Steckle Foster; c. Elizabeth and Anna Foster; d. William (Bill) Oliver and Millicent Foster; e. Family postcard scrapbooks.
Series 2: Joseph Meyers and Family: a. Joseph E. Meyers Papers; b. William D. and Mary Warner Meyers and the Warner family; c. Mary Worthington Meyers; d. Bernice Meyers; e. Charles Lionel Meyers.
Series 3: Horace and Mary Cope Foster Family and Cope ancestors: a. Horace Bragg and Mary Cope Foster; b. Joshua Sharpless Family; c. Hannah Sharpless Cope and Caleb Cope; d. John Hoxie and Mary E. Simkinson Foster, Lizzie Foster Leigh and Thomas Leigh, Edward H. and Emma Walmsley Foster, and Martha Otis Foster.
Series 4: Foster Family: Horace Foster's ancestors: Ethan Foster, John and Paulina Kenyon Foster, Family correspondence of the Foster Family.
Series 5: John and Georgana Foster.
Series 6: The Foster Family Farm, Warwick, Rhode Island Farm, 1838-1992.
Series 7: Miscellaneous.
- Foster, John Henry, -1926 (Person)
Limitations on Accessing the Collection
Copyright and Rights Information
Biographical / Historical
Thyra Jane's father was Joseph E. Meyers (1858-1937), a conservative Orthodox Quaker, raised in Pennsdale, Pennsylvania, a member of the Muncy Monthly Meeting. His father, William D. Myers (1826-1892) was a convinced Friend who became a member of Philadelphia Monthly Meeting for the Southern District in 1854. His mother was Mary Roberts Warner (1828-1873), a birthright member of Muncy Monthly Meeting. Through his mother's side, Joseph E. Meyers was related to prominent Muncy Quaker families such as Lundy, Carpenter, Winner, and Starr.
Joseph E. Meyers was the second of four children and the only to survive early childhood. His father was disowned by the Society of Friends in 1859, and the marriage was not a happy one. In 1863, Mary Meyers returned to Pennsdale and the Muncy Monthly Meeting. She raised her only surviving child with strict adherence to the rules of discipline regarding dress, behavior, and marriage. After her death, Meyers attended Westtown Boarding School and then West Chester Normal School. It had been the desire of his mother that he pursue a career as a teacher, and for about ten years, he taught at a number of schools in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Iowa. However, it was a career to which he was ill-suited, and by 1894, he became a farmer.
In 1880, with the encouragement and support of his uncle, Charles Warner, he moved to Barnesville, Ohio, where he became acquainted with members of the Ohio Yearly Meeting. For about the next ten years, he spent time in Ohio, Kansas, and Iowa. In 1894, Joseph Meyers married Mary J. Worthington at Stillwater Monthly Meeting in Barnesville, and for a short time they lived on a farm in Cedar County, Iowa. About 1907, the family returned to Barnesville, Ohio. He remained at Stillwater MM until 1931 when he moved to Rhode Island to live with his daughter and son-in-law, Thyra Jane and Henry Cope Foster. About 1929, he began to compile biographies on Quakers that he knew from his youth in Pennsdale, Pa., and his many years in Ohio and Iowa, corresponding with a number of friends for information and suggestions.
Additional biographical notes are included as preface to individual series.
27 Linear Feet (52 boxes (plus oversized items and photograhs))
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Gift of Mary Foster Cadbury, Acc. 2005.020.
Gift of Thera Hindmarsh, sister of John Foster, Acc. 2016.023.
The Medicine box of Paulina Kenyon Foster, prior to 1882, removed to Relics.
Plain clothes patterns removed to Relics.
Artifacts from Mary Cope Foster's letterbox and John Foster's spectacles removed to Relics.
