Front Page Titles (by Subject) Chapter 32: Why Did They Work So Hard? Work, Ideas, Citizenship, and Virtue - The Goodriches: An American Family
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Chapter 32: Why Did They Work So Hard? Work, Ideas, Citizenship, and Virtue - Dane Starbuck, The Goodriches: An American Family 
The Goodriches: An American Family (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 2001).
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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
[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).