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Chapter 15: The 1920s - Dane Starbuck, The Goodriches: An American Family 
The Goodriches: An American Family (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 2001).
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The business of America is business.
calvin coolidge, Speech to the Society of American Newspaper Editors, January 17, 1925
The 1920s marked both the best and worst of times in Indiana. On the one hand, soldiers from the war had returned to their families, the nonfarm economy was booming, and prosperity and “speakeasies” reigned, prompting the decade to become popularly known as the “Roaring Twenties.” On the other hand, the same type of intolerance that had resulted in blatant discrimination against Americans of German heritage during the “European War” once again returned, clad in white hoods and sheets, to menace Catholics, Jews, and African Americans. By 1923, the Ku Klux Klan (KKK), which had originated in the South, took hold in a serious way in Indiana. By that year, the KKK claimed a membership of three hundred thousand in Indiana, and the Hoosier state was the home of the Grand Dragon of the Klan, David Curtis Stephenson. Many municipal, county, state, and federal politicians were members. Klan endorsement was seen by many as a necessary prerequisite for public office. The Klan allegedly helped to elect two Indiana governors and two senators, including Edward L. Jackson, who was governor from 1925 to 1929. In his reelection bid for the Senate in 1926, James Watson was even accused of seeking Klan endorsement.1
Shortly after leaving office as governor in January 1921, James Goodrich was appointed president of the National City Bank of Indianapolis. He had been associated with the bank as a client since his early days in the statehouse. Because of the bank’s poor financial health, which made either reorganization or merger inevitable, the directors sought out Goodrich for his managerial abilities, and he became a major stockholder. In 1923, Goodrich arranged for the National City Bank to be merged with another longtime Indianapolis financial institution, American Fletcher Bank.2 In the early 1920s, the former governor also managed to purchase a controlling interest in the Aetna Trust and Savings Company in Indianapolis. These commercial ties would continue to keep him and his family involved with Indianapolis businesses. They would lead to larger commercial opportunities in the 1930s.
By the early 1920s, Indianapolis had become an important midwestern business and cultural center. Several publishing houses had located in Indianapolis, and some important authors, most notably James Whitcomb Riley and Booth Tarkington, did their best work there. The city, which was the state’s capital, had grown to a population of 320,000 residents. At the same time, Indianapolis retained a certain small-town atmosphere, no doubt in part because so many of its inhabitants were, in fact, recent migrants from Hoosier farms and small towns in search of opportunity.
By 1923, Pierre and Dorothy had made the move from Winchester to an affluent and scenic neighborhood in Indianapolis at 1529 Park Avenue.3 In Indianapolis, Pierre practiced law as a junior partner with the firm of Haynes, Mote and Goodrich in the Hume-Mansur Building. Pierre knew both Haynes and Mote because they had served in his father’s administration. Paul H. Haynes died shortly after Pierre joined the firm. Mote was a Randolph County native and had been a top campaign adviser to James Goodrich in his 1916 race for governor. For Mote’s efforts, in 1917 James Goodrich appointed him secretary of the Indiana Public Service Commission, chairman of the governor’s Legislative Council, and chief oil inspector until the position was abolished in 1920. Mote later became president of the Northern Indiana Telephone Company and ran unsuccessfully for the United States Senate in 1944. Pierre and Mote, who advertised themselves as public utility counselors, severed their partnership in the fall of 1926 after a falling out.4
Pierre practiced alone for the next year and a half, taking offices on the seventh floor of the Continental Bank Building. In 1928, he and John Raab Emison formed a partnership. James Goodrich served in the position of counsel to the firm. Emison, a native of Vincennes, Indiana, was a graduate of DePauw University (1919) and Harvard Law School (1922), where he and Goodrich first met in 1920. Before going into partnership with Pierre, Emison had served as assistant United States attorney for the Southern District of Indiana and as judge of the Superior Court of Knox County.5
The two attorneys, under the firm name of Goodrich and Emison, remained in Goodrich’s Continental Bank Building offices. The building, now called the Electric Building, faced Indianapolis’s Monument Circle. Both Pierre and Emison had a penchant for corporate law and seldom took on legal work that involved the writing of briefs or practice before courts. In 1929, Goodrich and Emison hired a young associate lawyer, Albert Campbell. Campbell, also a DePauw and Harvard Law graduate, became a partner in the 1930s. His professional relationship with Pierre was one of the longest Goodrich ever had.6
At the same time that Pierre was developing a successful corporate practice with his small law firm, he was also seizing upon business opportunities with his father through Engineers Incorporated, the family investment company. Engineers Incorporated was originally organized as a company that owned gas, water, and electric companies and provided financial, and some managerial, services for them.7 Formed on November 20, 1925, Engineers Incorporated purchased a number of struggling companies in the 1930s. Pierre later (with the aid of family members) turned these companies into highly profitable business operations and sold them at huge profits in the 1960s and 1970s. Over the years, a number of close family members or friends were made directors of Engineers Incorporated: Perce G. Goodrich (1952); Russell Martin of Tipton, Indiana (1953); Benjamin Rogge (1960); and J. Dwight Peterson (1961).8 Even before the Depression, Pierre had established himself as a leading corporate lawyer. Until 1927, he was president of the Indiana-Ohio and the Western Ohio Public Services companies, and by 1929, at the age of thirty-five, he was the president of Engineers Incorporated, the Interstate Telephone and Telegraph Company, and the P. F. Goodrich Corporation (a personal holding-investment company).
