Front Page Titles (by Subject) PART I: Family Life and Early Background - The Goodriches: An American Family
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PART I: Family Life and Early Background - Dane Starbuck, The Goodriches: An American Family 
The Goodriches: An American Family (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 2001).
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Family Life and Early Background
An American Family
The [early] Americans were tough men fighting for a very tough idea. How they won their battles is a story for the schoolbooks, studied by scholars, wrapped in myths by historians and poets.
theodore h. white, “The American Idea”
Who were James P. Goodrich and his son, Pierre F. Goodrich? What about their family? No, they didn’t manufacture automobile tires. They were not related, at least not directly, to the B. F. Goodrich tire clan of Akron, Ohio. They were highly ambitious businessmen from Indiana, a breed emblematic of the American ideal that began with the Founding Fathers: men who possessed a vision of success and independence for themselves and their country and went out and worked hard to realize it.
It is understandable if you have never heard of them. Indeed, it would be surprising if you had. Both James and Pierre valued privacy. In James Goodrich’s case, this was highly unusual, because he had a public profile in politics during most of his life. As for Pierre, he eschewed attention even more than his father did. Just months before his death in 1973, Pierre told an interviewer, “I just never saw any need to have publicity. What good is publicity unless you plan to run for public office? And I never did.”1
Pierre was in many ways elusive, a person with a pattern of so little self-disclosure that even people who “knew him” were puzzled by the man. The late Henry Regnery, a longtime Chicago publisher, remarked, “I saw Mr. Goodrich on a good many occasions, traveled with him for several days in Europe, but I am beginning to wonder how well I really knew him.”2 Fred Young, a retired vice-president of Harris Bank in Chicago, responded in a similar manner:
As many times as he came to see me and as much time as I spent with him I now realize that I did not know the gentleman very well. He always came to the Harris Bank prepared to discuss what he wanted to discuss. He did not come to discuss Pierre Goodrich. . . .
Back in those days I was traveling extensively through Indiana selling our Investment Service to bank trust departments and insurance companies. I would look for occasions when it seemed advantageous to me to mention my good friend Pierre Goodrich. But the response invariably was, “Who?” I did not understand how a man could be so rich and so influential in his state yet seem to be so little known among people that you would expect to know him well. . . . [I]t is too bad that more people didn’t know him because he was one of the most phenomenal people that I have ever met.3
Similarly, James Goodrich preferred accomplishment to recognition. His brother Percy wrote in 1948, several years after James’s death:
[James] was an indefatigable worker and very earnest in everything he did and was one of the three greatest Governors the State ever had. . . . It is strange when there are so many school houses, roads, parks, etc. [in Indiana] that nothing was ever named in his honor and I am not desiring to blame anyone for it. I believe it was his reticence to appear in the limelight. . . . He would organize a crowd to go someplace to have a political rally and then at the last minute would slip out to do some obscure work elsewhere.4
James P. and Pierre F. Goodrich were members of a family that built a financial dynasty in Indiana that began with five Goodrich brothers in the 1880s and continued for nearly one hundred years. Both were attorneys and businessmen, and both were public-minded, but in different ways. Beyond being an entrepreneurial genius, James served as head of the Indiana Republican Party for nearly ten years (1901–10); as the twenty-eighth governor of Indiana (1917–21); and as an adviser to Presidents Warren G. Harding, Calvin Coolidge, and Herbert Hoover, and to the national Republican Party. Pierre’s achievements were more restricted to business and intellectual pursuits. He was chairman of the board of the Ayrshire Collieries Corporation (1946–69), president and CEO of the Indiana Telephone Corporation (1934–73), president and CEO of Peoples Loan and Trust Company (1940–73), and director of dozens of other companies. He also served as an officer and director of numerous educational foundations, including the one that he established himself, Liberty Fund, Inc., of Indianapolis, Indiana.
Both men were driven, ambitious, stubborn, and indefatigable. For both, twelve- and even fourteen-hour workdays were not uncommon. In later life, Pierre occasionally worked all night just to prove to himself that he could still do it.5 “Pierre was one of the hardest working people I ever knew,” said Richard Swallow, chief engineer at Ayrshire Collieries for thirty-seven years.6
“It was hard to live up to his expectations,” stated Gilbert Snider, an attorney in Goodrich’s law firm, adding: “Pierre was so brilliant. What most people thought was the norm was the bottom for him. You sometimes got dismayed that you worked like a dog and to find it just barely reached his minimum standard.”7
After James Goodrich’s death, the former Indiana Appellate Court judge Charles F. Remy recalled the former governor’s work habits:
I was one of the judges of the Appellate Court, with offices in the Statehouse, and, therefore, was very familiar with the work of his administration. During [James Goodrich’s] term as governor, he was usually the first state officer to arrive at the Statehouse. Much of the time he was at his desk in the governor’s office at seven o’clock in the morning. . . . He gave his best he had every day, every week, every month, and every year of his four-year term.8
If the two men shared many similarities, they also possessed many differences: James Goodrich was a hard-hitting, decisive man, quick to analyze a situation and then to act.9 It was these qualities that made him such an imposing governor.10
Pierre . . . by contrast was, or appeared to others to be, laborious and tedious in arriving at decisions, often ambivalent and equivocal, sometimes mysterious. He worried and stewed about problems, consulted others, disregarded their advice once given, explored alternatives, checked and double-checked his own tentative conclusions. It was an exhausting process for those who worked with him. But when he acted finally, the results, for him at least, were almost always beneficial.11
The painstaking, almost soul-searching process by which Pierre made even the simplest of decisions revealed a man who, although essentially shy, desired to remain in control. A more charitable assessment of Pierre’s decision-making style suggests a conscious reason for his deliberateness. Professor Benjamin A. Rogge, who delivered the eulogy at Pierre’s funeral in 1973, stated at the memorial service, “[Mr. Goodrich] recognized that only when we were pressing him for a decision could he command our attention sufficiently to make us truly listen to and try to understand the philosophy behind all of his decision-making—a philosophy that he believed we, too, must understand and know how to apply if we were to be fully useful in our joint endeavors.”12 Alan Russell, who worked for Goodrich in the telephone industry and is now chairman of Liberty Fund, gave a slightly different response: “Pierre never made a decision. The proposer made the decision in the end. But you had a dialogue with Pierre until he knew you were going to reach the right answer.”13
In other words, Goodrich used the Socratic method of inquiry to induce the proposer to reach a conclusion. This approach could be maddening to traditional management types who simply wanted a yes or no answer. Pierre was no less enigmatic when it came to his demeanor. He could be taciturn or engage in a discussion for hours if the topic was about some business decision or, more likely, some philosophical insight that interested him. His father had little time for scholastic exercises. James Goodrich’s confident, aggressive, risk-taking nature would not tolerate such a roundabout approach. He looked for quick results. Thus, in terms of personality, the two men seemed, in many ways, to be opposites.
Their temperaments were also different. As a boy growing up in post–Civil War times, James Goodrich could be confrontational and a bit of a roughhouser. He was not afraid to get into neighborhood scraps when the need arose. Pierre, despite a tough-minded and businesslike exterior, was more sensitive and less prone to confrontation. He found it nearly impossible to fire an employee. Rather, he took a cautious approach when hiring employees, preferring to interview dozens of potential candidates for several hours each (sometimes for several days) in the hope that he could find just the right person for the position.14 Moreover, Pierre had an aesthetic appreciation far greater than that of his father. A close cousin of Pierre’s described his love of beauty as almost feminine.15 He knew all about cats, how they liked to be petted and nurtured. He had a love of music, art, and flowers, and was able to identify dozens of species of flowers by their botanical as well as common names. He became an aficionado of gemstones, coffees, and fine wines (despite being a teetotaler most of his life).16
James Goodrich was described by some as a peculiar man, balding, of medium height, bespectacled, and with searching eyes that seemed to hide what he was thinking. During the last twenty years of his life, he walked with the use of a cane as the result of an automobile accident that almost killed him while he was governor. James Goodrich was unquestionably driven, even up to the time of his death. In 1940, ill but having weathered the worst of the Great Depression, he was quoted as saying, “I know I am very sick and I know I am going to die. And I hate it terribly because I know there will be a lot of money made in the next few years.”17 The former governor was clearly aware of his money-making skills. In retirement, Goodrich once told an interviewer he had “to check on himself to keep from making too much.”18
Pierre was more distinguished and robust than his father. He had a mop of white hair, a rough complexion, somewhat cherubic cheeks, and a youthful disposition that lasted into his later years. He was generally serious, having what many described as a “strong personality” and a reserved, malcontent attitude. Yet Pierre would occasionally display a lighter side.19 Pierre, like his father, had a penchant for making money, but he was driven by other motives as well. Nobel Prize–winning economist Milton Friedman, now a senior fellow with the Hoover Institution, fondly remembers Pierre for his depth of thought and strongly held views:
I was a personal friend of Pierre Goodrich and a great admirer of him. The occasion for my meeting him was a series of summer programs at Wabash College. . . . I recall many an exciting and pleasant evening spent discussing issues ranging over a very wide area with Pierre Goodrich. He was extraordinarily widely read, very knowledgeable, and deeply interested in a great variety of issues.
He had thought deeply about philosophical issues and was a convinced libertarian who believed in minimal government. Indeed, he would have liked a world in which there was no government involvement at all, in which primary reliance was placed on the free market as the best defender of human liberty. [H]e also was a remarkably keen student of current politics and economics. . . . That was the respect in which I enjoyed our conversations the most.20
The late Russell Kirk, prominent scholar and lecturer, remembered Pierre’s demeanor as noteworthy:
A certain austerity, a dry humor, and an uprightness of character were joined in him with a passion for booklearning. . . . He was what would be called in Europe a high bourgeois; but we have in Britain and America no proper equivalent of that term. Although very civil and interesting in conversation, he always maintained a dignity of demeanor and a certain reserve.
A stickler for punctuality, [Mr. Goodrich] once informed me that he had telephoned my library about nine o’clock in the morning, and nobody answered; he thought I might like to know that, since it suggests that my assistants might be unpunctual.21
Harold Rogers, a former history teacher at Winchester High School, Pierre’s alma mater, once remarked that a sign of Goodrich’s intelligence was that he knew his limitations and stayed within them.22 Rosanna Amos, a secretary to Goodrich, echoed Rogers’s observation: “Mr. Goodrich was not a speechmaker and he knew it.”23
Both James and Pierre had lilting voices that were not suited to public speaking. James abhorred making a speech and preferred the backroom maneuvering that made him such an effective businessman and political strategist.24 In this regard, father and son were alike. When Pierre did preside, he had the annoying habit of jumping from topic to topic in a stream-of-consciousness manner. It often made it nearly impossible for listeners to follow him. Jack Charles, a retired Wabash College history professor, recalls:
My chief involvement with Pierre was in connection with his enthusiasm for “Great Books” discussion groups. For a couple of years in the late ’40s I was driving all over Indiana to lead groups that Pierre had persuaded local citizens to organize; frequently he would decide to be my co-leader. The result was disastrous. He was a very poor [discussion] leader, and when he intervened with some complicated and rambling question or comment the discussion ground to a halt.25
Fortunately, Goodrich learned, at least in business situations, to let others do the talking—men like his longtime law partners Albert Campbell and Claude Warren. “But as I quickly learned,” said Gilbert Snider, “Pierre Goodrich made all the decisions. In the meetings prior to the court or utility hearings it was very clear who had thought out what was to be said and the strategy that the presenting lawyer was to follow.”26
Despite this brief introduction, the questions remain: Why should we care about James and Pierre Goodrich and the Goodrich family? What about them should interest us to the point that it is worth our time to read a book about a family dynasty that is essentially gone? How does a study of them deepen our understanding beyond simple knowledge of the family itself?
I believe there are several answers to these questions. They are, however, not self-evident. They can be answered only after one has answered still other questions. First, how did five brothers raised as farm boys shortly after the Civil War create a financial dynasty that included various industries: agriculture, natural gas, coal, oil, telephones, banking, securities, newspapers, transportation? Second, to what degree did the circumstances and beliefs of the times—political, economic, ethical, and religious—contribute to these five brothers’ achievements? Third, what was James Goodrich’s role in leading the Republican Party in Indiana during the first twenty years of the twentieth century and the state generally during World War I, when he served as governor (1917–21)? Fourth, what essential role did James Goodrich play in the great Russian famine-relief program and in furthering diplomatic relations between the United States and the Soviet Union in the 1920s? Fifth, what tremendous social changes took place in the United States in the twentieth century that compelled Pierre Goodrich to establish Liberty Fund from the profits of the sale of the Goodrich companies? Sixth, why did Pierre Goodrich believe that the study of liberty is of central importance if our society is to withstand the growing political, economic, and social dependency that has earmarked the last half of the twentieth century?
An exploration of the above questions, I believe, enables us to gain greater insight into more than just the Goodriches. An exploration into these questions facilitates a greater appreciation for how the business, political, religious, and ethical values of a quintessentially American family were largely responsible for that family’s financial success, James Goodrich’s own political ambitions, and the belief systems of nineteenth- and early twentieth-century Americans in general. I believe that, for the Goodrich family, work in the business arena amounted to a calling. James’s and Pierre’s identities were largely shaped by what they did. The reader will also learn how family and physical location held a special place in the hearts of the Goodriches, helping to define their sense of identity both publicly and privately.
We arrived at our Present place of abode on White River, Randolph County, Ind., . . . after a long and Tedious journey. We arrived here without any Lives lost or Limbs broke, and that is all we can say. If I was to tell you of the many Difficulties we have encountered in moving here, extreme bad weather, dangerous Roads in consequence of Ice, you would hardly believe me, and, therefore, I shall say nothing about it. We are all in good health and spirits at Present, and we are well Pleased with the country as far as we have yet seen. . . .
edmund b. goodrich, grandfather of James P. Goodrich, letter, 1832*
James putnam goodrich was born on February 18, 1864, in Winchester, Indiana, toward the end of arguably the most significant event in American history: the Civil War. His middle name was taken from the name of his maternal grandmother, Jane Gray Putnam Edger, a common practice at the time. James’s delivery into the world occurred just two weeks before President Abraham Lincoln appointed a little-known general and former tanner, Ulysses S. Grant, commander in chief of the Union forces. The future Indiana governor was preceded by two older brothers: Ernest, who died shortly after birth in 1860; and Percy Edgar “P. E.,” who was born in 1861. Three younger Goodrich brothers followed: John Baldwin (1866), Edward Shields (1868), and William Wallace (1871).
