This biography is from "Memorial and biographical record; an illustrated compendium of biography, containing a compendium of local biography, including biographical sketches of prominent old settlers and representative citizens of South Dakota..." Published by G. A. Ogle & Co., Chicago, 1898. Pages 238, 241. Scan and OCR by Joy Fisher, 1997. This file may be copied for non-profit purposes. All other rights reserved.


HON. JOSEPH T. GOODWIN, the present state senator from Day County, was born in Fayette, Pennsylvania, August 9, 1831, a son of Daniel and Martha (Coale) Goodwin, both of whorn lived and died in Pennsylvania. The father was a shoemaker by trade.Our subject was educated in the common schools of Pennsylvania, and began life as a clerk when a young man and followed that vocation for twenty years. On August 23, 1863, he enlisted in Company K, Eleventh Michigan Calvary, having moved to Niles, Michigan, in 1855, and served to the end of the war, or until October 1865, without receiving a wound. In July 1865, the regiment was consolidated with the Eighth Michigan Cavalry, and was known by the latter name. Mr. Goodwin was mustered out as a second lieutenant. He participated in many skirmishes and several important battles, among which can be mentioned: Marion, Virginia; Saltsville, Virginia; and Salisbury, North Carolina.After the close of hostilities Mr. Goodwin returned to Michigan and engaged in clerking until 1872, when he became a traveling salesman, and was thus engaged for fourteen years, traveling through Michigan and Indiana, and all principal cities north of the Ohio river.


In 1883 he went West, and, the following year, located in Farmington township, Day county, on a claim. In 1885 he was elected county commissioner, serving in that capacity three years, and in 1888 he was elected county treasurer and served six years, or three terms; and in 1896, was elected state senator from Day County. Mr. Goodwin was the principal mover in getting the creamery started in Webster, and was secretary and manager of the same. This venture has been a marked success, its proceeds already more than equaling the cost of the plant.Mr. Goodwin was first married in 1859 to Miss Sarah Williams and has one daughter by that marriage, Mrs. Cora Smith. His second marriage was to Miss Cora E. Knight, who became his wife in 1896. They have one son living: George Earle. Our subject is a Mason and a member of the G. A. R., and has been connected with the former order since 1858. In politics he is a Populist and has been successful in his political career, and is widely and favorably known throughout the county and state.