Arthur Winford Goodwin

ARTHUR WINFORD GOODWIN. When the details of his career have been examined it will be seen that Arthur W. Goodwin has been the architect of a successful career in commercial fields. He started at the bottom, laboring as a boy in country stores to pay his own way in the world. He gained more than mere wages. All those early experiences he has turned to profit since he became a business man on his own, account, and at the present time he is a member of the firm which conducts the largest department and general merchandise establishment at Howard, in Elk County.

He is of an old American family. The Goodwins came from England and settled in New Hampshire in Colonial days. His grandfather, Daniel Goodwin, was a native of New Hampshire, where he was born in 1795. Little more than a boy, he served as a soldier in the War of 1811. He subsequently became an early settler in Louisville, New York, where he followed the trade of carpenter and the business of farmer until his death in 1883 at the venerable age of eighty-eight.

The father of the Howard merchant was Rev. W. C. Goodwin, who became well known in Kansas as a pioneer minister of the Methodist Church, and whose career is sketched above. Rev. Mr. Goodwin married Miss Ellen Southworth, who was born in Louisville, New York, in 1837, and died at Moline, Kansas, in January, 1884. A record of their children is as follows: Carl E., who is connected with the Polar Mercantile Company at Emporia, Kansas; Frank S., a farmer at Granada, Colorado; Will C., with the Adams Mercantile Company at Portland, Oregon; Arthur W.; Jessie, wife of Dr. C. S. Ambrose, a physician and surgeon at Waukegan, Illinois; George E., who is in the tile roofing business at Chicago, Illinois.

Arthur Winford Goodwin was born while his parents resided in Coulton, St. Lawrence County, New York, on July 13, 1875, and was about six years of age when the family came to Kansas. As a boy he attended the public schools of Moline. His father, being a Methodist minister, there was little surplus wealth, only enough to give the children a home and such advantages as could be supplied by the public schools. Thus at the age of thirteen Mr. Goodwin determined to become self-supporting, and he found work in the stores of Moline. In 1891 he first came to Howard, and spent 4 1/2 years as a clerk in the Burchfield Mercantile Company. Following that he had continued experience in a store at Kansas City, Missouri, and at Glendale, Missouri, but in 1896 returned to Howard and was employed by the firm of Leedy & Company until they sold their business. Another year was spent at McFall, Missouri, in a store, and in 1902 he came back to Howard, Kansas, spending two years with George Smith & Company, and then took charge of the dry goods store of the B. F. Dunn & Company at Cherryvale for four months.

In 1905 Mr. Goodwin engaged in business at Howard with F. A. Force, as Force & Goodwin. They opened a stock of general merchandise on Wabash Avenue, but in 1908 Mr. Force retired from the firm and Mr. Goodwin consolidated his store with that of George Smith, and this made the firm of Smith & Goodwin. Their combined stocks with subsequent additions and improvements have made a department store which is the largest in this section of the state. They occupy floor space of 50x140 feet on Wabash Avenue and they have a trade drawn from the country over a radius of twenty-five miles about Howard. The most popular section of their business is the department devoted to ladies' cloaks, suits, furnishings, men's clothing and furnishings.

Thus Mr. Goodwin has prospered above ordinary men as a result of his long and consecutive application to the business of merchandising. Besides his store he owns his home on Randolph Street and has a farm of 100 acres at Albany in Northern Missouri. Politically he is a republican, and is an active member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. He is affiliated with Oklahoma Camp No. 935 of the Modern Woodmen of America at Howard.

In 1894, at McFall, Missouri, Mr. Goodwin married Miss Elizabeth Hardin, daughter of V. S. and Elandor (Hoyle) Hardin, both of whom are now decreased. Her father was a farmer and stockman near Albany, Missouri, and was a cousin of Ex-Gov. Chas. Hardin of Missouri.


A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans, written & compiled by William E. Connelley, 1918, transcribed by students from Baxter Springs Middle School, Baxter Springs, Kansas, February 28, 2000.

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Tom & Carolyn Ward
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