Front Page Titles (by Subject) PART V: The Goodriches Assayed - The Goodriches: An American Family
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PART V: The Goodriches Assayed - Dane Starbuck, The Goodriches: An American Family 
The Goodriches: An American Family (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 2001).
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The Goodriches Assayed
Who Was Pierre F. Goodrich?
Pierre Goodrich was the most complicated man I have ever known. I could write a book about this man, but I despair of doing justice to his multisided personality and his amazing range of interests.
byron k. trippet, Wabash on My Mind
One day in late April 1971, Pierre F. Goodrich, president for thirty-five years of the Indiana Telephone Corporation, decided to visit the corporate headquarters in Seymour, Indiana. He did not come to the offices to meet with upper-level management or to discuss the company’s performance in the last business quarter. Rather, he came to see the recently installed telephone equipment, the women who responded to customer complaints (the so-called 114 girls), Marcella Patton, Mary McCallum, Jean Thomson, and the other operators and secretaries.
At seventy-six, an age when many multimillionaires have been retired for a decade, the crusty but soft-spoken CEO began asking questions of the operators: How did the new electronic switching stations work? How did the operators keep them clean? Did they like automation better than the old manual system? The operators grew weary of Mr. Goodrich’s intense curiosity. They simply wanted to get on with their work, but they were too intimidated by the austere and elderly president to seek leave from his seemingly endless questions.1
For Pierre Goodrich, the occasion was bittersweet. It was a day of nostalgia. He was old enough to remember when the mainstay of the company was the magneto-crank telephone, when telephone operators were called upon to contact the local doctor to notify him that a baby was on its way. He further recalled that the local operators in Seymour, Greensburg, and Winchester had been the hub of a great deal of information. The passing of that day was rather sad. He realized that the operators no longer knew the customers; they had become mere button pushers. Moreover, he knew that recently invented fiber optics and microwave transmission would transform modern communications even further. All these changes marked the end of an era.2
But the company president had another agenda that day. He came to discuss ideas he believed had great relevancy for years to come. Dressed in his conservative dark coat and top hat and perceived as eccentric by his employees, he wanted to discuss matters that were meaningful to him throughout his lifetime of accomplishment: a love of freedom, responsibility, personal commitment, tenacity, and other virtues he extolled and embodied.
On that day, the employees gathered into small groups to meet Mr. Goodrich, a man whom they knew more by reputation than through personal contact. He did not come to make a speech; Pierre F. Goodrich seldom made a speech. He came, in essence, to conduct a symposium, to converse about his greatest concerns and deepest beliefs: man’s ignorance and imperfection, the existence of laws not created by man, and the courage of the Founding Fathers.
The employees listened politely. Few of them had ever read, or even heard of, the Federalist or the work of the Austrian economist Ludwig von Mises, both of which Goodrich spoke about in detail and with passion. The informal discussions went on all afternoon and into the evening, when a company dinner was held. Goodrich later wrote a letter thanking the employees for their thought-provoking conversations, though, in fact, they had said little. Combining business with intellectual discussions was Goodrich’s lifelong habit. For Pierre Goodrich, it was difficult to say where business ended and scholarly discourse began.3
Pierre F. Goodrich was a remarkable man: unconventional, enigmatic, demanding, elusive, inquisitive, skeptical, impassioned, private, and perceptive, with nearly inexhaustive energy. “Mr. Goodrich was way before his time,” said Ruth Connolly, one of his secretaries at Liberty Fund.4
Indeed, the Indianapolis-based businessman was a visionary. As chairman of the board of Ayrshire Collieries Corporation, Goodrich began the reclamation of stripped coalfields thirty years before federal and state regulators forced such action upon coal operators. In banking and the telephone industry, he advocated changes that only in the past ten years have been fully adopted by others. His own companies bought the latest technology. He was constantly trying to find out what the competition was doing. He was keenly interested in the latest gadgets.5
Although Pierre Goodrich was visionary in his business practices, he was often anachronistic in his personal life. He did not own a television, because he believed that television would disrupt his passion for books and ideas.6 Although he could afford the best clothes, his abhorrence of waste prompted him to continue to wear suits that were badly worn and dated. In the 1960s, when smoking at work was commonplace, he demanded that his offices be nonsmoking. His demeanor was often that of the stereotypical absent-minded professor; although worth millions, he could be so deep in thought that he would forget to take pocket change for lunch.7
Defining his life presents many problems. His friends and acquaintances disagreed about Goodrich’s personality and beliefs. To some, Goodrich was gracious, hospitable, and refined;8 to others, he was irascible, suspicious, and unkempt.9 One theology professor who attended an early Liberty Fund seminar on religion left the conference convinced that his host was an atheist.10 Yet Pierre Goodrich’s discussions and writings repeatedly refer to an “infinite creator.” Moreover, his vast knowledge of Scripture was well known.11 He was convinced that the pursuit of ideas about liberty was of the utmost importance to a society, yet he did not choose to champion those ideas by the traditional means of holding a political office or an academic position. Moreover, Goodrich avoided socializing, because he believed that membership in most social organizations was a waste of time. Yet he would take any time necessary to examine some small, obscure point if he believed it would enable him to make a better business decision or if it furthered a philosophical insight.
“Hours did not mean anything to Pierre,” said Will Hays, Jr., who served with Goodrich on the Wabash College Board of Trustees. “Pierre would be so intense about something that was interesting to him, that it just consumed him. He could not understand that the person he was talking to would not be as interested in it as he was.”12
Goodrich was a voracious reader. Moreover, he constantly challenged others to read, especially material that reinforced his own strong convictions about liberty, the virtues of the free market, and the evils of governmental power. When employees and acquaintances said that they did not have time to read as broadly as Goodrich had hoped because of work or family commitments, his common response (and he meant it quite seriously) was, “What are you doing between midnight and 2:00 a.m.?” (he often stayed up that late reading himself).13 It was not uncommon for Goodrich to start business meetings with book discussions, and he often had magazine and journal subscriptions sent to friends and acquaintances.14 For instance, after Goodrich met the young Richard Lugar, a former Indianapolis mayor and currently Indiana’s senior United States senator, Goodrich sent Lugar letters containing titles of books by conservative philosophers and legal scholars. “Pierre knew that I had studied politics, philosophy, and economics at Oxford,” said Lugar. “He thought I should be aware of these writers if I hadn’t already been exposed to them.”15
Goodrich also challenged Eli Lilly, another prominent Indianapolis figure and fellow Wabash College trustee, to take up the classics.16 Anyone who visited Goodrich at his Indianapolis office, whether on a business or a personal call, was likely to leave with a book in hand or to be mailed a packet of selected readings. The material would almost always include numbers 10 and 51 of the Federalist. Also included would be a copy of the letter of the British historian Lord Acton containing the well-known admonition that “power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely” and Rudyard Kipling’s poem “The Gods of the Copybook Headings” (see appendix C).17 A list was kept of the people who visited Goodrich in the early 1970s and who were sent the above readings. The list, several pages in length, includes national political insiders, former Indiana governors, congressmen, leading national journalists, academics, and businessmen.18 It was as if Pierre Goodrich’s office was a stopping-off place for prominent figures who were on a pilgrimage to greater understanding. Goodrich was just as apt to have the same literature sent to the plumber who had fixed his sink the day before or the janitor whom he had recently engaged in vigorous debate.19
Former Indiana governor Edgar D. Whitcomb remembers when he first met Goodrich, in 1958. Whitcomb was attempting to get a manuscript that he had written published. “Once I was advised that he might be of help, I went directly to Pierre’s office and the receptionist showed me in,” said Whitcomb. “Mr. Goodrich was sitting in the corner reading a book.” Whitcomb discussed with Goodrich his manuscript, Escape from Corregidor. It was about Whitcomb’s experiences in a Japanese prisoner-of-war camp during World War II. “After I introduced myself and my purpose for visiting,” added Whitcomb, “Pierre pulled a watch out of his pocket and said to me, ‘It is a quarter till twelve. I can give you fifteen minutes.’”
Two and a half hours later, after lunch and a lengthy philosophical discussion, Whitcomb emerged from Goodrich’s office with at least eight books in hand; Goodrich had also called Henry Regnery on the spot, and Regnery published Whitcomb’s manuscript soon afterward.20
William Campbell, now a professor of economics at Louisiana State University, appreciated Goodrich for giving him a copy of Ludwig von Mises’s Human Action, which introduced him to economics and rational thought. Campbell credits this small gesture as having a major influence on the direction of his intellectual interests. Campbell also remembers the influence that Goodrich had on his father, Albert, a longtime law partner and business associate of Pierre’s: “My father felt personally indebted to Pierre for interesting him in the cause of human liberty. I think it is safe to say that my father would not have dedicated himself to Wabash, Hillsdale, [and] Rockford College without the personal influence of Pierre Goodrich.”21
Victor Milione, former president of the Intercollegiate Studies Institute, had similar praise for Goodrich. “What I admired about Pierre most was here was a man that had tremendous wealth and could have sat on his backside and played golf whenever he wanted to, but instead he got involved in issues and ideas. Pierre spent a great deal of time thinking about the future. He wasn’t simply doing these things for his own material benefit.”22
Pierre Goodrich’s strengths and foibles say much about him. He had a prodigious memory, especially for details. In both business and foundation meetings, Goodrich often prevailed in his arguments because of his ability to quote verbatim from some relatively obscure source.23
“He would call me on the telephone and we would talk for an hour,” said Dale Braun, who worked for Goodrich briefly to establish Indiana chapters of the Great Books Foundation. “We’d then talk again six months later and Pierre would quote me word for word what I had told him during our earlier conversation. I remember I had to be careful what I told him for fear he’d hold me to the letter of it months later.”24
John Kidder remembers when he was manager of the Ford dealership shortly after World War II in Goodrich’s hometown of Winchester. Because the war had consumed most of the country’s steel, cars for private use were extremely difficult to come by. One Monday morning, on Goodrich’s return to Indianapolis, he drove into the Ford dealership to purchase gasoline. He was driving a 1941 Lincoln Continental. “I told Pierre at the time that if he was ever interested in selling the car, I’d like to purchase it for the dealership,” said Kidder. “He didn’t say anything, just nodded his head. Six years later I got a letter from Pierre asking if I was still interested in buying the Lincoln.”25
Goodrich often addressed his employees by their last names. He believed that casual familiarity (referring to one another by first names) could result in the degeneration of a relationship.26 Nonetheless, he did not put himself on any pedestal. While he could dominate a conversation, he was generally a good listener and took an interest in most of his employees’ suggestions and opinions. Apparently, Goodrich’s intense curiosity was partially natural, but no doubt much of it was also deliberate. The reason for his inquisitiveness could be to gain the knowledge necessary for a more intelligent business decision or to explore the depth of thinking of the examinee, or possibly both.
“One day we were in Indianapolis at a meeting for the purpose of buying telephone equipment and Pierre had hired an expert to give us advice,” said Perce Goodrich, adding parenthetically, “If you were in a meeting with Pierre, something that would normally take an hour, might take half or even a full day. Finally, I said, ‘Pierre, you hire an expert to tell you what to do and then you second guess ’em and don’t take their advice.’ He said, ‘Let me tell you something, Perce, when you hire an expert you gotta check on them to see if they know what they’re talking about.’”27
No one impressed Pierre Goodrich on the basis of a job title or degrees. Goodrich had to be convinced that the person actually had the knowledge that he or she professed to have. Goodrich’s inquisitiveness became infectious. People who were around him would start to ask, “Is there another way?” and, “Would it be better to attempt it in this manner?”28 Goodrich would propose even more difficult and searching questions that had little to do with the business arena directly: Are human beings perfectible? Are they empty vessels? Are there moral absolutes or are morals relative? Who determines what is morally right? How is economic prosperity achieved and maintained? These questions were anxiety-producing to some because they challenged their belief systems and their very comfortable way of living. Moreover, Goodrich’s questions were not simply abstractions. He wanted to know why a person did something and why some other course of action was not preferable. That attitude led him to challenge the modern welfare state at a time (the 1950s, 1960s, and early 1970s) when belief in its virtues was at its zenith.
His probing nature extended into the process by which he hired employees. “Before Pierre Goodrich would hire a new person—and it didn’t make any difference what type of job—he would interview them personally and sometimes the interview would go on for hours,” said Rosanna Amos.29
When Goodrich interviewed an applicant for a top management position, the interview could last up to three successive days. Moreover, it was the exception, not the rule, that the questions had anything to do with the position that the applicant was seeking.
“I was interviewing for the chief financial officer’s position of the Indiana Telephone Corporation in August 1971,” said Alan Russell, now chairman of Liberty Fund. “I expected my first question to be on budgets or closings. But that wasn’t the first question. The first question from Pierre was what is the difference between a paramecium and an amoeba? I was able to tell him that they were both one cell animals and that they reproduced differently, but that was probably the closest I came in two days of answering any one of his questions.” Goodrich was trying to find out if the candidate had an inquiring mind and whether the candidate had a desire to learn or believed he already knew everything there was to know.30
The one encounter Martha Wharton of Indianapolis had with Goodrich in 1966 left an indelible impression upon her. She had come to his offices at 3520 Washington Boulevard to interview for what she had been initially told was a legal secretary’s position. For Wharton, the meeting was unforgettable.
