A. GOODWIN HISTORY
Goodwin and his mother, taken prior to Civil War
and grand-daughter Hazel,~ 1900
A. Goodwin was born at Hallowell, Maine, on April 10, 1831. His parents, of
English ancestry, were John Goodwin and Nancy Springer Goodwin. Eugene was the
second youngest of eleven children, including nine boys and two girls. John
Goodwin was a sea captain and several of his sons also went to sea
may also have gone to sea, he became a schoolteacher as a young man and taught
several years in the Hackettstown, New Jersey
region. He also taught in southern Ohio
for a brief period. He joined the Methodist
Church about age 16 and remained
involved in the church his entire life. From his diary entries, it is obvious
that he was very devout. He was also patriotic. He enlisted very early in the
Civil War. He was present for the inaugural addresses of President Lincoln,
both in 1861 and 1865.
in the Naval Brigade, which later became the 99th New York Volunteer
Infantry Regiment, on June 14, 1861. He was discharged as a Sergeant on July 6, 1864. This regiment served as
a shore guard and had a praiseworthy record. They were stationed near Fort
and Norfolk, Virginia,
for much of this period. This was also near the historic towns of Yorktown
and Williamsburg. Eugene
was a witness to the famous sea battle of the ironclads, the Monitor
and Merrimac. He was also present on August
3, 1861, the first time that a manned balloon was used in wartime
to provide intelligence. He participated in the battle and siege at Suffolk,
Virginia, in 1863 and other combat actions.
During the latter months of his enlistment, he was stationed in the New
Bern, North Carolina, region.
discharge in 1864, he returned to New Jersey
and resumed school teaching. He married Sarah Louise Smith of Hackettstown on
February 27, 1866. Two children
were born, Edith May Goodwin Atkinson on June 23, 1868, and Edwin J. Goodwin
on February 11, 1873.
Family Portrait, circa 1890
decided to change careers and obtained degrees from the Michigan College of
Medicine, class of 1871, and the Long Island
Hospital and New York College of
Medicine. At Michigan, he was
a classmate of Dr. Perry Engle of Newton, Iowa,
who encouraged him to begin his medical practice in Iowa.
agreed and became a country doctor in Baxter in central Iowa.
He purchased a 40-acre farm outside the town of Baxter
and worked out of his home, traveling around the countryside to attend to his
patients. His wife would assist with childbirths. He served as a well-respected
doctor for many years.
a detailed journal and account book describing the patient’s ailment, the treatment
and method of payment for his services. He was often paid in chickens and eggs.
To supplement his income, he farmed and grew various fruits. The photo below
shows the fruit wagon used to distribute his products.
Fruit Wagon, circa 1890
Edith May died in 1896 shortly after childbirth and the Goodwin’s raised their
new granddaughter, Hazel. Other grandchildren, born to his son Edwin, were Russell
Goodwin and Louise Goodwin McKlveen, the transcriber of Eugene’s
Civil War diary.
died in 1904 and Dr. Goodwin gave up his medical practice and moved to the Soldiers
Home in nearby Marshalltown, Iowa,
later that year. He died there on October 18, 1910, at the age of 79.