John Vivian Goode biography

JOHN VIVIAN GOODE. For nearly fifteen years identified with the railroad and business interests of Fort Worth and Northwest Texas, Mr. J. V. Goode belonged among that class of energetic and forceful men of affairs who organized, directed and gave permanency to Fort Worth during the most important epoch in its development. No one familiar with the history of this portion of the state fails to understand the vital connection between its railroads and its permanent prosperity, and it is among the former railway men of the city that Mr. Goode performed his leading part in affairs.

Dying at the early age of forty, on November 4, 1903, Mr. Goode had engaged in the battle of life at an early age, and though his career ended before middle life it was none the less fruitful in permanent results. Born in Goochland county, Virginia, on December 31, 1863, he was a son of Dr. and Elizabeth Goode. Of cavalier Virginia ancestry, the Goode family has long been represented in the professions and affairs of the Old Dominion, and Dr. Goode, who died in 1897, was a graduate of Yale University, later assistant under Dr. Draper in the Yale faculty, and on returning to Virginia settled on his father’s plantation in Goochland county. It was on this old homestead that his youngest son, John Vivian, was born. The Civil war laid in desolation the Goode estate, and as it close Dr. Gooch moved to Staunton in the same state.

In Staunton the son John passed his childhood, though not altogether after the usual fashion of boys, for the fever of ambition and action seized him betimes and when only twelve years old he learned the complicated art of telegraphy. Such precocity could not escape the notice of those about him, and the fact that he was remarkably efficient procured him early advancement to responsible position and decided him in his career of railroad service. As "boy operator" for the Western Union he became almost a celebrity in that part of the country, and at the age of fifteen he went west to Springfield, Illinois, where he was employed as train dispatcher for the Wabash, and when eighteen was chief dispatcher for that road. Following a period as train master for the Missouri Pacific, he came to Texas, in 1889, as the incumbent, successively, of the positions of train master, superintendent and general superintendent of the Fort Worth and Denver City Railway he was during the next eleven years one of the best known railroad men of North Texas. He was connected with the Denver road while it was still new and was establishing its line through the great country to the northwest, that being the most important Texas railroad after the Texas and Pacific.

While in the railroad business Mr. Goode became connected with various business enterprises in Fort Worth, and the demands that these made upon him finally caused him to sever his connection with the railroad, that being in March, 1901. He and his partner, M. H. Mills then organized the National Lumber Company at Fort Worth, and Mr. Goode became president. The organization of the Southern Tie and Lumber Treating Company followed soon after, and he likewise was president of that concern, whose plant was located at Texarkana. Retail branches of these enterprises were distributed as various points throughout Texas and Oklahoma, and the remarkable business capacity of Mr. Goode and his associates was shown in the rapid growth and extension of the business.

May 18, 1898, as one of the brilliant social events of Fort Worth, Mr. Goode married Miss Joc-e Terrell, daughter of Capt. Joseph C. Terrell, whose prominence as a pioneer citizen of Fort Worth gives his name a place of nearly every page of its history. The one child of their union is John Vivian Goode, Jr.

His connection with railroad and business affairs brought Mr. Goode the friendship and acquaintance of the leading men of the south, and by them he was held in the highest esteem both for his personality and the equalities which enabled him to accomplish so much during a short lifetime.

Source: B. B. Paddock, History and Biographical Record of North and West Texas (Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co., 1906), Vol. II, pp. 62-63.