William A. Goodwin
“William A. Goodwin, a native of Decatur County, Ind., was born February 20, 1846. He was the seventh born of twelve children , eight daughters and four sons, of whom seven daughters and four sons are still living. His parents, William and Mary (Elder) Goodwin, were born in Dearborn County, Ind., and Lincoln County, Ky., respectively. The parents of the former were of English and German descent, and were natives of Virginia. Those of the latter were natives of Virginia and Michigan, of Irish and English descent. William Goodwin came to Decatur County with his parents when a young man, they being among the first settlers in the county. He remained there until he was married June 16, 1832, to Miss Mary Elder, who came to the county with her parents in 1820. They both had a common school education and Mr. Goodwin taught school for several years. He would teach during the day and work at night, thus making money enough to enter his first home, which was given by Andrew Jackson. He started on forty acres of woodland and by hard work succeeded in redeeming a good home. He sold this and purchased eighty acres, where he lived until 1851. He then sold out and located in Noble Township , purchasing there 160 acres where he resided the rest of his life. During his early life, he followed flat-boating on the Ohio River. He was an active, hard working man of fine education and highly esteemed by all who knew him. He died December 26, 1873, at the age of sixty-eight, and his wife September 17, 1871, at the age of sixty-one. William Goodwin, Jr., came to the county with his parents when but ten years old. He was reared on a farm, but had a common school education, also one year in the Milford Graded School, preparing himself for teaching, but when he became of age he began farming on his own responsibility. He worked his father's farm until he was twenty-seven years old, when he married Miss Emeline Shirly of Shelby County, daughter of Hardin and Cassandra (Moore) Shirly[Shirley], natives of Kentucky. By this union three children were born: Alva, born June 16, 1873; Deusa, born December 14, 1874; Frank, born September 14, 1876. Mr. Goodwin located on the farm where he now lives, in 1873. It is well improved and consists of 160 acres, which when he entered was partially cleared. He is a scientific farmer and well posted. He is a public spirited man and takes a great interest in school work. He is a member of the Democratic ranks and served two terms as Township Trustee from 1876 to 1880."
From pp. 727-8 of Brant & Fuller's 1887 History of Shelby County, Indiana / Noble Sketches
Submitted by Don T. Mitchell