Pierre was also a director of the Union Insurance Company, the Continental National Bank of Indianapolis, the Aetna Trust and Savings Company, the Equitable Securities Company of Indianapolis, the Peoples Loan and Trust Company, and the Peoples Investment Company of Winchester.9 In addition, he was secretary, treasurer, and a director of the Patoka Coal Company, located near Winslow, Indiana.10 Over the course of his lifetime, the number of companies Pierre would control through his family’s fortune expanded even more, numbering in the dozens.
If the natural gas boom marked the decade of the 1890s, the 1920s can be most closely identified with the automobile revolution. Almost overnight, the horse and buggy disappeared. In 1910, there were only a few hundred cars in east-central Indiana, but by 1923, several thousand loud and strange-looking motorized vehicles could be seen scurrying about, operated by inexperienced and erratic drivers. Driving standards were lax at the time. There was no driver’s training, licensing of drivers involved no test of skill or equipment, and traffic was largely unregulated. This resulted in a high rate of accidents, as James Goodrich could attest. Those who were not affluent enough to travel in their own vehicles hitched rides or used another growing type of transportation—the interurban.11
At the end of his term as governor, James Goodrich vowed that he would never seek elective office again. While he remained true to this personal pledge, he did not quit undertaking acts of public service. His most noteworthy work, documented in the preceding chapters, was in the former Soviet Union on behalf of the American Relief Administration and the Warren G. Harding administration. Over the course of the next two decades, however, James Goodrich held several other important positions in the administration of public and private affairs.
In 1923, James Goodrich was appointed to the Indiana Deep Waterways Commission to investigate the possibility of securing a deep-water channel between the Great Lakes and the Atlantic Ocean via the St. Lawrence River. At the same time, the former governor was also appointed to the Great Lakes–St. Lawrence Tide Water Commission. This latter commission was established by eighteen states that combined their efforts to investigate the opening of the Great Lakes to oceangoing vessels through the St. Lawrence River. The commission found that deepening the St. Lawrence Seaway to thirty feet would allow up to 88 percent of all ships entering American ports to travel, through a series of locks, nearly the complete distance of the Great Lakes.
Ultimately, the need to take action was seen as so great as to compel the creation of a commission at the federal level. Therefore, on March 14, 1924, President Coolidge established the International St. Lawrence Waterways Commission, and Coolidge appointed James Goodrich to serve on this commission. Herbert Hoover, still United States secretary of commerce, chaired the commission. The commission was charged to advise the president on the development of shipping from the Great Lakes to the Atlantic Ocean. The commission was established because of the need for a number of upper-Midwest and Northeast states—Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, North and South Dakota, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, and New York—to have a natural transportation link to the rest of the trading world. The completion of the Panama Canal in 1914 had put these states—which collectively had more than forty million inhabitants who gained their livelihood from basic industries—at a distinct economic disadvantage to other regions of the country when it came to the transportation of goods.12
From the summer of 1924 until December 1926, the commission studied the benefits and costs of making the St. Lawrence Seaway navigable for oceangoing vessels.13 On December 27, 1926, the commission issued its report to President Coolidge.14 After James Goodrich’s work on the commission was completed, the issue had a long debate before resolution occurred. The Senate in 1932 rejected the proposed seaway treaty between the United States and Canada; a second treaty, signed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1941, remained unratified by the Senate for the next eight years. Finally, the Senate approved a treaty with Canada in 1954 when it became apparent that Canada would proceed on its own with the seaway project if the United States did not cooperate.15
Although it was nearly thirty years after the St. Lawrence Seaway Commission’s report was completed that the project was finally attempted, the commission’s study laid the groundwork for the ultimate success of the seaway. When the project was finally begun in May 1954, it followed many of the recommendations that were contained in the Hoover Commission’s report of December 1926. More than twenty-two thousand workers were employed on the project over the next five years. They deepened channels, constructed locks and channels, and created a thirty-mile-long Lake St. Lawrence. When the project was completed in April 1959, the St. Lawrence Seaway provided 9,500 miles of navigable waterways, allowing some forty million tons of cargo to move through the system annually. It was one of the largest civil engineering feats ever undertaken.16
Another event occurred in 1923 that preoccupied Goodrich for several months. Warren T. McCray, who had succeeded Goodrich as governor, became embroiled in a personal financial crisis and had to plead for relief from creditors. McCray and Goodrich, who had previously run against each other for governor in the Republican primary of 1916, were not friends. Thus, when Goodrich came to McCray’s rescue, it was not out of any sense of fondness or loyalty he had for McCray, but an attempt to mitigate the embarrassment that disclosure of McCray’s financial situation would bring to the Republican Party. Goodrich claimed that he helped raise $350,000 to save McCray. Apparently, the effort was all for naught, because shortly thereafter the Bank of Kentland, to which McCray owed the money, failed. McCray was subsequently charged with and convicted of mail fraud. He resigned the governorship in April 1924 and received a ten-year prison sentence.17
At about this time, Goodrich began to raise money for a more worthwhile cause. In 1924, at the age of sixty, Goodrich became chairman of the board of trustees at Wabash College.
