Lee County Biography


James Goodrich, deceased, was born at Barry, Vt., among the Green Mountains, October 14, 1849, and was descended from an old New England family of prominence in his native State. The family came originally from Scotland, where they owned a castle and were influential citizens. The father of our subject, Samuel Goodrich, was born in Barry, Vt., May 7, 1810, and died at Massena, St. Lawrence County, N. Y., June 21, 1887. Throughout his life he seemed doomed to meet accident in one form or another and suffered much from injuries sustained. For many years he was in poor health and at length died of heart disease. After leaving the Green Mountain State and coming West, he resided in Pine Creek, Ogle County, Dixon, and in Palmyra Township, Lee County,and thence he moved to Now York, where they died. He was a consistent member of the Methodist Church and a Republican in politics. A short time before his death he published a little volume of poems, many of which possessed considerable merit. Throughout the community in which he resided he was held in high esteem as a man of sterling worth and unblemished character.

Mr. Goodrich was twice married. He first wedded Charlotte Perry, of Plainfield, Vt., who while on a visit to her old home in the Green Mountain State, died at the age of fifty-three years. She was a member of the Baptist Church and an active worker for the interests of all that tended to benefit humanity. The second wife of Mr. Goodrich bore the name of Mrs. Phoebe Dutton. She still survives him and is now living in St. Lawrence County, N. Y.

The first seventeen years of his life James Goodrich spent among the mountains of his native State, where he began his education in an academy, completing his school life in Mt. Morris. IL. Arriving at an age when he must choose a life work, he determined to engage in farming and was a prominent and progressive agriculturist of this community. His labors were not without their reward, and as a result of his industry and perseverance he became owner of a fine farm of one hundred and ninety-five acres, to which his widow has added since his death until now within its boundary is comprised a two hundred and thirteen acre tract which yields a golden tribute. Mr. Goodrich ever took an active interest in those things pertaining to the welfare of the community and was recognized as one of the best citizens of the township. In politics he was a Republican, who staunchly advocated his party principles.

At the home of the bride in Palmyra Township, Mr. Goodrich was joined in wedlock with Miss Clara Williams, one of the fair daughters of Lee County. She was educated in the High School of Dixon and is a lady of superior intelligence and culture. Her parents, George and Mary (Adams) Williams, were natives of Center County, Pa., where they were reared and married and where their children, with one exception, were all born. The year 1853 witnessed their removal to Illinois and saw them located on a farm of one hundred and sixty acres in Palmyra Township, where Mr. Williams died April 13, 1891, aged eighty-nine years and five months. His widow is still living at the age of seventy-nine years and makes her home with her daughter, Miss. Clam Goodrich. She has a wide acquaintance throughout the community and her friends are many, their regard having been secured by her excellencies of character.

Mrs. Goodrich is the youngest of the Williams family, six of whom, four sons and two daughters, are yet living. Her marriage has been blessed with three children but she lost one, Grace, who died at the age of eight weeks. Edwin was born February 19, 1873, and Lila was born January 4, 1882. The mother is a member of the Methodist Church and in the county where she has so long made her home she is well and favorably known.

Mr. James P. Goodrich departed this life at his home in Palmyra township,on the 27th of January, 1883, of consumption, after having traveled extensively in different parts of the United States in quest of health.

History of Lee County - Portrait & Biographical 1892


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