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John W. Goff

From the Portrait and biographical record of Hancock, McDonough and Henderson counties, Illinois : containing biographical sketches of prominent and representative citizens of the county (1894)
May, 1894. Lake City Publishing Co.

JOHN W. GOFF, who devotes his time and attention to agricultural pursuits, owning a farm of seventy -five acres on section 31, township 12 north, range 4 west, Henderson County, was born in Tippecanoe County, Ind., on the 18th of December, 1850, and is of Scotch lineage. His father, James R. Goff, was also born in the Hoosier State, and he too carried on farming as a means of livelihood. When he had arrived at years of maturity he married Miss Luanda, daughter of John and Betsy E. (Crouch) Crose, and to them were born eight children, five of whom are yet living: George A., a farmer residing in Iowa; John W.; Elizabeth, deceased; one who died in infancy; Andrew F., who has also passed away ; Sarah C. , wife of E. P. McNall, a farmer of Mercer County, 111.; James W., who carries on farming in Henderson County; and William G., who follows the same pursuit in Mercer County.

When Mr. Goff of this sketch was only two years old, his parents came to Henderson County, 111. He was reared amid the wild scenes of frontier life, for the country was then but slightly improved. He acquired his education in the dis- trict schools, and remained upon the home farm until twenty-five years of age, giving his father the benefit of his services. He then left the parental roof, and began farming for himself on rented land, for he had no capital with which to purchase property. The following year he worked by the month as a farm hand, and in 1877 again rented land. In this way he carried on farming until 1880, when he once more began working by the month. He saved his money, and when he had acquired a sufficient sum he purchased, in the spring of 1882, the farm upon which he now resides, comprising seventy-five acres. The entire amount he has placed under a high state of cultivation, and the well-tilled fields are thus made to yield to him a good income.

Asa companion and helpmate on life's journey, Mr. Goff chose Miss Nancy E. Forgey, daughter of Amos and Elizabeth (Launin) Forgey. Their marriage was celebrated on the 20th of January, 1876, and has been blessed with a family of five children: Annie M., wife of James M. Smith, a farmer of Henderson County; William W., at home; two who died in infancy; and John F. , who is still with his parents. The Goff household is the abode of hospitality, and the members of the family rank high in the social circles in which they move.

Socially, Mr. Goff is a member of Oquawka Camp No. 1037, M. W. A. He has served as School Director, and on the jury, but the greater part of his time and attention has been devoted to private interests. He cast his first Presidential vote for Horace Greeley, but has since supported the Republican party, and is a stanch adherent of its principles. The greater part of his life has been spent in Henderson County, and here he is both widely and favorably known.