In this position Goodrich provided frequent investment advice to the college treasurer and solicited money for the endowment fund. Seeking a contribution from John D. Rockefeller, Goodrich wrote that Wabash College sought to achieve, in the midwest, a position comparable to that of Amherst, Bowdoin, and Williams colleges in the east. Increasingly it was Goodrich who became the financial guardian angel of the college. He personally assumed the cost of remodelling the president’s home and repairing its furnace, and in 1919 he pledged the substantial sum of $50,000 to the Wabash College endowment fund.18
The 1928 presidential election was another event that greatly preoccupied James Goodrich during the 1920s. While Goodrich himself was no longer considered for the top national post, he was a close friend to the two Republican candidates who were: Herbert Hoover and James Watson. Watson had been a leading candidate for vice-president in the 1924 election before Calvin Coolidge selected a little-known Chicago banker, Charles Gates Dawes, as his running mate. Watson, who had allowed the 1920 Republican presidential nomination to slip through his fingers, was determined to garner the 1928 nomination. On February 8, 1928, he announced his intention to run for the office he had desired from the time he and James Goodrich were high school classmates in the 1870s. On April 14, Watson returned to Winchester to proclaim his candidacy before his hometown well-wishers.19 A packed crowd of two thousand attended the ceremony at the new Winchester High School gymnasium. A parade made up of marching bands, local Girl Scout and Boy Scout troops, and others marched from downtown under a large banner that crossed South Street and which read “Our Jim for President.” The south pole anchoring the banner was planted in James Goodrich’s front yard.20 Ironically, Goodrich did not support his childhood friend. He opposed Watson’s entry into the presidential race, believing it would destroy party unity, and supported Hoover. Goodrich’s disappointment in Watson’s candidacy is evident in a letter he wrote to the United States congressman Will Wood:
I have known [Watson] all his life [and] you are perfectly at liberty to tell him all I have said in this letter. There has never been a time and I can cite you to numerous occasions where the interest of the party conflicted with Jim’s desires, when he didn’t sacrifice the party. . . . I only have sympathy and pity for him. It is discouraging to see him with his really unusual ability betraying the great trust the people have committed into his hands, for the simple reason that he has no moral foundation on which to build. I say this not in anger but rather in sorrow.21
Watson ended up defeating Hoover by twenty-five thousand votes in the Indiana primary election, but Hoover captured all other states and easily won the presidential nomination at the Kansas City national convention. Much to the chagrin of Goodrich, he was asked by Hoover’s Indiana state campaign manager to remain in the background and not to publicly support Hoover during the national campaign.22
On November 4, Hoover defeated Democratic candidate Alfred E. Smith of New York, receiving the electoral-college vote of forty of the forty-eight states. With the conservative Hoover in the White House, most Americans were convinced that prosperous times would continue. Indeed, the “Great Engineer” and humanitarian, as Hoover was known, had repeatedly pronounced that an indefinite continuation of a businessman’s government would result in unfettered growth. Only months before his overwhelming victory over Smith, Hoover proclaimed, “We in America today are nearer to the final triumph over poverty than ever before in the history of any land.”23 Of course, less than fourteen months later, with the occurrence of “Black Friday” in October 1929, all such rosy projections changed.
While James Watson would never realize his dream of being president, he would be almost as near in power to the top position as any elected official could be. In January 1929, Watson was elected majority leader of the United States Senate, a position he would hold throughout the duration of the Hoover administration. James Goodrich would often travel to Washington to see Watson, now an important spoke in the inner circle of Washington power. Will Hays, Goodrich’s other longtime political colleague who had Washington connections, had resigned his position as President Harding’s postmaster general in 1922 to become the first president of the Motion Picture Producers and Distributors of America, at the princely salary of $100,000 a year.24
Goodrich’s other close friends in the nation’s capital included President and Mrs. Hoover. If anything, the friendship between the Hoovers and the Goodriches grew closer while Hoover occupied the presidency. At the age of sixty-five, Goodrich was not interested in obtaining a post in Hoover’s administration, but he regularly offered advice to the president. For instance, while staying at the White House (in the Lincoln suite) in February 1932, Goodrich again approached Hoover about recognizing the Soviet Union. Preoccupied with the prolongation of the Depression and only months away from undertaking a presidential campaign, Hoover had no interest in taking on the thorny issue. “No occasion to recognize Russia, no sentiment in [the] country for it,” he told his good friend.25
The Goodriches also arranged for several groups of Indiana friends to be received by the Hoovers.26 One such occasion was described by Emma Lieber in a humorous vignette about Cora Goodrich that was recorded in Lieber’s biography about her husband, Richard Lieber. Mrs. Lieber wrote:
Though Governor Goodrich never was President of these United States, he and his wife frequently were house guests in the White House. I want to tell you of an amusing instance. The Goodriches happened to be guests of the President on one occasion when Richard and I (and of course many others) were invited to be in the receiving line at one of the receptions that President and Mrs. Hoover were giving. . . .
