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Friends and Acquaintances 27
It is because of the human note in his songs that we find special interest in the youthful associations which appealed to his tenderness and affection. Stephen's Cincinnati years formed, in truth, an extension of the acquaintanceships and friendships of his boyhood and early youth at Pittsburgh. Family and friends had always counted tremendously with the Fosters. Throughout their varieties of financial experience, William B. Foster and Eliza Tomlinson Foster and their children kept their pride in ancestry which included persons of consequence from Revolutionary days to the Civil War.* In the Reminiscences she wrote and read to her grandchildren, Eliza Foster described glowingly the weddings and receptions she attended in the prominent homes of Pittsburgh.1
As a boy Stephen had been a leader among his schoolmates in juvenile minstrel shows and concerts; and in his later 'teens he continued leadership in a club and singing society, the "Knights of the S. T." His talents as a flute player and composer of several songs were acclaimed.2
Old acquaintance was by no means forgotten when Stephen entered upon his work
* Genealogical facts as to the Fosters, the Barclays, the Tom-linsons and the Claylands were given by Morrison Foster in his sketch My Brother Stephen. Additional material will be presented in Chronicles of the Foster Family, now being prepared by Mrs. Evelyn Foster Morneweck of Detroit, Michigan.