Later the same year (1997), an additional 22 cubic feet of Foster family papers were received with inventories by the donor. In general, the papers were organized by family units, and that organization largely has been preserved. Selected papers were photocopied for the donor. Photocopies of the records of the Kickemuit Literary Society were added to the collection in 1999. A small amount of material was added in 2000, and in 2002, the whole collection was integrated, renamed the Foster-Meyers Family Papers, and a new finding aid produced. In 2003, John H. Foster deposited additional Foster family letters and some personal papers. In 2013, he added correspondence, including letters from India
Relics and photographs were removed to FHL Relics and FHL PA 103, respectively. Brochures from the Friends Boarding School, later Moses Brown School, transferred to reference files for better access. File with secondary material on PAX, Massachusetts Political Action for Peace, and peace candidate Stuart Hughes transferred to Swarthmore College Peace Collection. Pictures of Quaker schools and meeting houses and Moses Brown which arrived with Miscellaneous Papers have been stored in FHL General Picture Collection for ease of access.
Inventories and general notes by John H. Foster are filed in Series 5, John H. and Georgana Foster Papers. Comments, transcripts, explanatory notes are stored with the related originals.
In 2013 and 2014, John Foster's India slides, corrrespondence, Thyra Jane's material on her sister Bernice, and miscellaneous papers were added to the appropriate categories.
A typescript of Joshua Sharpless's 1798 journal which was given to FHL in 1979 by Thyra Jane Foster was transferred from MSS 040 to be stored with the original in RG 5/221, Series 3. MSS 040, Sharpless Manuscripts, contains a different version of the Sharpless journal given to FHL in 1970 by Elizabeth Foster, aunt of John H. Foster and sister-in-law of Thyra Jane Foster.
The collection is open, with additional papers relating to John H. and Georgana Foster and their generation retained by the family.
- Agriculture -- Rhode Island
- Conservative Quakers
- Foster family
- Foster, John Henry, -1926
- Iowa Yearly Meeting of the Society of Friends. Hickory Grove Quarterly Meeting
- Meyers family
- Meyers, Joseph E. (Joseph Elkinton), 1858-1937
- Muncy Monthly Meeting (Society of Friends)
- Nantucket Monthly Meeting (Society of Friends : Orthodox : 1845- 1867 : Nantucket, Mass.)
- New England Yearly Meeting of Friends
- Ohio Yearly Meeting of Friends (Conservative : 1854- )
- Providence Monthly Meeting of Friends (Providence, R.I.)
- Quakers -- Anecdotes
- Quakers -- Biography
- Quakers -- Conduct of life
- Quakers -- Costume
- Quakers -- Iowa
- Quakers -- Ohio
- Quakers -- Pennsylvania
- Quakers -- Social life and customs
- Society of Friends -- Indiana
- Society of Friends -- Ohio
- Society of Friends -- Pennsylvania
- Society of Friends -- Rhode Island
- Stillwater Monthly Meeting (Society of Friends : Wilburite : 1854- : Barnesville, Ohio)
- Warner family
- Warwick (R.I.)
- Foster, John Henry, -1926 (Person)
- Meyers, Joseph E. (Joseph Elkinton), 1858-1937 (Contributor, Person)
- Meyers, Mary W. (Mary Worthington), 1862-1925 (Contributor, Person)
- Meyers, Bernice L. (Bernice Lydia), 1896-1946 (Contributor, Person)
- Foster, Thyra Jane (Contributor, Person)
- Foster, Henry C. (Henry Cope), 1895-1987 (Contributor, Person)
- Foster, Elizabeth, 1888-1980 (Contributor, Person)
- Foster, Horace B. (Horace Bragg), 1850-1933 (Contributor, Person)
- Foster, Mary C. (Mary Cope), 1854-1936 (Contributor, Person)
- Sharples, Joshua, 1747-1826 (Contributor, Person)
- Sharples, Edith, 1743-1787 (Contributor, Person)
- Coope, Rachel, 1771-1807 (Contributor, Person)
- Coope, Benjamin, 1765-1845 (Contributor, Person)
- Friends Boarding School (Barnesville, Ohio) (Contributor, Organization)
- Westtown Boarding School (Contributor, Organization)
- Foster-Meyers Family Papers, 1765-2006
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Language of description note
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