That evening we all were invited to a dinner at the home of Senator and Mrs. James Davis [of Pennsylvania]. Again a White House automobile was sent to the hotel to take us and Governor and Mrs. Goodrich to the home of Senator Davis and then after the dinner return us to the White House for the reception. . . . [Later], Mrs. Goodrich, who noticed how tired we were, thought we ought to go back to our hotel and to bed. She beckoned to a very fine looking gold-braided man, believing him to be a servant in livery, and said, “Please call one of the White House automobiles and see that Colonel Lieber and his ladies are taken to their hotel.”
Mrs. Goodrich did not realize it, but poor Richard did, and for once he was embarrassed, that she had made this request to an—Admiral! The Admiral had a sense of humor and merely winked an eye at Richard, then personally saw to it that a chauffeur was notified and we were taken to our hotel in grand style.27
At a professional level, James Goodrich only once served as a formal adviser to Hoover. On October 18, 1929, the president appointed Goodrich to an important commission on conservation. Hoover did this at a news conference at the White House in which he announced the formation of the Commission on the Conservation and Administration of Public Domain (commonly known as the Public Lands Commission).28 The commission was composed of one representative from each of the eleven western states in which public land existed. J. R. Garfield, secretary of the interior under President Theodore Roosevelt, chaired the committee. Hoover appointed James Goodrich as a general representative. Hoover’s previous work with Goodrich, as well as the former governor’s own reputation in establishing Indiana’s conservation program and state park system, were factors that led to Goodrich’s appointment.29
The commission first met in June 1930. During that summer, members traveled approximately nine thousand miles by automobile throughout the western states, gathering data. At that time, approximately 179 million acres of land remained in public domain (owned neither by states nor by individuals). The commission was charged with evaluating how best to preserve and make use of the land. The commission initially examined how to dispose of the surface rights of the land; at that time up to 50 percent of all sheep and 15 percent of all cattle in the United States grazed on public land. The commission later investigated a host of ancillary issues: land reclamation; national forests; flood control; power sites; reservations for Native Americans; the extraction of minerals, including oil and gas; national parks; bird refuges; and game reserves.30 Finally, on January 16, 1931, the commission issued its final report to President Hoover.31
The commission’s far-ranging report has implications even to this day. For instance, the commission’s recommendations for water conservation and flood control led to the building of hundreds of dams and irrigation projects that made millions of acres tillable and suitable for grazing. The commission’s recommendations with regard to the appropriation of public lands to the states caused many states to create and develop conservation programs, nature preserves, and state parks.32
Goodrich disagreed with much of the report and signed it reluctantly. He insisted that the states could administer public lands better than Washington could and that the commission had recommended the relinquishment of too little federal control. “My position is so diametrically opposite to that of the rest of the Commission that I wonder why I was put on it,” he wrote to Garfield. “I should have resigned when the report first came in.”33
Previously, in March 1927, James Goodrich had begun serving on the board of directors of the American-Russian Chamber of Commerce, located on West Fifty-seventh Street in New York City. In this capacity, he was able to renew his acquaintance with Maxim Litvinoff, the Soviet foreign minister, with whom he worked closely. Most of the American directors were heads of large corporations doing business in the Soviet Union, such as the Westinghouse Corporation, United States Steel, Chase National Bank, General Electric, and the Remington Typewriter Company. The Chamber of Commerce published a series of reports promoting a “how-to” guide for companies trading in the Soviet Union and sponsored informal trade delegations between the two countries. Goodrich’s inability to influence American foreign policy toward Russia through the Harding and Coolidge administrations was apparently why he sought to encourage trade between the two powers through private channels.34
Because of his close affiliation with Teddy Roosevelt, Goodrich was appointed in 1920 as a member of the Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Trust, a commission charged with honoring the twenty-sixth president of the United States. In the private sphere, Goodrich, in addition to being chairman of the Wabash College Board of Trustees, also served as a trustee of the Presbyterian Theological Seminary in Chicago (from 1919 to 1940), as a trustee of the American Child Welfare Association, and as vice-president and member of the executive committee of the Civil Legion of America.35 Occasionally, he spoke at such occasions as the dedication of the World War I monument in his hometown of Winchester on November 11, 1928. The monument, the statue of a doughboy, had been donated by the Goodrich family in recognition of the thirty-six men from Randolph County who died during the war.36 And although he would not seek elective office again, James Goodrich was still sought by the Republican Party for his leadership. From the time he stepped down as governor in 1920, he attended until his death nearly every Republican national and state convention as a delegate from Indiana.
During the 1920s, Pierre was enjoying great success in the business world. In his private life, however, the situation was not the same, at least in the latter half of the decade. On September 16, 1926, his boyhood friend and the best man at his wedding, Carl McCamish, traveled to Cincinnati and committed suicide by shooting himself through the chest. In the early 1920s, after the death of his sister, Carl McCamish had moved back to Winchester from Indianapolis to work in the family business, a highly successful burial-supply company. Carl had given up being a doctor to assist his parents with the family company. He also served on the town council. According to newspaper accounts, poor health and overcommitment both at work and in the community led McCamish to take his own life.37
In 1927, Pierre began experiencing excruciating back pain. The condition worsened to the point that in late September he sought medical attention at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. He had back surgery in Indianapolis the following year. Another blow, emotionally more agonizing than any physical pain he would suffer, struck Pierre shortly after.38 In August 1928, after eight years of marriage, Dorothy divorced him. Their only child, Frances (whom they called “Nancy”), was not quite seven years old.39
Family members and close friends suggested a number of reasons for the marriage’s breakup. First, Dorothy was a socialite and conversationalist who enjoyed parties and outings with friends. She was also a consummate storyteller who needed a willing audience of listeners.40 As for Pierre, cocktail parties and social gatherings completely bored him. To his way of thinking, these occasions provided little opportunity to engage in meaningful (philosophical) conversations. Moreover, they kept him away from his business and intellectual pursuits.41 Pierre was known to work extremely long hours, which did not accommodate Dorothy’s desire to be more social.
