South Kansas Tribune, Wednesday, May 22, 1912, Pg. 3:
Pioneer and Christian.
When death claimed Mr. Elson Goodell, May 17, 1912, it took a gentleman who always tried to do his duty, and to live in peace with his neighbors. He was born in Potage county, Ohio, in 1840; twenty-two years later found him in Wisconsin and he heard and answered the call of Abraham Lincoln, by volunteering and serving in the Seventeenth Wisconsin, Company K, in the Army of the Tennessee. After a short service he was wounded, and was discharged. He remained in Wisconsin for a few years but in the later ‘60s got the Kansas fever and located in Coffey county. There he met Miss Mary A. Randall and in April 1869 they were married. To this union were born John F., Clarence H., Mrs. Earl Hamilton, and Mrs. Virgil Barker. In 1869-80 Mr. Goodell sought a home on the Osage Diminished Reservation and selected a choice claim in Elk Valley in this county, near what became Crane Station. There he brought his bride and they pioneered until they became known as not only prosperous but among the very best of the early settlers. As the years came on he moved to town and engaged in the meat market trade, of late with A. F. Johnson. He was a loyal member of the Christian church and of the Masonic lodge, which had charge of the interment on Sunday. The service was largely attended, and his pastor Rev. Bassett made an appropriate address.
The daughter Bessie, Mrs. Barker, has been in New Mexico for her health and was not able to get here in time for the funeral.
From History of Montgomery County, Kansas, By Its Own People, Published by L. Wallace Duncan, Iola, Kansas, 1903, Pg. 776-777:
Goodell, Elson Bio
What impresses the transient most forcibly in Independence is the substantial character of the business section of the city and the evident pride taken in keeping its appearance up-to-date by the merchants and tradesmen doing business there. A closer acquaintance with the personnel of the business element discloses the fact that his civic pride is due to a few choice spirits who have preached this sentiment, day in and day out, for years—and verily they have their reward. The name of the gentlemen to whom such is due for the splendid development the city has made, appears above. For two decades Mr. Goodell has been part and parcel of the city’s growth, his character for business integrity not being surpassed by any of the many good men now connected with the business interests. He does a large business in meat products, and in many respects his trade is the choicest in the city.
The Buckeye State was the place of Mr. Goodell’s nativity, he having been born in Portage count, September 10, 1840. He was a son of Samuel and Julia Goodell, the former a native of Vermont and the latter of Connecticut. They were among that class of early pioneers who met the foes of progress and faced dangers that might well appall the stoutest heart, having settled there immediately succeeding the War of 1812. They were tillers of the soil and found its exacting labors too arduous, both dying within eight days in 845; the father at thirty-eight, the mother at thirty-six years. Of their family of four children, our subject is the eldest, the others being: Emeline, Annetta, Mrs. H. D. Coe of Portage county, Ohio and Jane, the wif3e of Dr. Clark, of Washington.
E. Goodell received an excellent education in the common schools of his native state, to which was added scholastic training at Hiram College, he being a student there when it was under the charge of the lamented President Garfield.
After his school days he returned to the farm, where he was engaged at the breaking out of the Civil War. In January of 1862 he enlisted in Company K, 17th Wisconsin Inf., to which state he had gone but a short time before. His regiment became part of the Army of Tennessee and he participated in its movements for a period of eight months, when he was honorably discharged from the service on account of sickness. Returning to Wisconsin, he put in the winter in the lumber camp, the following spring coming out to Kansas. Here he settled in Coffey county, where he was engaged in farming until 1869, the date of his settlement in Montgomery. He took a claim in Sycamore twp., which he successfully farmed until 1883. A year on a cattle ranch preceded his coming to Independence, where he has since resided, engaged continuously in the sale of meats.
Mr. Goodell affiliates with the Masonic order, and is always found ready to engage in any service which has for its object the advancement of his municipality. He was married in April of 1865, in LeRoy, Kansas, his wife having been Mary A., daughter of Benj. and Sophrona Randall. Mrs. Goodell is a lady of many excellent traits of character, a consistent member of the Christian church, in whose social work she takes an active part. She is the mother of four children, three of whom have left the home roof and are respected members of society. Their names are: John E., and Clarence H., connected with their fathers business. The former married Miss Retta Neilson, and the latter Maud Sevier. Mamie is living in Colorado, the wife of Earl Hamilton, and Bessie is a schoolgirl at home.
Contributed by Mrs. Maryann Johnson a Civil war researcher and a volunteer in the Kansas Room of the Independence Public Library, Independence, Kansas.