The origins of the Goodrich family are worth noting. More than one hundred years earlier, in the mid 1700s, three Goodrich brothers crossed the Atlantic Ocean from England to the United States. The three men were descendants of an aristocratic clan that had sided with the Royalists and King Charles, fighting Oliver Cromwell at Goodrich Castle on the River Tyne in the mid 1600s. Ruins of Goodrich Castle exist even to this day.1 Regarding the origin of their family name, Calvin and Percy Goodrich wrote: “The meaning usually given to Goodrich is ‘rich in Godliness.’ Yet an early definition of ‘good’ was ‘gather.’ That which was gathered was ‘goods.’ So a Goodrich of the Saxon day in England may have been a notable accumulator of personal possessions rather than a man distinguished for sanctity and good works.”2 The possible dual origin of the name seems appropriate for a family who would build a financial dynasty in the midst of post-Reformation religious values.
The three Goodrich brothers arrived in Massachusetts, but one, Edmund B. Goodrich, eventually settled in Petersburg, Virginia. The sequence of generations from there is complicated because of the number of children who are named for a father or mother.
Edmund B. Goodrich had eight children, including a son, John Baldwin Goodrich. John Baldwin Goodrich, born in 1783, became a teacher, lawyer, and land conveyor. He practiced law with Baldwin Pearse, soon to be his father-in-law, beginning in approximately 1800. John B. Goodrich later became president of the Blacksburg Virginia Academy. Today, the successor of that institution is known as Virginia Polytechnic Institution (VPI). In 1802, Goodrich married Rebecca Pearse of Ambrose County, Virginia, the daughter of Baldwin Pearse. Rebecca was just thirteen when the couple married. Between 1803 and 1828, they had fourteen children, including Edmund Baldwin, who was born about 1805 and was named for his paternal grandfather.
John Baldwin Goodrich died from a fall from a horse in September 1828. His death left Rebecca, at age thirty-nine, a widow with fourteen children. The sale of John Baldwin’s assets occurred in February 1829. After his debts were paid off, Rebecca was left with only two hundred dollars. Two and a half years later, Rebecca decided to leave Blacksburg to join other family members near Fort Wayne, Indiana. Therefore, in December 1831, the Goodriches sold their one slave and packed up all the personal possessions they could load onto two horse-drawn wagons. Led by Rebecca, a willowy woman who never weighed more than ninety pounds, the Goodriches left Blacksburg and headed northwest by foot, destined for northeastern Indiana, a distance of almost four hundred miles. One of the grandchildren in the Goodrich clan was a three-month-old baby, John B. Goodrich, who would become James Goodrich’s father.3
The Goodriches had crossed the western tip of West Virginia, the frozen Ohio River, and much of southern Ohio before they entered eastern Indiana in January 1832. The “roads” were little more than muddy Indian trails and animal paths. As one Hoosier “poet” wrote about the poor traveling conditions in a local tavern registry:
It was not a road, however, but a river that kept the Goodrich family in east-central Indiana. They were traveling northwest of Winchester, Indiana, on their way to Fort Wayne, when one of their wagons broke down as they attempted to ford the White River. Winchester served as the county seat of Randolph County, which, until 1823, stretched clear to the Michigan state line, some 120 miles northward. It was on the outskirts of Winchester that the family chose to settle, some seventy miles south of Fort Wayne. According to legend, when the broken wagon impeded the Goodriches’ journey north, the diminutive matriarch, Rebecca Goodrich, exclaimed to her family that she had had enough of the arduous journey and they would go no farther, “one swamp being as good as another.”5
The Goodrich family settled in Randolph County only sixteen years after Indiana had become a state. Thickly wooded and sparsely populated, the county had been occupied by Miami and Delaware Indians until the 1840s. In 1846, the federal government marched the tribes’ remaining members to Toledo, Ohio, to begin what was known as the Trail of Tears. They were subsequently loaded on rafts and floated down the canal system to Cincinnati, Ohio, and from there to St. Louis, Missouri, on the Ohio and Mississippi rivers. Many died along the way. Eventually, the Miamis were transported to Kansas and, later, to Oklahoma, where they ended up on reservations.6
In the early 1800s, the Goodriches were one of several hundred pioneer families that had come to eastern Indiana from the Carolinas and Virginia. Winchester was a deeply religious community. In February 1832, it was the site of the largest branch of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in Indiana. The founder of the Mormon Church, Joseph Smith, visited the Winchester branch of more than one hundred believers in July 1834. He performed several baptisms of converts in the Mississinewa River, north of Winchester. When several members of the Mormon congregation left for Missouri in the spring of 1832, the Goodrich family bought land northeast of Winchester from a departing Mormon farmer.7
One of the first written references to a Goodrich family member is contained in a history of Jay County, just north of Randolph County. The reference reads: “In 1834, the families scattered over the south part of the county began to think their settlement of sufficient importance to be under the restraint of law. Prior to this they had enjoyed unlimited freedom. When Mr. Goodrich, Collector of Randolph County, came to collect taxes, every man positively refused to pay. The collector laughed, said that any one who dared come out there to open a forest, ought not to pay tax, and returned.”8
Edmund B. Goodrich, who was James Goodrich’s grandfather, may well have been the tax collector referred to. He also studied law and served as judge of the Randolph County Probate Court. He is described by an early Randolph County history as “a strong temperance man, and a leading member of the Methodist Episcopal Church.”9 His son, John Baldwin Goodrich, who was just three months old when the Goodriches left Virginia for Indiana, also grew up to become a lawyer in Randolph County. In the 1850s, John Goodrich practiced law with his uncle, Carey Goodrich, and with Enos L. Watson. Enos Watson would become the father of James E. Watson, future United States Senate majority leader and lifelong friend of James P. Goodrich.
In addition to practicing law, John B. Goodrich became politically active, serving as county Republican chairman and road commissioner. He was elected Randolph County clerk in 1861 and was reelected in 1865. In 1859, John B. Goodrich married Elizabeth Edger, who had grown up in nearby Deerfield, Indiana. They had both attended the Winchester Seminary in the 1850s. At that time, public schools for general education had not yet been established; in many communities, seminaries provided both basic secular and religious education. Before her marriage, Elizabeth Edger had also attended Liber College in Portland, Indiana, a small academy begun in 1853 by a zealous Presbyterian minister.10 She was a redheaded beauty whose Protestant father, Edward Edger, was born in county Derry, Ireland, before his family immigrated to the United States in 1807.11 Edger had married Jane Putnam in November 1833, and they had two sons and five daughters, including Elizabeth.12
James Goodrich’s maternal grandfather, Edward Edger, lived a remarkable pioneer life. In the 1820s, prior to locating in Indiana, he piloted steamboats down the Mississippi and Ohio rivers. In the 1830s, he drove hogs from Indiana to the Carolinas. And for many years he traded with local Indians in northern Randolph County, floating the goods he traded for down the Indiana river system by raft to the Ohio and Mississippi rivers and eventually to St. Louis. There he would sell the goods, pocket the gold payment, and walk hundreds of miles back to his home in Randolph County. Edward Edger also became a small-time banker. He even dabbled in politics, serving one term in the Indiana General Assembly (1843–45). In 1860, he started a grain operation on the very spot on which his grandsons would establish in 1898 the Goodrich Brothers Grain and Hay Company. His wife, Jane Putnam Edger, was a devoted member of the Presbyterian Church.13
James Goodrich’s father, John B. Goodrich, was a deeply religious Congregationalist who was the superintendent of his local church’s Sunday school. He was also the father of five surviving sons. In 1938, James Goodrich wrote about his father in his unpublished autobiography: “Often men would come to me in the early years of my life and say to me, ‘if you are half as good a man as your father was, you will be all right.’”14 Thus, the seeds of political involvement and religious heritage were planted early in the Goodrich family history. The significance of this religious heritage may be illustrated by a vignette. When James Goodrich was campaigning for governor in 1916, a local man by the name of John Callahan came to him and said that he owed his life to Goodrich’s father. Callahan told James Goodrich,
I met your father in the woods on the Goodrich farm, Northeast of Winchester, one Sunday afternoon, and he spoke to me about my excessive drinking. I told your Father I had tried very hard to quit but it seemed I was unable to do so. I have time and again resolved never to touch it again only to yield when liquor was available. Your father said to me, “The trouble with you, John, is you are depending upon your own strength. If you will ask the help of God you will be able to overcome your habit,” and he then asked me to get down on my knees with him in the woods and ask God’s help. Your father put his arm around me and asked God to help and strengthen me, and from that day to this I have never touched liquor in any form.15
Toward the end of 1871, John B. Goodrich became ill with tuberculosis. He finally left his family in October 1872 to travel south in the hope of regaining his health, but he died in Atlanta, Georgia, on November 2. John B. Goodrich, deceased at forty-one, left his widow, Elizabeth, thirty-two, with five sons: Percy Edgar, eleven; James Putnam, eight; John Baldwin, six; Edward Shields, four; and William Wallace, sixteen months.16
The Goodrich family owned approximately five hundred acres of Randolph County farm ground at the time of John Goodrich’s death. Nonetheless, the Goodriches were far from being a wealthy family. It was through the strength of Elizabeth Edger Goodrich, who never remarried but raised five rambunctious and strong-willed sons by herself, that the family slowly gained wealth and influence in Indiana. The Goodrich brothers were known throughout their lives as tough business competitors. They worked in concert for their mutual benefit. This sense of familial protection, of looking out for each other, had been instilled in the brothers from their childhood. James Goodrich recounts the stability his mother brought to these five fatherless boys:
My mother was a woman of wonderful character, great common sense, and with faith as firm as my father’s. . . . Her life was devoted entirely to her children. Her sons were not all alike. She was continually looking out for those of us who needed assistance. Above all else she urged us to stand together. I remember one circumstance when she had the five boys around her and handed to us a bundle of five sticks, bound tightly together, and asked us to break the bundle. This we had not strength enough to do. She untied the bundle and handed us the separate sticks and we had no difficulty in breaking them one by one. She used this as an illustration emphasizing the importance of standing by each other and said to us, “As long as you boys do so no one can harm you; should you become divided failure will be your lot.”17
All the Goodrich brothers enjoyed successful business careers, but none of them had the financial acumen or ambition that James possessed. Even as a small boy, James Goodrich had learned to turn a profit through painstaking physical labor. He worked long, hard hours on the family’s farms in the 1870s and 1880s: He planted and harvested crops, ditched fields, sawed and piled wood for neighbors for fifty cents a cord, ran a threshing machine, and baled hay.18 Life on a farm in post–Civil War times was difficult, requiring unusual ingenuity and frugality. James Goodrich recalled:
Money was scarce and hard to get. We produced everything we possibly could. We ran our lye and made our own soap. We planted a bit of sugar cane and made our own sorghum. We also planted a little patch of broom corn and made our own broom. We tapped the trees in what we then called the “sugar camp,” on which is now located the Goodrich Experimental Farm, and made our own syrup and sugar. We molded our own candles using tallow from the sheep we killed, hardened with bees wax, which came from the hives of bees we always kept.19
Life was not all hard work and drudgery, however. In the Goodrich brothers’ free time, they managed to entertain themselves by playing cards and marbles, attending local dances, and attempting to play musical instruments. In July 1876, when James Goodrich was just twelve years old, he and his older brother Percy, who was just fourteen, traveled alone to Philadelphia to attend the country’s Centennial Exposition. They stayed for ten days, visited Liberty Hall and the Liberty Bell, and saw what was then considered a bawdy performance by a woman who appeared on stage “clad [only] in tights from head to foot.”20 Roughhousing was not uncommon for the boys either. James Goodrich recalled:
Winchester was then divided into two sections by what is now the Big Four Railroad—that part along the north side of the road was called “Goose Pasture” and south of the road was called “Dog Town,” and rivalry between the two sections very great. In Goose Pasture there was a lot of Irish, Fitzgeralds, Lavins, Currans, Radys, Ryans, and I was one-quarter Irish myself—we could usually lick the fellows on the south side and did so when the provocation seemed to justify a resort to physical force.21
James Goodrich’s boyhood seems to have been marked by hard work, study, and a desire to get ahead. In only a few years, he would be exposed to the most important activities of his successful life: business and politics.
Youth and Experience
Life [in the 1870s] was hard but it was wholesome. There was plenty of work to do and the problem of how to keep the child busy didn’t exist in those days.
james p. goodrich, “Autobiography”
In the summer of 1880, between his junior and senior years at Winchester High School, James Goodrich worked to develop the Fountain Park Cemetery, located on the south edge of Winchester. The forty-acre site had recently been purchased and donated to the town by Asahel Stone, a former Civil War general. Stone had achieved recognition by serving as quartermaster general for Indiana during the war. His responsibilities included securing supplies, provisions, and medical attention for Hoosier soldiers in the field. He became a legend in his own right, building one of the largest mansions in east-central Indiana, at the south end of Meridian Street in Winchester. General Stone also served in Indiana’s General Assembly (1848–49, 1871–73) and was the third president of the Randolph County Bank.1
For all his hard manual labor in the cemetery, James Goodrich earned only slightly more than a dollar a day for ten hours of labor.2 Yet the future Indiana governor was able to save enough that summer not only to meet his own personal expenses but also to make small loans to “less industrious companions.”3 One such companion was James E. Watson, a classmate of Jim Goodrich’s from the time they were small children. Jim Goodrich was pleased to have the work and decided to ask James Watson if he would be interested in a job as well. Goodrich recorded the incident in his autobiography:
Jim Watson never had any money and at my suggestion he agreed to work at the cemetery and I got Uncle Billy to give him a job. He worked until noon the first day—didn’t show up at 1 o’clock. I went to see what the trouble was. Watson lived then at the old home place two blocks north of the cemetery [on South Main Street next to the Winchester Nazarene Church]. I found him lying under a cherry tree, face sunburned, hands blistered, and thoroughly disgusted with physical work. He told me he would not go back to that “damn place” for all the money in the world.4
James Goodrich and James Watson attended the local Winchester schools together and graduated from Winchester High School in 1881. Their studies were rigorous and included geometry, trigonometry, higher algebra, Stoddard’s Mental Arithmetic, literature, history, and Virgil. Among the other seven graduating classmates were James Goodrich’s older brother Percy; John Commons, who later obtained a doctorate in economics and served as head of the economics department at the University of Wisconsin; and Cora J. Frist, whom James Goodrich would marry seven years later.5 The school had no library at the time and no visible means of raising funds to establish one. Therefore, in 1880, the students relied on their ingenuity and decided to establish a lecture series in order to raise money for a library. Joseph Farrand Tuttle, president of Wabash College in Crawfordsville, Indiana, delivered the first lecture. The second presenter was Indiana’s beloved poet James Whitcomb Riley. Riley returned to lecture in 1881, although neither time did the class raise enough money to pay the total amount of his fees.6
James Watson and James Goodrich remained lifelong friends, although their friendship was often marred by political rivalry and jealousy. For example, in his memoirs, written in 1936, Watson does not mention James Goodrich even once.7 Watson later served in the United States House of Representatives and Senate for nearly thirty years. In addition to being the United States Senate majority leader from 1929 to 1933, Watson held the position of majority whip under the well-known Speaker of the House Joseph Cannon from 1904 to 1908. Moreover, in 1908, eight years before James Goodrich would win the office himself, Watson was the Republican candidate for governor of Indiana.