Second, during the early years of his marriage, Pierre was quite frugal. Despite enjoying early financial success from his legal practice and businesses, he was ever mindful, almost as if he were still at college, of unnecessary expenditures. His parsimony did not suit Dorothy, who had grown up in comfortable environs as the daughter of a wealthy Indiana banker.42 Finally, there may have been another love interest. Pierre’s parents were heartbroken over the divorce.
Pierre remained single for the next twelve years, while Dorothy, on Christmas Day in 1933, married Louis Haerle, an Indianapolis businessman.43 Dorothy’s second marriage appeared to be a happy one. She became active in Indianapolis social circles and, for a time, worked as an occupational therapist for the Riley Hospital for Children.44 In 1965, she and Haerle moved to La Jolla, California, to retire. Dorothy passed away in February 1987.45
For many years after their divorce, Pierre and Dorothy remained in contact over the upbringing of their daughter. Nancy had gone to school at Shortridge High School in Indianapolis but graduated from Tudor Hall School in 1939. She then matriculated at Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, New York, her mother’s alma mater. After only two years, however, she ran away from the campus, causing substantial distress to both of her parents. She later traveled extensively in Europe, and she enrolled at Oxford and the Sorbonne but failed to earn a degree.46
James Goodrich’s work on various federal and state commissions enabled him to continue his long-term interest in public affairs. Financially secure, James was able to devote much time to serving on these commissions and on the boards of several private organizations. The bulk of his time, however, was still spent in increasing his own and his family’s fortunes.
President Coolidge’s philosophy that “the business of America is business” was taken to heart by the Goodriches: In June 1920, while James was still governor, his family founded the Railway Service and Supply Company in Indianapolis, which primarily repaired freight cars and constructed or repaired railway equipment.47 In 1923, James became a major investor in and treasurer of the Patoka Coal Company, a strip mine in Pike County, Indiana.48 In November 1925, James established Engineers Incorporated, and in April 1926, the Goodriches formed the Interstate Telephone and Telegraph Company, which provided telephone service to communities in both Indiana and Ohio.49 In May 1926, Pierre was one of three incorporators who founded the Muncie Theatre Realty Company, a holding company for movie theaters in Muncie, Indiana.50
Despite forming and acquiring interests in these companies in the mid 1920s, James Goodrich detected something wrong in the economy. The former Indiana governor was a master at seeing a business opportunity and capitalizing on it. He was especially keen when it came to anticipating economic cycles and the profitability of various enterprises. His most far-reaching and important business decision came approximately two years before the Great Depression. James Goodrich’s nephew and cousin to Pierre, Perce “Bud” Goodrich, tells the story:
The Goodrich brothers had family meetings often and Uncle Jim came into a family meeting and just told his brothers, “We’re going to get out of the utility business.” He sensed something was wrong with the economy and that things were going to happen that he didn’t like. Uncle James told his brothers, “We’re going to pool our money and form a corporation so if, down the road, we see something we want to buy or something we want to invest in, we’ll have the cash to do it. In the meantime we’ll invest the money in short term securities.”51
Obviously, James Goodrich’s experience as governor and in banking gave him a certain advantage in foretelling the onset of the Great Depression. It is equally evident, however, that thousands of other politicians, businessmen, and bankers either totally misread or disregarded the signs that foretold the horrific economic times to come. James’s brothers followed the former governor’s directions precisely. The five businessmen soon liquidated their interests in most of the small-town utility companies, such as Citizens Heat, Power and Light Company in Winchester; Washington Heat, Light and Power Company in Daviess County; Jeffersonville Water, Light and Power Company in Clark County; Union Power, Heat and Light Company of Union City, Indiana; and the Indiana-Ohio and the Western Ohio Public Services companies. The sales generated huge profits for the family. For instance, the sales of the Washington Heat, Light and Power Company and the Jeffersonville Water, Light and Power Company, according to James Goodrich, amounted to half a million dollars.52
The brothers continued to maintain controlling ownership or a large interest, however, in the Goodrich Brothers Hay and Grain Company, Peoples Loan and Trust Company, Patoka Coal, and a handful of utilities, such as the Eastern Indiana Telephone Company. As Percy recalled years later, the grain and feed business was “recession proof,” whereas many of the family’s other holdings were not.53 The money they received from selling their interests in the utilities was invested in short-term certificates of deposit by Engineers Incorporated. The year was 1927. That move would make it possible for the family to increase its fortune tenfold in the 1930s and 1940s.
