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Ernest Le Neve Foster
(1849 - 1918)

President of the Colorado Scientific Society


Ernest Le Neve Foster

President 3 or 4 times, 1899, 1900, 1901, and 1902?

  • Geologist and mining engineer

  • Educated Royal School of Mines, London, England; King's and Emperor's Mining Academy, Freiburg, Saxony, Germany

  • Superintendent and owner of Mining companies, Georgetown, Colorado, Summit County, Colorado, and at other mines, including the Saratoga Mine

  • Alderman of Georgetown, Colorado from 1886-1892; Clear Creek County Commissioner, 1887-1893; Surveyor, and Colorado State Geologist, 1883-1885

  • Member American Institute of Mining Engineers; Fellow, Geological Society of London

  • Author of articles about mineral deposits in Colorado and Mexico

  • Prominent member of the Masonic Lodge

from Presidents of the Colorado Scientific Society

From History of Colorado, Vol. II, 1918, Biographical sketches, p. 704-705

Ernest Le Neve Foster, a mining engineer of Denver and a pioneer among the mining men of Colorado, was born in London, England, January 22, 1849, his parents being Peter Le Neve and Georgiana Elizabeth (Chevalier) Foster, both of whom were natives of England, where they spent their entire lives. In early manhood the father became a barrister but was best known as secretary of the Society of Arts, spending the last twenty-five years of his life in that connection. He died in London in 1879 and his widow, surviving him for six years, passed away in that city in 1885. In their family were ten children, of whom Ernest Le Neve Foster was the sixth in order of birth. He began his education in private schools of his native city and afterward entered the Royal School of Mines in London, from which he was graduated in 1868. He was then admitted to the School of Mines in Freiberg, Germany, where he pursued a special course of study for a year, receiving his diploma in 1869 from the Bergakademie of Freiberg. He then went into the Alp mountains of Italy, where he engaged in mining engineering for two years and in 1871 he sought a broader field of labor in America, making his way direct across the Atlantic and on over the country to Colorado, where he arrived on January 20, 1872. Here he took up the profession of mining engineering, which he followed in various parts of the United States, and he has been identified in his professional capacity with some of the most famous mineral producing properties of this section of the country. In 1883 he was appointed to the position of state geologist of Colorado and occupied that position for two years. His home was always in Georgetown and Denver, engaging in mining principally in Clear Creek, Gilpin and Summit counties for many years and he has played a most prominent part in the development of ore-bearing properties in this state. While living in Clear Creek county he also served as county commissioner, occupying that position for six years, during all of which time he was honored with the chairmanship of the board. He continued to make his home in Georgetown, Colorado, for twenty one years and during six years of that period served as alderman and filled various other positions of public honor and trust, the duties of which he discharged with marked promptness and fidelity. In 1875 he became a member of the American Institute of Mining Engineers and is now one of the thirty senior members of that society, which comprises upward of six thousand members. For three years, from 1900 until 1903, he served as president of the Colorado Scientific Society, of which he was the first elected member at the first meeting in 1883. Fraternally he is a Mason and has passed through both the York and Scottish Rites, while his high standing in the order is indicated in the fact that in 1887 he was elected grand high priest of the Royal Arch Masons and in 1890 he was chosen grand master of Masons of the state of Colorado. In 1906 he was grand master of the Royal and Select Masters of Masons.

On the 20th of March, 1875, Mr. Ernest Le Neve Foster was married to Miss Charlotte Teal, of Georgetown, a daughter of George Teal, a well known mining engineer of Clear Creek and Boulder counties, and to them were born two children: Bernice, who died at the age of four years, and Oscar Le Neve, who was born in Georgetown, Colorado, in 1878, and was graduated from Princeton University with the degree of Civil Engineer. He is now with Taylor, Dodge & Ross, bond and investment brokers of Chicago, as manager of their electrical plants at Glendive and other points in Montana, where he makes his home. He is married and has two children, Elizabeth Le Neve and Mary Le Neve Foster. Mrs. Charlotte Foster passed away in November, 1906, and her death was the occasion of deep regret to her many friends. On the 20th of February, 1909, Mr. Foster was again married, his second union being with Mrs. Marion Fulton, of Denver. During his long residence in Colorado, Mr. Foster has taken a very active and prominent part in promoting interests which have been of great value to the state and aside from his business affairs has always stood as a loyal citizen, active in support of plans and measures for the general good.