PIONEER COAL OPERATORS - THE GOODWILL FAMILY

Extended Information on the Robert Goodwill Family

HISTORIC BRAMWELL COAL BARONS: ROBERT GOODWILL AND FAMILY

GOODWILL. The name Goodwill has been closely associated with the coal and coke interests of Pennsylvania and West Virginia, and Shamokin, Northumberland county, has been the home of the family for many years, here dwelling the late Robert Goodwill, founder and in his lifetime president of the Goodwill Coal & Coke Company of West Virginia; and his sons, Anthony G. Goodwill, now a hardware merchant at Shamokin, member of the firm of Boughner, Goodwill & Co.; and William F. Goodwill, who retains his mining interests. Robert Goodwill was born in October, 1827, in the County of Northumberland, England, son of Anthony G. and Margaret (Freeman) Goodwill, and was tenth in their family of twelve children. When but nine years of age he went to work in the mines, and at thirteen was mining coal. His home during the last years he spent in the old country was in Scotland. He was married in his native land, and his eldest son was born before the emigration to America. In May, 1852, Mr. Goodwill with wife and son, sailed for the New World, landing at Philadelphia on June 30th of that year. He went to Gold Mine Gap, and was employed there three years, mining coal. From there he moved to the Shamokin coal fields, and was employed at the Lancaster colliery, about three miles east of town. In 1857 he located at Trevorton, Pa., about eight miles west of Shamokin, where he worked both as a miner and contractor. At the end of eight years, in 1865, with A. A. Heim as a partner, he leased the tracts of coal lands three miles west of the town, tracts that were familiarly known as the Greenough and Bear Valley tracts. They operated these until Nov. 15, 1887, when they sold out to the Philadelphia & Reading Coal & Iron Company. Heim & Goodwill leased the Diamond Gas & Coal Company's colliery, and the Pentecost, both at Reynoldsville, Jefferson Co., Pa., which they operated for ten years. In December, 1869, they acquired a quarter interest in the Monitor colliery, and in March, 1870, disposed of this interest with profit. During 1877 Mr. Goodwill occupied the position of superintendent with the Philadelphia & Reading Coal & Iron Company, and in 1878 he built the Carson colliery, operating it three years, after which he retired from active business. He was, however, of too active a temperament to remain long in retirement and in 1886 he organized the Goodwill Coal & Coke Company, of Philippi, W. Va., and leased a colliery from the Blue Stone Coal Company, in connection with which he operated fifty coke ovens. The first shipment of coal was made in September, 1887, and the capacity of the mines was increased to one thousand tons per day. Mr. Goodwill was reared by parents who were faithful members of the Church of England, but he departed from the faith of his fathers and became a Methodist, being a trustee of the Methodist Church for fifteen years, and of the Second Methodist Episcopal Church for four years. In his political faith be was a Republican. He died Dec. 17, 1899. On July 27, 1847, he married Catherine Wake, born Dec. 28, 1827, died May 20, 1902, daughter of Philip and Margaret Wake. She is also deceased, and both she and her husband rest in the cemetery at Shamokin. Five children blessed their union, of whom the two daughters died in infancy; the sons were, Anthony G., Philip (of Bramwell, W. Va.) and William F. all of whom were members of the Goodwill Coal & Coke Company. Mr. and Mrs. Goodwill celebrated the fiftieth anniversary of their wedding July 27, 1897. (Genealogical and Biographical Annals of Northumberland County, Pennsylvania, by J. L. Floyd Published Chicago, Ill., 1911. pg. 698; Transcribed by Tammy L. Clark)

 

ANTHONY G. GOODWILL, son of Robert, was born in Scotland in August, 1848, and accompanied his parents to America in 1852. He attended the public schools and was graduated from Dickinson Seminary, at Williamsport, Pa. He was only nine years of age when he worked for a time as a slate picker. In 1869 he became a clerk for W. R. Kutmer, selling hardware and drugs, remaining in that position until 1885, when he engaged in business for himself, at No. 228 East Sunbury street, the original firm name of Boughner, Goodwill & Co. being retained to the present time. When the Goodwill Coal & Coke Company was incorporated he became a member of the company, and is still interested in the mining business. He has built up a good trade in the hardware business, and ranks among the leading citizens of Shamokin. In 1873 he married Regina C. Klase, of Ashland, Pa., daughter of Abraham Klase, and they have one son, Robert W., of Shamokin. In his political faith Mr. Goodwill is a Republican, and in his religions faith a Methodist. Fraternally he is a Mason, being a member of Shamokin Lodge, F. & A.M. He also belongs to the B.P.O. Elks and to the Cresco Club. (Genealogical and Biographical Annals of Northumberland County, Pennsylvania, by J. L. Floyd Published Chicago, Ill., 1911. pg. 699; Transcribed by Tammy L. Clark)  