As the interview unfolded, it became apparent that Mr. Goodrich was not really looking for a legal secretary after all, but rather for a more well-rounded generalist. I liked that, and warmed to the idea of working for such a fascinating personality. He rambled at length about all the different enterprises he was involved in, and I recall he seemed to be especially fond of discussing his coal mining interests. I grew up in the coal area of Southern Illinois, so was able to respond well enough to avoid looking like a dummy. I felt we were developing a good rapport.31
The rapport quickly deteriorated, however, when Wharton corrected Goodrich in his use of a word during a trial run at dictation. Convinced she had “cooked her goose,” she left the interview, not in intimidation or awe of the man, but “with a keen awareness that I had been in the presence of greatness.” (Much to her surprise, Wharton was offered the job by Goodrich, but she turned it down because it was below her salary expectations.)32
There was no doubt about it: Goodrich could be tough on employees. “He might accept a mistake once,” said Gilbert Snider, “but if you failed a second time that indicated a pattern to Mr. Goodrich. He couldn’t tolerate laziness. Human frailties were only accepted by Pierre in very limited amounts. He just overestimated his employees’ capabilities in relation to his own.”33 Rosanna Amos echoed Snider’s opinion: “Mr. Goodrich could lose interest in someone real fast if they did one thing that was stupid.”34
Thus, personal contact with Pierre Goodrich was often not pleasant. He could be demanding, self-centered, and pedantic to the point of boredom. It was not unusual for him to conduct his business activities without apparently thinking about the inconvenience that it might place on others who had to deal with him. For instance, monthly board meetings for the Eastern Indiana Telephone Company and Peoples Loan and Trust Company were held in Winchester on Friday and Saturday nights, respectively, to accommodate Goodrich’s Indianapolis work schedule, not anyone else’s.35 The meetings could go on into all hours of the night and start again early the next morning. He would often have food brought into the meetings so that the flow of the discussion would not be interrupted. One Christmas Eve, Goodrich continued a meeting well into the evening and apparently never gave any thought to the difficult position in which it placed employees with children.36 Goodrich simply did not place the same value on family and social activities as others did: He didn’t have a particularly close relationship with his only child, and he viewed most social gatherings as worthless because they were nonproductive.
In terms of demeanor, Goodrich was often dogmatic in expressing his point of view and unrelenting in prosecuting his case. He also possessed conflicting traits in temperament: a subtle shyness and a strong (at times, dominating) personality. In terms of self-reflection, neither James Goodrich nor Pierre Goodrich seemed to express inner feelings or motives. Seldom in the hundreds of letters of Pierre Goodrich’s I read or the numerous discussions I had with Pierre’s associates did I learn of any sharing of inner thoughts or feelings. Pierre Goodrich may have been a philosopher, but he was not a poet.
Moreover, Goodrich had an abiding, often unrealistic belief that reason either does or should control people’s behavior. He had difficulty appreciating that individuals often make decisions on the basis of emotional, and not purely rational, motives. For instance, he was convinced that customers of his Indiana bank, the Peoples Loan and Trust Company, did business with it because Peoples was one of the soundest and best-run small banks in the state. Yet former bank employee Ronald Medler insists that it was excellent service that attracted customers to the bank. Goodrich too often undervalued the human touch. “One thing I could never get Pierre to understand,” said Medler, “was the importance of customer service. Most customers don’t know who owns a bank or how well capitalized it is. But Pierre believed that people stayed at home and studied these things before they deposited their money. He didn’t appreciate how much service and a familiar face meant to keeping customers satisfied.”37
Goodrich also did not seem to appreciate fully how wealth and higher education offered opportunities that not everyone had access to. He sometimes attributed a person’s lack of success to weakness of will. He did not seem to realize that many individuals are not in a position to change their fortunes dramatically.38 Because of his brilliance and his advantages, Pierre Goodrich could at times overestimate the degree to which people are captains of their fate.39
Yet despite these shortcomings, according to dozens of people, Pierre Goodrich was the most remarkable person they had ever met. “I would describe Pierre Goodrich as a man who actually had ‘the vision of greatness,’” said Elton Trueblood, a well-known theologian who became a close friend of Goodrich’s through their work with the Great Books Foundation.40 Few that I interviewed would disagree with Trueblood’s assessment.
One evening in the early 1920s, Alice Miller Bly accidentally crossed paths with Pierre Goodrich, the town’s young new attorney, across from the old Winchester High School. Alice’s family was waiting for her to come home for dinner and had nearly given up. There was a thunderstorm, and it had been raining for quite some time when Alice finally trudged through the door, bedraggled. “Alice said that she and Pierre Goodrich had been out talking in the rain about literature and she couldn’t get away from him,” said Mary Johnson, Alice’s sister. “She had an umbrella and Pierre didn’t.”41
This seemingly trivial incident is indicative of the intense feeling that Goodrich had for ideas. He could become consumed with the need to share his insights and bring illumination to a conversation. In his desire to record ideas that he believed were important, Goodrich, in the late 1960s, hired a person to establish an “ideas file.” The duties were to read newspapers, magazines, and journals such as the New York Times, Barrons, the Chicago Tribune, Human Events, the Indianapolis Star, and the Indianapolis Press. The task was to clip any article found on such subjects as inflation, war, the Middle East, Lord Acton, gold and the gold standard, United States Supreme Court decisions, Social Security, espionage, legislating morality and its futility, Japanese internees, Calvin, Locke, Luther, Hegel, Plato, the virtues, and anything to do with Germany. Pierre Goodrich would often sit down with the person responsible for the ideas file along with several others to discuss for hours these ideas and the publications from which they came. The ideas files filled several large upright cabinets in Goodrich’s offices. Goodrich’s preoccupation with ideas knew no time limitations. Several persons I interviewed remarked, often with humor and sometimes with irritation, that he would call them in the middle of the night or would interrupt their dinner, seemingly oblivious of the time or the disruption.42
Goodrich was a classic perfectionist. He had an extremely difficult time reaching closure in almost everything he ever attempted—be it a conversation, a personal letter, a business meeting, writing a business document, or anything else (he made and remade his will eleven times between 1949 and 1969).43 He regarded almost each endeavor as unfinished, incomplete, and capable of being improved upon; many things he wrote were stamped “Draft Only.”
His painstaking manner exasperated almost everyone who had to work with him.44 “I think there was a driving force within him to seek the unobtainable,” said Arlene Metz, who sat through many lengthy meetings in the early 1960s taking dictation from Goodrich. “I don’t think he left one stone unturned. Regular hours didn’t mean anything to him. You worked until you got something done.”45
Goodrich’s drive for perfection carried over into his need to master his varied interests. When something piqued his curiosity, he would learn all about it. He was not content to dabble in something or simply become acquainted with its rudimentary elements. Rather, Pierre Goodrich would research his interests, consult experts about them, and discuss them in depth. He would not let go of an interest until he had mastered it. It did not matter whether the interest involved understanding the evils of inflation, the inner workings of telephone equipment, cooking, the origins and qualities of gemstones, Eastern mysticism, agriculture, or distinguishing the bouquets of fine German wines.46
Although he did not embrace organized religion to any great degree as an adult, he was a student of most of the great world religions. Many acquaintances commented on Goodrich’s vast knowledge of Greek Orthodoxy and Eastern mysticism, but he was equally knowledgeable about mainstream Christian faiths. When Goodrich arranged in 1972 to meet with John Waltz, a new Winchester town councilman at the time, one of the first things he wanted to know was Waltz’s church affiliation.
“When I told him I belonged to the Disciples of Christ Church,” said Waltz, “Pierre told me all about the history of the denomination, how the Disciples had evolved from earlier Christian denominations. His knowledge was amazing.”47
One year before Christmas in the 1930s, Goodrich studied the motions of galaxies and calculated what the sky must have looked like in the year of Christ’s birth. He then had Roy Barnes, a local Winchester artist and Goodrich company employee, design a Christmas card with the stars’ configuration on the cover. Goodrich had the card printed and sent to family members and friends.48 This is just one example of how fascinated he could become with an idea or concept once it piqued his curiosity.49
The little world of childhood with its familiar surroundings is a model of the greater world. The more intensively the family has stamped its character upon the child, the more it will tend to feel and see its earlier miniature world again in the bigger world of adult life. Naturally this is not a conscious, intellectual process.
carl jung, The Theory of Psychoanalysis
If, as sociologists and psychologists tell us, individual character and values are formed at an early age, what does Pierre Goodrich’s upbringing reveal about him? Was there anything unique about his childhood and adolescent years that could explain his deep convictions and strong personality, or were these qualities achieved through experiences in later life?
Pierre F. Goodrich grew up in Winchester, Indiana, at the turn of the twentieth century and lived there until he was eighteen. He returned home at the age of twenty-five to practice law for the next three years of his life (1920–23). For Pierre, growing up in a small Hoosier town was nearly idyllic. His adolescence was filled with Tom Sawyer–like experiences, complete with opportunities for youthful adventure: fishing, sports and games, family outings, travel, and challenging intellectual pleasures.
Winchester was an incredibly homogeneous community and part of an almost equally homogeneous state. The town is located ten miles west of Ohio, near the beginning of what the Delaware Indians called the Wapahani (White River). At the time, Winchester was populated almost entirely by people of German, Irish, and English descent—no Jewish families and few blacks or Catholics.1 It was a world where a young boy had a great sense of security and support, crime was rare, people left their front doors unlocked, and distinctions between right and wrong were made early and often. Moreover, northern European cultural, social, and religious influences, especially Germanic notions of strict discipline, duty, and obedience to authority, were significant.2
The institutions that became an integral part of the Goodrich family’s lives—church, family, government, finance, and business—were all within a short distance of their homes. They were constant physical reminders of turn-of-the-century midwestern values. For instance, Pierre’s elementary and high schools were literally just down the street; in them, he gained an exceptionally fine early education.3 His grandmother, Elizabeth Goodrich; his kindergarten teacher and great aunt, Belle Edger; all four of his uncles and their families; and friends such as the Millers, the McCamishes, the Moormans, and the Jaquas lived within two blocks of his home. The Presbyterian church he attended was located across the street; the county courthouse and jail were two blocks west; the town library was two blocks north.
Moreover, Pierre’s father and his uncle Edward were presidents of two of the town’s most prominent banks. As to the spiritual life of the town, the Society of Friends meetinghouse, the Congregational church, the Disciples of Christ church, the Methodist church, and, of course, the Presbyterian church were all part of the neighborhood where Pierre grew up. Finally, there were the important institutions of politics and the military. Winchester and Randolph County, probably even more than most small rural American communities of the time, were deeply patriotic and political around the turn of the century. It was a community that had produced five Civil War generals.4 Nearly twenty-four hundred men (approximately one of every twelve residents) from the county had fought for the Union cause; despite deep opposition to violence, Quaker parents who were fervent abolitionists sent their sons off to fight against slavery. As a boy, Pierre would have known Civil War veterans such as John Macy, Sr., and Charles Jaqua, who shared wondrous stories about the battles at Chickamauga, Gettysburg, and Antietam.
This spirit and pride in military service spilled over into community celebrations. The two largest community events each year were Decoration Day (now Memorial Day) and the Fourth of July. On these important public holidays, thousands of townspeople gathered along Winchester’s broad streets. The main event was a jubilant parade in which bands played and regiments of the Grand Army of the Republic (Civil War veterans) marched from villages all over the county to the Winchester town square. On July 21, 1892, for instance, at the ceremony marking the dedication of the county’s Civil War Soldiers and Sailors Monument, an estimated fifteen thousand people appeared, including Oliver P. Morton, Indiana’s Civil War governor, who grew up in nearby Centerville, Indiana. On October 11, 1900, an estimated ten thousand people welcomed Teddy Roosevelt to Winchester. Such patriotic gatherings—complete with windy speeches made with great spirit and love of country—continued well into the twentieth century.
Furthermore, politics was a religion in the small community, celebrated with as much enthusiasm and reverence as a country church’s gospel revival. At least four men who had formerly held the office of president (Benjamin Harrison, Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and Herbert Hoover) visited Winchester during Pierre’s lifetime. The county had produced two governors (including James Goodrich) and a powerful United States congressman and senator (James Watson). Two men from the county also ran for president of the United States (Watson, in 1928; and Isaac Gray, who lost Democratic nominations to Grover Cleveland, in 1892, and to William Jennings Bryan, in 1896). Most of the time, Pierre’s father held leadership positions in the Republican Party at the county, state, or national level. Moreover, dozens of other men from Winchester held federal or state office positions, men such as Thomas Browne, John Macy, Sr., Enos Watson, Leander Monks, and Union B. Hunt, mentors of James Goodrich’s and names with whom Pierre would be very familiar.
