Death of Hiram Goodrich
Again we are called upon to chronicle the death of one of the most highly respected and esteemed residents of this section. Almost daily does someone, whom we have known and loved pass "from death unto life," leaving behind a vacancy which no one can fill. It is with deep grief we chronicle the death of Hiram GOODRICH, one who has been prominently identified with the history of northwestern Illinois for more than half a century. We give the following brief record of a well spent life, whose years exceeded, for nearly a quarter of a century, the period of a life allotted to man.
Hiram GOODRICH, eldest son of Moses and Catherine (BASKIN) GOODRICH, was born in Cayuga, N.Y., Sept. 30, 1814, and died at Pearl City, Ill., June 6, 1904, aged 89 yrs. 8 mo, and 6 days. He spent his earlier years in assisting his father and afterward, together with his brother George, ran a canal boat from New York to Buffalo. He was a passenger on the first train that went from Seneca to Schenectady. When he was about 25 years of age he removed to Columbus, Ohio, where he again followed canal boating. Having heard many stories of the fortunes to be obtained in the west he decided to try what success he would have in that country and, May 4, 1846, came to Galena, Ill., bringing as the greater part of his capital, a large amount of energy and preservance. He followed boating upon what was known as "Fever" river. After remaining there a short time he went to Pearl City where he purchased part of the farm that was his home for many years. This he added to from time to time paying from $1.25 to $3.50 per acre for it.
He was married March 22, 1847, to Miss Susannah GABLE, daughter of Jacob GABLE and wife, who were for many years among the most honored citizens of Stephenson county. Their union, continuing as it did for over fifty years, was a most happy one and was blessed by the birth of four children: George, born in Galena, where they lived for two years after their marriage, who died in 1859; twin daughters, Adelaide, who became the wife of Rev. T.V.E. SWEET, (now deceased) who resides at Freeport; Adeline, now Dr. Adeline Goodrich SOULE, who with her husband, Dr. Israel Clark SOULE, is now located at Kansas City, Mo., and W.H. GOODRICH residing at the old homestead. Mr. GOODRICH was an earnest Christian. He united with the Methodist church while a resident of Galena from which place he returned to Pearl City. The little Methodist congregation at the latter place was having a struggling time of it. The school house in which they had worshiped, had been closed to them and Mr. GOODRICH and Jacob Higley purchased the property, remodeled it, and gave them a deed for it so long as it was being used for religious purposes. They also obligated themselves to pay the minister's salary if necessary.
Mr. GOODRICH was steward, trustee and Sunday school superintendent and was a most faithful and consistent member till the time of his death. He was a thorough, progressive business man and amassed a goodly portion of this world's goods. For some years after his removal to Pearl City, he bought produce and drove with it to Galena. He had a wide reputation for honesty and square dealing. During his early residence in this county, he filled the office of constable most acceptably for a number of years.
He was treasurer of the school district for a number of year, also county superintendent of Sunday schools. He was the happy possessor of a genial, kindly disposition and had hosts of friends to many of whom he was always known as "Uncle Hiram." He was respected by every one for his well known justness and integrity. About ten years ago he sold the homestead to his son and with his wife went to Freeport to live with the Drs. SOULE who were then residents of that city, going back to live with his son about six years ago. Until recently he had been remarkably vigorous for one of his years, both mentally and physically. About five weeks ago he was seized with a slight attack of paralysis, but recovered sufficiently so as to be about the house and grounds. Three weeks ago last Thursday he suffered another attack and failed gradually from that time until his death. His sufferings were intense but he bore them with the utmost Christian patience and fortitude, spending much of his time praying for his dear ones and the community in general. Thursday as his daughter knelt by his side and sang "Nearer My God to Thee," he said, "Hallelujah, Jesus saves!" Then looking up at the one who had been the loving companion of his joys and sorrows so many years, he whispered, "Mother." From that time he lost power of speech, but retained consciousness almost until the end.
He passed away peacefully as a little child at 11:30 o'clock Monday night, surrounded by his wife, children and grandchildren, who had ministered to him with the utmost tenderness and love. Hiram GOODRICH was the last of the older residents, and his familiar form will be missed everywhere, but nowhere so much as in his own home where he was a most affectionate and indulgent husband, father and grandfather.
Page 5, Freeport Bulletin (IL) Jun. 9, 1904. Submitted by: Abby on 30 Mar 2002