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Timothy Foster (settler) facts for kids

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Timothy Foster
Born May 14, 1720
Died April 3, 1785
Known for First settler of Winthrop, Maine
Spouse(s) Sibboleth Freeman
Children 11
  • John Foster (father)
  • Margaret Ware (mother)
Military service
Force Massachusetts Militia
Rank Captain
Unit 7th Company in Joseph North's 2nd Lincoln County Regiment (1776-), William Lithgow's detachment (1778-)
Conflict Revolutionary War
Captain Timothy Foster signature 1776.png

Timothy Foster (May 14, 1720 – April 3, 1785) and his family were the first colonial settlers of Winthrop, Maine. He was a captain in the Massachusetts militia during the American Revolutionary War.

Early life

Timothy Foster was born on May 14, 1720, at Attleborough in Massachusetts Bay Colony—the ninth of thirteen children. His mother Margaret Ware (1685–1761) and his father John Foster (1680–1759) were born, respectively, in the Massachusetts Bay towns of Wrentham and Salem. John Foster was a blacksmith and an elected deputy to the Massachusetts General Court.

First settler of Winthrop, Maine

General view of Lake Cobbosseecontee, Maine (60993)
Lake Cobbosseecontee, Maine

In 1764, Timothy Foster bought 200 acres of forest and meadow in Pondtown Plantation, now Winthrop, Maine. The land, purchased for £26 from a roving land speculator, was situated along the western shore of Cobbosseecontee Lake. The next year Foster moved from Attleborough to Pondtown with his wife Sibboleth Freeman and their 10 children, becoming the first pioneers to settle there. In 1766, Foster's land—designated as lot eight—was recorded in a colonial deed that required him to build a house, clear and till at least five acres, and live on the premises. In 1769, the Fosters built the first frame house in Pondtown. In 1771, Pondtown was incorporated as the town of Winthrop and Foster was elected to its first board of selectmen.

Military service

The town of Winthrop petitioned the Massachusetts General Court in January of 1773 with grievances against the Parliament of the United Kingdom. Two years later Timothy Foster was commissioned an ensign in the local militia. In July 1776, Foster was made a captain of the 7th Company in Colonel Joseph North's 2nd Lincoln County Regiment of the Massachusetts Militia and, in the same year, Foster's company was at Fort Ticonderoga in New York. From 1778 Foster was a captain in William Lithgow's detachment, which in 1779 defended Lincoln County from British attack after the defeat of American naval forces in the Penobscot Expedition at Penobscot Bay.


Timothy Foster married Sibboleth Freeman (1723–1813) on June 23, 1743, in Attleborough. Their children were Timothy Foster Jr., b. 1745; Bela (Billy) Foster, b. 1747; Eliphalet Foster b. 1749; Susan Foster, b. 1751; David Foster, b. 1753; Thomas Foster, b. 1755; Stuart Foster, b. 1757; John Foster, b. 1759; Oliver Foster, b. 1761; Sibler Foster, b. 1763; and Stephen Foster, b. 1766. All of their children were born in Attleborough except their last child, Stephen, who was the first child born to settlers in Winthrop. Eight of their sons served in the American Revolutionary War.

Death and legacy

On April 1, 1785, Timothy Foster was struck by a tree limb which fractured his skull and rendered him unconscious. His son Stuart Foster and two neighbors walked to Falmouth, Maine, for a surgeon. The surgeon could not return with them, but he gave them a trephine—a saw to bore a hole in Foster's skull. The men did not return in time to save him and he died April 3, 1785.

A new home was built for the widow Foster by her sons, which still stands. Outside her home the Daughters of the American Revolution placed a memorial plaque on a stone that honors Timothy Foster as a patriot and the first settler of Winthrop.

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