ROBERT GOODWILL, who, prior to his death, was president of the Goodwill Coal & Coke Company of West Virginia, was one of the most honored and respected citizens of Shamokin, Northumberland County,Pa. The entire stock of the company was owned by Mr. Goodwill and his family and was directed by thEfollowing management: Robert Goodwill, president; Anthony G. Goodwill, vice-president; Philip Goodwill, general manager and treasurer; William Goodwill, secretary. The firm was organized, in 1886 by our subject, after having secured a lease of 800 acres of the famous Flat-Top coal lands from the Flat-Top Coal Land Association. Preparatory work was immediately begun by Mr. Goodwill in opening up the mines, erecting the necessary machinery, buildings, coke ovens, etc., and such other improvements as are necessary for the shipment of coal and coke. The business was conducted as a firm until December, 1888, when it was incorporated in accordance with the laws of West Virginia as the Goodwill Coal & Coke Company. The first shipment of coal was made in September, 1887; since that time the capacity of the mines has steadily increased until at- present the colliery is capable of turning out 1,000 tons of coal daily. With the present shipments, from ninety to one hundred men are employed. The plant contains 50 Bee Hive coke ovens, erected in accordance with the requirements of the lease, which have a weekly capacity of from 300 to 350 tons. The mines are systematically as well as advantageously laid out, and are thoroughly-ventilated with a 15-foot fan. There are four main openings, with an excellent track system connecting with two tipples, only one of which is used in ordinary shipments. The company is fully equipped in every particular, having a number of comfortable and suitable dwelling-houses, a convenient and well-arranged store, offices, etc., commodious stables, saw-mills, mine cars, and a fine artesian well which furnishes an excellent water-supply for all requirements. Our subject continued as president of this company until death called him to final rest, December 17, 1898. He was a man of high character, having led a pure and moral life, and his loss was deeply felt by his family and many friends. Robert Goodwill was born October 7, 1827, at Loan End, Northumberland County, England. He was a son of Anthony Goodwill of Northumberland, England, and was the tenth in a family of twelve children. At the early age of nine years he commenced work in the mines of England and was engaged first in removing coal from the mines in something like a tub or sled. At the age of thirteen he began mining coal, was identified more or less in the business of coal mining up to the time when death claimed him. His parents, although they came of humble birth, were industrious and highly respected, being devout members of the Church of England, and through them the son inherited the religious inclinations so characteristic of the man. He was married July 27, 1847, to Catherine Wake, and to them were born five children: three boys and two girls. The girls died in infancy, but the three boys are living. Mr. and Mrs. Goodwill celebrated the fiftieth anniversary of their wedded life on July 27, 1897. In the middle of May, 1852, our subject, with his wife and son, sailed for America, arriving in Philadelphia on June 30, 1852. From there he went to Gold Mine Gap, Dauphin County, Pa., where he worked three years at mining coal. From Gold Mine Gap he moved his family to the Shamokin coal fields, where he was employed at the Lancaster Colliery, better known as the Coal Run Colliery, about three miles east of Shamokin. In 1857 he located in Trevorton, Pa., about eight miles west of Shamokin, working as a miner and contractor. He remained there for eight years, when, in 1865, he leased the tracts of coal land known as the Greenough and Bear Valley tracts, about three miles west of Shamokin, and moved his family there. He operated those two collieries very successfully until 1877, when he sold out his interest to the Philadelphia & Reading Coal & Iron Company. Although well advanced in years, Mr. Goodwill's active spirit would not permit him to remain idle and, accordingly, he leased a tract of bituminous coal land at Reynoldsville, Jefferson County, Pa., and operated it between four and five years, until the coal on his lease was exhausted. He then leased what is known as the Carson tract, just on the outskirts of Shamokin; that he operated for two years, when he sold out to a New York firm. From that time until 1883 he was engaged in various mining enterprises and next secured a lease in the now famous Flat-Top coal field of West Virginia, being one of the early pioneers of the coal development, with Capt. Welch, J. H. Bramwell, John Cooper, and John Freeman, giving his personal attention for two years to his interests there, when he turned the management over to his son, who is at present the general manager. A. G. Goodwill, vice-president of the company and eldest son of our subject, was born in Scotland in 1848, and accompanied his parents to the United States in 1852. He attended the public schools of Pennsylvania, afterward graduating at Dickinson Seminary, Williamsport, Pa. Returning to Shamokin he accepted a position as bookkeeper, which he held for sixteen years, resigning to engage in the hardware business in Shamokin, which he still carries on successfully. He became a member of the Goodwill Coal & Coke Company at its incorporation, which business connection he still retains. He married Miss R. C. Klase of Ashland, Pa., in 1873, and has one son, Robert, now twenty-one years old. Philip Goodwill, second son of our subject, was born in Dauphin County, Pa., received a common school education and subsequently pursued his studies for two years at Dickinson Seminary. His father, being engaged in mining and shipping coal, naturally brought his sons in contact with every