Goodspeed's History of Southeast Missouri
Biographies of Mississippi County, 1888


Jacob S. Goodin

Jacob  S.  Goodin,  presiding
     judge of the Mississippi County Court, was born in Hardin County, Ky.,
     March 23, 1828. His parents, Girard and Lettie  (Swank)  Goodin,  were
     both natives of Hardin County, Ky.,  of  German  descent.  The  great-
     grandparents on both sides came from Germany, and  located  in  Hardin
     County, where they died. The grandfather  Goodin  was  killed  by  the
     Indians in Kentucky. The  grandfather  Swank  removed  to  Mississippi
     County, Mo. in 1837, and settled near Charleston,  on  the  place  now
     owned by Robert Langsdale, it being a wild, dense forest at that time,
     abounding in  wild  animals  and  game  of  all  kinds  found  in  the
     Mississippi Valley. Deer went in droves from  twenty-five  to  seventy
     head. He died in Charleston, having built the  first  brick  house  in
     that vicinity. The place is now owned by James  Smith.  Girard  Goodin
     immigrated with his family to Mississippi County in 1835, coming  down
     the Ohio River on a flatboat. They landed at Bird's Point, from whence
     they went to some  land  near  Charleston,  upon  which  they  made  a
     settlement, it being the same farm upon which William T.  Roberts  now
     lives. A hewed log house had been erected  previous  to  Mr.  Goodin's
     purchase. He lived there until his death  in  1849.  His  widow  lived
     until 1852. To them were born nine children, three of whom are living:
     Jacob S., Louisa and Oliver M. The subject of this sketch has  been  a
     resident of Mississippi County nearly all his life, he being but eight
     years of age when his parents removed thither. He remained  with  them
     until their deaths, when he went to work for himself, choosing farming
     as his vocation. In 1887 he removed to his present farm, consisting of
     160 acres of good land. In 1880 he was elected  county  judge,  taking
     his seat the next year. He is now serving  his  fourth  term  in  that
     office. He is a successful business man, and is one of  the  prominent
     citizens of his county. On September 23, 1857,  he  married  Eliza  E.
     Swank, a daughter of John Swank. They have two children living, Arthur
     S. and William O. Mr. and Mrs. Goodin are  members  of  the  Methodist
     Episcopal Church. He is a Mason  and  a  member  of  the  Agricultural

Franklin S. Goodin

Franklin S. Goodin  was  born
     in Hardin County, Ky., September 8, 1829. He is  a  son  of  John  and
     Catherine A. (Swank) Goodin, both  of  whom  were  natives  of  Hardin
     County, Ky., and were of Scotch and German descent, respectively.  The
     grandfather, Samuel Goodin, was a native of Virginia,  and  immigrated
     to Kentucky at a very early day, in which State he and wife both died.
     The maternal great-grandparents  came  from  Germany  and  located  in
     Hardin County, Ky.  They  had  several  serious  encounters  with  the
     Indians. At one time they were riding horseback when both their horses
     were shot from under them. Mr. Swank ran to a cave, but  was  followed
     by the Indians and shot. His wife ran to a mill near by, where she was
     protected and saved. Their son, Jacob Swank, the  grandfather  of  the
     subject of this sketch, was born in Kentucky, and was  in  the  Indian
     War in that State. He afterward  removed  his  family  to  Mississippi
     County, Mo. (in the spring of 1836), at which  time  that  county  was
     very wild and unimproved. He entered a large tract of land,  which  he
     added to by purchase, and at the time of his death was  a  large  land
     owner. He and wife both died in Mississippi County. The  father,  John
     Goodin, was born on March 9, 1803. He was a farmer,  and  in  1836  he
     built a flatboat and brought his family and all his  goods  and  stock
     down the Ohio River to Cairo, when that place had but one hotel and  a
     few old buildings. He  removed  his  family  to  Big  Lake,  Tywappity
     Township, where he made a settlement, there being but three others  in
     that section. The country was very wild and full  of  game.  He  owned
     about 600 acres of  land,  upon  which  he  built  a  log  cabin  with
     calpboard doors and roof. He afterward purchased  a  farm  in  Mathews
     Prairie, where he resided a few years, and went back to his old place.
     By many days of hard labor he made a  valuable  farm,  upon  which  he
     spent the remainder of his life. His death occurred in 1850,  and  his
     wife's in 1868. They had six sons, two of whom  are  living;  Franklin
     S., and Albert V., a resident of Nashville, Tenn.  The  ones  deceased
     are Jacob V., Samuel G., John W. and William W. Franklin  S.  was  but
     nine years of age when his parents  came  to  Mississippi  County.  He
     remained on the farm with his father until he was  nineteen  years  of
     age, when he entered the Arcadia  (Mo.)  High  School,  and  was  just
     beginning the second session, when he was called away by the death  of
     his father, after which  he  remained  with  his  mother,  helping  to
     educate his younger brothers, until he was married in February,  1857,
     to Sallie Harned, when he began farming for himself. His wife died  in
     1860, having borne him one child who is now deceased. He  was  married
     again in 1865, choosing for his second wife  Jennie  E.,  daughter  of
     Euriel and Catherine A. (Logan) Haw, the former being one of the First
     Methodist ministers in this section of country. Mr.  and  Mrs.  Goodin
     have had six children: Mary (deceased), John H., Frank S., Jr.,  Alice
     S., Lindsay V. and Alfred W. (deceased). In 1871 Mr. Goodin removed to
     Charleston, where he still resides. Mr. Goodin is one of the  pioneers
     of Mississippi County, and has witnessed its development from  a  wild
     wilderness to a wealthy, thickly settled country. He  and  wife  a  re
     members      of       the       Methodist       Episcopal       Church

