This week’s prompt for 52 Ancestors in 52 Week is: Harvest. I’m writing about my 2nd cousin, twice removed William Hinson Goff.
William Hinson GOFF, known as Willie, was born 12 Sept 1874 in Kershaw County, South Carolina. He was the firstborn child of Eli Hinson GOFF (1849-1910) and Nancy HENDRIX GOFF (1851-1938). Eli, called Hinson, was a farmer.
In 1900, 25-year old Willie was living in Columbia, Richland County, South Carolina. He boarded at 1611 Marion Street. His occupation on the census is unclear, but I think he was teacher.
Willie marries and starts a family
Willie married Carrie Martin WATTS in 1903. Between 1904 and 1915, Carrie gave birth to five children – four daughters and one son. Willie first worked as a secretary, and the family lived at 1227 Harden Street in Columbia.
In the 1910 U. S. Census, Willie was a manager at a shoe sale gallery in Columbia. The family continued living on Harden Street until about mid-decade when they moved to 721 First Street.
In September 1918, Willie filled out his World War 1 draft registration. He was now 44 years old. I expect it was rather sobering to be filling that out at his age. On his draft registration, his occupation is salesman at Kirkland Distribution Company. Willie is tall and slender at this time, and has brown eyes and hair.
Carrie became ill in October with Spanish Influenza, and sadly died on 11 Oct 1918 leaving behind Willie and their five children. Willie was the informant on her death certificate. Having to do that myself for my late husband, I can imagine the shock he felt at this time.
The oldest children were old enough to care for the younger ones, but I don’t know if that’s what happened. I do know they appeared with him on the 1920 U.S. Census. In 1920, he was a grocery salesman and he and the children lived at 707 Wayne Street in Columbia.
Willie marries again
About 1922, Willie married Sidney SHULER who was 21 years his junior. Sidney was a schoolteacher in Orangeburg County, South Carolina in 1920 according to the U.S. Census. People marry for lots of reasons. I think it might have been for necessity in this case. Sidney’s mother died in 1922, and her father would die 3 years later from heart trouble. Sidney had 2 siblings, but in that day and age she needed a husband. And Willie needed a wife. I want to believe they fell in love and married, but I’ve done enough family research to know they may not have been the case.
Willie and Sidney together
In 1923, 49-year old Willie was a salesman for the Sensation Flour Co. He and his family lived at 2205 Logan Terrace (or Court) in Columbia. Willie and Sidney had two daughters together in the 1920’s, and they lost an infant son in 1930.
Willie continued working in the 1930’s despite the Depression. At least he did from what I can tell in the records I found. He started the 1930’s as a traveling salesman of dry goods. Within a few years, he was a salesman with Allen Bros. Milling. I don’t when they moved from 2205 Logan, but they did move to 205 Wayne Street in Columbia.
I can often provide links to Google maps that show people’s homes as they appear now but not so with Willie. He lived downtown, and all of the homes he lived in have been replaced with newer construction.
In 1943, 68-year old Willie died from aortic insufficiency secondary to chronic nephritis. On his death certificate his occupation is listed as salesman for the Allen Milling Co. Sidney was 47 when Willie died. Their two daughters were 20 and 16.
Willie was a member of Main Street Methodist in Columbia where he had served on the board of stewards. The funeral was likely there. Willie was buried at Elmwood Cemetery in Columbia which is where Carrie was buried. Later Sidney would be buried there, too.
From all the information I gathered about Willie, I can’t tell you much about the man personally. The records don’t usually enlighten in that way. I can say that he seemed to be a hard-working man who provided for his wives and children.
Do you have ancestors born during the Harvest Moon? Please comment and tell me about them!
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