I offer this brief local history to show the reader the rich environment in which the Goodriches grew up. The town’s institutions provided them with structure and support. I believe that these institutions emotionally and psychologically reinforced a value system that remained with Pierre into adulthood, but which he saw during his own lifetime severely strained and weakened. Times and conditions are so different today that it is difficult for most of us to appreciate the spirit, stability, and fraternity of community, family, church, and political involvement that existed during Goodrich’s formative years.
Pierre Goodrich grew up in a town where, if you were from a prominent family like his, almost everyone knew you. They knew your parents and probably your extended family. There were considerable societal pressures to conform to widely accepted customs; moreover, virtues such as honesty, integrity in business, and responsibility to one’s family and friends were also of serious import. How one was perceived and how one behaved were indivisible. The following excerpt about James Goodrich from a local history book published in 1914 tells us much:
Personally, James P. Goodrich is a gentleman of the strictest integrity, and his private character and important trusts have always been above reproach. . . . He has so impressed his individuality upon his county and state as to win the confidence and esteem of his fellow-citizens and has become a strong and influential power in leading them to high and noble things. Measured by the accepted standard of excellence, his career, though strenuous, has been eminently honorable and useful, and his life fraught with great good to his fellows and to the world. Unpretending as to piety, yet few men more dutifully fulfill the Master’s command to care for the needy—to minister unto the sick, clothe the naked, feed the hungry and speak cheer to those in prison. Many the circumstances in which his left hand knoweth not the generosity of his right. In fact, Mr. Goodrich is a well-rounded man in all directions, keen in business, forceful in public counsel, decisive in action, faithful to confidences reposed in him, a friend and well-wisher of all human kind.5
One’s first reaction, of course, is “what tripe!” No one could be that virtuous, and clearly whoever wrote this biography (probably Lee L. Driver, former superintendent of schools in Winchester) should have his head examined. One’s second reaction, upon slight reflection, is that the passage simply reflects the oratory of the time, the tendency toward flowery, exaggerated language. But let me suggest a third interpretation that does not necessarily contradict either of the first two observations. Who one was and how one was perceived were extremely important. If one did not live up to the esteem that one had in the community, he could lose face. The anonymity of contemporary life clearly mitigates this pressure.
Late in life, Pierre Goodrich recalled what it meant to be a small-town lawyer. In such a position, an attorney served as “an officer of the Court,” morally an agent of the judicial system, responsible for furthering truth and not obscuring it.6 Again, I believe the cynicism of modern society, in which to many the idea of lawyering and justice appear to be incompatible, hinders our understanding. Perhaps the atmosphere of the time was best captured in a letter written by a townswoman, Ella Clark. In November 1920, she wrote a young Winchester man, William Bales, who was then a student at the University of Michigan School of Law:
My Dear Bill,
There was much said about the dignity of the Randolph County Court and how it stood in the eyes of the state. I was glad to hear it and when I thought of the young lawyers at the bar and soon-to-be, John Macy, Pierre Goodrich, and yourself, with your father as judge of the Court[, it] makes me feel that as good as it may have been, the dignity will not only be maintained but the standard raised.7
I believe that Winchester—like most small towns of turn-of-the-century America—was a bastion of moral rectitude. Practicing attorneys with no formal legal education and law school graduates alike did not take classes or bar examinations in ethics. (Now, it seems that every profession from accountancy to real estate requires courses and seminars on morals and civility.)8 At the turn of the century, people were brought up in an atmosphere of religious and societal commitments, and they were expected to observe high standards of personal and professional moral conduct. I do not suggest that scandal and exploitation did not take place, but merely observe that they were rare. The scandalous and the exploitative risked being ostracized by the community, and the community was their world. Standards of responsibility were inculcated into an individual by family (nuclear and extended), church, neighbors, and business mentors. The idea that laws or a watchdog agency was necessary to coerce compliance with professional standards seemed alien to many businessmen of that day. It is clear that many people, including Pierre Goodrich, never accepted that such things were necessary, despite recognizing the abuses that brought such laws and agencies into existence.
Pierre’s view of personal responsibility is perhaps best reflected by the “gentlemen’s rule” that exists even today at Wabash College. Wabash does not have elaborate rules of conduct, as do many—perhaps most—institutions of higher learning. Rather than specifying what is appropriate student behavior, Wabash’s code simply states: “The student is expected to conduct himself, at all times, both on and off the campus, as a gentleman and a responsible citizen.”9 I think that Pierre Goodrich believed that any further elaboration or coercion of conduct (prior to a wrong being done) was unnecessary.
But the institutions that helped shape James and Pierre Goodrich’s beliefs and personalities have been severely eroded. Societal changes that took place during Pierre’s lifetime (and to a much lesser degree during his father’s) have dramatically decreased the influence of family, the church, the community, and the sense of patriotism and moral certitude that helped form people’s professional and personal behaviors. As a result, government has been viewed by those in political power—who are forced to deal with problems when others in society cannot or will not—as the remaining vehicle that can shore up the gaps that have developed as a result of the erosion of other character-forming institutions.
The erosion of family, church, and community can be readily seen. In James’s and Pierre’s young lives, family members and friends lived in proximity to one another. But today, family members and “close friends” (emotionally and psychologically speaking) are apt to live thousands of miles away. Neighbors, who are apt to be strangers, often have little to do with meeting emotional and psychological needs. Moreover, the increased acceptance of mobility and moral relativity has made it much easier for individuals to avoid family and community responsibilities. In a less mobile and more closed society, individuals accepted (or at least tolerated) those responsibilities.
Therefore, I believe the role of the extended family in the lives of James and Pierre Goodrich was extremely important, as the role that John Macy, Sr., had in serving as a mentor to James Goodrich, both as a young lawyer and politician, indicates. And even though James Goodrich was gone from home during a considerable period of Pierre’s adolescence, Pierre had the constant support of his uncles and aunts, his grandmother, his great-aunts, his cousins, and his friends. They all lived a few houses away. Is it any wonder that Pierre felt such a strong bond with and commitment to his family when he was placed in charge of the Goodrich financial empire in the 1940s?
In contrast to the community in which James and Pierre Goodrich grew up is modern society. In the latter, there is a tendency for the individual to draw inward, not to see himself or herself as part of a larger community. The individual, sensing isolation and the relativity of all judgment, is no longer guided by community and religious standards, but makes himself or herself the measure of all things. As a result, personal gratification and narcissistic pleasure become the primary pursuit of the individual.10 Is it any wonder that drug and alcohol addiction, divorce, crime, greed, and a sense of isolation and loneliness have come to be identified with modern times?
The decreasing significance and changing role of the church in people’s lives is another contributing factor. Quite simply, the church today does not function as it did in earlier generations. Society is suffering from the loss of commitment both to the institution and to the Christian ethic it extolled.
A review of the history of Protestantism in the Western world indicates that most new religious bodies originally were organized around a call to a high level of religious commitment. . . . As the decades roll past, the natural institutional tendency is to drift away from that call to high commitment. Gradually the focus shifts from Christian commitment to “taking care of the members.” Kinship and friendship ties, local traditions, institutional survival goals, real estate concerns and seniority replace Christian commitment as the guiding force in making decisions.11
All one has to do is look at Pierre Goodrich and his ancestry to see how true this observation is. Pierre’s grandmother, Elizabeth Goodrich, was a founding member of Pierre’s home church. James and Cora Goodrich were Sunday school teachers in that church for more than twenty-five years. The First Presbyterian Church of Winchester was a focal point of spiritual and social engagements for the entire Goodrich family. Yet the church’s significance faded during Pierre’s own lifetime. He himself admitted that he was a “backslid Presbyterian.” Pierre spoke and wrote in euphemistic terms about the “infinite creator,” but nowhere in his writings or during discussions I had with his associates and family did I learn that Pierre had deep spiritual convictions. He was a scholar of the Bible and extremely knowledgeable about world religions, but his pursuit of the spiritual always seemed to be scholastic, detached, and unemotional. Goodrich lamented that the modern clergy spent much of its time preaching the social (political) gospel of the times (civil rights and equality), yet there is no indication that he thought that the preaching of the traditional gospel would have a transforming effect as powerful as that of an understanding based on a study of secular thinkers such as Kant, Locke, and Lord Acton.
The above observations are not meant to criticize the Goodrich family, but to show how growing secularization drastically changed people’s beliefs and deeply altered society during Pierre Goodrich’s lifetime. Society’s problems are so widespread that even small-town America is not exempt from them.12 Moreover, in the past fifty years, government has allocated vast resources in an attempt to deal with the social crises society now faces, often with negligible results.13
Pierre Goodrich strongly challenged the trend against the growing statism that he saw. An examination of his heritage holds, I believe, at least a partial explanation. The idea of commitment to something outside oneself (family, community, neighbors, objective truth, and so forth) was inculcated in Goodrich and his family. What frustrated Goodrich was that he saw the power of the state over individuals’ lives growing in an attempt to shore up ideals and institutions. The state behaves in this way in order to provide at least some nominal guidance in people’s lives. Goodrich recognized, however, that the state merely compels people to act in a certain way without requiring the individual to understand why. The state does this almost solely by sanctions (for example, laws, taxes, and police) or by incentives (for example, social services and subsidies). It does little to educate people about citizenship. Goodrich believed that the use of coercion is in direct opposition to the exercise of individual understanding and will.14
Why Did They Work So Hard? Work, Ideas, Citizenship, and Virtue
The following statements are therefore true: “Good works do not make a good man, but a good man does good works; evil works do not make a wicked man, but a wicked man does evil works.” Consequently it is always necessary that the substance or person himself be good before there can be any good works, and that good works follow and proceed from the good person, as Christ also says, “A good tree cannot bear evil fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit” [Matt. 7:18].
martin luther, “The Freedom of a Christian”
[As a result of the Reformation and Luther] one thing was unquestionably new: the valuation of the fulfillment of duty in worldly affairs as the highest form which the moral activity of the individual could assume. This it was which inevitably gave every-day worldly activity a religious significance. . . . That was [man’s] calling.
max weber, The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism
Life grants nothing to us mortals without hard work,” wrote Horace, the Latin lyric poet, more than two thousand years ago.1 But why was work so important to the Goodrich family? What did it give them besides material comforts?
With all the political expertise possessed by his father, why did Pierre not become directly involved in politics? He had the money, the potential for name recognition, and the intelligence. Perhaps most important, he wanted to be influential.
A political life was never in the cards for Pierre. First, he simply would not have been any good at it. He was much too shy and private to subject himself to the public spotlight. Pierre was not the hand-grabbing, back-slapping type. Second, politics is a means of compelling people to act in accord with some collective decision. While Pierre was intensely interested in changing human behavior, he wanted people to change as a result of their own volition, through a proper understanding of the rights and duties of citizenship. He thought he could best accomplish this end through education. Third, politics involves compromise, and Pierre Goodrich was uncompromising. “Mr. Goodrich would often say,” recalled Rosanna Amos, “be reasonable—do it my way.”2 Before Goodrich reached a decision, he gave most matters such tremendous thought that he would have been frustrated with constituents or politicians who did not. Finally, Goodrich would not have tolerated politics’ most evident pitfall—its lack of candor. While he could be diplomatic, he was just as apt to be blunt. Pierre was not one to shrink from stating what he believed to be the truth, even if the listener was not prepared to hear it.3
If a political career was not right for Pierre, why did he become a businessman? Why did he not pursue a career as an economics professor or a big-city lawyer or a stockbroker? Why did he not just forgo a professional life altogether and sip gin-and-tonics at some Mediterranean villa? He certainly did not have to work. Why, then, did achieving success as a businessman become his consuming passion? Why did he, his father, and the Goodrich family in general “devote their best energies for long hours day after day to this driving activity [work] seemingly so foreign to many of the most powerful impulses of human beings”?4
Pierre Goodrich’s occupational choice had much to do with following in his father’s footsteps. The Goodrich family had controlling interests in several companies long before Pierre came on the scene; someone had to be James Goodrich’s successor if the family financial empire was to endure. Pierre was the best person to step into his father’s shoes. He had served as his father’s business disciple for nearly twenty years and was a direct beneficiary of his father’s (and to a lesser extent his uncles’) hard work and tremendous foresight. After James Goodrich died in 1940, running the family financial empire was Pierre’s life’s work. To succeed his father as head of the Goodrich companies or on the board of Wabash College was an honor and a great responsibility.
But more important, Pierre’s occupation and ambitions gave expression to his enculturation. The manner in which he approached business and life suggests that a distinct belief system, instilled in him at a young age, dominated his thinking and actions. This enculturation may be only partially explained by John Maynard Keynes’s observation in 1925 that “our age is concerned with the Love of Money, with the habitual appeal to the Money Motive [being] nine-tenths of the activities of life, with the universal striving after individual economic security as the prime object of endeavor, with the social approbation of money as the measure of constructive success, and with the social appeal to the hoarding instinct as the foundation of the necessary provision for the family and for the future.”5
Money, as Keynes observes, means security to the individual; it also produces a sense of power and well-being, and is an indicator of success. Perhaps the most stimulating emotion it creates is simply the thrill of making it. I believe, however, that, for the Goodrich family, wealth possessed another significance that equaled or exceeded all the others combined.