Oliver M. Goodin

Oliver   M.    Goodin,    a
     successful farmer and enterprising citizen of Mississippi County,  was
     born in that county on January 6, 1838, and is a  son  of  Girard  and
     Lettie (Swank) Goodin, both natives of Kentucky.  Thomas  Goodin,  the
     grandfather, immigrated to Kentucky from Virginia, dying in the former
     State. Jacob Swank, the maternal grandfather, was a Pennsylvanian, who
     immigrated to Mississippi County in 1836, and located near  Charleston
     where he died. Girard Goodin was reared  and  married  in  his  native
     State, and was a farmer by vocation. In 1836 he,  with  his  wife  and
     nine children, came on a flat-boat  down  the  Ohio  River  to  Bird's
     Point, where they unloaded, and taking their teams and wagons went  to
     near Charleston and located. Mr. Goodin lived there until his death in
     1840. He and wife had ten children, three of whom are  living:  Jacob,
     Louisa  and  Oliver  M.  Those  deceased  are  William,  Ellen,  John,
     Nathaniel, and three that died in infancy. Oliver M. was reared  on  a
     farm. He was but two years of age when his father died, and after  the
     death of his mother in 1850, he lived with his older brother, William,
     until he was of age, when he began  working  for  himself.  In1878  he
     purchased 160 acres of land, which is now under cultivation with  good
     improvements. In 1868 he was united in marriage with Ruth Fowkles. She
     died in September 1874, having borne him three children, two  of  whom
     are   living,   Lizzie   and    Ollie.    The    one    deceased    is

James O. Gray

James O. Gray, proprietor  of
     Gray's Mill, located in Wolf Island Township, Mississippi County, Mo.,
     was born in Marshall County, Ky., October 9, 1837. He is the only  one
     living of five children, born to Harrison and Mary  Gray,  natives  of
     Kentucky. In the fall of 1859 the family emigrated from  their  native
     State to Southeast Missouri, and  located  in  Wolf  Island  Township,
     Mississippi County. Harrison Gray was a miller, and followed his trade
     until his death in 1864. His wife died at the home of J.O. Gray, 1879.
     Their children who are dead are James  B.,  William  H.,  Bedford  and
     Mary. James O. came  with  his  parents  to  Southeast  Missouri,  and
     engaged in the milling business with  George  Keiser,  of  Mississippi
     County. After a year he began working with  his  father  in  the  same
     business at the mouth of James Bayou and continued for  six  or  seven
     years. In the meantime his father died, and he returned to Wolf Island
     and purchased his present mill, which he has since managed. He is also
     engaged in farming. Mr. Gray was first married to Emily  Harvell,  who
     died about eleven months after. He next married Anna Eligood, by  whom
     he had four children: William, Mary (the wife of Walter Parker), Naomi
     (wife of Lewis Husk) and Laura. The mother of these children  died  in
     1869. Mr. Gray afterward married Miss Sidney Roach. Two children  have
     blessed           this           union,           Bettie           and

James S. Green

James S. Green, station-agent
     at Charleston,  for  the  St.  Louis,  Iron  Mountain  &  Southern
     Railroad, was born in Benton, Scott County, Mo., on February 7,  1860.
     He is a son of Levi S. and Jennie  E.  (Myers)  Green,  the  former  a
     native of New York State and the latter of Sikeston, Scott  Co.,  Mo.,
     her parents settling int hat county at an early day. James was  reared
     in his native village, where his education was  begun,  and  afterward
     attended Cape Girardeau College. At the age of eighteen years he began
     the study of telegraphy, which  he  mastered  about  1878.  His  first
     appointment as station-agent and operator was at Corning, Ark.,  where
     he remained about six months.  He  was  then  successively  at  Poplar
     Bluffs, Allenville, Jefferson Barracks, Cabot,  Ark.,  Chalreston  for
     three years, Helena, Ark., and thence back to Charleston in the latter
     part of 1885, in  which  place  he  has  since  been  a  resident.  In
     September 1884, he was united in marriage with Miss Bettie Calendar, a
     native of  Louisville,  Ky.,  and  a  daughter  of  Moses  and  Nellie
     Calendar. Their union has been blessed by two bright little daughters,
     Florence L. and Mildred J.

