Jonathan Fairbanks and Clyde Edwin Tuck

Past and Present of Greene County, Missouri

Early and Recent History and Genealogical Records
of Many of the Representative Citizens


OLIVER SMITH GOODWIN. One of the best remembered and most highly respected citizens of Greene county in a past generation, who, after a successful and honorable career, has taken up his journey to that mystic clime, Shakespeare's "undiscovered bourne, from whence no traveler e'er returns," leaving behind him a heritage of which his descendants may well be proud--an untarnished name--was Oliver Smith Goodwin, who for the past quarter of a century was a resident of Springfield, where he was widely known as one of the leading abstractors of this section of the country. But not only as a good citizen was he deserving of mention, but also on account of his splendid military, record. While his standing in the business world was that of an honest man, sound in judgment and wise in counsel, he also possessed in a generous degree the confidence of the public and all movements having for their object the moral and educational welfare of the county found in him a liberal patron and generous benefactor, and his long life of more than three score and ten was one of decided usefulness.

Mr. Goodwin was born at Little York, Jefferson county, Ohio, October 3, 1842. He was a son of George and Mary Jane (Wilson) Goodwin. The father was born in Jefferson county, Ohio, in 1820, and was a son of John and Elizabeth (Crowley) Goodwin. John Goodwin was born in 1800, in Virginia, and came to Ohio when a young man. He was of Welsh descent. He was a tailor by trade, which he followed until he retired from active life. He served as justice of the peace for over twenty-five years. He was a Presbyterian. His death occurred in 1884. Elizabeth Crowley was also a native of Virginia. George Goodwin received a better education than the average boy of his times, and he became an expert bookkeeper. He was proprietor of a general store in Little York, Ohio, until 1861. When a boy he learned the tailor's trade from his father. He engaged in the hotel business at Uhrichsville, Ohio, for a number of years. In 1880 he went to Canton, that state, and opened a merchant tailoring business, and he spent the last twenty years of his life in that city, his death occurring there in 1900. He had been a very successful man in business. He was a warm friend of the late President McKinley. Politically, he was a Democrat, but he would never accept public office. He was a member of the Presbyterian church. He and Mary Jane Wilson were married in 1839. She was born near Youngstown, Ohio. Her death occurred in 1863. To these parents ten children were born, namely: Rachel deceased; Oliver S., of this sketch; Albert, deceased; Martha E., widow of J. P. Grimm, lives in New Philadelphia, Ohio; Anderson P. lives in Uhrichsville, Ohio; Cassander lives in Chicago; Adaline is the wife of David Jobe, of Columbus, Ohio; John W. lives in Wheeling, West Virginia; Paulina is married and lives at Marysville, Ohio; Georgiana is the wife of Douglas Stewart and they live at Boone, Iowa.

Oliver S. Goodwin received a good common school education. He was not yet twenty-one years old when he enlisted July 30, 1861, in Company B, Thirtieth Ohio Volunteer Infantry. He saw much hard service in all of which he never faltered, no matter how dangerous or arduous, and he took part in a number of the greatest battles of the war. Some of the engagements in which he participated were Cornafax Ferry, West Virginia, the second battle of, Bull Run, South Mountain and Antietam, then was at Vicksburg during the memorable siege from January to July, 1863, later was in the Atlanta campaign and in the numerous engagements of the same, and he was mustered out at Atlanta, August 1, 1864. In February, 1865, he enlisted in Company D, Eighty-eighth Ohio Volunteer Infantry and became quartermaster sergeant of this regiment. He was honorably discharged at the close of the war.

Mr. Goodwin went to Uhrichsville, Ohio, after his career in the army and remained there until 1868, in which year he went to Brown county, Illinois, remaining there a year, then removed to Clark county, Missouri, in 1870 and was deputy county recorder there for a period of six years, and during that time he made a set of abstract books for a firm. After that he went to Monticello, Missouri, where he remained three years, and in 1888 removed to Springfield where he resided until his death. He at once began in the abstract business, and in 1902 began in this line for himself, made a most excellent set of books and was regarded as one of the principal men in this business in Greene county and was well patronized. His work was known for its accuracy, good style, and he had a reputation for scrupulous honesty, kindness and courtesy, and everybody respected and honored him.

Mr. Goodwin was married October 5, 1871 to Mary H. Rebo, a native of Clark county, Missouri, where she was reared and educated. To this union five children were born, namely: Amy is the wife of C. C. Stiffler of Waco, Texas; George died when six years old; Mary Alice is the wife of G.W. Arnett of Springfield; Olive, S. is the wife of Robert Allen of Dallas, Texas; and Ralph D. lives in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania.

Mr. Goodwin was called to his eternal rest on July 17, 1914, at the age of seventy-two years. Politically he was a Republican and was a member of Captain John Matthews Post, No. 69, Grand Army of the Republic, in which he was quartermaster sergeant.

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