How this yet-to-be fully described belief system was instilled in Pierre might be best seen in the wedding gift his parents gave him in July 1920. Whereas many wealthy parents might give their newlywed son an expensive new car or pay for a lavish honeymoon, James and Cora Goodrich gave Pierre an investment—ten thousand dollars in stock in a coal company.6 Although later in life Pierre stayed at expensive hotels when he traveled, in general, his lifestyle was simple and frugal. His Indianapolis home was one of the finest examples of classical Georgian design anywhere, yet for a man of his considerable wealth it was rather modest.7 To Pierre, the most valuable items in his home were his Stradivarius violin and a first edition of Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations.8 Goodrich drove expensive cars (Lincolns and Mercedes-Benzes), but he could have had a fleet of cars. Former Wabash president Byron Trippet recalls:
In fairness to Pierre, it should be remembered that he was a prudent, almost puritanical steward of his money. There was nothing religious or sanctimonious about his puritanism. It reflected simply his own notion of how wealth should be conserved and used. There was nothing ostentatious or frivolous about his life style. He dressed carelessly and casually in conservative taste. . . . [His home] had an austere kind of beauty about it, but nothing lavish was displayed. . . . From [his] life style . . . , no one would guess that Pierre was a multimillionaire.9
To have enjoyed an indulgent, ostentatious life would have been completely against Goodrich’s moral and religious upbringing. To that extent, I disagree with Trippet’s appraisal that there was “nothing religious or sanctimonious about [Pierre’s] puritanism.” James, Pierre, and the Goodrich family in general did not work to gain greater wealth for personal consumption; their passion for work (and Pierre’s passion for ideas) had religious roots. In large measure, the Goodriches’ outward demeanor fit closely with the German sociologist Max Weber’s “ideal-type” of the capitalist entrepreneur:
He avoids ostentation and unnecessary expenditure, as well as conscious enjoyment of his power, and is embarrassed by the outward signs of the social recognition which he receives. His manner of life is . . . distinguished by a certain ascetic tendency. . . . It is, namely, by no means exceptional, but rather the rule, for him to have a sort of modesty. . . . He gets nothing out of his wealth for himself, except the irrational sense of having done his job well.10
I believe that work and the wealth that it produced was a form of worldly asceticism for James, Pierre, and, in large measure, the entire Goodrich family. Work was a virtuous activity, but the Protestant notion of ascetic propriety “acted powerfully against the spontaneous enjoyment of possessions, it restricted consumption, especially of luxuries.”11 Max Weber’s major thesis is that the Reformation (including Luther’s and Calvin’s radical teachings, which largely brought it about) made the accumulation of wealth not only acceptable, but a sign of godly approval.12 But wealth is not primarily, as the Protestant reformers argued, for personal consumption and pleasure. As Pierre’s longtime assistant Helen Schultz Fletcher stated, “Mr. Goodrich believed that we hold our assets in trust to our Creator, and that idea was a very important part of the philosophy back of his actions.”13 The Reverend Gustav Papperman, delivering the eulogy at James Goodrich’s funeral in 1940, said much the same thing: “The Governor felt that he had been given talents that were a trust, that he was to administer them faithfully. . . . There was a firm religious basis on which his life was built.”14
I think that there was an intimate correlation between James’s and Pierre’s religious and moral upbringings and their choice of professions and ambitions. I believe that this is true even though in later life Pierre did not embrace organized religion to any great degree. The Goodriches were stalwart members of their church dating back to at least Pierre’s grandfather, John Baldwin Goodrich, who was superintendent of the Congregational church in Winchester. Pierre’s paternal grandfather and grandmother attended school at the Winchester Seminary in the 1850s. There, devotions were as much a part of the curriculum as mathematics and spelling. Elizabeth Edger Goodrich also attended Liber College in the late 1850s, where moral teachings were the core of instruction, and was a founding member of the First Presbyterian Church of Winchester in 1882. As Liber College’s president, Ebenezer Tucker, recalled in 1873, “The school has been noted for studiousness, integrity, love of freedom, absence of pride and naughtiness, unity of feeling.”15 Pierre’s uncle Percy was a longtime superintendent of the Sunday school; James Goodrich was an elder of the church and taught a men’s Sunday school class for more than twenty-five years. Cora Goodrich was a Sunday school teacher and oversaw a boys’ Bible study group of which Pierre was a member. Both she and Pierre were extremely knowledgeable about the Bible.16 Pierre taught a young men’s Sunday school class from 1920 to 1922. Pierre’s other uncles and aunts also held leadership positions in the local Presbyterian church.17
As did other small midwestern towns of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, Winchester, Indiana, reflected the religious values of the time. The separations between church, state, business, and family life simply were not as distinct or as great as they are today. The overwhelming majority of Protestant denominations, including the Goodrich family’s Presbyterian church, embraced a strongly Calvinistic Christianity. It was an ethos that had originated in America with New England Puritans more than two centuries earlier and had been transported to the Midwest (via the Carolinas and Virginia) by pioneering families such as the Goodriches. For Pierre, that belief system was reinforced at Wabash College, where campus life for an ambitious student involved hard work, discipline, exposure to serious works, and mandatory daily chapel.18
The Goodriches’ religious ethos was mixed with a Benjamin Franklin worldview that associated prosperity with the Victorian virtues—self-reliance, hard work, patriotism, frugality, cleanliness, and so on. In James Goodrich’s “Russia Manuscript,” he describes a simple but revealing encounter that occurred during his third visit to the Soviet Union. In May 1922, he had just entered the small village of Bezdona, which, he had been informed by everybody, was “the worst place in all famine-stricken Russia.”
Just before we arrived there we saw three peasant girls pulling weeds in a field and asked them how the crops were.
“All right” was the reply.
“Will you have enough food to go through the next year?” I inquired.
“We have planted and cared for our crops,” one of them answered. “The result is now in the hands of God.”
From the appearance of the crops and the number of people at work in the fields pulling weeds and hoeing I felt sure that God’s answer would be an abundant crop and that no one would starve in this little commune. For God still helps those who help themselves.19
James Goodrich’s last words are not biblical; they come straight from Benjamin Franklin’s Poor Richard’s Almanack.20 This view of the world combines spiritual worthiness with worldly prosperity achieved by planning, hard work, thrift, and diligence. James Goodrich’s view of governing was no different. During his four-year term as governor, he made “economy and efficiency” the overriding concerns of his administration.21 Before the Reformation, the accumulation of wealth was viewed as evil, but post-Reformation teachings gradually sanctioned such accumulation so long as it was not done dishonestly or with avarice. What was condemned was the “pursuit of riches for their own sake”: “For wealth in itself was a temptation . . . , [but] the religious valuation of restless, continuous, systematic work in a worldly calling, as the highest means to asceticism, and at the same time the surest and most evident proof of rebirth and genuine faith, must have been the most powerful conceivable lever for the expansion of that attitude toward life which we have here called the spirit of capitalism.”22
One need only reflect upon the Goodriches’ various business operations to reach the conclusion that they had a passion for accumulation almost religious in its intensity. They did not pay high salaries to their employees, pay large dividends to their shareholders, or take large profits for themselves. They continually invested back into their companies a large percentage of the income the companies generated. This constant reinvestment, combined with their skillful management, made the Goodrich companies extremely valuable when they were ultimately sold.23
Moreover, from a practical perspective, the large capital growth of the companies was another reason Pierre was so concerned about inflationary policies. Much of the worth of the Goodrich companies (and of hard-earned wealth in general) would have been eroded if inflation had gotten out of hand, because capital gains were taxed at a very high rate. Pierre realized that inflation allows a taxing authority to drain resources from the private sector while not appearing to be confiscatory. In James Goodrich’s “Russia Manuscript,” he describes repeatedly the devastating effects that inflation had on the economy in post–civil war Russia, where inflation wreaked havoc by making the ruble nearly worthless. Pierre would have known about this directly from his father. He also knew about the ruinous effects of inflation in revolutionary France in the 1780s and in pre–World War II Germany.
The spirit of capitalism is not unique to the Goodrich family. The Protestant aesthetic that favored investment and accumulation over consumption and dissipation is what made America a great economic power in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. But the Goodrich family is a particularly interesting case.
Education was a large part of the Goodriches’ work ethos. Almost all of the Goodrich money ended up supporting education in one form or another: Wabash College, Hanover College, Butler University, Oakland City University, the University of Notre Dame, the Presbyterian Seminary of Chicago, Liberty Fund, the Great Books Foundation, the Foundation for Economic Education, the Institute for Intercollegiate Studies, the China Institute of America, and on and on. The family viewed education as a process by virtue of which the individual remained informed, made better business decisions, learned the importance of citizenship, and was given an opportunity for individual self-improvement. Therefore, work and education became the centerpieces of the Goodrich family’s ethical and practical life. An examination of Pierre’s customary twelve- to fourteen-hour business day reveals that he made little, if any, distinction between work and avocational interests.24 He was almost always engaged in a process of understanding, whether it was about squeezing greater profits from his coal operations, studying some classic text, or clarifying and refining his thinking by writing lengthy letters. I think that is why making a decision was such an arduous task for Pierre—he seldom thought he understood something well enough to reach a conclusion about it. Moreover, I cannot recall studying another individual whose thoughts and actions were so intimately fused. It was not simply that Pierre Goodrich had a tendency to think or speak in a stream-of-consciousness manner; to a large degree, his life was lived in that manner.
Goodrich’s preoccupation with ideas is very interesting. He applied his ideas while making practical business decisions in a complex, highly developed way, which was not always true of his father. Although James Goodrich was a highly intelligent and savvy businessman and politician, he was not an intellectual, as Pierre was. James was a technician. As Richard Hofstadter writes in his Pulitzer Prize–winning book Anti-intellectualism in American Life, the successful professional man must have a substantial store of knowledge and an acquired stock of mental skills, but he exercises his knowledge and skills primarily for the “pursuit of externally determined ends.” That was James Goodrich: businessman, politician, community leader. He applied information and knowledge to address practical external problems.25
Pierre also had a practical side, as his highly successful years as president, CEO, director, and significant stockholder of dozens of companies indicate. At the same time, however, Pierre’s pursuit of ideas took on a character and meaning of its own; the ideas had a significance that went beyond their practical application. Hofstadter offers an insight that enables us to understand Pierre Goodrich as an intellectual:
The difference is not in the character of the ideas with which he works but in his attitude toward them. I have suggested that in some sense he [the intellectual] lives for ideas—which means that he has a sense of dedication to the life of the mind which is very much like a religious commitment. This is not surprising, for in a very important way the role of the intellectual is inherited from the office of the cleric: it implies a special sense of the ultimate value in existence of the act of comprehension. Socrates, when he said that the unexamined life is not worth living, struck the essence of it. We can hear the voices of various intellectuals in history repeating their awareness of this feeling, in accents suitable to time, place, and culture. . . . The noblest thing, and the closest possible to divinity, is thus the act of knowing.26
For Pierre, meaning and virtue were in the activity or idea that engaged him at the time. As for James, he fits squarely into the Benjamin Franklin mold, in which the constant application of intellect toward practical ends became a method of achieving growth.27 Through work, “a person achieves virtue in much the [same] way he or she attains wealth, position, or learning—by ceaseless productive activity.”28
To confirm this contention, one need only examine James Goodrich’s life. When one does so, the first question that comes to mind is: How could one person possibly have done so many things so well? Both James and Pierre led extremely active lives, lives in which activity of a certain kind had special significance. It was performing the activity well, not the recognition that it produced, that was the primary motivation for both father and son. I believe that Percy Goodrich’s remembrance of his younger brother, quoted in chapter 1, supports this observation, as does a letter that James Watson wrote to James Goodrich in April 1930: “I remember how you used to ‘slip about’ over the State going everywhere and getting the organization into shape without anybody knowing anything about it and I always regarded that as about the high water mark in our organization politics.”29
Pierre had the same sort of reluctance about appearing in the limelight. It is, however, the idea of work that is of primary importance in the makeup of both father and son. Their tendency to avoid recognition for their achievements is important in that it indicates that they did not need (or at least did not seek) attention to reinforce their sense of identity or self-worth.
I believe it is obvious that, for Pierre, work was much more than the pursuit of position and wealth; work as a businessman and the pursuit of ideas as an intellectual were for him a way of life, a calling. I further believe that in James’s and Pierre’s minds there was a close relationship between work and citizenship. Both men were strongly influenced by a Calvinist worldview in which work was a means of creating God’s kingdom on earth. I am not suggesting that this was the result of conscious thinking, but their lifestyle was based on the belief that an active earthly life devoted to meeting practical needs is superior to a life of denial and contemplation. Pierre also believed, as Hofstadter poignantly writes, that striving for comprehension was in a way an act of piety.
