Biography - Martha A. Goodwin

MRS. MARTHA A. (WOOD) GOODWIN, a native of Shelby County, this state, born near the town of Woodburn, Macoupin County, comes of the old pioneer stock of Illinois, and is a daughter of David B. Wood, a prominent and well-known citizen of her native county. She is the widow of Thomas Goodwin, a former prosperous farmer of Penn Township, and she still occupies the old farm on sections 31 and 32, where she helped her husband make a comfortable home in which the most of their married life was passed.
Mrs. Goodwin's father was born in Kentucky, of which State his father, James Wood, was also a native and a pioneer. The grandfather of our subject came from Kentucky to Illinois and was one of the first settlers near the present site of Bunker Hill, Macoupin County. At that time the surrounding country contained but few white inhabitants, and deer, wild turkeys and other game were still plentiful. There were no railways and for several years Alton and St. Louis were the nearest markets for the pioneers. Grandfather Wood improved a good farm upon which he resided until his demise.
Mrs. Goodwin's father was young when his parents left his early Kentucky home to seek another in the untried wilderness of Illinois. He was reared to agricultural pursuits, and the old farm south of Woodburn that his father developed from a state of nature is now in his possession and he still makes it his home. He has arisen to an important place among the farmers and stock-raisers of Macoupin County and is known for the integrity of his character, his sound wisdom and his worth as a citizen. The maiden name of his first wife, mother of Mrs. Goodwin, was Barbara Davis. She died when her daughter was very young. His second wife was Mary Clanton, a native of South Carolina.
Mrs. Goodwin was carefully trained in her girlhood in all useful household duties, and among other things learned to card and spin, and after her marriage she spun the wool to make her husband a suit of clothes. She continued an inmate of her father's household until she was wedded in 1865 to Thomas Goodwin, a most worthy young man of English birth and ancestry. Their union was one of mutual helpfulness and happiness, and among its blessings were the eight children born to them — Jennie, Samuel, Maria, Hattie, John, Rose, George and Daisy. Jennie died when young, and Maria, who was married to William Wyatt and resided in Johnson City, Tenn., died August 18, 1891. The children occupy the old home with their mother. Mrs. Goodwin is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church and in all things is a consistent Christian.
Thomas Goodwin was born at Vale Mills, Stoke-upon-Trent, England, May 1, 1835. His parents were Thomas and Jane Goodwin, and they were also natives of England. They came to America in 1844 and located in Madison County, this State, where the father spent the remainder of his life. The mother passed her last years in Macoupin County whither she removed after the death of her husband.
Mrs. Goodwin's husband was a boy of nine years when his parents brought him to America. He was reared and educated in Madison County and in early manhood adopted the calling of farmer as his life-work. In 1867 he came to Penn Township and bought a tract of wild prairie land on sections 31 and 32, and threw his whole energies into the pioneer task of reclaiming it. He was exceedingly industrious, working early and late to accomplish his undertaking, and in due time his labors were rewarded and the change that he wrought made him one of the best farms in the neighborhood. He placed his land under fine cultivation, erected neat and orderly buildings, and planted fruit, shade and ornamental trees to make his home more attractive. Here he laid down his life ere yet it had passed its meridian, closing his eyes in the dreamless sleep of death February 21, 1884, leaving behind him the record of years well-spent and a tender memory of a kind husband, a good father and a just and true neighbor and friend.

Extracted 07 Apr 2017 by Norma Hass from 1891 Portrait and Biographical Record of Shelby and Moultrie Counties Illinois, pages 235-236.

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