Cora Frist, an attractive and bright young woman, had moved to Winchester in 1879 from Lynn, Indiana, a small town ten miles south of Winchester. Cora was born in Middleborough, in Wayne County, Indiana, in 1861. She was more than two years older than James Goodrich. Her parents were Jonas Frist, a native of Preble County, Ohio, and the former Amy Stidham, who had been reared in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Cora had a younger sister by the name of Toda (“Todie”). Her father had operated a tile company in Lynn before moving to Winchester. Cora would be courted by both James Goodrich and James Watson.8
In 1881, after graduating from Winchester High School, James Goodrich, James Watson, and Cora Frist took the Indiana state teacher’s licensing examination. At the time, neither a college degree nor course work was required in order to teach in Indiana. All three passed the examination and subsequently began teaching in Randolph County schools. James Watson, however, quit teaching after only a week to attend Asbury College in Greencastle, Indiana, which, within a year, was to be renamed DePauw University. Ironically, James Goodrich was asked by the local school superintendent to replace Watson. He took the position and began teaching twelve students in a one-room schoolhouse five miles southwest of Winchester. At the time, more than one hundred one-room schoolhouses dotted the Randolph County countryside.9
James Goodrich had planned to teach for only one year. From childhood, Goodrich had dreamed of a naval career. He had long been fascinated by the prospects of a life at sea, largely because of the stories of relatives, especially those of an uncle, Will Gilpatrick. Gilpatrick had become a rear admiral in the United States Navy shortly after the Civil War.10 In the autumn of 1881, James Goodrich received an appointment to the United States Naval Academy from Congressman Thomas M. Browne of Winchester. Browne had represented the Sixth Congressional District since 1876; he had served as a brigadier general in the Civil War and was the Republican gubernatorial candidate in the election of 1872. He was also a first cousin to James Watson’s mother.11
In 1881, James Goodrich had passed the written examination and was waiting for formal admission to the Naval Academy at Annapolis, Maryland. Sadly, the young man was forced to give up his dream. Just four weeks after he began teaching, a tree limb fell on him while he was shaking free hickory nuts. James was knocked temporarily unconscious, and his right hip was badly broken, which made it impossible for him to pass the Naval Academy’s rigorous physical examination.12
Goodrich farmed and taught another year at a schoolhouse of sixty students three miles east of Winchester. Then, in September 1883, after two years of teaching, James Goodrich followed his good friend James Watson to DePauw University. Because of his advanced studies in high school, Goodrich was admitted as a conditional sophomore. At DePauw, he joined the Phi Kappa Psi Fraternity and became the friend of another brilliant student and orator by the name of Albert Beveridge. Beveridge, like James Watson, would become a prominent United States senator from Indiana and a gubernatorial candidate.13 Goodrich noted an intense rivalry and jealousy between Watson and Beveridge that would last the rest of their lives. “Beveridge was tireless in his work,” Goodrich recalled, while “Watson was lazy but his great natural ability and amazing memory carried him through.”14
Goodrich and Watson left DePauw in 1885 before either obtained a degree. James Goodrich was forced to quit after only two years because he had exhausted his finances, and James Watson was expelled just days before he was scheduled to graduate, because he had written and published an obscene pamphlet about the male students of the sophomore class.15
Unsure of his future, Goodrich decided to pursue farming. He sought his fortune in the Red River Valley in a territory that was simply known as “Dakota.” It would not be until four years later that the territory became divided into the separate states of North Dakota and South Dakota. During the latter part of the summer of 1885, he and his uncle, John “Ches” Macy, worked on a farm about twenty miles southwest of Big Stone Lake in what is now South Dakota. The two men lived in a sod house and stayed long enough to harvest a wheat crop and plant five hundred acres of spring wheat. In the fall of 1885, Goodrich attempted to buy a wheat ranch from a Swedish farmer by the name of Johnny Gustason, but the deal fell through when they could not agree upon a price. Upon the advice of Ches Macy, James returned to Indiana and took up the study of law.16
Expelled from DePauw in May, James Watson had already returned to Winchester by this time. Goodrich joined him, and the two became students together again, this time studying law under the former Randolph circuit court judge John J. Cheney and Enos Watson, James Watson’s father. For fifteen months, James Watson and James Goodrich recited each morning from such great common-law writers as Blackstone, Chitty, and Kent, and then served their apprenticeships in the afternoons. They were admitted to Indiana’s bar on November 2, 1886.17
The two future politicians practiced law for the next seven years (1887–94) in offices above the old Randolph County Bank at the northeast corner of Washington and Meridian streets in Winchester. Watson first practiced with his father, while James Goodrich became a partner with his uncle Ches Macy and Ed Jaqua in the firm of Macy, Jaqua and Goodrich. Goodrich learned the rudiments of lawyering by drafting deeds, mortgages, and contracts, and by representing clients before the justice of the peace.18 In 1892, the small firm merged with that of Enos and James Watson and became known as Watson, Macy and Goodrich. In November 1892, Enos Watson became ill and was forced to retire. He passed away in January 1893. James Watson took his father’s position in the firm and practiced with Macy and Goodrich until the end of 1893.19
Through all these changes, John Winchester “Ches” Macy remained the constant figure in James Goodrich’s life. Macy was extremely important to the Goodrich family, and his ties extended back to James Goodrich’s father and mother. Macy’s wife, the former Sarah Edger, and James Goodrich’s mother, Elizabeth Edger, were sisters. At the age of nineteen, Macy had joined the Eighty-fourth Indiana Volunteer Infantry, and he fought and was wounded at the Battle of Chickamauga in Georgia. When he returned to Winchester after the Civil War, he first worked under James Goodrich’s father, John B. Goodrich, in the county clerk’s office. He later was elected clerk himself before being elected senator to the Indiana State Assembly for one term (1885–89). At one time or another, Macy held the positions of Randolph County Republican chairman, Republican chairman of the Eighth Congressional District, and Randolph Circuit Court judge (1902–8).20 He became the chief mentor and surrogate father to James Goodrich. The relationship between the two families continued into the next generation. Macy was the father of John Macy, Jr., who became Pierre Goodrich’s first law partner.
By 1885, James Goodrich had had Cora Frist on his mind for several years but had failed to act. The two had many mutual interests, including books, music, and art. Finally, after a whirlwind courtship, James proposed. Still, it would be three years before they would marry. As he wrote to Pierre in his autobiography: “I became engaged to your mother when I was twenty-one years old, and I am sure that the wish to consummate that engagement had much to do with my desire to get into something whereby I could earn an income sufficient to justify our marriage.” The couple married on March 15, 1888, in Cora’s hometown of Lynn. The other four Goodrich brothers would also take brides: Percy married Susan Engle, John married Charlotte Martin, Edward married Elizabeth Neff, and William Wallace married Charlotte Moore. The marriage of James and Cora would last until James Goodrich’s death more than fifty-two years later.21
Initiation into Politics
I became interested in politics at a very early age. I remember as far back as 1876, the campaign when [Rutherford B.] Hayes was really defeated for President by [Samuel J.] Tilden but through maneuvering of Oliver P. Morton and others Hayes was counted in. I was only twelve years old at that time but I distinctly remember one great rally that they held in Winchester.
james p. goodrich, “Autobiography”
In the early 1890s, James Goodrich was described in a Randolph County history as “a rising young lawyer of Winchester.”1 He had been appointed city attorney by the town council at the “huge” salary of $50 per year. In 1888, James’s share in his private legal practice with Macy and Jaqua amounted to $720; he wrote to Pierre that only “by the practice of the most rigid economy [were we] able to save a small portion of that.”2
Although James Goodrich was extremely busy practicing law, he also took an interest in a number of community and fraternal groups. The first was the Granger movement, which he had first joined locally in 1881. The National Grange of the Patrons of Husbandry was established in 1867 to broaden the educational awareness of America’s farmers and to further their interests. By 1875, the National Grange claimed more than 800,000 members in 20,000 local chapters.3 Goodrich also took part in the Knights of Labor, which he was a member of from 1882 until 1894. His association with the labor organization was significant. It gave him an appreciation for the common worker. Goodrich found that while the laborer might not be able to articulate why he thought as he did, he generally reached the right conclusion by instinct. Once a month, James Goodrich would join members of the local chapter on the third floor of the Knights of Labor building, located on the south side of the town square. There the local body debated the issues of the day: secret ballot, woman suffrage, child labor, prohibition, workmen’s compensation, and other matters.4 Goodrich was also a member, along with James Watson, of the Winchester chapter of the Knights of Pythias, a secret fraternal order that engaged in philanthropic activities. James Watson became even more active in this organization than Goodrich, rising to the position of grand chancellor of the order in Indiana in June 1893, the youngest head of the order up to that time. In 1892, Goodrich became a Mason, joining the Winchester Lodge, No. 56.5
In the late 1880s, James Goodrich became deeply involved with politics. Through his uncle Ches Macy, Goodrich learned the art of politicking. Besides serving in the Indiana General Assembly as the joint senator from Delaware and Randolph counties from 1885 to 1889, Macy served at the time as Randolph County Republican chairman. James Goodrich recalls his political indoctrination:
[Uncle Ches] was interested in young men and had a lot of young fellows around him all the time doing the “leg work” and acquiring experience in politics. Nearly all of those in active political life were then members of the Grand Army of the Republic. They were still fighting the Civil War. . . . I was invited into political meetings, or caucuses as we called them, after my uncle became County Chairman and I had great fun hauling in voters and running errands for the County Organization.6
Goodrich’s early participation in politics and law enabled him to associate with local men, mostly attorneys, of great talent and ambition. Besides Macy, these men included Thomas Browne, former general, Republican gubernatorial candidate, and Sixth District congressman; James Watson and his father, Enos Watson, who served in the Indiana General Assembly (1867–69, 1879–81); James S. Engle, who served in the Indiana General Assembly during the time that he was law mentor to Goodrich and James Watson (1885–87); Silas Canada, who served in the General Assembly during the four years in which James acted as Republican county chairman (1896–1900); Union B. Hunt, elected secretary of state (1899–1903); Leander J. Monks, who served as judge on the Indiana Supreme Court from 1895 to 1913; and Frederick S. Caldwell, who would serve as a judge on the Indiana Court of Appeals from 1913 to 1919. Moreover, Isaac P. Gray, who lived just ten miles east of Winchester in Union City, was a former Civil War general, state senator (1868–70), lieutenant governor of Indiana (1876–80), and governor (1880–81, 1885–89). Gray went on to become a Democratic presidential candidate in 1892 and 1896, and United States ambassador to Mexico from 1893 to 1895.7 All of these men from Randolph County were active in law or politics when James Goodrich was just getting his start.
In 1886, Goodrich began his own foray into politics. He was elected precinct councilman and practiced pragmatic politics as he had been taught. Clearly, it was a time before election laws and political ethics as we know them today. Goodrich writes:
Those were the days of open ballot. There was no hesitancy about buying votes and men such as I have mentioned not only countenanced it but engaged in it either directly or indirectly [as a] patriotic duty [where] ends equalled means. The floaters would be with “spirits” and led to the polls early in the morning. It was with a great deal of pride that occasionally I was permitted to lead one of the floaters down to the polls and when there handed him a ticket which he gave to the election clerk and then returned to the headquarters to receive his reward.8
By this time, James Goodrich had become intoxicated himself, not with alcohol, but with the “spirits” of politics. He followed national, state, and local elections with keen interest, but without any apparent desire to become a candidate himself. In 1890, Ches Macy was elected Republican chairman of Indiana’s Eighth Congressional District. As Macy had been Goodrich’s most important mentor in law, so he was in politics. During these early years, James Goodrich met such national political figures as Benjamin Harrison, who was elected president in 1888; William Jennings Bryan, Democratic presidential nominee in 1896, 1900, and 1908; Mark Hanna, a wealthy Ohio industrialist who became national Republican Party chairman; William McKinley, who was elected president in 1896; and Theodore Roosevelt, vice-president under McKinley and later the twenty-sixth president of the United States.9 Contact with these national figures would cause James Goodrich to think about his own political future.
There was another rising young attorney and political star of Winchester by the name of James who had his sights on statewide and national office. By the early 1890s, James Watson had already confided in James Goodrich that he wanted someday to become governor of Indiana and, later, president of the United States. Watson’s first two ventures in politics, however, were complete failures. He withdrew in 1892 as a candidate for joint senator of Randolph and Delaware counties when a Republican Party leader threatened to disclose an incriminating letter that Watson had written to him. Recognizing that he had made too many enemies in Randolph County to pursue a successful political career there, James Watson left his law practice with Macy and Goodrich at the end of 1893.
Watson moved to Rushville, Indiana, the county seat of Rush County, approximately sixty miles southeast of Winchester. He next sought election as Indiana’s secretary of state in 1894. His nomination, made by Goodrich, failed at the state Republican convention. Shortly after his attempt to gain the secretary of state’s post, Watson announced himself as a Republican candidate for Congress. Miraculously, Watson beat a popular thirty-year incumbent in the November 1894 election. Watson’s success was partially a result of his indefatigable campaigning: He had been speaking for the Indiana Republican Party since the age of twenty; in one year alone (1888), he had given more than one hundred political speeches in some forty-six Indiana counties. Watson also attributed his success partially to his ability to address in their native language the large German constituency of his new district. In support of his childhood chum, James Goodrich garnered the backing of the Republican National Committee, and he personally contributed five hundred dollars to Watson’s congressional campaign.10
Ironically, once Watson made it to Washington, D.C., he was none too pleased with the position he had campaigned so exhaustively to gain. In a typically humorous letter to Goodrich, Watson dispels the idea that any glamour was involved in the position.