The religious beliefs held by James and Pierre dictated how wealth was to be accumulated and, to a lesser extent, how it was to be spent. The Goodriches’ ethical philosophy was totally different from that held by the robber barons of the late nineteenth century, such as J. P. Morgan, Cornelius Vanderbilt, and James Fisk. Those men acquired vast wealth by means of exploitation and ruthlessness, and then spent much of their money by living indulgent lives.
Pierre demanded that his companies operate within the law, despite the fact that he often disagreed with the law. Achieving wealth by dishonest means was not ethically acceptable to him. Moreover, aware that some of his father’s early deals had been called into question, Pierre desired above all else that his own business reputation remain above reproach.30 At the same time, however, Pierre had little regard for the opinions of others regarding his personal appearance or his eccentric habits.31
Although the Protestant ethic viewed properly obtained wealth as a sign of virtue (“You shall know a tree by its fruit”), it did not specify what should be done with that wealth. That fact was especially troubling to Pierre. James and Percy Goodrich gave away much of their personal wealth to educational institutions such as Wabash and Hanover colleges, but Pierre had a much more difficult time dispersing his own fortune. The virtues of accumulation are not necessarily those of distribution. 32 Pierre did not believe that the causes that most philanthropists contribute to were worthy of his money. Liberty Fund received most of his fortune after Pierre had, no doubt, examined and rejected every other option.33
Biographies are but the clothes and buttons of the man—the biography of the man himself cannot be written.
mark twain, Autobiography
By the late 1960s, the world had changed, and Pierre Goodrich had a difficult time changing with it. Society and business had become increasingly more complex and resistant to straightforward analysis. In Goodrich’s business dealings, long gone were the days when he could attend City Securities board meetings and read thoroughly every company prospectus presented for board action; such proposals had grown from a few pages in the 1930s to dozens, sometimes hundreds, of pages full of legal and technical jargon. (When he served as president of the National City Bank in the 1920s, James Goodrich oversaw the construction of the Railway Exchange Building on Washington Street in Indianapolis. The former governor purportedly had the building erected on the basis of a written contract that amounted to a single page.) Corporate boards increasingly had to rely on hordes of attorneys, accountants, and other advisers just to understand and consummate “simple” transactions. As early as the late 1930s, Pierre had lamented the demise of the general legal practitioner, who was no longer able to function in a society that required more and more specialists.1
Moreover, Goodrich’s coal, telephone, and banking businesses had become increasingly inundated with demands from federal and state regulatory entities—rate commissions and oversight, health, safety, environmental, and labor agencies—for detailed information about everything imaginable that had to do with business operations. Coupled with these demands was the ever-growing attention paid by the media to business practices. Goodrich loathed snooping reporters who wanted to delve into the details of his financial empire. When the sale of the Ayrshire Collieries Corporation occurred in February 1969, the deal, along with a picture of a grinning Pierre F. Goodrich, was reported in Forbes magazine. The article gave the details of the merger, including Pierre’s personal profit. The publicity infuriated him.2
In his later years, Goodrich was described as a “discontented man.” Things had not worked out as he had hoped. First, there were the personal disappointments and tribulations, such as his estrangement from his daughter, Nancy, who lived in Paris until after his death. (She proceeded to hire a string of attorneys, including a former Indiana governor, Matthew Welsh, to contest her father’s will. While her paternal grandparents, James and Cora, had established trust funds that would provide for her comfortably for the rest of her life, she deeply believed that she was entitled to an inheritance larger than the $150,000 her father had left her).3 There was also the death in January 1971 of John Goodrich, a cousin only six months older than Pierre.4 Pierre and John had been very close in childhood, almost like brothers. Moreover, the periodic tax obstacles that impeded Goodrich’s designs for Liberty Fund added to his discontent.5
Second, the situation at his alma mater, Wabash College, continued to deteriorate, at least in Goodrich’s eyes. Beginning in 1970, a number of policy decisions were made on the campus that reaffirmed the wisdom of his decision the previous year to resign as an active trustee: After 137 years of having mandatory chapel, Wabash’s faculty and administration voted to discontinue the twice-weekly service on the grounds that it no longer served as an “education phenomenon” to the students.6 Furthermore, in order to appease black students who were outraged by the firing of a black professor, the college agreed to establish the Malcolm X Institute of Black Studies.7 In May 1970, students met in the Goodrich Seminar Room of the Lilly Library to discuss whether to strike against United States action in Southeast Asia and the “political repression of Bobby Seale, Chairman of the Black Panther Party.” The students believed that both acts demonstrated the “callous disregard of the American government for rights.” Within twenty-four hours of the first student meeting, a vast majority of professors supported the protests. Classes at Wabash were suspended for several days.8 It is not known with certainty what Goodrich thought about these incidents, but it is safe to say that they convinced him that the board of trustees had become a weak, ineffective body, with little input into or control over the college’s activities.
Third, on the public front, Goodrich was disappointed about the direction in which he saw the country moving, away from what he believed were the virtues of the free society and toward a growing acceptance of statism, collectivism, and mediocrity. Despite the nation’s temporary alarm over conformity and dependency, memorialized in the 1950s by such popular books as The Lonely Crowd (1950), The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit (1955), and The Organization Man (1956), Goodrich saw that individuals were, in fact, growing more and more reliant upon big government and large corporations for their subsistence.
Furthermore, the world in his later years was driven by technology. It was constantly moving toward standardization and larger operations, as well as consolidation and centralization of power and influence. The individual was no longer front and center, but a cog in the larger machinery driving society. The term mass seemed to be used to describe many new phenomena: mass communication, mass transportation, mass marketing, mass destruction. Goodrich also believed (despite his vehement protestations to the contrary) that the average person’s behavior was continually being adapted to meet others’ expectations, to win approval, to fit in.
Moreover, despite being warned about the dangerous and growing role of influence peddlers—by, for example, Vance Packard’s books The Hidden Persuaders (1957), The Status Seekers (1959), and The Waste Makers (1960)—many Americans were content to be told by slick marketers (the press, Madison Avenue, Wall Street, Capitol Hill, Hollywood, and so forth) what to think about politics, business, economics, virtue and morality, the good life, and freedom. This manipulation of thought angered Goodrich, particularly because of the average person’s unwillingness to examine critically the bombardment of hype. Pierre did not appreciate that many people are not interested in challenging the status quo or in doing more than scratching the surface of ideas. Moreover, the 1960s were even worse than the 1950s for libertarians such as Goodrich, for during that decade many of their values were held up to ridicule.
Finally, Goodrich was disappointed that he had not found greater truths than he had; through all his reading and scholarship, he had come to realize that there were limits to understanding that he could not overcome. As important as liberty, learning, and other fundamental human values and aspirations were to Goodrich, they were not a substitute for spiritual understanding. Spiritual understanding has to transcend reason, and Pierre had a difficult time letting go of his rational side after having worked so hard to develop it. It is interesting how little Goodrich discusses spiritual matters in his writings. I think that was the case not because he thought that religious faith was not tremendously important, but because the notion that man can know anything absolutely, as God knows, seemed to him highly presumptuous. Perhaps he believed that discussion of such matters should not even be attempted.9
Goodrich’s discontent is perhaps best summed up by his good friend, Wabash College president Byron Trippet. In June 1959, Trippet wrote the following for the dedication of the Goodrich Seminar Room in the new Lilly Library:
The Goodrich Seminar Room symbolizes the timeless pilgrimage of man toward truth, goodness, and beauty. It also exemplifies the part of one man in particular in this historic quest. Pierre F. Goodrich, an alumnus and trustee of Wabash College, is a lawyer, industrialist, and a financier. By the standards of the contemporary world, in all of these capacities he is a successful man.
By his own standards of what is important, however, he is a discontented man, aware of his own imperfections as well as the imperfections of others, eager through study and reflection to understand the human drama, and to act as wisely as he can in his own interests and in the interests of others. The highest expression of appreciation those who use this room can make is to emulate his intellectual curiosity, his skepticism of expedient answers, and his resolute effort to act on principle supported by sound knowledge.10
On his seventy-fifth birthday, in October 1969, Pierre was honored in Indianapolis at a testimonial dinner given by Ben Rogge and several of his other close personal and business associates. Frank Barnett, a longtime friend, former Rhodes scholar, and then president of the National Strategy Information Center in New York, could not attend the dinner, but he sent his birthday greetings. He wrote, in part:
I am sure you are spending this evening, not wholly in frivolity, but in the company of other Renaissance Men whose discourse on the nature of power, freedom, God, man and government you find provocative. From pleasant experience, I know that, wherever you sit, there also is a Seminar—say, rather, a Colloquium—on the first order of things.
Since Birthdays are a time for reminiscence, I am moved to recall vivid impressions of the past: standing together on the sidewalks of Chicago, during the 1952 Republican Convention, to practice “street agitation” in the cause of civic virtue; nibbling cheese at Wabash College with the man who was shortly to become Chancellor of West Germany; watching the face of the sommelier at the great restaurant Pavilion as he began to realize that a lawyer from Indiana knew more about rare vintages than the masters; explaining to my wife that a midnight telephone call, that lasted an hour, was only from a friend who wanted to know if the English version of Clausewitz had lost something in translation.
Happy Birthday, Pierre! May your integrity, and non-conformity, and probing intelligence, and sheer decency continue to ennoble others as those qualities have animated so many who have known your friendship and kindness in the past.
Let me raise an imaginary glass to propose an earnest toast: “In America, some men do still dare to dream the Impossible Dream; and one of the most engaging . . . complicated . . . impish . . . and innovative Dreamers and Darers lives in Indianapolis!”11
Goodrich’s health and stamina deteriorated slowly in the early 1970s, but he continued to go to the office daily, conducted business, and read for hours. Ben Rogge was very concerned about Pierre’s taking on any more obligations. He intervened, for instance, to see that Goodrich did not accept an offer to serve again on the board of directors of the Institute for Humane Studies (IHS). Goodrich had been a founding trustee of IHS in 1961.
Shortly after Labor Day in 1973, Pierre was admitted to Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis. He had not been particularly ill, but he remained in the hospital with a weakened heart and a blood disorder that had caused clotting. For the first few weeks at Methodist, he continued to conduct business from his private room much as he had done before: He talked incessantly on the telephone and kept several secretaries busy taking dictation.12 He was very concerned with labor problems that had developed at the Indiana Telephone Corporation. He knew that no one would win if relations between management and employees worsened.13
On the evening of October 25, 1973, Pierre Goodrich died in Methodist Hospital. Ben Rogge delivered the eulogy at Pierre’s funeral. The music of the great German composer Johann Sebastian Bach, Goodrich’s favorite, was played at the service.14 Pierre was buried near his father and mother at Fountain Park cemetery in his hometown of Winchester. His final resting place was among the gravesites of several families with whom he was closely associated as a young man—the Edgers, Jaquas, Macys, Moormans, McCamishes, Kitselmans, and Millers—names that were forgotten long ago. Ironically, Pierre was buried in the same cemetery that saw the humble beginning of the Goodrich family’s fortune, the cemetery where, some ninety-three years before, eighteen-year-old James Goodrich earned ten cents an hour moving dirt and planting trees.
After Pierre’s death, the governor’s mansion in Winchester, which Pierre had inherited from his parents, remained unoccupied for three years. The future of the mansion became the source of considerable controversy in Goodrich’s hometown. The house fell into disrepair despite attempts by Pierre’s widow, Enid, to maintain it. Within a short time, the house was besieged by vandals and thieves. They damaged the walls of the structure and stole valuable copper guttering from the roof and outside walls. A citizen’s group called Save the Governor’s Mansion was formed in an attempt to keep the majestic house from total destruction.15
In the spring of 1976, the architectural school of Ball State University presented a proposal to the Winchester Chamber of Commerce. The plan made the mansion the centerpiece of a community revitalization program. Steps were also taken to place the house on the National Register of Historic Places. The future of the mansion, which had been visited by a former president, Herbert Hoover, a Russian princess, and other American and foreign dignitaries, became such a local controversy that Indianapolis television station WRTV aired a report on its evening news about the community’s efforts to save the local landmark. Despite the citizens’ group’s intervention, a decision was made to raze the mansion in late 1976. At a three-day auction in October 1976, most of the Goodrich family’s home furnishings and personal belongings were sold.16
The destruction of the mansion and the sale of the family’s possessions left little physical evidence to remind the community of the significant influence the original five Goodrich brothers had in Winchester. There is still the park that Elizabeth Goodrich donated to the town in honor of her husband, John B. Goodrich, and Pierre’s cousins Perce Goodrich and Elizabeth Terry had a lovely chapel built in the cemetery where most of the Goodrich family members are buried. Yet within one hundred years, a small town’s family dynasty has come and gone.
