County benefitted from a good line of Goodens

Posted 4/28/20

A recent Musings focused on Terrell family members and ended with information about Walter and Ottie Terrell Gooden. When I wrote it, I vowed to soon relate more about other Gooden family members. I pulled the information below from essays written by Gooden family members for Volume 1 of our local history.

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County benefitted from a good line of Goodens

Posted

A recent Musings focused on Terrell family members and ended with information about Walter and Ottie Terrell Gooden. When I wrote it, I vowed to soon relate more about other Gooden family members. I pulled the information below from essays written by Gooden family members for Volume 1 of our local history.

Many local folks bearing the Gooden name trace back to Walter Richard Gooden (1877-1957). Born on his father’s farm in Shiro, Grimes County, as a young man he was “lured to Madisonville by his first cousin, Barther Ashley”. Soon after getting to Madisonville, Walter met Jennie Shaffer, daughter of Caroline and Sloan Shaffer. Caroline, a former slave from Georgia, owned property here in “The Run” community.

Jennie and Walter married on March 26, 1901. They had 10 children.

In the early 1900s, Walter bought a small farm on Highway 21, west of Madisonville, for $1.25 an acre. It wasn’t large enough to raise the main crop, cotton, so they share-cropped with H.R. Cleere. In 1927 Gooden bought Dr. Jordan’s place but it burned in 1929, at the beginning of the Depression. Times were tough, so the family converted the smokehouse into temporary living quarters. In 1930, the family was able to rebuild on the farm.

The oldest son, Edward, was with friends on their way to a baseball game in Huntsville when they were stopped and threatened by the Ku Klux Klan. Soon afterwards, Edward left town and stayed gone so long that his younger brother, Johnnie, didn’t recognize him when he returned for a visit. Edward worked for years for Gulf Oil Refinery in Port Arthur. He married Wilda Collins and they had no children.

Jack Carver Gooden finished high school in Huntsville since tenth grade was as far as he could go here in those days. He then got a Bachelor of Science Degree in Agriculture from then-named Prairie View State Normal & Industrial College (now Prairie View A&M University). He married Dora Williams, who had a Bachelor of Science Degree in Home Economics and a Master of Education Degree in Elementary Education, both from Prairie View. Dora taught for 26 years, and Jack was our County Extension Agent here for 26 years before retiring. The couple had no children.

Like his brother Jack, Burnice R. Gooden attended a boarding school in Huntsville to obtain a high school diploma. He then attended Prairie View, ultimately earning a Master of Science Degree there. He first taught in the Poole’s Chapel one-room school here, traveling from town each day horseback. Later he came to Madisonville Colored High School where he was a teacher, coach of the basketball teams, and ultimately principal at Marian Anderson High

School at the time of his death in 1953. He and wife Alice Tarrow had two children. Daughter Alice Faye married Elmer Seals. Son DeFarris married Jerelyn Barrett.

DeFarris earned two Bachelor’s degrees: one from Wiley College in Marshall, TX, and one from Gammon Theological Seminary in Atlanta. He also earned two Master’s degrees: a Master of Divinity from Gammon Theological Seminary and a Master of Arts from Long Island University in Brooklyn. He became an ordained elder in the Texas Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church with a special appointment to the V.A. Medical Center. He retired from the Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Houston, TX, in 2002 after 27 years of service. He served his country for 41 years and died in 2017.

Lonnie Gooden served in World War II in the Navy. He married Exia McNulty and they had two children. Mary Katherine married Claude Lollie, Sr., and Lonnie, Jr. married Norveline Pollard.

As I included in that earlier Musings, Walter Richard Gooden, Jr., married Ottie Terrell. They had five children, none of who returned to Madisonville after getting educations and jobs. Walter worked at Madisonville High School for 40 years.

Joseph Gooden married Dorothy Carter. They had one child, Carolyn Sue, who married Darnell Mills. Joseph was employed at Farmers State Bank for many years and served as treasurer and a deacon of Shiloh Baptist Church.

Pauline Gooden held a Bachelor of Science degree from Prairie View A&M University and a Master of Education degree from Texas Southern University. She was also a licensed cosmetologist. She never married. Employed as a teacher at Madisonville Independent School District for years, she was loved by students and coworkers alike.

Robert Gooden got his high school diploma from Sam Houston High School in Huntsville. After that, he finished Mary Allen Junior College in Crockett. He spent four years in the United States Army Air Force and received numerous medals. Then he completed his Bachelor of Science Degree in Agriculture from Prairied View. He served as a County Agent in Rusk and Cass counties. He married Kermis Philio, and they had one son, Walter Robert “Chucky” Gooden.

Johnny Gooden dropped out of school in 1941 to enter the army. He was awarded A.P., Victory, and A.T. Ribbons and a Good Conduct medal. After being discharged in 1945, he finished high school and then got his Bachelor of Science degree from Mary Allen College in Crockett, under the G.I. Bill. Johnny married Lois Dickey and they had no children. He dropped He worked for the United States Post Office until retirement.

Beatrice married Thurman Byrd and they had two children. Son Richard married Carolyn Harrison and was a trusted employee at Madisonville National Bank/Prosperity Bank through several bank name changes. Daughter Shirley obtained a bachelor’s degree in Education from Prairie View University. She started her career as an educator in Madisonville but retired years later from San Antonio ISD. Beatrice was a cosmetologist.

The ten Gooden children were raised in the Baptist faith and were all baptized in the same stock tank owned by Nancy McNulty. Pauline told that as children they would go to church in a wagon. “There were so many of us, sometimes we were left on a bench asleep at church. When bedtime came, if mother missed one of us, my daddy would have to catch a horse and go back to church and get whoever was left asleep on the church bench.”

Gooden family members touched lives in Madisonville in countless ways. Their drive and determination plus their thirst for knowledge helped mold our community.

Madison County Museum is located at 201 N. Madison Street, and the mailing address is P.O. Box 61, Madisonville, TX 77864. It is usually open to the public Wednesday through Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. It is usually open to the public Wednesday through Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. While writing I’m hoping that the Coronavirus Quarantine is winding down. Call ahead, 936.348.5230, when you’d like to come in, and hopefully we will be open. Madison County Museum’s Facebook page has been posting daily entries and facts about local history, in hopes of keeping folks interested. Hopefully you will see fit to enjoy that.

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