My Dear Friend:
. . . I am disgusted with the entire life of a Congressman. A member from Indiana is no more than a Fourth-rate Pension Attorney and a distributer of garden seeds and public documents. He has no time to give to questions of great interests. He has no time in which to study the needs of the people or to devote to matters of public legislation. He is simply a dog, and every fellow in his district in the whole state can bawl: “Sic! sic! Take him Towzer!” And he is compelled to take him or lose his job.
The fact is that Congressional life is not what it is supposed to be. Distance lends enchantment to the view. There is a glamor about it which conceals its real character. I came here, expecting something of that kind, because Tom Brown had opened my eyes to it, but it is much worse than I anticipated. . . . We have no time for study. We have no time for intellectual pursuits. We simply answer letters, frank documents and send out garden seeds. It is a life of drudgery and there is nothing easy or delightful about it.
At the same time, I may desire to return. If I do, I shall simply do the best I can when the race comes. If I am beaten, I am out of politics forever. If I win, Heaven only knows what my future will be, but whatever comes, Jim, and whatever may be the changes or mutations of the future, I have never had a friend of whom I have thought more than yourself, and no matter what the days to come may bring forth, that friendship shall remain unchanged.11
Goodrich began to experience politics firsthand himself, making his maiden political speech in 1896. He addressed a crowd of some two thousand in Winchester. He spoke on the issue of whether the country should have two standards of monetary value—one gold, the other silver. The topic now seems archaic and of little consequence. Yet at the time, the “subject of the Gold Standard vs Free Silver at the ratio of 16 to 1 was discussed everywhere where two or more people were gathered together,” Goodrich claimed. He went on to state that the national debate was “the greatest educational campaign ever held in America.”12
James Goodrich’s exposure to local politicking would provide him with experience and lead to bigger opportunities in the realm of politics—leading the Indiana state Republican Party, serving on the national Republican Party’s executive committee, and gaining the governor’s office. He had thrust himself into what was then the great American pastime.
The Early Years, 1894–1900
July 30, 1901
I got your letter. I have been looking after the cellar and it is all right and the water did not get into it. Muggins came over to the house this morning and I gave her some milk and a piece of meat. She was glad to get it and hunted around as if she were hunting for a little boy about the size of Pierre.
I want you to be sure and write to Uncle Percy for he wants to get a letter from you. Keep out as much as you can and play and have a good time. Good bye, dear and write to papa, he is always glad to hear from you and Mamma.
Papa (letter from James Goodrich to Pierre, in Colorado Springs)
James and Cora Goodrich had been married for five years when they expected the birth of their first child. Their anticipation was, however, met with deep sadness. On May 16, 1893, the baby (a girl to whom the couple had already given the name Jean) was born dead. Less than sixteen months later, however, on September 10, 1894, a much happier event occurred when the Goodriches’ son Pierre was born at their East Franklin Street home in Winchester.
On the local scene in Winchester, Pierre’s birth coincided with the “Colossal” Lemen Brothers’ traveling circus. The circus featured Rajah, claimed to be the biggest “brute” (elephant) on earth (circuses, then, as today, were known to do a bit of puffing).1 On the national front, 1894 marked the year that President Grover Cleveland first gave civil servants Christmas Day off. It was also a time when a man was not a substantial member of society unless he wore a mustache. While upcoming years would justify the decade’s being remembered as the “gay nineties,” in September 1894 there was little to be happy about. The country was plunged into one of the worst depressions in its history.2
The causes of the disastrous economic times were many and complicated: The 1880s had been a boom period in which overexpansion and overinvestment in railroads and industry had occurred. Moreover, farmers were suffering greatly because of extremely depressed farm prices and decreased demand from Europe for their produce. Inflation had increased substantially as a result of the Sherman Silver Purchase Act, legislation that required the federal government to buy increased amounts of silver.3 President Cleveland was confronted with a failed economy and a disenchanted electorate. Within a six-month period, 156 railroads went into receivership, 400 banks suspended operations, and more than 8,000 businesses went bankrupt. As many as one million workers found themselves thrown out of jobs.4
Except for signs of modern culture at its edges (a strip of highway on the east end of town, complete with McDonald’s, Pizza Hut, Wal-Mart, and Taco Bell), the appearance of Winchester, Indiana, today differs little from what it was at the turn of the century. Its streets are lined with stately sycamores, elms, and hard maples. The town serves as the county seat of a rural community area. A community of approximately five thousand residents, Winchester is much like those small towns nostalgically described by the Indiana poet James Whitcomb Riley. In fact, three of Riley’s grandparents are buried in area cemeteries, and his parents were reared and later married in Randolph County.5 Riley himself worked in the county as a sign painter and printer for a year in the 1870s. In later life, he occasionally returned to Winchester to deliver his homespun verse. He also occasionally played in a medicine show on the town square. Riley would sing comic songs and draw pictures to entertain the crowds while his companion, a Dr. Sears, lectured and tried to sell a medicinal elixir that was commonly sold during those times to treat all kinds of ailments.6
At the turn of the century, Winchester still had a large number of Quakers as well as several hundred Civil War veterans. Randolph County sent nearly twenty-four hundred men to fight for the Northern cause, including fifty black soldiers. Despite the strong pacifist sentiments of the Quaker population, most of the county’s Quakers supported the war because of their even stronger abolitionist beliefs.7 For runaway slaves, Winchester was a stop along a major route leading from the deep South to Canada. Levi Coffin, chief engineer of this fabled Underground Railroad, lived just four miles south of Randolph County in Newport (now Fountain City), Indiana. He helped provide safe passage for more than three thousand black fugitives.8 Randolph County was also home to the Union Literary Institute, which was founded in 1845 to educate black children as well as students of other races. The importance of the Civil War to local people is still evident today: the tallest county Civil War monument in the state of Indiana, dedicated in July 1892, is located on the town’s square.9
Even as a small boy, Pierre Goodrich always preferred to be called “Peer” rather than the French pronunciation of his name.10 He was born with a very weak right eye and wore glasses from a young age. The late Helen Engle Hart, who was 101 at the time she was interviewed, described the Winchester of the 1890s and early 1900s as an idyllic small town in which to grow up. She remembered Pierre as a shy, quiet, and studious boy. She further recalled that as children they used to visit each other’s homes, attend each other’s birthday parties, and exchange gifts. Their families also attended the same Presbyterian Church. Pierre and Mrs. Hart’s younger brother, Russell Engle, were childhood friends and remained close throughout their lives.11
In 1894, Emily Isabelle “Belle” Edger, James Goodrich’s aunt, returned to Winchester after having worked under Jane Addams at Hull House in Chicago. She persuaded Winchester’s school board, on which James Goodrich served, to start a public kindergarten for the town’s four- and five-year-old children. For the next fifty-five years, Aunt Belle taught kindergarten to hundreds of Winchester schoolchildren. From 1898 to 1900, Pierre attended public kindergarten, where his teacher was “Miss Belle”—his great aunt.12
The following year further sadness struck the family: On September 10, 1901, Pierre’s seventh birthday, his first cousin, James, the son of John and Charlotte Goodrich, died at the age of four. Another tragedy struck the family soon after. William Wallace, the youngest of the five Goodrich brothers, suffered a terrible loss when his wife, also named Charlotte, died during childbirth.
Despite these losses, growing up in the Goodrich household at the turn of the twentieth century was, for the most part, warm and joyous. In a 1964 interview, Pierre recounted fond memories of his early childhood. “Growing up at Winchester meant a wonderful boyhood,” he recalled. “The first memory I have of my mother is of a dark enthusiastic woman sitting on the floor of our library with a friend of hers, both of them completely surrounded by books. . . . Saturday was a wonderful day in our house at Winchester. Mother assembled great hordes of relatives for Sunday dinner and Saturday was the day when pies, cakes, and bread were baked.
“Unless you have experienced it as a small boy, you can never know the wonderful baking aromas of Saturday at Winchester in the early 1900s,” Pierre added.13
It is revealing that Pierre’s first memory of his mother was associated with books. Cora was a passionate reader and was clearly the more intellectual of Pierre’s parents, but James Goodrich was interested in books all his life as well. As a student at DePauw University, James had studied literature, certainly not an obvious major for a man whose life was dominated by more practical disciplines, such as agriculture, business, banking, politics, and law. James and Cora Goodrich had one of the finest private libraries in east-central Indiana.
During Pierre’s boyhood, the family lived across from the First Presbyterian Church on Franklin Street. In 1913, after Pierre had left to study at Wabash College, James and Cora moved one block to South Street, where their newly built French Provincial mansion stood as a landmark in Winchester for the next sixty-five years.14 At both homes, James and Cora had libraries filled with books on economics, religion, history, music, and literature. The Goodriches’ new house reflected the interests of its occupants. A large reception hall was the first room that visitors entered from the front door. On the left was the library and to the right was the music room. On the ground level there were also a sunroom, a large dining area, a kitchen, and a back porch. The walls and fixtures were made of cherry, oak, or mahogany, and the wood of the dark walls came from trees south of Winchester owned by Cora’s parents.15 On the second floor were five bedrooms and two bathrooms; on the third floor was a ballroom where James and Cora did most of their entertaining.16
Pierre’s childhood was much like those of other boys in small midwestern towns, although his mother constantly hovered over him. The death of Cora’s firstborn may well explain her protective attitude toward Pierre. While he was still quite young, Cora Goodrich bought him a violin. Pierre took lessons and played occasionally throughout his life. He also had a pet cat by the name of Muggins and a pony named Bessie. His favorite pet, however, was a rooster. Pierre regularly placed his feathered pet in cockfights, which were fairly common at the time.17
Pierre was a member of a group of boys who called themselves the Six Jolly Urchins. The group was begun by Ida Kitselman McCamish, mother of Pierre’s closest childhood friend, Carl McCamish. The young troupe included Pierre, Tom Veech, Carl McCamish, Ralph Bales, and several other Winchester boys. The boys had their own outfits and later became known as simply the S.J.U. club. For several years they sponsored monthly dances in the community.18
As Pierre grew older, his father’s absence from the house grew more frequent because of his extensive political and business involvements. The traveling started even before Pierre’s birth. For instance, in April 1893, James Goodrich went to Independence, Missouri, for several days to inquire about investing in gas exploration. A rumor had gone around the town that Goodrich was a representative from the Standard Oil Company and that he was there for the express purpose of buying up all the leasing rights. He was amused by the tremendous interest his presence had created among the townspeople.19
Travels two years later took James Goodrich south. In March 1895, Goodrich made an extensive tour of several southern states, visiting Louisiana, Alabama, Tennessee, and North Carolina. While hiking in the Smoky Mountains, “jumping from rock to rock,” he fell forty feet down a mountainside, reinjuring the hip that he had broken in 1881. James later traveled down the Mississippi River on the steamship Paul Tulane and toured Baton Rouge and New Orleans. While he admired the architecture of New Orleans, the filth and odors of the southern city repulsed him. His southern exposure aroused in him a particular interest in the plight of the “Negro.” He predicted in a letter to his wife that it would not be long before southern “Negroes” would be relocating in northern cities because so few opportunities were available to them in the South.20
In June 1901, Cora and Pierre traveled to Colorado Springs, Colorado, to stay with cousins for several weeks while Pierre recovered from an illness. James remained in Indiana. In early August, after he had just been appointed chairman of the state Republican Party, James traveled to Colorado to be with his wife and son.21 The family visited Pikes Peak and toured the Pike National Forest in the Rocky Mountains by stagecoach. The experience left quite an impression on Pierre. In a letter he wrote some sixty years later to the great Austrian economist Friedrich Hayek, Pierre referred to the visit nostalgically. He was concerned that modern development and modes of travel were destroying the beautiful preserves he had seen as a child.22
Nothing in Pierre Goodrich’s childhood was remarkable except that he was perhaps more dedicated to study and devoted to family than most boys his age. Yet these early years were a critical time in the formation of Pierre’s character. They were years in which a strong sense of family, security, ingenuity, and other influences left lasting impressions. These influences helped to shape Pierre Goodrich’s entrepreneurial drive, intellectual curiosity, and, probably most directly, his deep libertarian beliefs.
Entering the Business World
No agency of modern times has ever affected such marvelous transformations in business or wrought such rapid and easy fortunes for investors as Natural Gas. . . . Especially are these favoring conditions true in the Natural Gas Fields in and around . . . Indiana, a State notably enterprising and wealthy before her people had learned of the boundless reservoir of riches that lay beneath the surface of many of her oldest and richest counties, and a commonwealth that is since leaping forward to a destiny so great and near that it fairly dazzles the imagination to contemplate.