James A. Greer

James A. Greer,  a  prominent
     farmer residing near Bertrand, Mississippi County, was born  in  1825,
     in Henry County, Tenn., and is a son of Hezekiah. The latter, when but
     eleven years of age, came with her  parents  from  South  Carolina  to
     Tennessee. Her parents located in Central  Tennessee,  but  after  the
     Jackson Purchase went to Benton  County,  where  they  died  and  were
     buried. Hezekiah Greer lived with his parents until  he  was  married,
     when he engaged in farming in  Henry  County,  Tenn.  Remaining  there
     several years, he removed to Carroll County and remained four or  five
     years, when he went to Humphrey County. When that county  was  divided
     in 1836 he was placed in Benton County, in which he  lived  until  his
     death in 1862, being about fifty-five years of age. His wife was  born
     in 1805 and died in 1864. Both parents' deaths were caused by the war.
     They had eleven children, four of whom  died  in  infancy:  James  A.,
     William H. (deceased), John Riley (deceased), Rebecca Ann (Mrs. Harvey
     Madden), Greenbury, Cynthia J. (Mrs. Dr. J.B.  Florence)  and  Francis
     Marion. At the time of the father's death, he  owned  1,137  acres  of
     land, which was divided equally among the  seven  children.  James  A.
     remained with is parents until he  was  married  in  August  1847,  to
     Jemina Rushing,  daughter  of  William  Rushing,  a  native  of  North
     Carolina, of English descent. After his marriage  Mr.  Greer  went  to
     work for himself, clearing the woods to make a home  for  himself  and
     family. He afterward traded farms with his brother,  residing  on  the
     latter place from the fall of 1859 until 1871, when he sold  the  farm
     and removed to Mississippi County, locating where he  now  resides  on
     December 16, 1871. He now has 240 acres under good  cultivation,  upon
     which he has a nice residence. He and wife have had ten children, five
     of whom died in infancy. Mary Catherine (Mrs. J.T. Childress) died  in
     May 24, 1887, leaving five children. Those living are Sally Ann  (Mrs.
     W.W. Gaty),  Martin  L.,  Cynthia  E.  (Mrs.  Thomas  Strickland)  and
     Hezekiah D. Mr. and  Mrs.  Greer  have  been  active  members  of  the
     Methodist Episcopal Church South since 1842. He is a Mason,  to  which
     order his father also belonged.

Martin Luther Greer

Martin   Luther   Greer,   a
     substantial farmer residing near Bertrand, was born in Benton  County,
     Tenn., on December 9, 1858. He  is  a  son  of  James  A.  and  Jemima
     (Rushing) Greer, both of whom are natives of Tennessee, who immigrated
     to Mississippi County, Mo., in 1871. Martin L. lived at home with  his
     parent until he was twenty-three years of age, assisting on  the  farm
     and  attending  school  during  the  winters,  securing  most  of  his
     education after removing to Missouri. On December  20,  1881,  he  was
     united in marriage  with  Emma  J.  Jordon,  who  was  born  in  North
     Carolina, and is a daughter of Henry Jordon. Her mother died when  she
     was but a child, and her father went to the war, and was  never  heard
     from again. It is supposed that he was killed.  She  was  educated  by
     J.C. Yarbrough, of Camden,  Tenn.,  with  whom  she  lived  until  her
     marriage. After his marriage Mr. Greer located on the farm upon  which
     he now resides. Three  children  have  blessed  their  union:  Stella,
     Walker and Jemima. Mr. and Mrs. Greer are  members  of  the  Methodist
     Episcopal Church South. He is a member of the A.F.  &  A.M.  Lodge
     No. 330. Although Mr. Greer is a  young  man,  he  takes  considerable
     interest in everything that  tends  to  promote  the  welfare  of  his
     community.         In         politics         he         is         a

John L. Greer

John L. Greer,  a  farmer  of
     Mississippi County, residing near  East  Prairie,  was  born  in  Ohio
     County, Ky. He is a son of William and  Sarah  P.  (Cox)  Greer,  also
     natives of Ohio County, Ky. They reared their family in  their  native
     county, and in the spring of 1859  came  to  Southeast  Missouri,  and
     located upon the land where the subject of this sketch now lives. They
     spent the remainder of their lives on this farm. Mr.  Greer  dying  in
     1865, and Mrs. Greer in the fall  of  1887.  To  them  were  born  six
     children, three of whom are living: James L., William I. and  John  L.
     The two gentlemen last named reside together on the old homestead, and
     James L. resides on a farm near them. Mr. John L. Greer has 120  acres
     of land, which has been greatly improved since  the  spring  of  1860.
     Politically he is a Democrat.

