Not long ago Brenda brought some old pictures over that I had not seen before. Among these, I found a picture of a man and a woman with four children. On the back of the picture was written in pencil – Tom Goodman. I was thrilled. I believe this is a picture of Taylor Goodman’s father (Tom would be my great grandfather). I believe the picture consists of Tom and Margaret Goodman and their children; Henry, Zena, ? and Taylor was the baby.
What do we know about Tom Goodman? Well, he was born in May of 1874 in Reed’s creek, Sharp County, Arkansas (near Strawberry). I haven’t been able to find any information on his father, but, his mother was Polina Joslin Spradlin Goodman. Tom’s father was Polina’s second husband. He had 5 half-brothers and one half-sister.
Several years ago, Brenda and I were researching old papers at one of the libraries and I found an article that talked about Tom Goodman. It was in the Sharp County newspaper in April of 1891: "On Tuesday of last week an affray occurred between J.W. Roberts and his son John, on one side and William Spradling and his half-brother Tom Goodman, on the other, in Sharp County, near Hazel Grove, and about two miles from the Independence County line, which produced some very serious results. Spradling is a young man and a renter from Roberts and some ill feeling had existed for some time between them. On the day mentioned, as we gather it, Roberts and his son went to the field where Spradling and Goodman were picking cotton. Spradling and the younger Roberts became involved in a fight and Goodman interfered to separate them, when the elder Roberts shot him with a pistol. The ball entered the left side, just below the heart, and passed across and almost out at the right side. Roberts then tried to shoot Spradling, but shot his own son through the hand. With this the fight ended and Roberts and his son fled. Goodman was removed to the house and a physician summoned. It was thought for a time his wound was fatal, but he is improving and it now believed he will get well. The shooting created intense excitement in the neighborhood and the people turned out en masse to capture Roberts and his son, but they have made good their escape. Roberts removed to Sharp County three years ago from Missouri. He is an industrious and successful farmer, but an irascible and high-tempered man."
Later this same year 1891, Tom Goodman and Margaret Howard went to the court house in Sharp County to get a marriage license which was denied. Possibly due to Tom being 17 and Margaret only 14. In August 1892, the next year, Polina Goodman (Tom's mother) signed for them to get married, in which they did on August 7, 1892. Margaret would have been 5 months pregnant with Henry at that time. Oops!
Daddy said that Grandpa Taylor had an older brother and he thought he had moved to Texas. No mention was ever made of the sisters. I found Zena on the census, but, no record of the other girl.
After much searching, I still have no idea as to what happened to Tom Goodman. Tom and Margaret’s youngest daughter Maudie was born in August of 1904. Margaret married Doc Laird in March of 1909. Tom died sometime between 1904 and 1909. He would have been 30 to 35 years old.