[1. ]For Klan activity in Indiana, see M. William Lutholtz, Grand Dragon: D. C. Stephenson and the Ku Klux Klan in Indiana (West Lafayette, Ind.: Purdue University Press, 1993); Kathleen M. Thee, Women of the Klan: Racism and Gender in the 1920s (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1992); and Virginia Black, “Behind the Hood,” Fort Wayne (Ind.) News-Sentinel, January 25, 1992, summit sec., pp. 6–8. Regarding the KKK’s alleged support of James Watson, see “Watson Declares Klan Indorsement Work of Enemies,” Indianapolis Star, June 10, 1924, p. 1, col. 5; “Watson Denies Deals for Support of Klan,” Indianapolis Star, October 23, 1926, p. 3, col. 2.
[2. ]See “J. P. Goodrich, Former Governor of Indiana, Dead at 76 Years,” Indianapolis News, August 18, 1940, p. 1, col. 6.
[3. ]1924 Indianapolis (City) Directory, roll 17, Indiana State Library, Indiana Division.
[4. ]Mote grew up in Spartansburg, Indiana. He was superintendent of the Parker City school system and principal of the Union City High School before leaving Randolph County and getting involved in politics with James Goodrich in Indianapolis. See “Carl H. Mote, Head of Farm Group, Dies,” Indianapolis Star, April 30, 1946, p. 4, col. 2. Pierre and Mote practiced at 1109–10 Hume-Mansur Building, Indianapolis.
[5. ]Mrs. John Raab (Kathryn) Emison, interview, November 24, 1992.
[7. ]P. F. Goodrich to E. Victor Willetts, Jr., December 27, 1972. The articles of incorporation of Engineers Incorporated were filed with the Indiana secretary of state’s office on November 20, 1925. The incorporators were James, William Wallace (“W. W.”), and Pierre Goodrich. Pierre was president and W. W. was secretary. The five directors were James, Pierre, W. W., Percy, and John B. Goodrich. Engineers Incorporated was reorganized on September 19, 1938. Its office was always that of Pierre’s law practice. It was dissolved as of December 29, 1969. See “Engineers Incorporated,” Closed Corporations, State Archives, Indiana Commission on Public Records, AR 17-650.
[8. ]See the annual reports for these years for the additions of directors to the board of Engineers Incorporated. In 1960, Helen Schultz was made secretary and treasurer of Engineers Incorporated. “Engineers Incorporated,” Closed Corporations, State Archives, Indiana Commission on Public Records, AR 17-650.
[9. ]Book of Indiana (Indianapolis: James O. Jones, 1929), p. 326.
[10. ]See William H. Andrews, “Ayrshire Collieries Corporation—Profit with Ecology” (research paper, Indiana University, n.d.).
[11. ]Dwight W. Hoover, Magic Middletown (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1986), pp. 48–51.
[12. ]See U.S. Congress, Senate, St. Lawrence Waterway Project, 69th Cong., 2d sess., 1927, S. Rept. 183, pp. 2–10. In 1924, ten years after the completion of the Panama Canal, shipping a ton of staple goods by sea from New York City to San Francisco cost approximately half of what it cost to ship the same goods from Chicago to San Francisco by rail. Similar discrepancies existed with regard to the transportation of goods from the Midwest to ports in South America and overseas. As a result, the cost of transporting one bushel of grain, for example, from the Midwest had increased six to eighteen cents.
[13. ]The commission also examined two other routes: an “all-American” route that did not cross Canada’s southern border and therefore did not require the complications of treaty negotiations with Canada, and the Lake Ontario–Hudson River route that passed through New York state. The commission found that there would be a tremendous savings in adopting the St. Lawrence Seaway route. The commission cited the following reasons for adopting the St. Lawrence Seaway route: there would be fewer navigable miles through canals—137 miles on the All-American route, 128 miles on the Ontario-Hudson route, 21 to 25 miles on the St. Lawrence route; there would be fewer locks—nine locks compared with twenty locks on the Ontario-Hudson route; the number of obstructed bridges would be substantially smaller—eight bridges compared with fifty-four on the Ontario-Hudson route; and, finally, the distance via the St. Lawrence from Great Lake ports to northern European ports would be shorter than the Ontario-Hudson route by 625 miles. Completion of the St. Lawrence Seaway had other economic advantages beyond lower transportation costs. For example, the development of the St. Lawrence waterway could result in harnessing huge hydroelectric power from the great rapids which then obstructed navigation on the river (ibid.).
[14. ]The commission’s report was referred to the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce on January 3, 1927, and a number of hearings and follow-up studies were held on the report.
[15. ]See “St. Lawrence Seaway,” in The New Encyclopaedia Britannica, 15th ed., vol. 24 (Chicago: Encyclopaedia Britannica, 1992), pp. 1073–76, particularly p. 1075.
[17. ]“M’Cray Not to Resign; Sees Politicians’ Hand,” Indianapolis News, October 1, 1923, p. 1, col. 1; “Indiana in Turmoil over M’Cray’s Case: Goodrich Denies Charge,” New York Times, October 3, 1923, p. 1, col. 5; “M’Cray Bank Shuts; Asserts Solvency,” New York Times, October 14, 1923, p. 1, col. 4; “Gov. McCray Guilty of Attempted Fraud; He Goes to Jail and Is Not Likely to Appeal,” New York Times, April 29, 1924, p. 1, col. 4; “Indiana” (editorial on McCray), New York Times, April 30, 1924, p. 18, col. 1; Benjamin D. Rhodes, James P. Goodrich, Indiana’s “Governor Strangelove” (London: Associated University Presses, 1996), pp. 136–37.
