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Dr. Benjamin Goodrich

October 09, 2019 - 00:00
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By 1850, two medical doctors were living in Anderson, Texas. The last Sandbar column appearing in The Examiner referenced Dr. David C. Dickson including data of his life and early Grimes County home.

Dr. Dickson had arrived at Anderson in the early 1840s, but Dr. Benjamin Briggs Goodrich had already been in the vicinity for 10 years. He and his brother John came to Texas in the spring of either 1833 or 1834 as research sources vary. Dr. Goodrich first purchased a lot in the newly established Washington town Dec. 16, 1835.

Thus, Dr. Goodrich was chosen among the four delegates of the Municipality of Washington to the convention of March 1836 at Washington-on-the-Brazos. He was a signer of the Texas Declaration of Independence as well at the Constitution of the Republic of Texas. According to the Handbook of Texas, Dr. Goodrich, during the convention, registered each delegate recording his age, place of birth and the name of the state from which he emigrated to Texas.

As the siege of the Alamo by Santa Anna coincided with the convention, Dr. Goodrich was aware that his brother John was among the Alamo defenders. When the Alamo fell March 6, it would be another 10 days before positive word arrived at the convention for Dr. Goodrich to learn his brother was dead. Jesse Grimes, also a delegate to the convention, lost a son at the Alamo.

Sometime shortly after 1836, Dr. Goodrich relocated to the Anderson community. When Montgomery County was established late in December 1837 by the Republic of Texas, Dr. Goodrich was one of nine men appointed to select a county seat and purchase land for the same.

Dr. Goodrich’s early life began as a Virginian born in early 1799. His family moved to Tennessee and the young man went to Baltimore for his medical degree. He practiced medicine as he moved about Florida, Mississippi and Alabama. In Alabama he was known to serve a term in the state Legislature.

Dr. Goodrich was married to Serena Corrothers of Kentucky. They had nine children. It was in 1850 that Dr. Goodrich built a home on what was once known as New York Row, now Fanthorp Street, in Anderson near Fathorp Inn.

The Goodrich Home is described in a 1936 national survey as an unusual small two-story country Palladian Greek Revival style residence with a double portico-ed two-story central section and flanking one-story wings. Two other residences, to the north of the Goodrich House, are of a similar style and create a most interesting and unusual cluster of Palladian, portico-ed houses. The Goodrich home still stands along La Bahia Trail. It has been stabilized by present owner Brett Mize.

Dr. Goodrich died in Anderson Nov. 16, 1860. Mrs. Goodrich lived on another 24 years to die in April 1884 at the age of 77. Dr. Goodrich and wife are buried in the Odd Fellows Cemetery at Anderson with their graves marked by a single stone erected by the State of Texas.

(Written by Betty Dunn, Two Rivers Heritage Foundation. Visit www.tworiversheritage for more information or to become a member.)