branch of the business from the office to the more responsible positions about the mines. In 1874 Philip left Shamokin for Reynoldsville, Pa., where he took charge of his father's large bituminous coal interests, and remained in that capacity until 1878, when he returned to Shamokin and engaged with his father in the coal business again. Subsequently he entered the law office of Hon. W. H. M. Oram, but never entered upon the practice of his profession, notwithstanding he was duly admitted to the Northumberland County Bar in 1884. Some time after being admitted to the bar he was elected teller of the First National Bank of Shamokin, which position he filled with satisfaction until 1887, when he resigned to assume the management of the Goodwill Coal & Coke Company, which position he still retains. In 1887 he married the eldest daughter of W. H. Douty of Shamokin, and immediately thereafter located in Bramwell, W. Va., where he now resides, having one of the most beautiful and comfortable homes in that pretty little town. Mr. Goodwill is a past commander of Ivanhoe Commandery No. 10, Knights Templar, of Bramwell; also a member of the blue lodge and chapter of that place, as well as a member of Beni-Kedem Temple, U. D., of Charlestown, W. Va. He is secretary of the Pocahontas Company and is associated with other business enterprises. He is an influential member of the Presbyterian Church of Bramwell and member of the board of education of Rock district, in which capacity he was largely instrumental in securing the erection of the handsome new graded-school building recently constructed in Bramwell. W. F. Goodwill, youngest son of our subject, Robert Goodwill, was born in Dauphin County, Pa., and attended the public schools, after which he graduated at Dickinson Seminary in 1875, taking a commercial course at the same institution the following year. His school vacations were spent in working about his father's mines in various capacities. After completing his commercial course he returned to Shamokin and was employed in his father's office as bookkeeper, in which capacity he remained until the colliery was sold to the Philadelphia & Reading Coal & Iron Company. He was next employed by L. M. Shuman & Company, grocers, for about one year; then engaged in business at Shamokin as a member of the firm of Derby & Goodwill, in which he continued for some time; disposed of his interest to enter the mail service, which occupation he followed for about three years, leaving the service to accept a position as bookkeeper with J. Langdon & Company, at Neilson Colliery, Shamokin, where he remained until 1889, when he went to Goodwill, W. Va., as secretary and buyer for the Goodwill Coal & Coke Company, the position he still holds. In 1879 Mr. Goodwill chose for his wife and life companion Ida R. Klase of Ashland, Pa. His home is in Shamokin, where his family resides. Mr. Goodwill has never taken an active part in politics, but was elected in 1888 to the Shamokin borough council, and now holds the position of notary public for Mercer County, W. Va. The publishers of this volume take pleasure in announcing that a portrait of Robert Goodwill appears on a previous page, in connection with the above life history. (Book of Biographies of the Seventeenth Congressional District Published by Biographical Publishing Company of Chicago, Ill. and Buffalo, NY, 1899 , pg. 445 Transcribed by Tammy L. Clark) ROBERT GOODWILL, coal operator, was born at Lone End, Northumberland county, England, October 7, 1827, son of Anthony G. and Margaret (Fleeman) Goodwill. At the age of ten he began the life of a miner at Belford, England, where he remained seven years. He then went to Scotland and followed mining until the age of twenty-seven, when he immigrated to this country. His first employment in America was at Gold Mine Gap, Dauphin county Pennsylvania, where he remained three years. He then came to this county and obtained a contract at the Lancaster colliery, which he worked fourteen months. He next went to Trevorton and was engaged in mining there for many years. In 1864 he formed a partnership with A. A. Heim, under the firm name of Heim & Goodwill, and worked the Bear Valley colliery until November 15, 1877, when it was sold to the Philadelphia and Reading Coal and Iron Company. In connection with his partner, A. A. Heim, they leased the Diamond Gas and Coal Company's colliery, and the Pentcost, located at Reynoldsville, Jefferson county, Pennsylvania, which they operated ten years. In December, 1869, they purchased a quarter interest in the Monitor colliery from Richard B. Douty, and in March, 1870, another quarter interest was obtained. But in September of the latter year they sold their interest in the Monitor. During 1877 Mr. Goodwill occupied the position of superintendent with the Philadelphia and Reading Coal and Iron Company. In 1878 he built the Carson colliery and operated it three years, and then retired from active business. In 1886 he again entered business, organized the Goodwill Coal and Coke Company of Flipping, West Virginia, and leased a colliery from the Blue Stone Coal Company, and in connection with it has in operation fifty coke ovens. Mr. Goodwill is a member of the Methodist Episcopal church, of which he was a trustee fifteen years. He also was trustee of the Second Methodist Episcopal church four years. Politically he is a Republican, and is one of Shamokin's most substantial citizens. He was married, July 27, 1847, in England, to Catherine, daughter of Philip and Margaret (Jures) Wake, and by this union they have had five children, three of whom are living; Anthony G., a merchant of Shamokin, and Philip and William, members of the Goodwill Coal and Coke Company of West Virginia. (History of Northumberland County, Pennsylvania, edited by Herbert C. Bell, Published by Brown, Runk & Co. of Chicago, Ill., 1891 pg. 898; Transcribed by Tammy L. Clark)