[18. ]Rhodes, James P. Goodrich, Indiana’s “Governor Strangelove,” p. 138. See also Wabash Bulletin 39 (October 1940), supplement, pp. 11–12; letter from Goodrich to Treasurer O. E. Gregg, June 30, 1920, James P. Goodrich Papers, box 3; letter from Goodrich to John D. Rockefeller, June 21, 1920, James P. Goodrich Papers, box 2; letter from Goodrich to Dr. George L. McIntosh, September 16, 1919, James P. Goodrich Papers, box 2.
[19. ]“Watson Announces Candidacy for President; Selects M. Bert Thurman for Campaign Manager,” Indianapolis News, February 9, 1928, p. 1, col. 4; Maurice Early, “Watson Defines Policies in Talk at Native Town,” Indianapolis Star, April 15, 1928, p. 1, col. 3.
[20. ]Marianna Reed, interview, July 20, 1992. Ms. Reed, a Girl Scout at the time, participated in the parade and ceremony.
[21. ]Letter from Goodrich to Wood, March 13, 1928, James P. Goodrich Papers, box 13.
[22. ]See Rhodes, James P. Goodrich, Indiana’s “Governor Strangelove,” pp. 157–58.
[23. ]Williams, Current, and Freidel, A History of the United States: Since 1865, p. 456.
[24. ]See Will H. Hays, The Memoirs of Will H. Hays, pp. 323–63; Raymond Moley, The Hays Office (Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill, 1945), pp. 32–67.
[25. ]James Goodrich, “Diary,” February 2, 1932, James P. Goodrich Papers, box 3; see also Rhodes, James P. Goodrich, Indiana’s “Governor Strangelove,” pp. 156–57.
[26. ]Mary Johnson, formerly Mary Miller and a Girl Scout, recalls that Cora Goodrich arranged for the Girl Scouts of Winchester to visit the White House and have tea with Mrs. Hoover. At the time, Mrs. Hoover was president of the Girl Scouts of America (interview, January 1, 1992).
[27. ]Emma Lieber, Richard Lieber, pp. 96–97.
[28. ]See Herbert Hoover Papers, pp. 330–31, 333–34. The Public Lands Commission was formally created by an Act of Congress dated April 10, 1930.
[30. ]These issues had become critical for analysis because of prior federal legislation and the overuse of some resources. Since 1785, Congress had enacted legislation that encouraged settlement on federal lands. That culminated in the Homestead Act of 1862, which provided 160 acres of public land free of charge to anyone over the age of twenty-one who would settle it for five years. The idea was that, once the land was settled and communities had been established, the territories could be converted into states. Much of this settled public land, however, was eventually abandoned and became wild again. Still other public land was never settled. As a result, overgrazing and erosion depleted the value of the nearly worthless land even more. See Report of the Committee on the Conservation and Administration of the Public Domain (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, January 16, 1931), pp. 11–17.
[31. ]In November 1930, the commission held hearings in Washington, D.C., and studied the material which it had collected in the preceding months. Numerous conservation and wildlife organizations appeared before the commission, presenting evidence and making recommendations.
[32. ]See Report of the Committee on the Conservation and Administration of the Public Domain, pp. 17–37.
[33. ]Letter from Goodrich to Garfield, January 25, 1931, James P. Goodrich Papers, box 3; see also Rhodes, James P. Goodrich, Indiana’s “Governor Strangelove,” p. 159.
[34. ]The first mention of James Goodrich’s serving as a director of the American-Russian Chamber of Commerce is in a March 1927 quarterly publication (Rept. 7) found in the Library of Congress under the American-Russian Chamber of Commerce, HC 331.A8.
[35. ]“James Putnam Goodrich,” Who’s Who in America, vol. 1 (Chicago: A. N. Marquis, 1943), p. 468.
[36. ]“War Memorial: Dedicated on Armistice Day,” Winchester (Ind.) Journal-Herald, November 12, 1928, p. 1, col. 2.
[37. ]Carl McCamish, Pierre’s best man, was the son of James McCamish and Ida Kitselman McCamish, members of what probably were the two most prominent families in Randolph County after the Goodriches. The McCamishes operated a large burial-supply company, and the Kitselmans became wealthy making roller skates and fencing, later moving their operations to Muncie, Indiana. See obituary, Winchester (Ind.) Journal-Herald, September 17, 1926, p. 1, col. 8; “Kills Himself at Cincinnati: Winchester Man Ends His Life with Shotgun, While in Automobile,” Associated Press story (publication unknown), September 16, 1926; “M’Camish Funeral,” Winchester (Ind.) Journal-Herald, September 23, 1926, p. 1, col. 8.
[38. ]We know that Pierre was at the Mayo Clinic from a telegram that was sent there to James Goodrich by James Watson on September 29, 1927, in which Watson refers to Pierre’s condition. Watson also refers to Pierre’s recovery in a letter to James Goodrich dated October 3, 1927, James P. Goodrich Papers, box 28.
