The Foster community began in the fall of 1821 as a permanent campsite settled by Randolph Foster (1790-1887) on what was then one of the largest single land grants in Texas (11,601 acres). The John Foster grant, deeded by Stephen F. Austin, came from the relationship between Foster, his father John (1757-1837) and Austin. John was one of Austin's Old Three Hundred colonists, and Foster family members participated in the Texas War for Independence. Sugar cane was the area's dominant industry in the 1840s, and Foster community thrived from its production and export. Other crops that benefited the community included pecans and cotton. Local residents tamed wild horses found on the upland prairies for domestic use and trade. The community's first school, which offered up to grade five, was held in Randolph Foster's home before construction of a one-room schoolhouse also used for early community religious services. African American students studied at Jones Creek School. The community's first post office initiated mail service from the area's general store in 1882. The volume of local sugar production was so great that in the 1920s, Imperial Sugar Company built a railroad between Foster community and mills in Sugar Land. In 1928, Sugar Land Industries bought acreage in this area and named it Foster Farms. By the end of World War II, several factors led to the community's decline: the end of area sugar crops; the closing of the railroad; the Great Depression; and changes in ownership and farming techniques. In 1944, the community's schools, post office and general store closed. Today, adjacent to Houston, the state's largest urban area, Foster exists in memory as a pioneer Texas community. (2005)
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