A message here from 2002 made reference to Judge Foster. He seems to be my grandfather's grandfather's father.
From what I can tell, his Goodspeed bio is a parcel of lies, and it's hard to know the truth of things. The first two Missouri Convention sessions transcripts (1861) are available online. Here, he introduces himself as never having held political office. But he tells Goodspeed that he was. He lied about his age, both in the bio and the census. He said he was a widower, but he divorced Eunice. I can confirm service in the Mexican War and Civil War, but not the specifics he cites.
What bothers me most of all is that he neither mentions his brother Hiram Byrd (while citing his other siblings), nor his children by Eunice.
He is buried beside his second wife, Loretta (Knowles) in Old Commerce cemetary. In the 1880 census, Loretta's mother Eliza Anne (King, Knowles) Stanley (daughter Addie's grandmother) is living with him and his third wife, Mary (Williams).
His Civil War service placed him in Bird's Point and Commerce in early 1862. I can't help but imagine an affair (with Loretta?) broke up the marriage with Eunice, or perhaps he simply saw opportunity in Commerce, but Eunice refused to be uprooted.
I'd like to find out what I can about his law practice. I'm also trying to verify that he published a newspaper in Kirksville in the 1850s.
More about John is available from his father, Peyton's, bio from Sangamon IL.http://www.rootsweb.com/~ilsangam/1876/fosterp.htm
John's cousin was James Mickleborough Greenwood, a famous educator of his era, but overshadowed by greater lights in our own. In tracing my family history, he stands out as who I'd like to learn and write about in depth. I'd like to understand Judge John Foster, for sure .... but what I know so far seems scandalous enough that any memories are conveniently forgotten and lost to posterity. Though a man's enemies have ways of keeping scandals alive, and I'm wondering where such an avenue might lead me.