[39. ]August 11, 1928, Dorothy Goodrich (Plaintiff), Pierre Goodrich (Defendant), Divorce Index, Marion County, Indiana, Plaintiff, Case A-45384.
[40. ]Margaret Morton Kimball (niece of Dorothy Dugan), interview, October 25, 1992. According to Rosanna Amos, “She [Dorothy] always wanted to be the social butterfly, and even though Pierre Goodrich came from a very well known family, that was never his interest. I don’t think he was ever interested in socializing at all. Being known was not important to him” (interview, December 10, 1991).
[41. ]Gilbert Snider, interview, December 23, 1991.
[42. ]Mary Simpson, interview, April 19, 1992; Elizabeth Goodrich Terry, interview, November 16, 1991.
[43. ]Marriage Records, Marion County, Indiana, Louis Haerle and Dorothy Goodrich, December 25, 1933, bk. 140, p. 425. Haerle worked for the Hibben-Hollweg Company in Indianapolis, a dry-goods establishment that sold textiles, linens, and other cloth products. Dorothy and her new husband lived on an estate in Zionsville, which they called Pinegate Farm.
[44. ]Margaret Kimball, interview, October 25, 1992. According to Mrs. Kimball, Dorothy participated in the Indianapolis Women’s Club (a literary group), the Junior League, the Indiana Vassar Club, and the Indianapolis Dramatics Club (a theater group). She even wrote a cookbook. Dorothy’s involvement in the Indianapolis Literary Club was so well remembered that the club honored her with the dedication of a book in 1987. That was shortly after Dorothy’s death (she died on February 14, 1987) and twenty years after she had resigned from the club to move to California.
[45. ]Obituary, Decatur Democrat, February 23, 1987, p. 4, col. 2.
[46. ]Ibid. For a brief account of Nancy Goodrich Poniatowski, see Margaret Moore Post, “Cora J. Frist Goodrich,” in First Ladies of Indiana and the Governors, 1816–1984 (Indianapolis: Pierson Printing, 1984), p. 134.
[47. ]See “The Railway Service Corporation,” Dissolved Corporations, State Archives, Indiana Commission on Public Records, AR-1988. The Railway Service Corporation was founded on June 26, 1920, by Claude Barnes and Merl Chenoweth, both employees of Goodrich companies. On November 19, 1921, a petition to change the name to the Railway Service and Supply Corporation was filed and granted. On February 1922, Edward Goodrich was elected chairman. According to the March 13, 1922, report, the company had capital stock of $500,000.
[48. ]Patoka Coal Company was formed on July 8, 1919, having previously operated as the Globe Coal Company. There is no indication in the corporate records that the Goodrich family had an interest in Patoka Coal until 1923. At that time, Jesse Moorman was president and James Goodrich was treasurer. See “Patoka Coal Company,” Dissolved Corporations, State Archives, Indiana Commission on Public Records, AR 17-890 and 3055-107.
[49. ]The articles of incorporation were filed for Engineers Incorporated on November 20, 1925. The Interstate Telephone and Telegraph Company was formed on April 7, 1926, by Pierre F. Goodrich. Pierre had to clear the usage of the name “Interstate Telephone Company,” because a company by that name had been founded on December 24, 1910. It was no longer in operation, however, having failed to file annual reports for three consecutive years with the secretary of state’s office. See “Interstate Telephone and Telegraph Company,” Dissolved Corporations, State Archives, Indiana Commission on Public Records, 2547-6.
[50. ]The articles of association of Muncie Theatre Realty Company were filed with the Indiana secretary of state’s office on May 5, 1926. The incorporators were Leslie Colvin, Pierre F. Goodrich, and J. J. Kiser, all of Indianapolis. The capital stock of the corporation was $425,000. The company reincorporated on July 7, 1933. At its height, it owned approximately eight movie theaters in the Muncie, Indiana, area. Its office address was that of Pierre’s law office, 712 Continental Bank Building. See “Muncie Theatre Realty Company,” Dissolved Corporations, State Archives, Indiana Commission on Public Records, AR 2438-9.
[51. ]Perce Goodrich, interview, November 9, 1992.
[52. ]The Jeffersonville Water and Gas Company (which became the Jeffersonville Water, Light and Power Company) was sold to the Interstate Public Service Company on February 1, 1927. The Interstate Public Service Company, based in Indianapolis, had purchased dozens of city electric, water, and gas companies throughout Indiana in the 1920s. See Moody’s Public Utilities (New York City, 1927), p. 366. In 1927, the Goodriches and Jesse Moorman and Carl Semans also sold the Washington Water, Light and Power Company to a group of investors from New York City. The Indiana-Ohio and Western Ohio public services companies were also liquidated in 1927. See annual report, Washington Water, Light and Power Company, 1927, Dissolved Corporations, State Archives, Indiana Commission on Public Records. The annual reports for Citizens Heat, Light and Power of Winchester and Union Heat, Light and Power of Union City show that after 1927 the Goodriches, with one exception, were no longer officers or directors of these companies. The exception is William Wallace Goodrich, who was a director of Citizens Heat, Light and Power until approximately 1930.
[53. ]Percy Goodrich told this to Ivan Barr in the late 1940s. Ivan Barr, telephone interview, March 27, 1993.