William Allen Foor was born January 18, 1861, in Fairfield County, Ohio, the son of Sylvester and Sarah (TRINE) FOOR. Sylvester (b 1837) the son of Daniel (b 1804), son of John Fuhr/Foor (born about 1771 in PA). John Fuhr/Foor was one of the early pioneers of Bloom Twp., Fairfield Co., Ohio, coming from somewhere in PA prior to 1830. Most all of John's first couple generations of descendants were all farmers or laborers. None were particularly noteworthy, especially those that stayed in the area. Some of his grandchildren migrated westward into Indiana, north-central Ohio or southern Michigan.
William Allen Foor was the second of 13th known children of Sylvester and Sarah (Trine) Foor. Sarah was the daughter of Ruben Trine (b 1809) and Susannah Kemmerer (b 1810) who were both born in PA and resided in Madison Twp., Franklin Co., Ohio, which is very near Bloom twp., Fairfield Co., Ohio. In fact, at one time a portion of what was at one time Bloom twp. was taken up by Madison Twp. in the neighboring county. Sylvester was born in Bloom township and after marriage appeared to move into Violet twp. of Fairfield county. Sometime between 1870 and 1880 he removed to Madison Twp. of Franklin Co., Ohio where he died in 1881 and is buried in Union Grove Cemetery there. His wife, Sarah, remained in the township until her death which occurred in 1920.
William married in about 1888 a woman named Margaret ("Maggie") Thornton Duval who was born in May of 1868, possibly in Morganfield, Union Co., KY. They had two known children: Lillian (Foor) Morrison born 1887 in KY who married William H. Morrison in 1907, and Mary Belle Foor born April 1891 in KY who died some time after 1938, last known to have been in the Boston, MA. area.
William Foor died on March 20th, 1938, after a few weeks illness. His wife apparently preferred to remain in Indianapolis for the duration of her life. Only the 1900 and 1910 census's are they shown residing at the same residence. By 1920 William is oddly listed as 'single' in the Jacksonville, Duval Co., FL hotel. In the 1930 census he's listed as being married, but again, no wife is with him. One theory is he may have been estranged from his wife. And although news stories show that "Mrs. William Foor" often went to visit her daughter, Lillian, in Indianapolis, she is not shown as residing with them in 1920 and 1930. Currently, I have not been able to locate her whereabouts on those two census years.
According to a great grandson, William A. Morrison, [August 2003 email], "William Foor was estranged from his wife for rmany years". Although Morrison states she lived with the Morrison's (Mrs. Foor's daughter Lillian), she is not shown on any censuses with them. Morrison further says that his father recalls him "living essentially in his private railway car which moved from town to town where he had hotels. He traveled with a lady friend and his younger daughter who served as his private secretary. My father met with him one time after the collapse of the chain at which time Foor was managing a small hotel in Athens O. They did not get along well - while at Cornell my father worked summers for Wm. Foor at the Geo. Vanderbilt in Asheville shoveling coal into the basement boiler, a hot job, no doubt."
"It had been a matter of curiosity to me [Wm. Morrison] how Mr. Foor could be the operator/owner of a dozen hotels with more in the planning stages in late 1929 and completely penniless in early 1930. As my father [James Alan Morrison 1908-1985] explained it, Foor had borrowed heavily to build the bulk of his hotels between 1922 and 1928 and carried a large debt which he serviced successfully during the boom years of the 20s. His chief financial backers had been his partner, a man named Robinson and the New York-based Bank of United States, which failed spectacularly in the first months of 1930. Foor was stripped of his hotels as a result of the bankruptcy of this institution and the resulting call for all debt owed to the bank to be immediately repaid to settle with the bank's depositors and creditors. When he could not satisfy this demand, the American Bond & Mortgage Co,, receivers for the Bank of U S, took the hotels as collateral. I have not been able to confirm this chain of events but have faith in my father's explanation as he was there and had expected to work for the chain upon his graduation from Cornell in that same year of 1930. It was a time of rude awakenings for all . . ." [William Alan Morrison, Red Hill, PA; Aug. 2003 email].
An advertisement at the back of "Pine Needles", the 1921 edition and yearbook published by "Students [of] North Carolina College for Women, Greensboro, NC". At the back it has sponsors and advertisers, and includes this page:
This is the first I've heard of "The Dolly Madison" in High Point. Was it the one under construction? Did the deal fall through? Was it named something differently upon opening? Is it the same as The Sheraton in High Point?
For more information on William Foor's ancestors and descendants, please visit my site at www.foorgenealogy.com.