Nathan M. Griggs

Nathan   M.   Griggs,    of
     Mississippi County, Mo., was born in Meade County,  Ky.,  in  February
     1842. He is one of three surviving children of a family of nine,  born
     to the union of David Griggs and Martha J.  Staples.  The  father  was
     born in New York, and immigrated to Kentucky when young. His wife  was
     a native of Virginia, and they  were  both  of  English  lineage.  Mr.
     Griggs was a physician, and practiced his profession in Kentucky until
     his death in 1855. His wife died three years  later,  in  1858.  Their
     three living children are Nathan M., Clarence e. and Levantha J. (Mrs.
     Stephen Smith of New York). Although Mr. Griggs was a  physician,  his
     family was reared on a farm. Nathan M. received a  good  education  in
     the common schools, and remained with his parents until their  deaths,
     when he began working for himself. He  followed  boating  for  several
     years on the Ohio and Mississippi rivers, running from Concordia, Ky.,
     to New Orleans.  In  1875  he  removed  to  Mississippi  County,  Mo.,
     locating where he now resides. The farm consists of 160 acres,  nearly
     all of which is under cultivation,  with  good  improvements.  He  was
     married in March 1875 to Lydia A., a daughter of John and Jane  (Peak)
     Smith. Mr. Griggs and wife are members of  the  Baptist  Church.  They
     have three children: John D., Alonzo E. and Martha J. Mr. Girggs takes
     considerable interest in educational matters, and has served as school
     director. He is a  member  of  the  Masonic  fraternity,  and  of  the
     Agricultural Wheel.

W.F. Grinstead

Dr.   W.F.   Grinstead,   a
     prominent physician and surgeon of  Charleston,  was  born  near  that
     place on October 8, 1853. He is a son  of  Andrew  J.  and  Rachel  A.
     (Brewer) Ginstead, the former born  in  Scott  County,  Mo.,  and  the
     latter in Christian County, Ky.  The  grandfather,  Edward  Grinstead,
     emigrated from Warren  County,  Ky.,  to  Southeast  Missouri  in  the
     thirties, and settled in  Scott  County.  Edward's  father  was  David
     Grinstead, who was raised in  Virginia,  thence  with  his  family  to
     Virginia. John had a son Richard, who was a  general  in  Washington's
     army at the close of  the  Revolutionary  War.  He  was  a  farmer  by
     occupation, which he followed until his death in 1848. The father  was
     also a farmer and trader in live  stock,  in  which  business  he  was
     engaged the most of his life. He removed to Mississippi  County  about
     1850, and remained there until his death in 1861.  His  wife  died  in
     1875. They were the parents of four children, two of whom are  living.
     Those dead are George D. and Lorenzo M. The two in life are Thomas  M.
     and Dr. William F. The latter was reared on his father's farm until he
     was nineteen years of age when  he  entered  the  Charleston  Academy,
     remaining for two years. In 1876 he began the study of medicine  under
     Dr. J.L. Haw, then of Charleston, but now of Farmington,  Mo.  In  the
     fall of 1876 he entered the Missouri Medical College at St. Louis, and
     after remaining there one term,  he  entered  the  Vanderbilt  Medical
     College at Nashville, Tenn., graduating in the summer of 1877.  During
     the winter of 1880-81 he held  the  position  of  interne  or
     house surgeon in the City Hospital of Nashville, and in  the  meantime
     took lectures in the  University  of  Nashville,  medical  department,
     receiving his  second  diploma  in  1881.  He  immediately  began  the
     practice of his profession at Charleston, which  he  has  successfully
     continued. Upon locating in Charleston he was appointed local  surgeon
     for the Missouri Pacific Railroad, which position he still  holds.  He
     also held the office of county  physician  for  three  years.  He  was
     elected president of the Southeast  Missouri  Medical  Association  in
     1885, and held the office one term. He had previously served  as  vice
     president of the association for two terms. He has written a number of
     essays  which  have  been  published  in  the  St.  Louis  Medical
     Courier, viz: "Abscess of the Liver" read in May 1882;  "Mother's
     Marks" read in November of that year, and "A Bad  Cold"  read  in  May
     1884. The Doctor is a man of enterprise and public spirit,  who  seeks
     to     promote     the     welfare     of     his      people      and


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