William Nicholas Goodman
William Nicholas Goodman, son of Thomas and Maria Symonds Goodman, was born Sept. 9, 1841 at Bristol, England. He was baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on May 13, 1851. As a young man he worked at Foundry and Carpenter work. He was left an orphan while young. William and his brother Nathaniel left England in 1862 and came to America.
On arriving in Salt Lake City, Utah he went to work for a man by the name of Ralph Ramsey, who lived in the 20th Ward, and made his home with him for many years.
On Feb. 27, 1864 he was married to Margaret Ann Taylor, daughter of George Edward Grove and Ann Wicks Taylor. They were married at Ralph Ramsey’s home by Bishop John Sharp. Eleven children were born of this union.
William continued working for Mr. Ramsey at the Turning and Carving trade. One day while working with a circular saw it slipped and cut his hand and he could not work for some time, so he decided to go to Logan and look at that country. In a short time he moved his family there and took up land and became very prosperous.
Some of the leading men of Smithfield were anxious for him to come there and put up a turning lathe as there was a large flow of water and strong power. They moved to Smithfield to help.
There were many Indians at this time. They committed many depredations and would run off the white men’s horses and then expect pay for their return.
William made all kinds of furniture and as there was no place to procure paint and other materials, only at Salt Lake City, he would take his wife and babies with him on the trips that made there, as he dared not leave them at home alone, exposed to the Indians. While crossing the Weaver River on one occasion, they came near getting drowned, and as they were giving up hope of help, the Pilot came along with his boat and rescued them. Two families were drowned the next day in the same place. For weeks there was no crossing of the river. The man he left at home in charge of the place came up missing and they supposed he was killed by the Indians as he was never found. Later his clothing was. What a narrow escape his wife and children had; they probably would have received the same fate. They never went back to Smithfield to regain their property.
William sold his team and wagon and bought half a lot with one room on it which was located in the 11th Ward in Salt Lake City. He had plenty of work at carving and turning. He also did considerable work for President Brigham Young. He built a new home but found it wasn’t all peaceful there. The Government soldiers were bitter against the Mormons and said they would have the head of President Brigham Young. Guards were appointed to guard him. William took his turn. All were well trained in Infantry and Cavalry. The men would take their families to the training ground.
William served in the Black Hawk War from July until November of the year 1866. After returning home, was one one of the volunteers to work on the Salt Lake Temple.
His health failed in 1870 and he moved with his family to Minersville, Utah, as it was a warmer climate. He built a comfortable home there and he helped to build up the settlement.
William held many positions in the Ward and settlement. In 1877 he was called to work on the St. George Temple which work he performed.
In April, 1879 he was called to Great Britain on a Mission, but was released in less than a year on account of his poor health. It was too damp there, as it rained every day, and he was greatly troubled with asthma. No doubt he laid the foundation for a good work among his people. They had drifted from the Church as they were very wealthy. They held out many inducements for him to bring his family there to live. He laughed at the idea and said his religion was worth more to him than all the wealth they could offer him. He told them of his happy home and family in Utah and the joy of the Gospel.
He did not regain his health when he returned home and after remaining in Utah three years, thought if he moved farther south his health would improve. In 1882 they left Minersville for Arizona. On the way they stopped at St. George and did work in the Temple for themselves and their dead ancestors.
One day while traveling, he fell from the wagon and was hurt so that he could not drive for a while so his boys continued on. He had five sons and two daughters at this time.
They arrived in Mesa, Arizona in the fall of 1882 and stayed here for a short time. Then they went on to the San Pedro Valley and stopped at St. David, Arizona and stayed at the Joseph McRae home for several weeks. Joseph’s wife, Maria, was a sister of Margaret, so they felt right at home. This was January of 1883, and their daughter Elizabeth Taylor was born on February 10.
William and his sons, with the help of Joseph McRae, made adobes and built a house east of Joseph’s, close to where the St. David cemetery now stands. During his short stay here he worked very hard.
He held several responsible positions in the Church; was Clerk of the Ward, Notary Public and Justice of the Peace. He also worked at his carpenter work and helped build several houses: the old Harry Clifford house (Woods house) still standing (1939), also Esther Merrill’s, close to the LDS Church house. He helped build the adobe school house that was destroyed by earthquake on May 3, 1887, and made furniture for different ones which is still in use. He was a lover of home and family and was loved by all.
Another daughter, Theresa Hope, was born here on January 23, 1885. Amy Rice Goodman told me that when he came from work they would run to meet him as he made so much over all of them.
William lived just two years and two months in St. David. He took a paralytic stroke on February 10, and died on March 8, leaving his wife and nine children. He was buried in the St. David Cemetery.
There is a ninth beatitude
that sheds its magic grace;
Blessed is the man
who has found his place.
Blessed is the man
whose hands are strong,
Who works with a will
the whole day long.
Blessed is the labor
he can do;
Blessed is his home
when work is through.
Blessed is the soul
that does not shirk;
Blessed is the man
who has found his work.