During his tenure as president of the John Morrell and Company meatpacking firm, Foster moved the U. S. headquarters to Ottumwa, Iowa, in 1877, and in 1893, he became chairman of both British and American operations.
1847-1915 | Artist: Unknown
Impact & Accomplishments
Thomas Dove Foster was born in Bradford, England, grandson of the founder of John Morrell and Company meatpacking firm.
He began working in the family business as a hog buyer, and by age twenty, was selected to manage the company’s new American branch in Chicago.
“T. D.” Foster moved the U. S. headquarters to Ottumwa, Iowa, in 1877, and in 1893, he became chairman of both British and American operations.
T. D. Foster was particularly concerned about the welfare of his employees and organized an annual company picnic to honor them. He also funded the construction of a YMCA and a church near the Ottumwa plant, to serve the workers.
Did You Know?
Foster was instrumental in convincing Andrew Carnegie to donate $50,000 for the construction of Ottumwa's new public library building in 1900. He served on the board of trustees of Parsons College in Fairfield starting in 1883, and also on the Iowa State Board of Education from 1909 to 1911.
The Ottumwa Iowa Public Library Building built in 1901. The building has become an attraction for its historical architecture.
Aerial photo circa 1953.