Jedediah Foster

Foster House Front 1899

Jedediah Foster

The old Jedediah Foster house was built in Brookfield, now West Brookfield, when Worcester was a hamlet. The Foster House, in its day one of the most famous in the State, was built in 1729, by General Joseph Dwight who had a notable military and civil record.

Jedediah Foster was born October 10, 1726 in Andover, MA. He graduated from Harvard in 1744, studied law and practiced at Brookfield. In 1749, Jedediah Foster married Dorothy Dwight, daughter of General Dwight and settled in the house on the hill. Here the Fosters reared a family of seven children which included two future senators, Theodore and Dwight.

The Brookfields cherish many traditions of Jedediah, first of their famous Fosters. The number of offices he held was impressive. He was a Colonel in the militia during the Revolutionary War, his regiment was at Lexington, April 19, 1775. At the time of the battle of Bunker Hill, Colonel Foster, Captain David Hitchcock, and Lieutenant John Phipps served as a Committee of Inspection for the Town of Brookfield.

Foster was elected delegate to the First Provincial Congress. He was appointed judge of Probate and Common Pleas for Worcester and justice of the Superior Court of Massachusetts. One of four judges on the bench at the countys best known murder trial of Bathsheba Spooner, his notes on the 1778 murder trial were of particular interest. The House of Representatives elected him one of the executive council in 1775, he was an active and useful representative and served on most of the committees of each provincial congress.

Foster was one of a committee of three chosen to draw up the original draft of the constitution for the new state. There is no doubt that the work was done in the office built on the northeast corner of the main building. He died, October 17, 1779, before he completed the work and his son Dwight was appointed to complete the work. It was done in the same office.

Jedediah Foster is buried in the Old Indian Cemetery on Cottage Street in West Brookfield.