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February 5, 2017
Most people in town knew Ephriam Frazor Foster as “Eph”. He and his sister, Georgiana, were children of Byron and Ida (Durgy) Foster. He was born on February 5, 1885 and his sister born two years later. Her name was Georgiana, such a pretty name but he would say we called her “Georgie”. For a time the family lived in Sherman, CT and it was there that their mother died in 1891 at the young age of 23 years. His paternal grandmother helped his Dad raise the two children. For a short time they lived in the Patterson/Pawling area of New York before making New Fairfield their hometown.
During Eph’s life of almost 80 years he was a man who wore many hats. His love of the outdoors which was probably established from helping his Dad with many “outside chores”, enjoying the pastimes of fishing and hunting was also shared with his interest in community and civic affairs.
Ephriam married Roberta Dayton in 1909 in the Congregational Church in New Fairfield. Roberta was a faithful member of the church, a wonderful neighbor especially to those in need, very well known for her homemaking and cooking skills. Ephriam and Roberta were parents of two daughters, namely Elsie and Josephine. Eph supported his family as a carpenter.
After registering as a voter of the town Eph also became a Registrar of Voters for several years.
For many years he was also the Dog Warden and in 1924 was appointed a constable in town, a position he held for many years.
In 1911 he was appointed Fish and Game Warden by the State of Connecticut and served in this capacity until 1938. He would always recall that one of his fondest accomplishments was taking the legendary Babe Ruth hunting. Babe was an avid hunter along with his skills as a ball player and several times was a guest of Harry B. Mallory, President of the Mallory Hat Factory in Danbury. The State Game Commissioner would arrange the hunting trips whenever Babe was in town and invited the New Fairfield Warden to join one of the hunts.
World War 11 created the need for home front defense and Eph accepted the position of Air Raid Warden for New Fairfield coordinating the volunteers who manned the lookout tower that was located on McBean Drive.
Cemetery sexton at several of the cemeteries in town was another task he undertook. In fact, he was Sexton at the New Fairfield Cemetery across from the Town Hall which will be the site of a Living History Tour on Sunday,Oct. 18 sponsored by Preserve New Fairfield. One of the actors will be taking the part of Ephriam Frazer Foster and those attending will hear first-hand about the life of Mr. & Mrs. Ephriam Foster during their 55 years of marriage in their hometown that was much different than we know it today.
Photo: Civil Defense Airplane Spotting Station, Dorothea Fox and Eph Foster at lookout on McBean Drive,New Fairfield,CT during WW11. (Photo courtesy of Fox family)