Pierre’s influence, however, is still felt in his home community in nonmaterial ways. The Winchester Foundation remains in operation, supporting local community art, music, and literary projects, as well as national organizations.17 Also, the Pierre F. Goodrich Scholarship Fund, benefiting graduates of the local high school, was established in 1988 by Enid Goodrich in memory of her husband.18 Of course, Goodrich’s most important legacy, Liberty Fund, continues to have an important influence nationally and abroad.
It is a shame that Pierre Goodrich did not live to see the successes that have been achieved by Liberty Fund. At the time of his death, Liberty Fund was still very much in its infancy, having held only a handful of seminars. But in another way Goodrich is fortunate: How many people have their most important work continue after they have died?
Through his contributions, Pierre Goodrich has helped us realize that we know too little to be dogmatic and too much to remain passive in the protection of our cultural heritage. Pierre Goodrich knew a great many things, and we can benefit from his example if we are prepared to pursue rigorous study and take appropriate action. The essence of the Goodrich family’s legacy is an abiding faith in man’s ability, through concerted effort and reflection, to bring about and maintain social progress. As for Pierre, he believed deeply that staunch individualism was the necessary foundation for a flourishing Western democratic society. Clearly, the Goodriches were an original American family.
Shortly after Pierre’s death, many testimonials were written. The board of trustees of the Foundation for Economic Education, on which he served for more than twenty years, paid a fitting tribute, which read, in part:
We remember [Mr. Goodrich] as a man of ideas who demanded hard and straight thinking of himself and everyone else. . . . He loved good music, good food, and good books. He was a true individualist, whose occasional irascibility was that of a man who does not suffer fools gladly. He believed in freedom without compromise. His absence will be felt, and we mourn his loss.19
In a memorial resolution by the Indiana Telephone Corporation, the board recognized Goodrich’s pioneering contributions to the telephone industry, concluding:
Pierre F. Goodrich saw that the world of his abstract philosophizing and the world of his business decision-making were, in fact, but one world. . . . [He] contributed his time, his energy and his talents to his community, the state of Indiana, his country and mankind.20
But perhaps the most fitting remembrance was written by Anna Marie Gibbons, a reporter at the time for the Winchester News-Gazette. Ms. Gibbons had known Pierre ever since she was a young girl, asking precocious questions of him when he would visit her father, John Macy, Jr., Pierre’s first law partner:
Pierre Goodrich, who died at Indianapolis Thursday evening at 79, was probably the most remarkable Hoosier of this century in terms of intelligence, range of interests and financial acumen. . . .
Pierre was difficult to talk to or listen to, partly because he spoke in a soft, hesitant voice and partly because his mind darted from thought to thought with such dazzling speed it was too much for the average person to follow. But if you followed, you found the tour both fascinating and rewarding.
If you tried to catalogue all the things he became interested in in his lifetime, you would find the list amazing. And whatever he became interested in he learned about from the inside out, totally and entirely. Just to name a few of Pierre’s interests:
. . . He became interested in coffee, and immediately found out all there was to know on the subject. His interest in education resulted in much support and encouragement on his part for Wabash College. It also resulted in the prominent part he played in the Great Books movement. Here again, he not only read the books but became a prime student of the philosophies of all the writers—and from Great Books he wandered into the field of oriental philosophy and became an A student there.
. . . Pierre was so totally engrossed in the world of ideas that he often lost complete track of time when he became involved in a conversation or discussion that interested him—and had to be reminded by a tug at his sleeve or coat-tail that it was time to be going.
The tug that told him Thursday evening that it was time to be going, was one he couldn’t disregard. But I’m sure he left as reluctantly as ever—not because he was so tied to the things of this world, but because he had a few thousand ideas which he still had not had time to explore and think about, and a few thousand questions his amazing brain had still not had time to find answers for.21
[1. ]Doris Lewis, telephone interview, March 1, 1993.
[2. ]Rosanna Amos, longtime secretary for Goodrich, told me how Goodrich felt after he had gone to the Indiana Telephone Corporation and seen all the technological changes that were being made. She explained that he told her what it was like in the 1930s when he first became involved with the company. She said that he was very sad about the elimination of the operators’ function as the source of information for the community (interview, December 10, 1991).
[3. ]What Goodrich discussed at his meetings with the employees and his follow-up thank-you letter is contained in the July 1971 ITC Highlights, a newsletter published by the Indiana Telephone Corporation. It contains more than a dozen pictures of Goodrich meeting with employees or touring the facility. Shortly after visiting the Seymour offices, Goodrich went to the ITC offices at Jasper, Indiana, and conducted a similar tour and meetings with the employees. Walter Seaton said that Goodrich talked a great deal about the Federalist papers, but apparently at the time none of the employees had any idea what they were (interview, January 16, 1993).
[4. ]Ruth Connolly, interview, October 25, 1991.
[5. ]Alan Russell said that once, in the early 1970s, when he drove Goodrich home after a board meeting, Goodrich decided he wanted to go to a competing telephone company’s switching station. He and Russell “crashed” the place, arriving unannounced, and were given a tour by the men who were on duty at the time (interview, July 2, 1994). When Goodrich attended a meeting of the Mont Pelerin Society in Kassel, Germany, in early September 1960, he visited the giant communications company Siemens and learned all he could about the latest telephone technology that the company had (Ruth Connolly, interview, October 25, 1991).
[6. ]Ruth Connolly did remember providing Goodrich and his wife Enid with a television on which to watch Neil Armstrong’s July 1969 moon landing. Shortly after that historic event, Goodrich also watched with considerable interest and apparently some satisfaction the critical scrutiny given to Senator Edward Kennedy as a result of the Chappaquiddick incident (interview, October 25, 1991).
[7. ]Ron Medler, interview, June 9, 1993.
[8. ]Frank Jessup, telephone interview, February 27, 1993.
[9. ]Telephone interviews: William Stimart, January 21, 1993; William Waldbeiser, January 15, 1993.
[10. ]Letter from Gerhart Niemeyer to author, November 10, 1992. (“It is a great pleasure that I think back to my association with Pierre Goodrich. I believe the pleasure was mutual. That could not be expected, for while Pierre Goodrich was an atheist, I was deeply committed to belief in Jesus Christ and his salvation. . . .”)
[11. ]In his paper “Why Liberty?” and in his letters and the Basic Memorandum, Goodrich constantly refers to an “infinite being.” As to his knowledge of Scripture, many people remember that Goodrich could quote chapter and verse. Gerhart Niemeyer, too, recalls that Goodrich was proud of his knowledge of Scripture (letter, November 10, 1992).
[12. ]Will Hays, Jr., interview, May 8, 1992.
[13. ]Interviews: Rosanna Amos, December 10, 1991; Irwin H. Reiss, June 26, 1996.
[14. ]Peter Garson, telephone interview, December 30, 1992. Dale Braun recalled that for years Goodrich had the periodical Human Events sent to him (interview, July 17, 1992). Paul Poirot wrote (letter, November 8, 1992) that Goodrich had literature from the Foundation for Economic Education, notably The Freeman, sent to several people.
[15. ]Richard Lugar, interview, October 29, 1992.
[16. ]Lilly admitted to Goodrich that he had had such mixed success confronting “the uncertain seas of philosophy” that “biography and history and some of the lesser humanities will, I am afraid, have to be my joy and solace.” Letter from Lilly to Goodrich, January 8, 1951, Frank Sparks Papers, Eli Lilly folder, Archives, Wabash College. Lilly wrote:
Dear Mr. Goodrich:
Thank you very much for your interesting list of great books and your questions about them. Your work in this field has borne important results and you have again been a public benefactor. Your service entitles you to every co-operation and as you will find enclosed the poor record of my cruises into the uncertain seas of philosophy. . . .
[17. ]Letter from Lord Acton to Bishop Creighton, dated April 5, 1887, Essays on Freedom and Power (Boston: Beacon Press, 1948), p. 364. Goodrich often repeated this sentence both in conversation and in his writings.
[18. ]Rosanna Amos kept a copy of the list. Visitors of Goodrich between 1970 and 1973 included William Casey, the former CIA director and campaign chairman to Ronald Reagan; former Indiana governor Edgar D. Whitcomb; former Indiana governor and United States secretary of health and human services Otis Bowen; congressmen Richard Roudebush and William Bray; columnists and academics Jeffrey Hart, Thomas Sowell, George Roche, Russell Kirk, John Chamberlain, and Karl Brandt (of Stanford University); publishers Henry Regnery and Eugene Pulliam, Sr. and Jr.; economist Milton Friedman; Leonard Read of the Foundation for Economic Education; and Charles Stabler of the Wall Street Journal.
[19. ]“When Mr. Goodrich returned from the hospital one time, he had me send letters and books to the nurses, because he had gotten into lengthy discussions with them about political philosophy,” said Rosanna Amos (interview, December 10, 1991).
[20. ]Edgar D. Whitcomb, interview, April 18, 1992. Whitcomb calls Goodrich’s telephone call to Regnery the major reason that Whitcomb’s manuscript was published.
[21. ]Letter from William Campbell to author, May 15, 1993.
[22. ]Victor Milione, telephone interview, October 19, 1992.
[23. ]Telephone interviews: Edmund Opitz, October 10, 1992; Elisabeth Luce Moore, October 9, 1992.
[24. ]Dale Braun, telephone interview, December 2, 1991. Goodrich’s extraordinary memory was mentioned by several persons interviewed.
[25. ]John Kidder, interview, October 10, 1993.
[26. ]Ruth Connolly, interview, October 25, 1991.
[27. ]Perce Goodrich, interview, November 9, 1992. Ralph Husted, a member of the Liberty Fund board of directors, had similar memories of Goodrich’s long-windedness at board meetings. Board meetings were called by Pierre Goodrich whenever he thought there was something to talk about. The meeting would start at about nine o’clock in the morning and would start by Pierre talking about the subject for which he had called the meeting. . . . So he would start talking. We would sit there and listen all morning. We would adjourn for lunch and Pierre would resume his discussion. It was a one-man discussion. About four o’clock in the evening, Helen Schultz would say, “Mr. Goodrich, we have an agenda.” Pierre would continue with his discussion. About five o’clock, Helen would say again, “Mr. Goodrich, we have an agenda,” and between Helen sitting on one side of him and Mrs. Goodrich sitting on the other, holding a watch, he finally yielded to the agenda and we would get through it in about five minutes. (Interview by William C. Dennis, June 12, 1990)
[28. ]Rosanna Amos, interview, December 10, 1991.
[29. ]Ibid. Professor Edward McLean mentioned that when he first met Goodrich, their meeting lasted for a couple of hours. Goodrich wanted to know what books McLean read, his personal philosophy, and so forth (interview, May 8, 1992). In considering new employees, one approach that Goodrich employed was to hire individuals on a part-time basis. “He was always curious to see if [a part-time employee] was someone he’d like to have in the office as a permanent employee,” said Rosanna Amos. “Mr. Goodrich would find an excuse to have this person do something especially for him, and then he’d sit and talk with them and ask them all kinds of questions. He wanted to know what you read, and why you read it, and what you thought about it” (interview, December 10, 1991).
[30. ]T. Alan Russell, interview, July 2, 1994.
[31. ]Letter from Martha Wharton to author, December 14, 1995.
[33. ]Gilbert Snider, interview, December 23, 1991.
[34. ]Rosanna Amos, interview, December 10, 1991.
[35. ]Interviews: Ralph Litschert, November 10, 1991; Don Welch, December 16, 1991. Anne C. Lawrason, a former Goodrich employee, wrote: “He [Goodrich] was just impossible at times, and we all felt like tearing our hair out. The infuriating part was that he never even realized how demanding and ridiculous he seemed to us. He could be extremely kind and caring, and I know he thought of his employees (at least, some of us) as his family” (letter to author, December 11, 1995).
[36. ]This point was mentioned to me three times in interviews: William Stimart, January 21, 1993; Arlene Metz, November 10, 1992; and Kenneth Sullivan, February 19, 1996.
[37. ]Ronald Medler, interview, June 9, 1993. That the financial operations of the bank were sound is apparently true, because Peoples never closed during the Depression and has had a good business record ever since. Goodrich saw to it that the bank had a loan-to-deposit ratio of about 25 percent, whereas most other banks had a loan-to-deposit ratio of 50 to 60 percent. Goodrich intentionally did this, according to Chris Talley, president of Peoples Loan and Trust Bank, because it ensured that the bank had adequate liquidity in case there was ever a run on the bank (interview, March 20, 1995).
[38. ]For instance, Ronald Medler said that Goodrich once remarked to him that he (Goodrich) couldn’t understand why a particular farmer didn’t invest more of his income back into his farm. Medler says that caused him to think that Goodrich didn’t realize how difficult it was for a working man to raise a family and pay a mortgage off on just one income (interview, June 9, 1993).
