While our physical offices are closed until further notice in accordance with Austin's COVID-19 "stay home-work safe" order, the Handbook of Texas will remain available at no-cost for you, your fellow history enthusiasts, and all Texas students currently mandated to study from home. If you have the capacity to help us maintain our online Texas history resources during these uncertain times, please consider making a 100% tax-deductible contribution today. Thank you for your support of TSHA and Texas history. Donate Today »


Stephanie A. Panus

FOSTER, LAFAYETTE LUMPKIN (1851–1901). Lafayette Lumpkin Foster was born on November 27, 1851, in Cumming, Forsyth County, Georgia. He moved to Texas at the age of eighteen and lived successively in the Limestone County communities of Horn Hill and Springfield. He worked at cotton picking or bricklaying until he had saved enough money to attend Waco University. Foster moved to Groesbeck in 1873 and began the publication of a newspaper there, the Limestone New Era, in 1876. He left the New Era when his political activities became too time-consuming. In 1880 he was a representative in the Seventeenth Legislature; in the Nineteenth Legislature he was the speaker of the House, the youngest man to hold the position at that time. Governor Lawrence S. Ross appointed him commissioner of insurance, statistics, and history, and later of agriculture. As commissioner, he helped Attorney General James S. Hogg to harry illegally operated insurance companies out of Texas. On May 4, 1891, Hogg appointed Foster to the first Railroad Commission. However, Foster resigned to become vice president and general manager of the Velasco Terminal Railway. He became president of Texas Agricultural and Mechanical College (now Texas A&M University) in 1898 and held the position until his death. He helped plan Texas A&M. Foster married Laura Pender on January 2, 1875, and they had five sons and two daughters. The family belonged to the First Baptist Church in Groesbeck. Foster was a member of the Groesbeck Masonic Lodge, where he served for a time as worshipful master. He died of pneumonia on December 2, 1901, and was buried on the Texas A&M campus.

Lewis E. Daniell, Personnel of the Texas State Government, with Sketches of Representative Men of Texas (Austin: City Printing, 1887; 3d ed., San Antonio: Maverick, 1892). Presiding Officers of the Texas Legislature, 1846–1982 (Austin: Texas Legislative Council, 1982). Marker Files, Texas Historical Commission, Austin.

Image Use Disclaimer

All copyrighted materials included within the Handbook of Texas Online are in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 related to Copyright and “Fair Use” for Non-Profit educational institutions, which permits the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA), to utilize copyrighted materials to further scholarship, education, and inform the public. The TSHA makes every effort to conform to the principles of fair use and to comply with copyright law.

For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml

If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.


The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Handbook of Texas Online, Stephanie A. Panus, "FOSTER, LAFAYETTE LUMPKIN," accessed August 11, 2020, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/ffo20.

Uploaded on June 12, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
visit the mytsha forums to participate

View these posts and more when you register your free MyTSHA account.

Call for Papers: Texas Center for Working-Class Studies Events, Symposia, and Workshops
Hi all! You may be interested in this call for papers I received from the Texas Center for Working-Class Studies at Collin College...

Katy Jennings' Ride Scholarly Research Request
I'm doing research on Catherine Jennings Lockwood, specifically the incident known as "Katy Jennings' Ride." Her father was Gordon C. Jennings, the oldest man to die at the Alamo...

Texas Constitution of 1836 Co-Author- Elisha Pease? Ask a Historian
The TSHA profile of Elisha Marshall Pease states that he wrote part of the Texas Constitution although he was only a 24 year-old assistant secretary (not elected). I cannot find any other mention of this authorship work by Pease in other credible research about the credited Constution authors...