There is a small cluster of graves at the back of Woodland-Old City Cemetery — the final resting place for Job Goodall and his wife Sarah, their son Walker, his wife Sarah and eight other family members.
David Grellner and Donald Beck of the Jefferson City Department of Planning and Protective Services uncovered the tombstones several years ago, overgrown with vines and obscured by brush.
Job Goodall was born in 1797 in Hartford County, Connecticut, the son of Josiah and Rebecca (Brooks) Goodall. His father was a sea captain, owner of his own ship, forced by ill health to retire in 1803. The family moved to a small farm in Madison County, Virginia, when Job was 11 years old.
At age 15, he enlisted in the War of 1812 along with his older brother Philander. He mustered out at Norfolk, Virginia, in 1815 and moved to Pennsylvania for a time before coming to Jefferson City in 1825.
According to an article in the State Journal, “John C. Gordon obtained a tavern license on the 16th day of November 1826, and Josiah Ramsay, Ralph Briscoe and Job Goodall, each obtained similar licenses on the 28th of the same month.” Job operated his grocery and tavern business on Madison Street until 1829.
He acquired an 80-acre farm at Cole Junction in 1826, adding 160 acres in the 1830s. At the same time, he obtained 440 acres of farmland in Randolph County.
Goodall married Sarah McRoberts Embree of Mercer County, Kentucky, in 1827 in Cole County, and they had nine children — one daughter and eight sons. Most of the children were born near Huntsville in Randolph County where the family lived until the spring of 1849 when they moved to the farm at Cole Junction.
As a result of clashes between “old settlers” and Mormons in northwest Missouri, Goodall was among a group of soldiers who were dispatched in 1838 to drive the Mormons from Missouri at the direction of Gov. Lilburn Boggs.
About 1849, he went to California to hunt for gold, along with his 18-year-old son, John Embree Goodall. His son died en route, and Goodall returned to Missouri around 1851. Accosted and shot by bandits along the way, he survived and returned home empty-handed.
An unknown assailant shot and killed Goodall on Aug. 1, 1856, at his Cole Junction farm.
Reportedly, Gov. Sterling Price offered a $200 reward out of his own pocket, but the killer was never found. Job was a successful businessman and estimated to be worth $30,000 (equivalent to nearly $1 million today) at the time of his death.
After Goodall’s death at age 59, Sarah had a large family to raise and educate. A newspaper account says she was “a woman of wonderful industry and energy and sound business judgment.”
Goodall and Sarah’s youngest children were twin sons born in Randolph County in 1847, Winfield Scott and Zachary Taylor Goodall. Scott was murdered Feb. 16, 1870, on the streets of Jefferson City. The assassin was never found. Taylor died as the result of a tragic fall from a railroad bridge in 1892.
Sons Daniel Webster and Joel Brooks both died young, and Henry Clay was killed in a mining accident in Kansas in 1878. Oliver Perry went to Oregon where he was a prosperous farmer and successful politician.
Daughter Mary Ann Rebecca married James Alexander Gordon and moved to Vernon County.
Goodall’s middle son, William Washington “Walker” Goodall, enlisted in Company E, 10th Infantry, Missouri Volunteers, Parson’s Brigade at the age of 18. Taken prisoner at the Battle of Helena, Arkansas, he was exchanged and fighting in Mobile, Alabama, at the close of the war. He walked home to Jefferson City from June to August 1865.
Walker lived with his mother until her death. He worked the farm and taught school in Cole and Vernon counties until 1884, when he married Sarah Handley who was born on a farm, 12 miles southwest of Jefferson City. Together they had nine children — three girls and six boys.
Walker worked as a prison guard and had several narrow escapes, the most notable was an encounter with “fire bug” Johnson during a fire in the Sullivan Saddle Tree Company. On another occasion, he fell 30 feet over the bluff near the penitentiary while on guard. Badly bruised, he was otherwise uninjured. In 1890, Walker sustained severe injuries that left him permanently disabled when struck by a train while crossing the railroad tracks.
Elected justice of the peace in Jefferson City, Walker Goodall served two terms and two terms as police judge, retiring in July 1920 at the age of 76.
Walker was an invalid the last three years of his life and died in 1924 of apoplexy. His wife, Sarah, lived until 1957 and died at the home of her son, Marmaduke Lee “Duke” Goodall on Tanner Bridge Road. They are buried in the family plot at Woodland-Old City Cemetery.
Bob Ed Heidbreder, formerly of Jefferson City, is a great-great grandson of Job Goodall. He is a retired farmer near Sullivan. Nancy Arnold Thompson is a regular contributor to this column.
Cole County History: McCarty House greeted Jefferson City visitors for 70 years