Gas Boom of Gas City, Indiana
They were exciting times. By the end of 1888, thousands of people came daily from all over the state to east-central Indiana on excursion trains to see the wonder. There, in fields where the most notable sights had previously been shocks of wheat and corn, beautiful flaming torches of light poured forth. The countryside was ablaze with the burning of millions of cubic feet of the best fuel in the world. What limestone had done for such communities as Bedford, Bloomington, and Ellettsville in the 1880s and 1890s and coal had done, during the same period, for Vigo, Sullivan, Vermillion, Knox, and Greene counties, natural gas did for small Indiana towns such as Dunkirk, Elwood, Fairmount, Farmland, Hartford City, Jonesboro, Knightstown, Muncie, Redkey, Portland, Salem, and Winchester. In March 1892, one small town in Grant County, Harrisburg, took formal action in recognizing the transformation, renaming itself “Gas City.”1
In the years from 1886 to 1892, the “natural gas craze” occurred. It started on March 14, 1886, in Portland, Indiana, when a well struck gas at a depth of 990 feet. The boom was on, with a frenzy reminiscent of a gold rush. By the following April, a local well was producing 5 million cubic feet daily. By January 1891, another well’s daily output was nearly 15 million cubic feet. Wells by the hundreds were being drilled. By 1892, it was estimated that the gas fields of east-central Indiana were several times larger than the known combined size of all other gas fields in the United States. The fuel spouted from the ground with such ease that the state geologist estimated that by the latter half of 1887 there had been an average waste of one hundred million cubic feet of it a day.2
The cheap energy seemed unlimited. It brought to the area trainloads of newspaper reporters, capitalists, and the curious from such faraway places as Cincinnati, Buffalo, and New York City. In the late 1880s, three hundred members of the American Association for the Advancement of Science visited to witness the phenomenon. The find created unprecedented growth. By 1900, the population of Muncie, Indiana, just twenty-five miles west of the Goodriches’ hometown, had grown to more than twenty thousand, quadrupling in size since 1880. Real estate speculation was at its zenith. One man who shied away from buying an eight-acre plot in Delaware County in 1888 for $1,600 found that only sixty days later the property had changed hands five times and had doubled in price.3
The gas craze fueled nearly boundless growth in the Goodriches’ hometown of Winchester. Around the town square, a dozen or more two-, three-, and four-story buildings popped up that are still the mainstay of the town’s commercial center. Because of its cheap energy, the area attracted businesses in an unprecedented way. The result was an industrial explosion that was only slightly less dramatic than the natural gas find itself. The discovery of natural gas resulted in the relocation of dozens of industries, particularly foundries, that relied upon the cheap fuel to melt iron and other metals. The largest industry to exploit the gas resources was the glass industry, which relied upon the seemingly inexhaustible fuel to heat large demanding furnaces. In 1880, only 4 glass factories existed in Indiana; by 1900, there were 110, most of which were in east-central Indiana. The best-known, and ultimately the largest, glass company in the Midwest would be in Muncie. In 1887, five brothers, about the same ages as the five Goodrich brothers, had moved their company from Buffalo, New York, to Muncie to take advantage of the gas boom. They were the Ball family, and the corporation they founded is today a Fortune 500 company with more than thirteen thousand employees and $2 billion in annual sales.4
The Goodrich brothers were too savvy not to take advantage of the great gas boom. One of the first companies that the family held a substantial interest in was the Rock Oil Company, which was located in Winchester. The Rock Oil Company was formed on June 8, 1886, less than two months after gas was discovered in Jay County. It had thirty-three founding investors who issued a capital stock of $50,000. It was established to incorporate a gas, oil, and mining company. Although drilling for oil was done almost as aggressively in the area as for natural gas, the anticipated oil boom was never realized.5
Percy Goodrich was one of the original investors in the Rock Oil Company. Within a short time, Ed and James, along with Percy, became directors of the company. James also served as corporate secretary, becoming responsible for filing the company’s annual reports and maintaining records.6 Three of the remaining four directors and officers of the company were A. L. Kitselman, D. M. Kitselman, and E. F. Kitselman. These three brothers, along with a fourth Kitselman brother, were from Ridgeville, a small town in northwestern Randolph County. The Kitselman brothers began a company that manufactured, beginning in 1883, roller skates and, beginning in 1887, wire fences. The Kitselman brothers moved their operations to Muncie in 1900. In 1901, they formed what would become one of the largest wire-making companies in the country, the Indiana Steel and Wire Company.7
By 1886, the Goodriches had recognized the tremendous growth opportunities associated with the natural gas fields. As a result, they pooled the wealth they had garnered from farming and retail and entered into the utility business. At the turn of the century, it was not uncommon for the Goodrich brothers to help locate natural gas fields and actually do some of the legwork in drilling the wells.8 This was their start in the public utilities business.
On July 30, 1901, the Goodrich brothers formed, with a capital stock of $50,000, a second natural gas company known as the Union Heat, Light and Power Company of Union City, Indiana. James, Percy, John, and Edward were four of the six directors. Union Heat provided heat, light, and electricity to consumers in both eastern Randolph County and western Darke County, Ohio. It also operated for the purposes of drilling, buying, and selling natural gas and oil. James’s initial investment in the company was $12,400, which entitled him to 248 shares. By 1915, he owned 956 of the total of 3,000 shares. The other brothers owned a total of 760 shares between them, and the remaining investors were business associates of the Goodrich family: Jesse “Jett” Moorman, William E. Miller, and James W. McCamish. For several years, James Goodrich served as president of this company. In 1915, Union Heat purchased the Portland Gas Company.9
Besides the Rock Oil Company and Union Heat, the Goodrich brothers had controlling interest in the Lynn Gas Company and the Indiana-Ohio and the Western Ohio Public Services Companies (electric companies). These utilities also served communities in east-central Indiana and west-central Ohio, including Union City, Indiana; Union City, Ohio; and Greenville, Ohio.
During this time, the Goodrich brothers maintained their interest in their farm operations. After graduating from high school in 1881 with his brother James, Percy Goodrich began with the other brothers a farming operation called simply Goodrich Farms. Eight years later, in 1889, Percy quit farming to sell furniture and hardware. John and Ed Goodrich were also involved in this business known as the Goodrich Brothers. The three of them operated stores both in Winchester and Maxville, the latter a small town six miles west of Winchester that has disappeared. Nine years later, on January 5, 1898, the five brothers established the Goodrich Brothers Hay and Grain Company. It bought and sold grain, seed, and farm implements in the area. By 1917, the company (which had by then become the Goodrich Brothers Company) was the largest grain dealer in Indiana. A forerunner of the company had been established by the brothers’ maternal grandfather, Edward Edger, in 1860. The only stockholders of Goodrich Brothers were the five brothers and their wives. John was president. Percy, the oldest brother, became secretary and general manager of the hay and grain business. He later also assumed the title of chairman of the board.10
The Goodrich brothers also invested heavily in electric companies, such as Citizens Heat, Light and Power Company, based in Winchester. Reorganized on July 21, 1913, Citizens Heat was the successor to the Citizens Water and Light Company, which had been established on June 6, 1899. Citizens Heat provided electricity to approximately nine thousand Randolph County residents. Citizens Heat also owned the water company in Winchester. Edward Goodrich managed Citizens, while William Wallace served on the board of directors with Edward. Several other businessmen with whom the Goodrich brothers would form financial alliances in banking, coal, and other ventures served as directors, including Jesse Moorman, William E. Miller, and Thomas L. Ward, all of Winchester, and Edwin F. Kitselman of Muncie.11
Around the turn of the century, a remarkable new invention, previously found only in large cities, became available in people’s homes—the telephone. The Goodrich brothers pooled their money and became directors of several local telephone companies: Investors Telephone Company, Interstate Telephone and Telegraph Company, and the Eastern Indiana Telephone Company. The latter company was one of the first the brothers invested in. The Eastern Indiana Telephone Company was also located in the family’s hometown of Winchester. James, Percy, and Edward were three of the original eighteen investors in Eastern Indiana Telephone when it was formed on January 5, 1899, with a capital stock of $150,000. Percy Goodrich was treasurer of the company.12 These three telephone companies served east-central Indiana and west-central Ohio. From the late 1800s to 1920, the Goodrich brothers established or bought into one small-town utility after another. These included the Washington Water, Light and Power Company in Washington (Daviess County, Indiana) and the Jeffersonville Water Company in Jeffersonville (Clark County, Indiana). James Goodrich obtained both companies through serving as receiver of the Cincinnati, Chicago and Louisville Railroad from 1908 to 1912.
At the turn of the century, there were no state or federal agencies regulating gas, electric, telephone, or other utilities. Anyone who could raise the funds to buy pipelines or put in telephone poles and wire could do business. This resulted in fierce competition. Often, several gas, electric, and telephone companies began to operate in the same area. It was not uncommon to have two or three gas lines running down the same city street; the same was true of telephone poles and lines. But, as with nearly any industry, only the efficient survive, and the Goodrich companies were efficient. In 1920, the Goodriches’ gas company put out of business the Monarch Gas Company in Winchester. Within a short time, the Goodriches held a monopoly in most basic utilities: coal, electric, water, natural gas, and telephones. Percy Goodrich ran the coal and grain operations of the various companies, Ed operated the electric and water, and William Wallace, the natural gas. The brothers all served as directors or officers of the various telephone companies.
James’s business interests far exceeded east-central Indiana. At one time or another over the next twenty years, he would assume several other positions: president of the Patoka Coal Company in Pike County, the Railway Service and Supply Company in Indianapolis, and the National City Bank of Indianapolis; secretary-treasurer of the Winona Railway Company in southern Indiana; treasurer of the Union Reduction Company; and director of dozens of other companies, including the Red River Refining Company, an oil refining company in Chicago, as well as the Goodrich brothers’ utility and grain companies in east-central Indiana.
Shortly after the turn of the century, the family became involved in the business that they would be most closely associated with in their home community—banking. On June 1, 1901, James founded, along with thirty-four other local stockholders, the Peoples Loan and Trust Company. James served as president of Peoples until his death in 1940. In 1901, the amount of the capital stock was set at $30,000. Within one year of opening, Peoples had total assets of $115,000. By 1907, the bank had outgrown its original location and moved to its present location at the corner of Meridian and Washington streets in Winchester. Early loans were made for everything from the purchase of local businesses to teams of horses for farmwork. Over the years, the Goodrich brothers bought interests in various other small-town Indiana banks, including banks in Eaton, Farmland, Modoc, Redkey, Ridgeville, and Tipton, and Citizens Bank in LaCrosse. The banks in Farmland and Modoc were converted into branches of Peoples Loan and Trust in 1931, as was the Ridgeville bank in 1939. Peoples Loan and Trust eventually eclipsed in assets the much older Randolph County Bank, which had been established in 1865. Peoples Loan and Trust became the flagship of the Goodrich family’s later business enterprises.13
Most, but not all, of the business ventures taken on by the Goodrich brothers became successful. Shortly after the turn of the century, James and Percy had become friends with a farmer and businessman in Huntington, Indiana, by the name of Edward Wasmuth. Wasmuth had been a political associate of James Goodrich’s, serving as state Republican chairman during the time that Goodrich was governor. He had earlier served as president of the National Hay Association, where Wasmuth became good friends with Percy. It was through these connections that the Goodrich brothers invested in Wasmuth’s business, a furniture company in Peru, Indiana. The Wasmuth-Goodrich Company came into being on July 16, 1919. It mostly made and sold kitchen cabinets. Percy Goodrich was vice-president of the company, while James and, later, Pierre, were directors. By the 1930s, however, the Depression had hit hard, making luxury items such as kitchen cabinets expendable. The company was dissolved in October 1936 by the Miami County Circuit Court.14
On another occasion, the Goodrich brothers failed to capitalize on a golden opportunity to gain an even larger share of the midwestern agribusiness. Harold W. McMillen, a Fort Wayne native, had approached Percy in the early 1930s about merging the Goodriches’ grain business with his sugar-beet operation in Decatur, Indiana. McMillen proposed that he would purchase and store sugar beets and the Goodrich Brothers would expand their operations in grains: corn, wheat, soybeans, and oats. For some reason, the brothers rejected McMillen’s merger offer.15 McMillen decided to establish his own grain company and formed Central Soya, which has become one of the largest agribusinesses in the country.16 Instead of merging with McMillen, the Goodriches made one of their few poor business decisions when they merged many years later, in 1947, with the Acme-Evans Milling Company in Indianapolis. The merger would ultimately involve a lengthy court battle by Pierre in the 1960s and the demise of the Goodrich brothers’ grain operations. Still, the Goodrich brothers enjoyed phenomenal success in the business world. By the 1920s, their family’s financial dynasty was just beginning to be formed.
The Early Years, 1901–1916
We sat on the old-fashioned benches
Beguiled with our pencils and slate,
We thought of the opening future,
And dreamed of our manhood’s estate;
O days of my boyhood! I bless you,
While looking from life’s busy prime,
The treasures are lingering with me
I gathered in life’s early time.
“old no. 21”
After having served on the Winchester School Board for thirteen years, James Goodrich was one of three local men appointed in July 1912 to the Winchester Library Board. In 1906, a group of nine women, including Elizabeth and Cora Goodrich, had established the Winchester Association for the purpose of raising funds to build a town library. They began soliciting subscriptions but fell far short of raising a sufficient amount. Finally, in 1916, the Andrew Carnegie Foundation contributed $12,000 to the local library board, and a library was built on East Street on the site of the old Winchester High School, which the five Goodrich brothers had attended. Today, a new addition to the library houses the James P. Goodrich Room, built with funds contributed by the Winchester Foundation, which Pierre established in 1945.1
Pierre Goodrich was introduced to politics at a very early age. By the time he was five, his father had already served as Randolph County Republican chairman and had been appointed Republican chairman of Indiana’s Eighth Congressional District. In 1901, when Pierre was seven, James Goodrich was selected chairman of the Indiana Republican Party, a position he held for the next decade. During Pierre’s formative years, he was almost certainly exposed to dozens, if not hundreds, of local, state, and national political figures.
According to those who still remember Pierre when he was a teenager, he was not particularly athletic, and his mother was constantly fearful that he would take on some sort of dangerous activity. Cora Goodrich often admonished Pierre to safeguard himself from even the most benign activities. For instance, she was strongly opposed to her son’s swimming. She would relent to his pleas to go to a nearby pond only if he promised not to get wet,2 and she would grant permission for Pierre to play baseball only if he promised he would not run.3 Cora Goodrich could be gracious, but she was also a worrier when it came to the expenditure of money or anything to do with Pierre. It was Cora who directed Pierre into such safe activities as reading, music, and dancing.4
“Pierre’s mother would often call and ask, ‘Do you know where the boys are at?’” said the late Mrs. Francis (Mary) Simpson, a lifelong resident of Winchester. Simpson’s two older brothers, John and George Jaqua, were Pierre’s childhood friends. “Cora’s constant checking up on Pierre aggravated Jim Goodrich,” said Mrs. Simpson. “He would say to Cora, ‘Why don’t you just leave the boys alone?’”5 James Goodrich had experienced and survived all kinds of youthful bumps and bruises.6 He did not think that a little of the same thing would hurt his son.7
A comical account of Goodrich family relations was published in a local Winchester newspaper in 1911. According to the article, James Goodrich had presented his wife with a new car on her fiftieth birthday (June 26, 1911). Jim had invited Cora and Pierre to go touring in Indianapolis, where Jim Goodrich had set up a law practice in 1910 under the firm name of Robbins, Starr and Goodrich. After spending the afternoon riding and viewing urban Indianapolis, the three headed eastward toward Winchester, barely escaping disaster.
Pierre, [only sixteen], who has had quite a deal of experience as a driver, wanted to take the wheel, but Jim insisted, that upon their first voyage, they would have an older head, and a steadier and more experienced hand at the helm. . . .