WILLIAM F. GOODWILL, son of Robert, was born in Dauphin county, Pa., and was educated in the public schools and in Dickinson Seminary, Williamsport, graduating from the latter in 1875, and taking a commercial course at the same institution the following year. He worked from an early age in his fathers mines during the summer vacations, and after completing his business course became a bookkeeper at his fathers colliery, remaining until the business was sold to the Philadelphia & Reading Coal & Iron Company. For one year he was employed by L. M. Shuman & Co., grocers, and then became a member of the firm of Derby & Goodwill. This venture was followed by three rears in the mail service, after which be was bookkeeper for J. Langdon & Co., at the Neilson colliery, Shamokin. In 1889 he became buyer for the Goodwill Coal & Coke Company, and in 1905 returned to Shamokin, where he erected acomfortable home at No. 153 North Eighth street. He is still interested in the mining business, but is practically retired from an active participation in the work. In 1879 Mr. Goodwill married Ida R. Klase, of Ashland, and their children are: John J., born Mar 26, 1885, graduated from the University of Virginia in June, 1908: and M. B., born April 13, 1893, a member of the class of 1910, Shamokin high school. Mr. Goodwill has never been an active politician, but was elected in 1888 to the Shamokin borough council. While in West Virginia he was notary public for Mercer county. (Genealogical and Biographical Annals of Northumberland County, Pennsylvania, by J. L. Floyd Published Chicago, Ill., 1911. pg. 699; Transcribed by Tammy L. Clark)