[39. ]Anne C. Lawrason, who worked with Goodrich daily as a secretary from 1970 to 1973, stated that Goodrich once remarked to her that he was a “self-made man.” He was apparently blind to many of the advantages (such as education, business knowledge, and financial inheritance) that he had received from his parents (interview, September 15, 1996). Goodrich often advised his employees to buy the best, whatever the product, because in the long run buying the best was the most cost-efficient. But, says Rosanna Amos, he did not seem to appreciate that not everyone could always afford to buy the best (interview, December 10, 1991). Goodrich was also strongly opposed to the extension of consumer credit. Generally speaking, a disdain for credit is laudable, even more so today than during Goodrich’s life. But Goodrich appeared not to understand that a young couple, for example, might need to purchase some goods on time. Ronald Medler, interview, June 9, 1993.
[40. ]Trueblood said this about Goodrich in both the telephone interview I had with him on December 12, 1991, and in a letter I received from him dated December 3, 1991. Trueblood wrote in part: “We both became involved in the Great Books Program because we were both convinced of the importance of what Professor [Alfred North] Whitehead called ‘the habitual vision of greatness.’ . . . I would describe Pierre Goodrich as a man who actually had ‘the vision of greatness.’” Whitehead’s complete statement is, “Moral education is impossible apart from the habitual vision of greatness.”
[41. ]Mary Johnson, interview, January 1, 1992.
[42. ]While Ben Rogge was on vacation playing golf in Alabama one summer day, Goodrich called Rogge off the course to discuss a matter that Pierre believed was of the utmost urgency, but they ended up discussing some philosophical point. This, unfortunately for business colleagues and friends alike, was not an isolated incident. Interviews with Edward McLean, May 8, 1992, and Perce G. Goodrich, November 9, 1992. Many interviewees, perhaps more than a dozen, recalled Goodrich’s lengthy late-night telephone calls.
[43. ]See Lou Hiner, “IRS Reviews Goodrich Tax,” Indianapolis News, May 18, 1978, p. 40, col. 1. According to the article, Goodrich prepared eleven wills between 1949 and his last one on March 3, 1969.
[44. ]Goodrich believed that sufficient reflection on problems could result in choosing the least imperfect option. This attitude can be readily seen in Goodrich’s behavior as a businessman and intellectual. The longevity of Goodrich’s business meetings is legendary; it was not uncommon for them to last an entire day or even longer. He would probe and explore nearly every conceivable avenue to ensure that he had as firm a grasp of the particulars as possible in order to make a wise business decision or to analyze the work of an employee or specialist. “He wanted all the details and you had [better] be well prepared,” said Richard H. Swallow, chief engineer of the Ayrshire Collieries Corporation for three decades (telephone interview, December 20, 1992).
[45. ]Arlene Metz, interview, November 10, 1992.
[46. ]Goodrich’s preoccupation with German wines is a good example of his tremendous curiosity. Helen Fletcher wrote:
[47. ]John Waltz, interview, March 6, 1993. Goodrich’s detailed knowledge of the Bible went all the way back to childhood. His mother taught a boys’ Sunday school class when Pierre was a youth, and he would spend hours studying the Bible in preparation for one of her lessons (Ronald Medler, interview, June 9, 1993).
[48. ]Roy Barnes, interview, February 8, 1992; James Emison, telephone interview, April 16, 1993. Emison, whose father was a law partner of Goodrich at the time, remembers receiving the card and hearing his father telling him how Pierre had designed its front.
[49. ]Another example of this behavior is when Goodrich became extremely interested in cooking during one European trip in the late 1950s. He subsequently returned to his Indianapolis home and filled his kitchen with expensive copper cooking pots and learned as much about the preparation of fine cuisine as he could (Ronald Medler, interview, June 9, 1993).
[1. ]In the 1990 United States Census Bureau survey, residents of Randolph County listed their ancestry as German, 35.8 percent; Irish, 18.5 percent; English, 17.3 percent; American, 10.2 percent; Dutch, 4.3 percent. See Muncie (Ind.) Star, December 21, 1996, p. 1, col. 8.
[2. ]The strong German influence can be seen in an account in James Watson’s As I Knew Them. According to Watson, when he first ran for the United States House of Representatives in 1894 (the year Pierre was born), he was successful in defeating an incumbent of thirty years’ standing because he gave many of his speeches in German, the native language of many of his constituents. Watson had learned German from a boyhood friend (p. 6). Winchester’s midwestern value system is even more obvious when it is recalled that it is less than twenty-five miles east of Muncie, Indiana, the town that was chosen for a decade-long sociology study in the 1920s and 1930s by Robert S. and Helen Merrell Lynd because it represented “Middletown, U.S.A.”
[3. ]At Winchester High School, Goodrich’s curriculum included chemistry, geometry, United States and world history, Latin, philosophy, astronomy, calculus, trigonometry, English literature, and music, among other subjects.
[4. ]Four of the five men who became Union generals from Randolph County went on to have outstanding political careers. They were all living when James Goodrich was a young man, and they would have been well known to him, if not personally, then by reputation. Isaac P. Gray was a state senator for Randolph County (1869–73), governor of Indiana (1884–88), and United States ambassador to Mexico (1893–95); Thomas M. Browne served as chief clerk of the State Senate (1861), state senator (1863–65), Republican candidate for governor (1872), prosecuting attorney, and United States representative from the Sixth Congressional District (1876–90). Browne gave James Goodrich an appointment to the United States Naval Academy in 1881. Silas Colgrove, a colonel in the Twenty-seventh Indiana Cavalry, passed a stolen copy of General Robert E. Lee’s orders to General George McClellan, which resulted in the bloody battle at Antietam in September 1862. He later became a brigadier general but gained national prominence as the president of the military commission that tried the celebrated case of Horsey, Milligan, and Bowles, three Hoosier Knights of the Golden Circle who were accused of treason. He also served as state representative from Randolph County (1857–61) and Randolph County circuit judge (1873–79). Asahel Stone served as state representative (1848–49 and 1871–73) and state senator of Randolph County (1861–63) and was president of the Randolph County Bank in Winchester for more than twenty-five years; Jonathan Cranor, the least distinguished of Randolph County’s five generals, later moved to Ohio, where he was elected to the Ohio state legislature in 1868. He moved back to Randolph County in 1872, where he operated a hardware store and served as a state deputy marshal. See “General Cranor” (summarizes the careers of all five men), Randolph County History: 1818–1990, pp. 211–12.
[5. ]John L. Smith and Lee L. Driver, Past and Present of Randolph County, Indiana (Indianapolis: A. W. Bowen, 1914), pp. 1523–24.
[6. ]Letter from Goodrich to F. A. Hayek, December 24, 1970. F. A. Hayek Collection, box 43, folder 22, Archives, Hoover Institution, Stanford, California.
[7. ]See Miriam Halbert Bales, We Pass the Words Along: A 300-Year Chronicle of the Bales Family (Muncie, Ind.: privately printed, 1984), p. 166. Ella Clark wrote the letter on November 16, 1920, to William Bales, who was engaged to Mrs. Clark’s adopted daughter, Jenny Jessup.
[8. ]See Richard B. Schmitt, “Ethics Courses for Lawyers Draw Comers,” Wall Street Journal, July 8, 1993, sec. B, p. 2, col. 2. At least one professional has realized the futility of teaching ethics as a series of “rules”: “For an ethics specialist, Mr. [Michael] Daigneault has surprisingly little use for the traditional rules of the game governing attorney conduct. Most of the rules, he says, are useless or ambiguous in guiding attorneys through the ethical minefields they face on a daily basis. Instead, he teaches virtues, and his lectures tend to be sprinkled with Kant, Confucius, and the Bible, rather than black-letter law” (ibid.).
[9. ]As quoted in Suzanne McBride, “Incoming Wabash Chief Plans Healing,” Indianapolis News, June 14, 1993, sec. A, p. 10, col. 3.
[10. ]See Joseph Beroff, Elizabeth Douvan, and Richard Kulka, The Inner American: A Self-Portrait from 1957 to 1976 (New York: Basic Books, 1981), pp. 14–25.
[11. ]Lyle E. Schaller, Twenty-one Bridges to the Twenty-first Century (Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1994), p. 25.
[12. ]The Goodriches’ hometown of Winchester, Indiana, I believe, represents what has happened culturally, economically, and socially throughout America in the past seventy years. Whereas the physical appearance of Winchester has changed little from the time Pierre Goodrich was a boy, if one digs beyond the veneer of the town, the community is vastly different from the one Pierre left in the mid 1920s. At that time, in Pierre’s home county, single-parenting as a result of never being married or divorced was extremely rare. In 1990, however, although there was essentially no change in population since 1900, there were 882 single mothers in Randolph County; there were also 234 single fathers raising children. Crime in Randolph County has exploded. Not long ago the Randolph County circuit and superior courts had approximately fifteen hundred pending misdemeanor and felony cases. Randolph County is not unique. I would suggest that if you look at nearly any other community in America you will find similar statistics. The number of people who live together, drift apart, marry, divorce, live together with another, marry again, move to another city or town, get another job, and have several live-in relationships is staggering.
[13. ]In Randolph County, Indiana, the following social and economic agencies providing human services exist today (remember that this is a county of only twenty-seven thousand people): the Randolph County Division of Family and Children (food stamps, Aid for Dependent Children, juvenile and family services); the Randolph County Literacy Coalition; the Jay County–Randolph County Developmental Council (workshops for adults with mental disabilities); Randolph County Services, Inc. (agency for the handicapped and aging); Women, Infants and Children, Inc.; the Randolph County Extension Office; Randolph County Homemaker Services; the Randolph County Community and Economic Development Foundation; the Randolph County Home (for the elderly); the Randolph County Health Department; the Randolph County Step Ahead program; Headstart; Jobs Training Partnership Agency; Vocational Rehabilitation; the Dunn Mental Health Clinic; the Division of Disability, Aging and Rehabilitative Services; the Social Security Office; Area Six Community and Senior Services, Inc. (providing Meals on Wheels and nutrition sites for elderly); the Veterans Services Office; the Randolph County Weatherization Project; and the Victims Assistance Program. All of these organizations are either totally funded or receive some funding from federal, state, or local tax sources. The number of private social service agencies for drug and alcohol addiction, marriage and family counseling, and financial consultation is nearly as large. For a more thorough discussion of these services, see “Step Ahead Invites Community Interest,” Winchester (Ind.) News-Gazette, November 27, 1996, p. 1, col. 3.
[14. ]I believe that Pierre Goodrich was fully aware of the causes of the growth of the state. I also believe, however, that he may have overestimated the ability of the average individual to comprehend and withstand the incredible changes, complexities, and isolation produced by our modern technology-driven society. To his credit, I think Goodrich realized that ideas about liberty and our nation’s heritage have to be kept alive if our society is not to lapse into a kind of modern Dark Ages.
[1. ]Horace, Satires, 1.9, 59.
[2. ]Rosanna Amos, interview, December 10, 1993.
[3. ]William H. Fletcher told William C. Dennis, “[Pierre Goodrich] had reservations about all of us. I don’t think there were absolutely any exceptions and, fortunately or unfortunately, he would talk about you face to face and not always in the absence of the individual . . .” (interview, January 25, 1991).
[4. ]Quote taken from Robert S. Lynd and Helen Merrell Lynd, Middletown: A Study in Contemporary American Culture (New York: Harcourt, Brace, 1929), p. 73.
[5. ]“Soviet Russia—III,” New Republic, November 11, 1925, pp. 301–2.
[6. ]See “Cravens Accepts Coal Challenge,” Indianapolis Star, July 20, 1920, p. 1, col. 3. In the article, James Goodrich admits that he had bought ten thousand dollars’ worth of stock in the LeNoir Coal Company (owned by Jesse Moorman) and had given it to his son as a wedding present.
[7. ]See “Indianapolis Architecture” (and accompanying picture), Indianapolis Star, July 18, 1976, p. 15, col. 1.
[8. ]Bettina Bien Greaves, telephone interview, October 16, 1992. Greaves said that when she and Leonard Read visited Pierre at his home on Central Avenue, the first edition of Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations (1776) was the thing Goodrich was most proud to show them.
[9. ]Byron Trippet, “Pierre F. Goodrich,” in Wabash on My Mind, p. 184. Pierre’s parents’ house and lifestyle were much the same. In a 1976 article, Josephine Friedrich, a German-born woman James and Cora Goodrich brought back with them from their trip to Russia in 1923, recalled the couple’s “plain” living. Friedrich lived with James and Cora Goodrich from 1923 to 1928 as a companion to Mrs. Goodrich. She recalled that the Goodriches remained nonaristocrats who mostly spent their time reading and studying, and who were unaffected by their possessions and powerful friends. See R. Alan Rice, “The Governor James P. Goodrich Home—Its Past, Present, Future,” Winchester (Ind.) News-Gazette, October 13, 1976, p. 8.
[10. ]Weber, The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism, p. 71.
[11. ]Ibid., pp. 170–71.