. . . Unfortunately he was not careful in his choice of roads, and presently discovered that they were well out on the Rushville road. . . . Jim promptly executed a forward turning movement then a backward movement in the direction of the sign board, the speed increased despite his frantic manipulation of the wilderness of levers, brakes, wheels, screws and other trigger work about him, and the machine collided with and bore down upon sign board, fence and all obstructions, and plunged into the cornfield up to the hub. . . . By the united efforts of Jim and Pierre, aided by the somewhat incoherent instruction of Mrs. Goodrich, and the yielding earth, the machine finally came to a full stop. A council of war was held, Mrs. Goodrich held the balance of power and Pierre was installed at the wheel and Jim, the indomitable, but outvoted, was relegated to a back seat, where he sat chafing at the monotony of a 30 mile speed.8
James Goodrich later regained the driver’s seat only to wreck the new car in Anderson, Indiana. The elder Goodrich was a poor and impatient driver, obtaining countless speeding tickets in racing about the state: He would speed until caught, pay the fine, and then race off again until the next encounter with a patrolman. He also experienced several automobile accidents, the most serious being in 1918 when he collided with a streetcar in Indianapolis, which nearly cost him his life.9 One anecdote about James Goodrich’s driving habits may say it all. One weekday, he was returning from Indianapolis to Winchester when he picked up a hitchhiker. The following week, on his return to Winchester along the very same route, the same hitchhiker appeared beside the roadside. Goodrich stopped to give the man another ride, but the hitchhiker refused, stating that he would be crazy to ever get in a car again with James Goodrich behind the wheel.10
Pierre Goodrich had, from childhood, an almost insatiable curiosity about everything. During Pierre’s teenage years, his father once bought a used car. Pierre methodically took the vehicle apart to see how it was built and then put it back together.11 In this sense, father and son were much alike. James Goodrich once lit with a match gasoline that had spilled out over his automobile’s gas tank. After extinguishing the fire, the garage owner asked Goodrich why he would do such a stupid thing. Jim Goodrich’s response was that he was curious to see what would happen.12
As a youth, Pierre was a constant visitor to the town’s excellent bookstore. The store was operated by a succession of retired school superintendents who, Pierre remembered, were rather broadly educated.13 He traveled to Mexico during the Christmas holidays of his senior year in high school, and the southern adventure gave him an opportunity to play cowboy when he donned a “38-40 Winchester-Carbine rifle,” with which he shot down coconuts, and to explore by horseback Guadalajara and southwestern Mexico near Manzanillo.14
On the evening of June 3, 1912, Pierre received his diploma from Winchester High School as one of twenty-one graduating students. Goodrich, like his classmates, had to write a graduation composition based on an assigned topic. His friends Ralph Bales and Tom Veech were given the topics of, respectively, trade relations with South America and the 1857 Dred Scott Supreme Court decision. Carl McCamish and Pierre were assigned the more esoteric subjects of, respectively, the evolution of nations and universal peace.15 The commencement speaker was Dr. E. H. Lindley of Indiana University, whose address to the thirty-seventh graduating class of Winchester High School was “The Power of Man.”16
After graduation, Pierre’s close friend Carl McCamish went to Ohio State University to study medicine. Tom Veech journeyed with Pierre to Crawfordsville, Indiana, to matriculate at Wabash College. Pierre would be gone from his hometown to college, law school, and the military for the next eight years. At Wabash College in September 1912, Goodrich pledged with Phi Gamma Delta Fraternity, one of the few social organizations in which he took any long-term interest.17 The fraternity, then located at 217 College Street, housed approximately twenty young men from other small communities throughout the Midwest, including several close friends of Pierre’s: Phil Magner of Morris, Illinois; Howard Plummer of Kokomo, Indiana; and Fred Van Buskirk of Roann, Indiana. Goodrich was known as “Frisky” to his schoolmates, a group of young men with whom Pierre fit in well.
Wabash College would play an important part in the Goodrich family’s lives. James Goodrich served as a trustee of the college from 1904 to 1940 and held the position of chairman of the board from 1924 to 1940. John Goodrich, Pierre’s first cousin, attended Wabash briefly in 1912 before returning to Winchester. Perce G. Goodrich, Pierre’s youngest first cousin, graduated from Wabash in 1930. Others who later became associated with Pierre also had strong Wabash connections: John Macy, Jr., Goodrich’s first law partner (B.A., 1912); Dr. Russell Engle (1915–17), a lifelong friend and business partner; Bill Hunter, Pierre’s personal attorney in Winchester (B.A., 1937); and Albert Campbell, Pierre’s longtime law partner, who later became director of development at Wabash from 1962 to 1976 and was selected nonalumnus of the year in 1974.18
Wabash left an indelible impression on Pierre. Published in a college pamphlet at about the time Pierre became a student, Wabash’s creed reflected the rigorous educational approach applied at the small liberal arts college: “[Wabash] believes that the best foundation for culture and for vocational pursuits is thorough training in a few studies rather than a smattering of many things. Habits of mind, rather than mere information, count largest in the long run. The foundation of the educational process is Discipline, and Discipline is not secured by superficial pursuit of many studies.”19
During Goodrich’s undergraduate days, he participated in several extracurricular activities. In addition to writing for the school’s newspaper, The Bachelor, he participated in the Shakespeare Club, Greek Chorus, the YMCA cabinet, and the Wabash Board (the school’s student government body). Goodrich was especially fond of Professor Jasper Asaph Cragwell, who taught mathematics and apparently was at his best during the time Pierre studied under him. Cragwell, a true individualist, often walked around campus in his bare feet.20
In May 1915, Goodrich was one of two juniors elected to Phi Beta Kappa, the national honorary fraternity. A year later, in May 1916, Pierre graduated at the top or near the top of his class (out of sixty-two graduating seniors) with a B.A. in Humanities.21 Receiving his degree was not the end of his relationship with Wabash. In 1940, Pierre assumed his father’s position on the board of trustees, a position he would hold for nearly thirty years. Wabash held a special place in Pierre’s heart, because it was there that he established close friendships with such people as the college’s eighth and ninth presidents, Frank Sparks and Byron Trippet, and dean and economics professor Benjamin A. Rogge.
At Wabash, Pierre was required to watch his money closely.22 Goodrich’s secretary Rosanna Amos recalls, “I remember Mr. Goodrich telling me that apparently his parents were not given to just letting him have money just because they had money. . . . They knew how hard the wealth came, and they didn’t just let him run free with it.” At Wabash and later at Harvard, Pierre had to keep a written ledger of literally every penny he spent.23 Cora Goodrich, who was primarily responsible for her son’s strict accounting of expenditures, was known for her extreme frugality. In fact, Cora Goodrich’s efforts to economize were renowned among her family and friends and were often humorous.24 Yet, interestingly, her parsimonious attitude centered mostly on her family’s personal expenditures. There were many other instances throughout her life in which Cora Goodrich was extremely generous.25 Emma Lieber, wife of the former Indiana conservation commissioner Richard Lieber, remembers Cora as a charming, self-confident, “very straight-laced lady” who was amazingly naïve at times.26
Pierre’s own thrifty nature was an eccentricity that many early friends and associates recall. For instance, Pierre was notorious for wearing old scuffed shoes and rumpled suits,27 and in the early days, when the collars of his dress shirts became frayed, Goodrich would have them turned and resewn rather than buy new ones.28 John Thompson of Winchester remembers that Goodrich attended the opening of a branch office of the Peoples Loan and Trust Company on May 18, 1968, wearing pleated pants and suspenders. The suit had been out of style for more than a decade. “When Pierre was jokingly asked by Bob Oliver [a Winchester attorney] where he got his suit,” Thompson recalled, “Pierre told us that he had found it in the attic the night before.”29
On another occasion in the early 1920s, Goodrich asked Russell “Buss” Moorman, a Winchester dentist, to repair and clean a saxophone for him. It purportedly took Moorman a couple of days to tear apart, clean, and overhaul the instrument. When Moorman returned it to Goodrich, Pierre gave him twenty-five cents.30 But like his parents, Pierre could also be generous for a cause that he believed in. Goodrich’s underlying attitudes about wealth and its proper use reveal much about the influences on him as a youth and the things he thought truly important.
[1. ]Thomas R. Keating, “He’s Unknown—and Remarkable,” Indianapolis Star, April 12, 1973, p. 21, col. 1.
[2. ]Letter to author, April 29, 1992.
[3. ]Letter to author, October 12, 1992.
[4. ]Percy E. Goodrich, “Governor Jim,” Down in Indiana 61 (December 4, 1948): 1, Indiana Historical Society Library, Indianapolis.
[5. ]Irwin H. Reiss, interview, June 29, 1996.
[6. ]Richard Swallow, telephone interview, December 20, 1992.
[7. ]Gilbert Snider, interview, December 23, 1991.
[8. ]Charles F. Remy, “Governor Goodrich and Indiana Tax Legislation,” Indiana Magazine of History 43 (March 1947): 43.
[9. ]An example of James Goodrich’s decisiveness is his 1939 appointment of Francis Simpson and Claude Barnes, both of whom were directors of Peoples Loan and Trust Company, to investigate the value of a bank in Ridgeville, Indiana, that Goodrich was interested in purchasing. Before Simpson and Barnes could report to the former governor, Goodrich had already made the owners of the Ridgeville Bank an offer that they had accepted (Perce G. Goodrich, interview, November 9, 1992).
[10. ]Byron K. Trippet, Wabash on My Mind: Wabash College 1832–1982 (Crawfordsville, Ind.: Wabash College, 1982), p. 183.
[12. ]Benjamin Rogge, eulogy delivered at First Presbyterian Church, Winchester, Indiana, October 28, 1973. Copy in author’s possession.
[13. ]T. Alan Russell, interview, July 2, 1994.
[14. ]Lovett C. Peters, who worked briefly for Pierre Goodrich in negotiating the sale of the Ayrshire Collieries Corporation in the late 1960s, said that Goodrich had a very difficult time firing anyone (telephone interview, June 25, 1994). “Before Pierre Goodrich would hire a new person—and it didn’t make any difference what kind of job—he would interview them personally and sometimes the interview would go on for hours,” said Rosanna Amos (interview, December 23, 1991). Alan Russell stated that, for a top management position in one of his companies, Goodrich would interview a candidate for two to three days (interview, July 2, 1994).
[15. ]Florence Dunn, interview, July 18, 1992.
[16. ]Observations about cats—Anna Marie Gibbons, interview, December 23, 1991; observation about flowers—Don Welch, interview, December 16, 1991. Henry Regnery, a Chicago publisher, claims that he introduced Goodrich to wine in the mid or late 1940s (interview, October 3, 1992). Helen Fletcher confirms that claim in her letter to the author, June 18, 1996.
[17. ]The quote is taken from Benjamin D. Rhodes’s James P. Goodrich, Indiana’s “Governor Strangelove,” p. 14 (citing Indianapolis News, June 24, 1950). Irwin H. Reiss also told the author the same story, saying that Norman Kelb, a former president of the Ayrshire Collieries Corporation, had told Reiss that James Goodrich had told Kelb the same thing (interview, June 26, 1996).
[18. ]“Former Indiana Gov. James P. Goodrich Is Dead,” Winchester (Ind.) Journal-Herald, August 16, 1940, p. 2, col. 5; see also Benjamin D. Rhodes, James P. Goodrich, Indiana’s “Governor Strangelove,” p. 14.
[19. ]Most of these impressions of Pierre Goodrich’s appearance and demeanor were given by Professor Stephen Tonsor (interview, December 5, 1992), although a number of interviewees said many of the same things.
[20. ]Letter to author, December 19, 1991.
[21. ]Letter to author, February 8, 1992.
[22. ]Anna Marie Gibbons, interview, December 23, 1991. Rogers had made the comment to Anna Marie Gibbons after a Winchester Great Books meeting in 1948 or 1949.
[23. ]Rosanna Amos, interview, December 10, 1991.
[24. ]James Goodrich wrote in 1918 to his good friend Will Hays, Sr., then chairman of the national Republican Party: “I have reached the point where I despise, above all things to undertake to make a speech. It is drudgery to me and . . . I can be of so much greater service in other directions and let those who know how and like to, do the talking” (June 20, 1918, Will H. Hays Papers, box 4, Indiana State Library, Manuscript Section, Indianapolis).
[25. ]Jack Charles, letter to author, January 28, 1993. Moreover, Anna Marie Gibbons recalled another time when Pierre tried to give a talk at a Peoples Loan and Trust Company banquet. The banquet was probably on December 4, 1970, at the dedication dinner of the new Peoples Loan and Trust Company bank building. She said that the talk turned into a Socratic dialogue in which Goodrich started asking questions of the audience. To her recollection, no one responded but her. The “speech” finally evolved into a discourse between her and Goodrich, quite to the bewilderment of the other audience members (interview, December 22, 1992). A reference to Goodrich’s talk was made in a local newspaper. See “Economist Warns of Economic Dangers of Coming Decades,” Winchester (Ind.) News-Gazette and Journal-Herald, December 5, 1970, p. 1, col. 3.
[26. ]Gilbert Snider, interview, December 23, 1991.
[* ]Edmund B. Goodrich, James Goodrich’s grandfather, was one of approximately fourteen Goodrich family members who made the harrowing trip from Blacksburg, Virginia, to Randolph County, Indiana, from December 1831 to January 1832. His letter was sent to a relative in Virginia. It is quoted in full in Calvin Goodrich and Percy E. Goodrich, A Great-Grandmother and Her People (Winchester, Ind.: privately printed, 1950), pp. 24–26.
[1. ]James P. Goodrich, “Autobiography,” James P. Goodrich Papers, box 4, pp. 1–2, Herbert Hoover Presidential Library, West Branch, Iowa.
[2. ]Calvin Goodrich and Percy E. Goodrich, A Great-Grandmother and Her People (Winchester, Ind.: privately printed, 1950), p. 60.
[3. ]John Baldwin Goodrich was the son of Edmund B. Goodrich and the grandson of John Baldwin and Rebecca Goodrich. See Goodrich and Goodrich, A Great-Grandmother and Her People, pp. 21–23, and Ebenezer Tucker, “The Goodrich Family,” in History of Randolph County, Indiana (Chicago: A. L. Kingman, 1882), p. 313.
[4. ]From the reminiscence of J. H. B. Knowland, cited by George S. Cottman in “Internal Improvement in Indiana,” Indiana Magazine of History 3 (1907): 20.
[5. ]Goodrich, “Autobiography,” pp. 23–24. The Goodrich wagon broke down on what is now the Fidler Farm, last owned by Eugene Fidler.
[6. ]See Stewart Rafert, The Miami Indians of Indiana: A Persistent People, 1654–1994 (Indianapolis: Indiana Historical Society, 1996), pp. 108–13.
[7. ]Many members of the Mormon faith left Winchester in the fall of 1831 and the spring of 1832 to join fellow believers in Missouri, but some of them remained in Winchester until at least the end of the 1830s before heading west. For a history of the Winchester branch of the Mormon Church, see LaRene Gaunt, “The Pioneer Saints of Winchester, Indiana,” Ensign (of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints), October 1992, pp. 56–59; “Blooming Where Planted,” Ensign, July 1993, p. 68; and “Mormons Led by Joseph Smith Through City in May of 1834,” Winchester (Ind.) News-Gazette, September 22, 1984, p. 3, col. 6.
