Socrates Euroclydon Goodman (1825-1915)

Socrates Eurocklydon Goodman was born 10 Jul 1825 in Hart Co., KY, to Anselm Goodman and Nancy Fowler. Socrates married 8 Aug 1851 to Mary B. Reynolds (whose 1st husband was a Huston or Hustin). Mary was supposedly of ½ Indian blood, but other descendants of Mary’s parents, who were Edward Reynolds and Celia (Fuqua) Reynolds, dispute this. They probably met in Hart Co., KY, where they were both born.

Mary Huston was in Knox Co., IL in the 1850 census, with her mother, Celia (Fuqua) Reynolds, Eli Loren Reynolds, youngest son of Celia and Edward Reynolds, and a Huston child. One of the Reynolds researchers asserts that Mary may have first married to Luke Allen Goodman, son of Amos I. Goodman by his second wife Mourning Jones. Luke Allen Goodman was the 1/2 brother of Anselm Goodman, father of Socrates. If this is true, then Socrates would have been her 3rd husband, and also her brother-in-law.

Socrates Goodman lived most of his early life in Knox Co., IL, where his family moved about 1840. I do not find him with the family of his parents, Anselm and Nancy Goodman, who were in Knox Co. by 1850. Nor do I find him independently anywhere in IL or KY in 1850. He first appears as S. E. Goodman, age 35 with wife M. B. and three young children, including John, 3 months old as of mid-July, in the 1860 census of Knox Township, Knox Co., IL. He was a farmer. In this census, Mary is shown as age 40, establishing her birth date as 1820, according to this census record. She probably under-stated her age in 1850.

The children of Socrates and Mary were:

  • Nancy B., b. 9 Jul 1852, 
  • Cephes A., b. 23 Dec 1853, 
  • Harriet B., b. 2 Feb 1856, 
  • Cyrus Jeptha, b. 15 Feb 1858, 
  • John Anslem (my ancestor), b. 19 Apr 1860. 

It is not hard to imagine Socrates & Mary naming their son Cephes like a relative, possibly Socrates’ uncle, Cleophas, the War of 1812 veteran whose land grant was in Knox Co. IL.

Apparently, the outbreak of the Civil War caused any additional family growth to be placed on hold. Socrates fought for the North in the Civil War, and marched with Sherman from Atlanta to the sea. He was a Private under Capt. Wolcott, Co. D, 31st Regiment, IL Infantry. He enlisted at Oxford, Henry Co., IL on 28 September, 1864. He was discharged 13 June 1865 at Albany, NY. According to his discharge papers, he was an “Instructor of Telegraphic” for the War Dept. This was probably his pre-war occupation as well, and he may have worked for a railroad, or for the Army, as a telegrapher before the war. He filed for a pension in 1890 in Kansas.

Socrates and family moved to Pratt Co., KS in 1883 from IL. He was then 58 years old, and Mary would have been aged 63. His son, John Anslem, was 23 years old at the time, and unmarried. It is currently not certain that any of Socrates and Mary’s other children went with them from IL to KS, but it appears that the brothers of Socrates, Benjamin and William C. did, or were there before Socrates. Socrates and Mary moved to Finney Co., KS in 1886. He died in Ravanna, KS, 26 Feb 1915. Socrates filed for a Civil War pension as an invalid on July 22, 1890, in Kansas, App# 884392, Cert# 644687.

Socrates Goodman’s Brother, William C. Goodman

Drew Goodman, of Salt Lake City, UT, has provided me with a fairly complete line of his ancestors, which includes William C. Goodman, born 1832 in Hart County, KY, who was a younger brother of our Socrates. William C. Goodman apparently migrated through Kansas, and on to California, possibly close to the same time as Socrates, and maybe in the same wagon train! Some of William C. Goodman’s descendants have since moved to Utah, and became Mormons.

William C. Goodman married Luan Dunn, in 1859 in Knox, IL. One of William C. Goodman’s daughters was named Sarah Conway Goodman, born about 1860 in IL. Their son, Seth Franklin, born 1858, married Huldah Malcom. Seth’s children were born mostly in Kansas and Missouri, and included Floyd Merton Goodman born 1891 in Geary, KS, and Harry Low Goodman, born 1887 in Kansas City, MO. Branches of his line still exist in Kansas and California. Geary, KS and Oceano, CA seem to be the primary locations of most of this line.

Drew Goodman has other details on the members of this line, which are included in the GEDCOM data file that I have been maintaining.

Socrates Goodman’s Sister, Harriet B. Goodman

Harriet and her husband, James Epperson, are found in Oxford, Henry Co., IL in the 1870 census, p.32-33, HH223, F233, with son Elmer age 8, and daughters Effis age 7, and Blanch age 4. Harriet’s widowed mother, Nancy Goodman, listed as age 66, is also living with the family.


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