HISTORIC BRAMWELL PIONEER

PHOEBE DOUTY GOODWILL - WIFE OF COAL BARON PHILIP PADDOCK GOODWILL

Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV May 5, 2010

Bramwell to honor pioneer woman By WILSON BUTT Bluefield Daily Telegraph — The Town of Bramwell is hosting a ceremony to dedicate the Phoebe Goodwill Memorial Bridge crossing the Bluestone River on Mercer County Route 120 near the Bramwell Presbyterian Church at 2 p.m. today. The public is invited and a reception will follow. The home of Phillip and Phoebe Goodwill, a blue Queen Anne structure, overlooks the bridge and is a photo icon for tourism in this area.

Special guest for the ceremony, Senate Majority Leader H. Truman Chafin, introduced the Senate Concurrent Resolution to name the bridge in honor of Mrs. Goodwill. She and her husband, Philip, were early pioneers in the coalfields of southern West Virginia. They owned Goodwill Coal & Coke Company. Phoebe and Philip built a mansion overlooking Bluestone, and they played an important role in making Bramwell the booming business capitol of the coalfields. The bill recognized her as representative of the strong women of the pioneer coal mining days.

Eight years after Philip Paddock Goodwill, Sr. died his wife, Phoebe at the age of 62 moved from the historic Goodwill House in Bramwell, WV to the Bluefield's West Virginia Hotel and lived out her remainig life there. She died  in 1953 at the age of 91; thirty seven years after the death of her husband. During the nationwide depression and subsequent closing of the Bank of Bramwell in the early 1930’s signaled the end of an era in Bramwell. Many families and proprietors moved away from Bramwell. Philip and Phoebe Goodwill’s three sons had trouble finding steady work and took to drinking. Their mother Phoebe feared no one would hire such “society boys.” The Goodwill family fortune, like that of so many other pioneer operators, dwindled away.

Phoebe Douty Goodwill:

Birthdate: February 23, 1862 (91) Birthplace: Shamokin, Northumberland County, Pennsylvania.

Death: Died April 7, 1953 in Bluefield, Mercer County, West Virginia.

Place of Burial: Woodlawn Cemetery, Bluewell, Mercer County, West Virginia.

Immediate Family: Wife of Philip Paddock Goodwill, Sr. ; Mother of William Blondin Goodwill; Philip Paddock Goodwill; Walter B. Goodwill and Francis Gillard Goodwill.

Family Members - "Find-A-Grave"

SENATE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION NO. 56

(By Senator Chafin):

Requesting the Division of Highways name bridge number 28-120-2.43, located in Mercer County, the "Phoebe Goodwill Memorial Bridge". Whereas, Phoebe Goodwill and her husband Philip were early pioneers in the coalfields of southern West Virginia; and Whereas, Phoebe Goodwill and her husband Philip owned Goodwill Coal & Coke Company; and Whereas, Phoebe Goodwill and her husband Philip built a mansion overlooking the Bluestone River and downtown Bramwell; and Whereas, Phoebe Goodwill and her husband Philip played an important role in making Bramwell the booming business capitol of the coalfields; and Whereas, It is fitting, to honor the memory of Phoebe Goodwill, who represents the strong women of the pioneer coal mining days, by naming bridge number 28-120-2.43, located in Mercer County, the "Phoebe Goodwill Memorial Bridge"; therefore, be it Resolved by the West Virginia Legislature: That the Legislature hereby requests the Division of Highways name bridge number 28-120-2.43, located in Mercer County, the "Phoebe Goodwill Memorial Bridge"; and, be it Further Resolved, That the Division of Highways is hereby requested to have made and be placed signs identifying the bridge as the "Phoebe Goodwill Memorial Bridge"; and, be it Further Resolved, That the Clerk of the Senate is hereby directed to forward a copy of this resolution to the Secretary of the Department of Transportation.

 

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