[8. ]M. W. Montgomery, History of Jay County (Chicago: Church, Goodman, and Cushing, 1864), p. 6.
[9. ]Tucker, History of Randolph County, Indiana, p. 313.
[10. ]For a brief history of Liber College, see Michael McBride, “College Long Gone, But History Still Strong,” Muncie (Ind.) Star Press, January 13, 1997, sec. D, p. 1, col. 1. From 1859 to 1868, more than 850 students, mostly from Jay County, attended Liber College.
[11. ]Goodrich, “Autobiography,” pp. 3–8. In his autobiography, James Goodrich repeatedly refers to the strong religious convictions of his parents.
[12. ]“Edward Edger,” in Randolph County History: 1818–1990 (Paducah, Ky.: Turner Publishing, 1991), p. 504.
[13. ]Richard Wise, “Goodrich Grandfather Lived Eventful Life,” Winchester (Ind.) News-Gazette, February 17, 1984, p. 1, col. 2.
[14. ]James Goodrich’s memories of his father were few and vague because of his father’s early death. He does mention in his unfinished autobiography, however, that he was constantly reminded by local citizens of his father’s outstanding character. Goodrich, “Autobiography,” p. 5.
[15. ]Ibid., pp. 5–6.
[16. ]Ibid., pp. 3–5.
[17. ]Ibid., p. 8.
[18. ]Ibid., pp. 14–18.
[19. ]Ibid., p. 11.
[20. ]Ibid., pp. 21–22.
[21. ]Ibid., p. 20.
[1. ]See entry on A. Stone in Ebenezer Tucker, History of Randolph County, Indiana (Chicago: A. L. Kingman, 1882), pp. 324–25.
[2. ]Goodrich, “Autobiography,” pp. 20–21.
[3. ]Ibid., p. 22.
[4. ]Ibid., p. 21.
[5. ]Ibid., p. 23.
[6. ]Percy E. Goodrich, “James Whitcomb Riley,” Down in Indiana 57 (October 9, 1948).
[7. ]James E. Watson, As I Knew Them (Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill, 1936).
[8. ]According to the records, Cora was born on June 26, 1861. This would make her more than two and a half years older than Goodrich. It is puzzling that she would have graduated in his class. James’s brother Percy was three years older than James, however, and James wrote in his autobiography that Percy also graduated in the Winchester High School class of 1881. Pierre’s middle name, Frist, was his mother’s maiden name.
[9. ]See “Schools in Randolph County 1900–1926,” in Randolph County History: 1818–1990, p. 334.
[10. ]Goodrich, “Autobiography,” p. 23. James Goodrich also discussed his plans to enter the Naval Academy in an extensive article about the future governor in Earl Mushlitz’s “Issues of the Indiana Campaign as James P. Goodrich Sees Them,” Indianapolis Star, September 1916, magazine section, p. 2, col. 1.
[11. ]For a summary of Thomas Browne’s life, see Randolph County History: 1818–1990, p. 211.
[12. ]Goodrich, “Autobiography,” p. 23.
[13. ]Ibid., p. 26. Beveridge was also a national leader of the Progressive Party and the author of a number of serious political biographies. Watson was the Republican candidate for governor in 1908, Beveridge was the Progressive candidate for governor in 1912, and James Goodrich was the Republican candidate for governor in 1916. Goodrich was the only one of the three to reach the statehouse, although both Watson and Beveridge had long and distinguished careers in the United States Senate and in national politics in general.
[14. ]Ibid., p. 26.
[15. ]A copy of the bawdy pamphlet that got James Watson expelled from DePauw University is located in the Indiana State Library, James E. Watson Papers, box 2.
[16. ]Goodrich, “Autobiography,” p. 27.
[18. ]James Goodrich claimed in his autobiography that he and James Watson practiced law together from 1887 to 1894, but it appears that they worked in the same office only in 1893, when James Watson’s father, Enos, retired, giving his place in the firm of Macy, Watson and Goodrich to his son. James Watson and Goodrich had, however, practiced in adjacent offices during the previous six years. Because of their proximity, they would have consulted with each other on a regular basis regarding legal and political matters even though they did not work for the same firm. In January 1894, a newly married James Watson moved to Rushville, Indiana, where he practiced law. In November 1894, he was elected to the United States House of Representatives.
[19. ]Leander J. Monks, “James P. Goodrich,” in Courts and Lawyers of Indiana, vol. 3 (Indianapolis: Federal Publishing, 1916), p. 1397. Macy and Goodrich practiced law with John Cheney for five years (1893–98). After that, Cheney retired, and his position in the firm was filled by Alonzo L. Nichols.
[20. ]For a brief sketch of John Winchester Macy’s early life, see Ebenezer Tucker, History of Randolph County, Indiana, p. 319.
[21. ]Mary Waldon, “Only Son Fondly Remembers Baking in Home at Winchester,” Indianapolis Star, September 27, 1964, sec. 7, p. 4, col. 1.
[1. ]“James P. Goodrich,” History of Delaware and Randolph Counties (Chicago: A. W. Bowen, 1894), p. 886.
[2. ]Goodrich, “Autobiography,” p. 28.
[3. ]For a more extensive discussion of the significance of the Granger movement, see T. Harry Williams, Richard N. Current, and Frank Freidel, A History of the United States: Since 1865 (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1959), pp. 180–84.
[4. ]Goodrich, “Autobiography,” pp. 24–25. There is a discrepancy regarding when Goodrich ended his association with the Knights of Labor. On page 25 of his autobiography, he writes that he ceased to be a member in 1894, when he was forced to resign because he had become a member of the Randolph County Bar. Goodrich actually became a member of the bar in November 1886.
[5. ]“James E. Watson,” History of Delaware and Randolph Counties, pp. 996–98; regarding James Goodrich’s connections to Freemasonry, see “Indiana’s Masonic Governors,” The Indiana Freemason 40 (October 1962): 9.
[6. ]Goodrich, “Autobiography,” p. 30.
[7. ]“Isaac P. Gray,” in Randolph County History: 1818–1990, pp. 518–19; Wilber D. Peat, “Isaac P. Gray,” Portraits and Painters of the Governors of Indiana, 1800–1978 (Indianapolis: Indiana Historical Society, 1978), p. 50.
[8. ]Goodrich, “Autobiography,” p. 31.
[9. ]Goodrich states in his autobiography that he met Harrison, McKinley, and Hanna. See “Autobiography,” pp. 33, 41. Florence Dunn, niece of James Goodrich and ninety-seven years old when she was interviewed in 1992, told the author that she and James Goodrich had met William Jennings Bryan when he came to speak in Winchester at around the turn of the century. She said that she had, in fact, ridden on Bryan’s lap on the train from Union City to Winchester (interview, July 18, 1992). Since Goodrich was Republican chairman of the Eighth Congressional District when Theodore Roosevelt spoke at a rally in Winchester on October 11, 1900, the author assumes that Goodrich had met Roosevelt by that time.
[10. ]Goodrich, “Autobiography,” pp. 34–35.
[11. ]Letter from Watson to Goodrich, February 4, 1897, James P. Goodrich Papers, box 28.
[12. ]Goodrich, “Autobiography,” pp. 40–41.
[1. ]See “Lemen Bros. New Colossal Shows” (advertisement), Winchester (Ind.) Journal, September 7, 1894, p. 5, col. 1.
[2. ]See H. W. Brand, The Reckless Decade: America in the 1890s (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1995), p. 47.
[3. ]Williams, Current, and Freidel, A History of the United States: Since 1865, p. 200.
[4. ]Brand, The Reckless Decade, p. 47.
[5. ]Riley’s parents, Reuben Alexander Riley and Elizabeth Marine, were married in 1844 in Unionport, Indiana. See “Unionport,” in Randolph County History: 1818–1990, p. 69. According to Florence Dunn, Pierre’s first cousin, when Riley visited Winchester, her father, Ed Goodrich (Pierre’s uncle), would always have her memorize one of Riley’s poems and recite it to the master as a special gift (interview, July 18, 1992).
[6. ]Percy Goodrich’s memories of the Hoosier poet are contained in “James Whitcomb Riley,” Down in Indiana 57 (October 9, 1948). According to Florence Dunn, Riley and Percy Goodrich shared the same birthday, October 7, and Riley would often stay with Percy and his wife Claudia when he visited Winchester (interview, July 18, 1992). Percy Goodrich makes mention of none of this, however, in his brief memoir of Riley, which calls Florence Dunn’s memory into question.
[7. ]See Jacqueline S. Nelson, Indiana Quakers Confront the Civil War (Indianapolis: Indiana Historical Society, 1991).
[8. ]See Eric Rodenberg, “The Levi Coffin Home: Story of the Underground Railroad,” Winchester (Ind.) News-Gazette, October 9, 1976, historical supplement, pp. 4–5.
[9. ]Former United States senator James E. Watson documents this in his memoirs, As I Knew Them, p. 13. The Civil War monument in Winchester was primarily the responsibility of two men: Jimmy Moorman, who, at his death, donated two thousand dollars toward the cost, and John W. Macy, Sr. Macy had legislation passed through the Indiana General Assembly that made it possible for Randolph County residents to raise an additional twenty-three thousand dollars for the monument by means of a municipal bond.
[10. ]Elizabeth Terry, interview, November 16, 1991. Richard Dennis, former president of the Great Books Foundation in Chicago, remembers that Pierre never liked to be called by the French pronunciation of his name and corrected Dennis on one occasion for doing so (telephone interview, September 30, 1992).
[11. ]Helen Engle Hart, interview, May 10, 1992. Russell Engle attended Wabash College (1915–17) and the First Presbyterian Church of Winchester with Goodrich. The two men also served together for several years on the boards of the Peoples Loan and Trust Co. and Standard Securities. See “Dr. Russell B. Engle Dies; Was Medical Doctor in Randolph County for 46 Years,” Winchester (Ind.) News, April 4, 1966, p. 1, col. 1.
[12. ]Emily Isabelle Edger was the sister of James Goodrich’s mother, Elizabeth Edger Goodrich. Aunt Belle, as she was affectionately known by the entire town, became an icon in Randolph County education. She taught kindergarten to several hundred schoolchildren, including her own five grandnieces and -nephews, over a span of nearly fifty-five years. See “Emily Isabelle Edger,” in Randolph County History: 1818–1990, p. 330.
[13. ]Mary Waldon, “Only Son Fondly Remembers Baking in Home in Winchester,” Indianapolis Star, September 27, 1964, sec. 7, p. 4, col. 1. The article, which is about Cora Goodrich, is one in a series of articles about wives of Indiana governors.
[14. ]Cora Goodrich told John Kidder that it was at her instigation that the building of the well-known Goodrich mansion on South Street was begun in 1912. She was tired of renting, but her husband was traveling so much as state director of the Republican Party and on business that he did not want to be bothered with building a house. Finally, after many pleas from his wife, the future governor consented to the building of the large mansion on three acres of property just three blocks from downtown. Salt Creek, a small creek that runs into the White River, is adjacent to the property, and it was there that James Goodrich and James Watson used to fish when they were boys. Kidder said that Cora Goodrich told him that James Goodrich finally gave in to his wife’s requests to have the house built, but on one condition: that he would have to write only one check to pay for all of the work when it was completed (interview, October 10, 1991).
[15. ]Ibid. According to John Kidder, when the Goodrich mansion was torn down in 1977, the paneling from the library was used in the basement of the newly constructed Peoples Loan and Trust Bank.
[16. ]The description of the Goodriches’ home at 226 East South Street in Winchester is taken from “James Putnam Goodrich,” in Randolph County History: 1818–1990, p. 517.
[17. ]Perce G. Goodrich, interview, May 2, 1993.
[18. ]A brief remembrance of the S.J.U. club can be found in Randolph County History: 1818–1990, p. 379.
[19. ]Letter from James P. Goodrich to Cora Goodrich, April 24, 1893 (in the possession of Priscilla Klosterman, R.R. 2, Box 265, Ridgeville, Indiana).
[20. ]Letter from James P. Goodrich to Cora Goodrich, March 13, 1895 (in the possession of Priscilla Klosterman, R.R. 2, Box 265, Ridgeville, Indiana).
[21. ]Letters from James P. Goodrich to Cora Goodrich in Colorado Springs: June 27, 1901; July 12, 1901; and July 22, 1901. Letters from James P. Goodrich to Pierre F. Goodrich in Colorado Springs: July 20, 1901; July 27, 1901; and July 30, 1901 (in the possession of Priscilla Klosterman, R.R. 2, Box 265, Ridgeville, Indiana).
[22. ]Letter to Friedrich A. Hayek, February 18, 1959, F. A. Hayek Collection, box 22, folder 6, Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace, Stanford, California.
[1. ]See Logan Esarey, A History of Indiana (Indianapolis: Hoosier Heritage Press, 1970), pp. 910–12. Harrisburg, Indiana, officially changed its name to Gas City on March 21, 1892. See also Gas Boom of Gas City, Indiana (Indianapolis: Department of Geology and Natural Resources, 1892), pp. 4–5 (a souvenir book located in the Gas City Middle Township Public Library).
[2. ]See Gas Boom of Gas City, pp. 5–6. There is a minor dispute regarding where the first gas well was struck. The town of Eaton, Indiana, only a few miles west of Jay County, claims that the first significant gas well was struck near there. See Keith Roysdon, “Eaton Market Tells of Town’s Gas Boom Past,” Muncie (Ind.) Star Press, August 12, 1996, sec. A, p. 3, col. 1.
[3. ]See Robert S. Lynd and Helen Merrell Lynd, Middletown: A Study in Contemporary American Culture (New York: Harcourt, Brace, 1929), p. 15, n. 4.
[4. ]For one of the best studies of the significance of the gas boom in transforming east-central Indiana from an agrarian area into a modern industrial area, see Dwight W. Hoover’s Magic Middletown (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1986), pp. 1–5. Just a few of the many glass companies that located in east-central Indiana are the Woodbury Glass Company (later known as Anchor Hocking), in Winchester; Kerr Glass and Indiana Glass, in Hartford City; Owens-Illinois Glass Company, in Gas City; and Ball Brothers, Muncie Glass, and the Port Glass Works, in Muncie. For a discussion of the importance of glass in east-central Indiana, see Wiley W. Spurgeon, “Jarred Memories: Local Glass Industry Faded as Markets, Companies Changed,” Muncie (Ind.) Star Press, October 6, 1996, sec. F, p. 1, col. 1.
