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Below is a family biography included in The History of Webster County, Missouri published by Goodspeed Publishing Company in 1889.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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Thomas Goodwin, one of the leading farmers and stock traders of Grant Township, Webster Co., Mo., and a son of Adam and Elizabeth (Ezel) Goodwin, was born in White County, Ill., August 24, 1844. Adam Goodwin was born in Carmi, Ill., or where Carmi now stands, in the latter part of the last century, and died in that city in 1859. His father, Elijah Goodwin, was one of the first settlers of White County, Ill., and died near Carmi in 1854, at the age of eighty-nine years. He built the scaffold at Carmi on which Leadbetter, the murderer, was hung. Mrs. Elizabeth (Ezel) Goodwin was born in Alabama, and died at Carmi when her son, Thomas Goodwin, was but two years of age. The latter was the first child by his father’s second marriage. He grew to manhood on the farm, and received a common education in the country schools. In August, 1861, he enlisted in Company D, Fifty-sixth Illinois Regiment, and was at the battles of Pittsburg Landing, Corinth, Chattanooga, and was sent from Chattanooga to the Trans-Mississippi Department, under Steele, at Little Rock. He was honorably discharged July 25, 1865, at Pine Bluff, Ark. After the war he returned to Carmi, where he tilled the soil until 1870, when he came to Webster County, Mo., and here resided for six years. He then removed to Kansas, remained there for four years, and in 1881 settled in Webster County, where he now lives, in Grant Township. He is the owner of 370 acres of land, all the result of his own industry. In 1866 he took for his wife Miss Emaline Douthit, who was born in Carmi, Ill., in 1847, and who bore him six children: Matilda, Thomas, Hays, Rosa K., Emaline and Hattie. Mr. Goodwin is a Republican in politics, and cast his first presidential vote for Grant. In 1878 he was appointed county judge in Pratt County, Kas., by Gov. St. John, and was elected to the same position three terms, but resigned the office in 1881. He is a member of the G. A. R., Marshfield Post 225, and he and wife are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church.

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This family biography is one of 110 biographies included in The History of Webster County, Missouri published in 1889.  For the complete description, click here: Webster County, Missouri History, Genealogy, and Maps

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