GOODWILL COAL MINING CAMP - 1905

( Photograph and Text: Ken Bowen, Bluewell, WV. )

A BIRDEYE VIEW OF THE GOODWILL COAL CAMP

This photograph shows Goodwill in 1905, about the time Philip Goodwill sold the Goodwill Coal and Coke Company to Justus Collins of the Louisville Coal and Coke Company.  In the right corner of this photograph is the Goodwill Company Store, and in the left center is the Louisville Company Store.  The Louisville Company Store is the one remembered by all the people of Goodwill.  The store was built in 1887, closed in 1958, and demolished in 1960-61Shortly after 1905, the Goodwill Store was converted into a theater, barber and shoe shop, a recreation room, and an extra class room for the school.  This building burned down in 1931. 

GOODWILL, WEST VIRGINIA HISTORY

Robert and Phillip Goodwill opened a coal mine and started this coal camp in 1886. Justus Collins opened another mine in 1887. There were two saw mills, two coal tipples, two power plant, two company stores, two schools, three churches, a union hall, post office, theater, dance hall, pool room, shoe shop, doctors office, and over a hundred homes. In 1950, Goodwill had a population of 1536. In 1958, the mine was closed, and the residents left; all the buildings were torn down except for one house.

The Goodwill Coal Camp got its name from the firm of Robert Goodwill and Company.  At the age of 25, Robert Goodwill came to America in 1852 from Northumberland County, England with his wife, Katherine Wake, and oldest son, Anthony G.  Robert settled in Gold Mine Gap, Pennsylvania, near thecity of Shamokin.  He had been a coal miner in England since the age of nineand continued until he started his own coal company at Shamokin. After hearing the news of the thick seams of coal in southern West Virginia, Robert traveled to Pocahontas and secured a lease for 800 acres of coal land from the Flat Top Land Association.  He returned to Shamokin to organize the company, and in November 1886 the firm of Robert Goodwill and Company conducted business under this name until December 1888, when the company was incorporated as The Goodwill Coal and Coke Company.  The Goodwill Family owned the entire stock in the company.  Robert was company President, Anthony G. was Vice President, Philip was general manager and treasurer, and William F. Goodwill was secretary. Robert Goodwill was listed as President of Goodwill Coal and Coke Company until 1892, and then he resigned from that position on account of failing health.  Anthony and William became presidents of coal companies and other businesses in Shamokin, Pennsylvania.  Philip became President of the Goodwill Coal and Coke Company.  Robert Goodwill returned to Shamokin, Pennsylvania and died in 1898.

( Text Provided By: Ken Bowen, Bluewell, West Virginia. )

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