GODWIN L. BLACKFORD, the president of the State National Bank and a moving factor in many enterprises which have contributed to the business activity and prosperity of Denison, was born in West Virginia in 1862, a son of John Graham and Mary (Van Winkle) Blackford. The father was born in Lynchburg, Virginia, and died in Parkersburg, that state, in 1892, at the age of fifty-eight years. His wife, a native of West Virginia, is still living and make her home in Parkersburg. In the family were three children.
Godwin L. Blackford spent the days of his boyhood and youth in his parents’ home and acquired a good public school education. He was twenty-one years of age when with the desire to seek a home and fortune in the southwest he made his way to Texas, arriving in this state on the 1st of July, 1883. He located first in Sherman, where he was connected with the Merchants & Planters National Bank in various positions connected with the conduct of that institution. During the latter part of the time he was teller and he remained in Sherman until 1890, when he came to Denison to accept the cashiership of the State National Bank, of which he also became a director. He acted as cashier until after the death of R. C. Shearman, which occurred July 16, 1899. On the 22nd of August of the same year he was elected president, which office he has filled ever since. The bank has followed a safe conservative policy and under the leadership of Mr. Blackford has gained a position in banking circles in Texas among the foremost. He has also been identified with various other industries and interests of Denison. He was secretary of the road until it was sold to the Interurban Railroad Company. He was likewise president of the Compress Company from its organization, was vice president of the Denison Building & Land Company, is the secretary of the Denison Crystal Ice Company, president of the Denison Driving Park & Fair Association and has financial investment in many other interests.
In 1889 Mr. Blackford was united in marriage to Miss Eugenia Rue, of Grayson county, Texas, and they have a daughter, Clara, who was born in Denison. In social circles of the city they occupy an enviable position and Mr. Blackford is a most public spirited man, whose aid and co-operation can always be counted upon to further any movement tending to the benefit of his adopted city. He is indeed a leading spirit in the commercial world here and Denison acknowledges its indebtedness to his efforts. He is of a very social and genial nature and is heartily welcomed in the best homes of the city. The success of his life is due to no inherited fortune or to any happy succession of advantageous circumstances but to his own sturdy will, steady application, tireless industry and sterling integrity.
Source: B. B. Paddock, History and Biographical Record of North and West Texas, Vol. I (Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co., 1906), pp. 619-620.