Saturday, April 2, 2011

Francis Goodhue - The Eminent Brattleboro Man

My grandmother's family binder on the Goodhue family includes various research notes, pedigree charts, and newspaper articles  The following article was apparently originally transcribed from the Vermont Phoenix, June 15, 1866.


     Not another instance can be named where a man has settled here, with so much risk, who manifested by his actions more real confidence in our future than Mr. Goodhue. He became eminently a Brattleboro man, completely identifying himself with our joys and sorrows, and ever ready to listen to or assist in any project having tendency to advance the welfare of the home of his adoption. We remember his climbing over hills and rocks with the surveyors of the New Haven and Northampton Canal, trying to ascertain the most feasible plan to use West river as a feeder of that canal, the extension of which at that time to this place was contemplated. The great Erie Canal, projected by Gov. Clinton of New York, had just proved a success, and the attention of intelligent men all over the country was directed to this method of communication, as in more modern times their attention has been given to railroads. We make this allusion to show that Mr. Goodhue was awake to the enterprises of the day, and spared no personal efforts to advance them.
     His hopefulness and cheerfulness was a constant inspiration to those with whom he came in contact. The encouraging grasp he have to the hand of industry will be long remembered. He seemed destitute  of envy, and wanted every one to succeed in everything useful or needful to human wants. There was always a smile of gratification on this countenance when he saw others prosper. He did not, like some men of wealth, lose all confidence in a young man because he had been unfortunate, but he had a cheerful, encouraging way of saying: " He is young and capable: the world is before him; I hope and believe he will yet do well."
     His calmness and indifference under severely provoking circumstances was remarkable. Some who make great pretences or high claims to saintship, would fall far behind him in heeding the Scriptural admonition, " A soft answer turneth away wrath." The example he has left us in this matter, if universally followed would make more peaceable neighborhoods, prevent many quarrels and resorts to lawyers' offices. A man highly excited applied some severe epithet to Mr. G., in so insulting a manner that most people would, in language or action have indignantly resented it. But Mr. G. simply replied: "There are various opinions about that matter," and passed on, having business of greater importance than adding fuel to a fire already sufficiently hot. Valuable locations on his land on Main Street were freely given for the Unitarian and Orthodox Congregational Churches, and for the old Brattleboro Bank.

© 2011, copyright William C. Haskell

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