[12. ]In a letter that James Goodrich wrote to Cora from New Orleans in March 1895, he speaks disapprovingly of the southern city, which was very “worldly” in his eyes: “But finally believing as a Frenchman always does that happiness, and not ‘serving God,’ is the ‘Chief End of Man’ they [the founders of New Orleans] named one street ‘Felicity,’” he wrote. Letter from James P. Goodrich to Cora Goodrich, March 13, 1895 (in the possession of Priscilla Klosterman, R.R. 2, Ridgeville, Ind.).
[13. ]Letter from Helen Schultz Fletcher to author, June 18, 1996.
[14. ]See “State, National Dignitaries Hear Goodrich Eulogized at Final Rites,” Indianapolis Star, August 19, 1940, p. 3, col. 6. Papperman also said of the former governor: “He is a notable example of what a man can achieve in our country with hard work and ambition to succeed.”
[15. ]As quoted in Michael McBride, “College Long Gone, but History Still Strong,” Muncie (Ind.) Star Press, January 3, 1997, sec. D, pp. 1–2.
[16. ]In a letter from Calvin Goodrich to Pierre, it is evident that Pierre’s knowledge of the Bible was substantial. Calvin writes: “Through Peckham, an old-time university associate, I learn that you are an authority on the Bible. I judge from his remark that you had cast something of awe upon him in this matter . . .” (letter, August 30, 1947, Black Mountain, N.C., in the possession of Perce G. Goodrich, Portland, Ind.).
[17. ]A question that is probably unanswerable but would be worth examining is: What specific doctrines did James Goodrich teach Sunday after Sunday for twenty-five years to his men’s Bible class at the Presbyterian church?
[18. ]Up until World War I, and during the four years that Pierre was an undergraduate student (1912 to 1916), daily chapel was a mandatory morning activity Monday through Friday. See “Required Chapel,” in These Fleeting Years, 1832 to 1982 (Crawfordsville, Ind.: Wabash College, 1982), p. 168. The role of Presbyterian pioneer settlers and ministers in the early years of Indiana’s formation is excellently presented in a book by L. C. Rudolph, Hoosier Zion (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1963).
[19. ]Goodrich, “Russia Manuscript,” chap. P, pp. 5–6, James P. Goodrich Papers, box 16, Herbert Hoover Presidential Library, West Branch, Iowa.
[20. ]“God helps them that help themselves” (Franklin, Poor Richard’s Almanack).
[21. ]James Goodrich’s almost total preoccupation with this aspect of governing could also be seen in a negative light. In a 1919 history about the first century of Indiana statehood, the following statement was included in an otherwise positive account of his years as governor. “Perhaps the most common criticism of his (Goodrich’s) administration thus far is of a lack of what may go to make a State worthy of admiration outside of success in a business way . . .” (Jacob Piatt Dunn, Indiana and Indianans [Chicago: American Historical Society, 1919], p. 785).
[22. ]Weber, The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism, pp. 171–72.
[23. ]The author was told repeatedly by former employees that the Goodrich family paid low wages at their various companies. Indeed, as mentioned in chapter 16, I believe it was one reason why they were not held in high esteem by some people in the communities where they did their business. Howard Melander, comptroller of Indiana Telephone Corporation, 1967 to 1971, interview, December 12, 1995; letter from Martha Wharton to author, December 14, 1995.
[24. ]William H. Fletcher, who worked closely with Goodrich from 1960 to 1972, stated: “[Pierre Goodrich] was intensely interested in everything that went on around him, and business was part of that. It was not a separate part of life, but it was part of the whole thing . . .” (interview by William C. Dennis, January 25, 1991).
[25. ]Richard Hofstadter, Anti-intellectualism in American Life (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1963), p. 27.
[26. ]Ibid., pp. 28–29.
[27. ]Individualism and Commitment in American Life, p. 20.
[29. ]Letter from Watson to Goodrich, April 9, 1930, James P. Goodrich Papers, box 28. Percy Goodrich observed: “[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. 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.” P. E. Goodrich, “Governor Jim,” Down in Indiana 61 (December 4, 1948).
[30. ]Another reason that Pierre was so determined to stay within the laws was the rumors that some of the early business ventures of his father and Jesse Moorman were less than ethical. Ronald Medler, interview, April 27, 1993. It would be nearly impossible to substantiate any alleged improprieties several decades later, but it is known that Pierre could not tolerate having his own integrity called into question. It may well be that James Goodrich did not engage in any “shady” deals. Is buying a company out of bankruptcy and paying only a few cents on the dollar it had been worth a few months before a “shady deal”? That is how the Goodrich family acquired most of its later wealth—that and working extremely long hours. See also “[James P.] Goodrich Sued for Accounting by Agnes M. Todd of Bluffton,” Winchester Journal-Herald, June 13, 1939, p. 1, col. 2.
[31. ]Ron Medler, interview, June 9, 1993. Apparently, one reason James Goodrich was subject to persistent rumors about the ethical aspects of his business dealings was that he continued to have vast holdings in many businesses at the same time he held the positions of chairman of the state Republican Committee (1901–10), Republican national committeeman (1912–20), and governor (1917–21). For instance, James Goodrich purportedly helped Jesse Moorman obtain the garbage collection contract for Indianapolis in May 1912 and subsequently obtained stock in it. Moreover, he and his family owned the Union Heat, Light and Power Company, which furnished gas to Winchester, Union City, and Portland under a monopoly arrangement. For a discussion of some charges of impropriety, see “‘Jim’ Goodrich County Boss for Twenty Years,” Winchester (Ind.) Democrat, October 5, 1916, p. 1, col. 6; “Cravens Accepts Coal Challenge,” Indianapolis Star, July 20, 1920, p. 1, col. 3 (James Goodrich was charged by a state Democratic senator with improper business relations with coal and railroad companies). In 1913, James Goodrich was also implicated in a fund-raising scam that involved his friend James Watson and the National Association of Manufacturers. Purportedly, a Colonel Martin M. Mulhall went to members of the National Association of Manufacturers and raised approximately twenty-three thousand dollars for Watson and sent it to the Republican state committee. The money was never accounted for, but several officials, including James Goodrich, who was Republican chairman, were implicated. The author could not find any further articles implicating Goodrich, although the Mulhall Affair became the source of a major congressional investigation in Washington, D.C. See Louis Ludlow, “Where Did Fund Go? Is Mystery Up to Mulhall,” Indianapolis Star, July 28, 1913, p. 1, col. 1.
[32. ]This observation about Goodrich was made by Stephen J. Tonsor (interview, December 5, 1992).
[33. ]Ibid. William Fletcher makes this observation (interview by William C. Dennis, January 25, 1991). From the author’s understanding, Liberty Fund was neither very active nor did it come into most of Goodrich’s wealth until after Pierre had passed away in 1973. Apparently, that was partly because of the difficulty Pierre had getting the IRS to allow a tax-free transfer to Liberty Fund of his personal proceeds from the sale of his companies. Another possible reason was that Pierre thought he might find some other better use for his money. That suggestion was made by Stephen Tonsor (interview, December 5, 1992).
[1. ]See Harry T. Ice, History of a Hoosier Law Firm (Indianapolis: privately printed, 1980), pp. 143–44.
[2. ]Gilbert Snider, interview, December 23, 1991. The magazine erroneously reported that Goodrich’s share of the sale would amount to a personal take of $44.5 million. See “Going, Going, . . . Gone!” Forbes, February 15, 1969, p. 55.
[3. ]Goodrich’s daughter brought suit in Marion County Probate Court, Indianapolis, contesting her father’s will. See “Pierre Goodrich Will Contested by His Daughter,” Indianapolis News, December 6, 1973, p. 34, col. 6; “Goodrich Daughter to Contest His Will,” Indianapolis Star, December 7, 1973, p. 37, col. 6; “Goodrich Estate More Than $2 Million,” Muncie (Ind.) Star, January 3, 1974, p. 19, col. 5; “$2,179,368 Listed in Goodrich Estate,” Indianapolis News, January 4, 1974, p. 23, col. 3; “Goodrich Property Sale to Be Private,” Indianapolis Star, December 3, 1975, p. 43, col. 7 (reported the sale of a Stradivarius violin appraised at forty thousand dollars and a Vangelisti violin appraised at three thousand dollars).
[4. ]See “John B. Goodrich” (obituary), Winchester (Ind.) News-Gazette, January 7, 1971, p. 4, col. 1.
[5. ]After Pierre’s death in October 1973, several tax problems developed with regard to income and estate taxes. The Internal Revenue Service initially sought capital-gains taxes of $6.8 million on two trusts valued at $26.1 million owned by Goodrich. As part of those trusts, the IRS disallowed more than $19.5 million in charitable deductions to four foundations that Goodrich had set up and to Wabash College. The IRS finally settled for roughly $1 million. Claude Warren, Jr., interview, July 5, 1993 (Warren, along with his father and several other lawyers, performed the financial work on Pierre’s income and estate tax filings). See also “IRS Settles Estate Claim for 1 Million,” Indianapolis Star, July 24, 1975, p. 30, col. 1; Lou Hiner, “IRS Reviews Goodrich Tax,” Indianapolis News, May 18, 1978, p. 40, col. 1.
[6. ]See Robert S. Harvey, ed., These Fleeting Years: Wabash College, 1832–1982 (Crawfordsville, Ind.: Wabash College, 1982), pp. 169–71.
[7. ]“The Malcolm X Institute of Black Studies,” ibid., pp. 162–63; Edward B. McLean, interview, February 15, 1997.
[8. ]See “Students Strike to Protest Cambodian Invasion,” in These Fleeting Years: Wabash College, 1832–1982, pp. 157–59.
[9. ]Goodrich does discuss religious beliefs in the Basic Memorandum, but he devotes little space to them. One of the passages most relevant to the author’s observation is the following: “Religious beliefs and theories must be commented on. Certain rational processes often take place in arriving at the religious beliefs and theologies which each individual holds. However, man’s ignorance and imperfection, as herein referred to, are so extensive that in the end the particular belief enters the area of mysticism and pure belief. This is distinguished from anything which is completely arrived at by observation and reason” (pt. 3, p. 60).
[10. ]The quotation comes from “Goodrich Seminar Room,” the program that was prepared for the dedication, which took place on June 4, 1959.
[11. ]Barnett’s letter is attached to a memorandum that Ben Rogge sent to Thaddeus Seymour, then president of Wabash College. See memorandum to President Seymour, November 17, 1969, and the attached letter from Frank Barnett, dated September 19, 1969, Ben Rogge Collection, Archives, Wabash College.
[12. ]Ruth Connolly, interview, October 25, 1991, and July 30, 1993.
[13. ]Frank Jessup, telephone interview, February 27, 1993.
[14. ]This information was provided by Roseda Doenges Decker, a board member of Liberty Fund who attended the memorial service (letter to author, September 3, 1996).
[15. ]The Reverend Richard Merriman, then minister of the Winchester Main Street Christian Church, was the unofficial leader of the citizens’ group that sought to keep the governor’s mansion from being torn down. What transpired in the fall of 1976 is rather sad. Apparently, Pierre’s widow, Enid, could not understand why all of a sudden there was such a great interest in the Goodrich mansion, when the house had remained essentially empty for the previous thirty-five years. Pierre was the only one who ever used it during most of that time, and after his death the mansion remained unoccupied for three years. Moreover, apparently Enid had no love for the house, since she had never been welcomed into it while Pierre’s parents were alive. Therefore, although it was apparently structurally sound, the beautiful mansion was torn down in the winter of 1976, and a community landmark was lost (Richard T. Merriman, telephone interview, March 19, 1993).
[16. ]Most of Pierre’s possessions were sold at a public auction that took place on October 25, 26, and 27 at the Randolph County 4-H fairgrounds south of Winchester. See “Goodrich Sale Begins,” Winchester (Ind.) News-Gazette, October 26, 1976, p. 1, col. 3.
[17. ]Moreover, the foundation has helped fund construction of a new addition to the local library, which includes a room named for James P. Goodrich. See Janet Fuller, “Library Is Given Foundation Grant,” Winchester (Ind.) News-Gazette, April 15, 1993, p. 1, col. 5.
[18. ]The award provides nearly a full college scholarship to at least one graduating senior annually from Winchester Community High School. Winners since the inception of the scholarship are Jeffrey Chalfant (1988); Steve McCord (1989); Charles Stonerock and Karine Oswalt (1990); Catherine J. Hall, Katrina E. Horner, and Brian N. Peters (1991); T. Meeks Cockerill (1992); Molly C. Smith (1993); Melanie L. Martin (1994); Gary Campbell (1995); and Scott K. Stranko, Wendy R. Holder, and Dawn M. Love (1996).
[19. ]“Tribute to Pierre Frist Goodrich,” December 3, 1973. Pierre F. Goodrich file, Foundation for Economic Education, Irvington-on-Hudson, N.Y.
[20. ]See “Pierre F. Goodrich Memorial Resolution,” ITC Highlights, November 12, 1973, p. 6.
[21. ]Anna Marie Gibbons, Winchester (Ind.) News-Gazette, October 28, 1973, p. 1, col. 1.