[5. ]See “Remembrance of ‘The Great Oil Boom’ of Parker City,” Winchester (Ind.) News-Gazette, June 29, 1976, p. 1, col. 1.
[6. ]The Rock Oil Company was located at 7 South Meridian Street. Article 2 of its bylaws states: “The object and purpose of said company was the production of gas either natural or manufactured for lighting, heating, and fuel purposes and purposes of mining petroleum, oil, rock, and minerals.” Bylaws of the Rock Oil Company, State Archives, Indiana Commission on Public Records, Indianapolis, Indiana, 1701–30 1/2.
[7. ]Information about the Kitselmans was taken from a family-history paper in the author’s possession, “The Starbucks and the Kitselmans,” pp. 9–11.
[8. ]Perce G. Goodrich, interview, November 9, 1992.
[9. ]See “The Union Heat, Light and Power Company of Union City, Indiana,” pp. 36–53, Dissolved Corporations, State Archives, Indiana Commission on Public Records, Indianapolis. The articles of incorporation for Union Heat were filed on July 30, 1901. In 1915, the Goodrich brothers owned more than half of the 3,000 shares: James, 956; William Wallace, 354; Percy, 171; Edward, 165; and John B., 70. The Peoples Loan and Trust Company owned 63 shares. The last annual report filed with the secretary of state’s office showing ownership by the Goodriches of Union Heat, Light and Power was dated June 21, 1926.
[10. ]See “Ninetieth Annual Goodrich Brothers Anniversary Luncheon,” a program pamphlet in the possession of the Columbia Club, Indianapolis. See Percy Goodrich, vol. 36 in the Indiana Biography Series, pp. 96–97.
[11. ]The Goodrich brothers held a large interest in Citizens Heat, Light and Power Company from 1913 to 1927. Citizens provided electricity to residences, offices, stores, livery stables, hotels, restaurants, theaters, churches, lodge halls, schools, and other establishments in Winchester, Farmland, Lynn, Saratoga, and Ridgeville. Later, it expanded its service area to include other Randolph County communities such as Spartansburg, Carlos City, Modoc, Losantville, and Deerfield, as well as Blountsville in Henry County and Fountain City in Wayne County. Citizens also provided water to the residents of Winchester. In 1913, Jesse Moorman was president of Citizens, Thomas L. Ward served as vice-president, and Edward Goodrich served as secretary and treasurer. In 1927, Citizens was sold to the United Public Utilities Company of Chicago, Illinois. All officers and directors except William Wallace Goodrich (who remained a director for three years) were located in Chicago. Citizens sold power to the Greenville Electric Light and Power Company of Ohio and the Indiana-Ohio Public Service Company. Interestingly, fuel oil, not natural gas or coal, was the original energy source. Citizens’ gross income in 1926 was derived from electricity (89.7 percent) and water (10.3 percent) production. The last full year that the Goodrich brothers owned a substantial share of Citizens was 1926, when the company’s assets were $556,099.52. See Indiana Public Service Commission, annual reports of the Citizens Heat, Light and Power Company—Winchester, Indiana, 1912 to 1927, especially for the year 1926, Re 4950, box 4, State Archives, Indiana Commission on Public Records, Indianapolis.
[12. ]The Eastern Indiana Telephone Company was located at 114 East Franklin Street. The articles of association were filed on November 16, 1905. The company had a capital stock of six thousand shares at $25 per share. At an initial offering, Percy Goodrich purchased a total of fifty-five shares for $1,375. The Eastern Indiana Telephone Company was purchased by General Telephone and Electric (GTE) in approximately 1969 in a deal wherein each share of Eastern Indiana stock was exchanged for two and a half shares of GTE stock. William Fitts, interview, December 28, 1991.
[13. ]See “Trust Company Begins Its Fifty-first Year,” Winchester (Ind.) News, June 29, 1951, p. 1, col. 2; “Winchester Bank Observes 75th Birthday This Month,” Richmond (Ind.) Palladium-Item, June 22, 1976, p. 2, col. 1; and “Peoples Loan and Trust Marking 75th Anniversary,” Muncie (Ind.) Star, June 23, 1976, p. 20, col. 1.
[14. ]The Wasmuth-Goodrich Company had originally been the Booth Furniture Company, which was incorporated on April 6, 1906, in Peru, Indiana. The change of name was granted by the secretary of state on July 16, 1919. At various times, Edward, Percy, James, and Pierre served on the company’s board of directors. The company experienced difficult financial times in the late 1920s, failing to file annual reports with the secretary of state’s office in 1928, 1932, and 1933. Because of this failure, Philip Lutz, Jr., Indiana’s attorney general at the time, brought an action to dissolve the company. The petition was granted by the Miami Circuit Court judge Val Phelps on October 7, 1936. See Wasmuth-Goodrich Company, 2424–19, Dissolved Corporations, State Archives, Indiana Commission on Public Records, Indianapolis; Perce G. Goodrich, interview, November 9, 1992; and Percy E. Goodrich, “Ed Wasmuth,” Down in Indiana 27 (September 20, 1947), Indiana Historical Society Library, Indianapolis. Edward Wasmuth was also president of the Wasmuth Grain and Coal Company and the Wasmuth Realty Corporation in Huntington County, Indiana.
[15. ]Perce G. Goodrich, interview, November 9, 1992.
[16. ]See Dick D. Heller, Jr., ed., “Vo-Ag,” in 1979 History of Adams County, Indiana, vol. 2 ([Decatur, Ind.]: Adams County Historical Society, 1980–89), pp. 154–55. The article contains the history of Harold W. McMillen’s establishment of Central Soya.
[1. ]“The Winchester Community Library,” in Randolph County History: 1818–1990, p. 179.
[2. ]This story was mentioned by three people whom the author interviewed: Ralph Litschert, November 10, 1991; Mary Johnson, January 1, 1992; and Elizabeth Goodrich Terry, November 16, 1991.
[3. ]Perce G. Goodrich, interview, May 2, 1993.
[4. ]Florence Dunn, interview, July 18, 1992.
[5. ]Mary Simpson, interview, April 12, 1992. Mary Simpson’s husband Francis served on the board of directors of the Peoples Loan and Trust for more than fifty years under both James and Pierre Goodrich and was a lifelong friend of Pierre.
[6. ]James Goodrich recalled the rough games that he and his classmates used to play during recess at school. He and his brothers were also very independent. See Goodrich, “Autobiography,” pp. 21–22.
[7. ]Moreover, James Goodrich often became upset with Pierre because of the latter’s hesitant, indecisive nature (Henry Regnery, interview, October 3, 1992; Perce Goodrich, interview, May 2, 1993).
[8. ]Winchester (Ind.) Journal, June 29, 1911, p. 1, col. 5. There was no byline indicating authorship of this account. It is likely, however, that the article was written by either John Macy, Jr., or Jesse T. Moorman, both of whom were close friends of the Goodriches’ (Moorman is also mentioned in the article). The article is too lengthy to quote in full, but it concludes humorously: “This morning [James Goodrich] started for the City [Indianapolis] in his machine. J. T. Moorman wired Dr. Conrad as follows: ‘Goodrich leaves this city [Winchester] at 8 a.m. per motor, bound for Indianapolis via Anderson. Will arrive at Anderson at 8:30, keep the children and automobiles off street.’”
[9. ]Many accounts of James Goodrich’s driving habits exist. One can be found in “James Putnam Goodrich,” in Randolph County History: 1818–1990, p. 517: “The Governor did . . . have an inclination to exceed the highway speed limits, and perhaps was a bit aristocratic in his approach to tickets. It was said that he simply paid as he went, speeding down the highway until a patrolman would stop him, paying the fine, and then speeding on until the next patrolman stopped him.”
[10. ]Carl “Barney” Thompson, interview, April 18, 1996.
[11. ]Pierre Goodrich told the story about taking the car apart to Rosanna Amos when she worked for him as a secretary in the 1960s. “I’ve never met anybody who had the curiosity that Mr. Goodrich had about everything under the sun,” said Amos (interview, December 10, 1991).
[12. ]Perce G. Goodrich, interview, May 2, 1993.
[13. ]Letter from Pierre F. Goodrich to Felix Morley, May 1, 1959, Felix Morley Collection, Herbert Hoover Presidential Library, West Branch, Iowa. At the time, Winchester did not have a public library, although it was common for the wealthy citizens of a community to have substantial private libraries. The Winchester town library was not established until July 18, 1911. That was the summer between Pierre’s junior and senior years at Winchester High School. Even then, the library’s collection consisted of 970 books located in a front room of a residence on Franklin Street. See “The Winchester Community Library,” in Randolph County History: 1818–1990, pp. 179–80.
[14. ]Pierre recounted his Mexico trip as a high school student in a letter to Gustavo R. Velasco, February 16, 1969, Pierre F. Goodrich Papers, box 2, Hoover Institution.
[15. ]“Commencement Day Is Named,” Winchester (Ind.) Democrat, May 2, 1912, p. 1, col. 3.
[16. ]“Commencement Exercises Held,” Winchester (Ind.) Democrat, June 6, 1912, p. 1, col. 6.
[17. ]It is probable that Goodrich chose Phi Gamma Delta because John Macy, Jr., Pierre’s close friend and second cousin, had pledged to the fraternity. Macy had matriculated at Wabash four years before Pierre, in 1908.
[18. ]“Wabash Honorary Alumnus Award Goes to Campbell,” Indianapolis Star, May 23, 1974, p. 43, col. 7.
[19. ]Wabash’s creed further stated: “The patience to be thorough, the concentration to understand and the persistence to grasp and to apply, are traits that most clearly mark off the truly educated and disciplined fellows; and they are precisely the three traits which are most overlooked and neglected in the modern school and college curriculum. When discipline is withdrawn, dawdling quickly enters and the habit of dawdling is as corrupting to the intellect as it is to the morals” (“Creed,” Wabash College: Pure American [Crawfordsville, Ind.: Wabash College, 1918], p. 4).
[20. ]See Byron K. Trippet, Wabash on My Mind (Crawfordsville, Ind.: Wabash College, 1982), p. 185. A list of extracurricular activities Goodrich participated in, as well as his picture, appeared in the June 1916 issue of The Wabash. Cragwell was known for his unconventional thinking and individualistic views. Norman Baxter, interview, February 15, 1993.
[21. ]Wabash does not disclose the rank of graduating students. It is fairly clear, however, that Goodrich was at the top of his class, at least in his junior year, because the tradition at Wabash was that election to Phi Beta Kappa was based primarily on class rank. In 1914, the year before Goodrich’s election to Phi Beta Kappa, the only two juniors who were selected to the honor fraternity were ranked first and second in their class, according to an article in the May 15, 1914, issue of The Bachelor. Therefore, Goodrich’s selection as one of two juniors would seem to indicate that he was either first or second in his class. See “Phi Beta Kappa Honors to Twelve Wabash Men,” The Bachelor 8 (May 15, 1915), p. 1, col. 1 (“P. F. Goodrich and W. L. Kessinger, members of the present Junior class, also made the society with high honors”). The division of Humanities that existed when Goodrich attended Wabash included the departments of classical languages and literatures, German, Romance languages and literatures, English, and philosophy.
[22. ]Mary Miller Johnson, who lived next door to the Goodriches in Winchester when Pierre attended Wabash, remembers a particularly curious event when Pierre was an undergraduate. In addition to being neighbors, the Goodriches and the Millers are related. “I remember Aunt Cora coming to my mother with a letter in her hand from Pierre who was at college. Aunt Cora said that Pierre had written to her and one of the things he had asked was whether it would be all right for him to have ice cream after his Sunday evening meal,” said Mrs. Johnson (interview, January 1, 1992).
[23. ]Rosanna Amos, interview, December 10, 1991.
[24. ]At the Goodrich mansion, there was a natural spring in the basement that ran all the time. Mrs. Goodrich believed that it was wasteful for the spring to run continuously. She repeatedly turned off the spring despite her husband’s warnings that if she continued to do so, she would kill it (that is, divert the water elsewhere underground). She refused to listen, and eventually the spring stopped flowing. Perce G. Goodrich, interview, November 9, 1992. According to Harry Fraze, undertaker, former mayor of Winchester, and town gossip, Cora Goodrich was known to wear undergarments with holes in them and would refuse to buy new ones (interview, October 26, 1991). Cora Goodrich’s niece, Elizabeth Goodrich Terry, recalls, “Aunt Cora would walk several blocks just to return a penny if it was owing to someone” (interview, November 16, 1991). Mary Simpson, a longtime member of the Winchester Presbyterian Church, recalls that Cora Goodrich had a fur coat that she would wear only to church, after which she would return it to a cedar chest. The coat smelled so much of cedar that its smell soon permeated the church when Cora Goodrich entered the sanctuary. Moreover, Mrs. Goodrich continued to wear black lisle stockings long after they were out of fashion, because she had purchased many of them before World War I (interview, April 12, 1992).
[25. ]Apparently, Cora Goodrich’s largest individual contribution was eleven thousand dollars toward the cost of building a library in 1940 in Lynn, Indiana, in honor of her parents, Jonas and Amy Frist. She also contributed toward the statue of the doughboy on the Winchester Courthouse square and to the church (Elizabeth Goodrich Terry, interview, November 16, 1991).
[26. ]To illustrate Cora Goodrich’s naïveté, Lieber recalls one occasion when she and her husband and the Goodriches were in Germany: “Once when ordering a ticket at a railroad station, Mrs. Goodrich made this remark: ‘Isn’t it too stupid that they call the city of Cologne Köln in Germany, when everybody knows it to be Cologne?’” Emma Lieber, Richard Lieber (Indianapolis: privately printed, 1947), pp. 97–98.
[27. ]Many people interviewed recalled that Goodrich often wore rumpled clothes. Dale Braun, February 17, 1992; John Kidder, October 10, 1991; Arlene Metz, November 10, 1992. Janet Fuller recalled her parents’ telling her that they had seen Goodrich at the Claypool Hotel in Indianapolis, sitting on a bench reading a newspaper. They thought he looked more like a homeless person than an individual who was probably the richest citizen in Indianapolis (Janet Fuller, telephone interview, October 29, 1991).
[28. ]Rosanna Amos, interview, December 10, 1991.
[29. ]John Thompson, interview, December 20, 1991.
[30. ]Mary Thompson, telephone interview, July 11, 1992.