 

FATHER: ROBERT GOODWILL

The coal mining community of Goodwill, WV is named after the elder, Robert Goodwill. Robert Goodwill's life is discussed below.

ROBERT GOODWILL, coal operator, was born at Lone End, Northumberland county, England, October 7, 1827, son of Anthony G. and Margaret (Fleeman) Goodwill. At the age of ten he began the life of a miner at Belford, England, where he remained seven years. He then went to Scotland and followed mining until the age of twenty-seven, when he immigrated to this country. His first employment in America was at Gold Mine Gap, Dauphin county Pennsylvania, where he remained three years.

He then came to this county and obtained a contract at the Lancaster colliery, which he worked fourteen months. He next went to Trevorton and was engaged in mining there for many years. In 1864 he formed a partnership with A. A. Heim, under the firm name of Heim & Goodwill, and worked the Bear Valley colliery until November 15, 1877, when it was sold to the Philadelphia and Reading Coal and Iron Company. In connection with his partner, A. A. Heim, they leased the Diamond Gas and Coal Company's colliery, and the Pentcost, located at Reynoldsville, Jefferson county, Pennsylvania, which they operated ten years. In December, 1869, they purchased a quarter interest in the Monitor colliery from Richard B. Douty, and in March, 1870, another quarter interest was obtained. But in September of the latter year they sold their interest in the Monitor.

During 1877 Mr. Goodwill occupied the position of superintendent with the Philadelphia and Reading Coal and Iron Company. In 1878 he built the Carson colliery and operated it three years, and then retired from active business. In 1886 he again entered business, organized the Goodwill Coal and Coke Company of Flipping, West Virginia, and leased a colliery from the Blue Stone Coal Company, and in connection with it has in operation fifty coke ovens.

Mr. Goodwill is a member of the Methodist Episcopal church, of which he was a trustee fifteen years. He also was trustee of the Second Methodist Episcopal church four years. Politically he is a Republican, and is one of Shamokin's most substantial citizens. He was married, July 27, 1847, in England, to Catherine, daughter of Philip and Margaret (Jures) Wake, and by this union they have had five children, three of whom are living; Anthony G., a merchant of Shamokin, and Philip and William, members of the Goodwill Coal and Coke Company of West Virginia.

In the early 1900s Goodwill (named after the Goodwill family) had two saw mills, two coal tipples, two power plants, 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. Today Goodwill is only a memory. Robert and Phillip Goodwill opened a coal mine and started building this coal camp in 1886. Jairus Collins opened another mine in 1887.

There are now only memories of the 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. By 1958, the mine was closed, and the residents left; all the buildings were torn down except for one house. This house was still occupied in the year 2001.

The Goodwill Coal Campany, located at Flipping, WV got its name from the from of Robert Goodwill. Robert Goodwill was born in Northumberland county, England, October 7, 1827. He was the son of Anthony G. and Margaret (Fleeman) Goodwill. Robert Goodwill was married, in England, to Katherine, daughter of Philip and Margaret (Jures) Wake on July 27, 1847, He and Catherine had five childrern. Their three sons were Philip and William, both members of the Goodwill Coal and Coke Company of West Virginia and Anthony G. Goodwill. Anthony was Vice President of the Goodwill Coal & Coke Co. and was a merchant of Shamokin, PA.

At the age of 25, Robert Goodwill came to America in 1852 with his wife, Katherine Wake, and oldest son, Anthony G.  Robert settled in Gold Mine Gap, Pennsylvania, near the  city of Shamokin.  He had been a coal miner in England since the age of nine  and 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.  In 1886 Robert Goodwill first began organizing the Goodwill Coal and Coke Company of Flipping, West Virginia. He leased a colliery from the Blue Stone Coal Company and in November 1886 and 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 Goodwill 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. Robert Goodwill's son, Philip Paddock Goodwill lived his life out in Bramwell, WV.

Robert Goodwill Birthdate: October 07, 1827 Birthplace: Northumberland, England, United Kingdom.

Death: December 17, 1898 (71) Shamokin, Northumberland County, Pennsylvania, United States.

Burial: Shamokin, Northumberland County, Pennsylvania, United States.

Immediate Family: Robert Goodwill was the son of Anthony Gregson Goodwill and Margaret Fleeman. His wife was Catherine Wake. Robert Goodwill was the father of four children: Anthony G Goodwill; Margaret Goodwill; Philip Paddock Goodwill, Sr. and William F. Goodwill.

Robert Goodwill Marker

( Some of text provided by: Ken Bowen, Bluewell, West Virginia. )

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