Samuel W. Foster (born 30 Nov 1806 in Foster, RI; died 11 Oct 1850 in San Francisco, CA)

Washtenaw County's most significant history (Chapman 1881) describes Samuel W. Foster as a miller who worked for Judge Dexter during the late 1820s. It also mentions Foster as the founder of Scio Village and Foster's Station--both former Washtenaw county villages located on the banks the Huron River. While the titles miller and village founder give us some clues about a man who left a permanent mark on the area, they fail to do him justice. Few realize that Samuel W. Foster was an inventor, financier, prospector, surveyor as well as a miller, land speculator and underground railroad operative. Had the dynamic man stayed in Washtenaw County to live out his life, he would be recognized as one of the most prominent early pioneers in the state.