Joseph B. Foraker, a prominent political leader and ex-governor of Ohio, was born near Rainsboro, Highland county, Ohio, July 5, 1846. His parents operated a small farm, with a grist and sawmill, having emigrated hither from Virginia and Delaware on account of their distaste for slavery.
Joseph was reared upon a farm until 1862, when he enlisted in the Eighty-ninth Ohio Infantry. Later he was made sergeant, and in 1864 commissioned first lieutenant. The next year he was brevetted captain. At the age of nineteen he was mustered out of the army after a brilliant service, part of the time being on the staff of General Slocum. He participated in the battles of Missionary Ridge, Lookout Mountain and Kenesaw Mountain and in Sherman's march to the sea.
For two years subsequent to the war young Foraker was studying at the Ohio Wesleyan University at Delaware, but later went to Cornell University, at Unity, New York, from which he graduated July 1, 1869. He studied law and was admitted to the bar. In 1879 Mr. Foraker was elected judge of the superior court of Cincinnati and held the office for three years. In 1883 he was defeated in the contest for the governorship with Judge Hoadly. In 1885, however, being again nominated for the same office, he was elected and served two terms. In 1889, in running for governor again, this time against James E. Campbell, he was defeated. Two years later his career in the United States senate began. Mr. Foraker was always a prominent figure at all national meetings of the Republican party, and a strong power, politically, in his native state.
From A Biographical History of Darke County Ohio, Lewis Publishing Co, Chicago, 1900