From History of Texas Published in 1896
Josiah Clinton Goodwin, whose residence in Hood County dates from 1860, has been identified with the region through the important era of its development. When he located within its borders, the lands were wild and there was little promise of development. Long stretches of unimproved prairies, broken by the forests which bordered the streams, were the haunt of wild game and were frequently traversed by the Indians. The work of reclaiming this region was an arduous one, but resolutely the pioneers began the task and the rich fertility of Hood County, its many natural resources and the advantages added by man have made it a most desirable place of residence. Among the worthy pioneers is numbered the gentleman whose name is inseparably linked with the history of this locality.
His parents, Newton and Jane (Wakefield) Goodwin, were natives of North Carolina, the former born February 21, 1804, and the latter November 6, 1807. They were married in Tennessee and afterward removed to Talledega, Alabama, where they lived for twenty-six years. It was during that time that Josiah C. was born, on the 23rd of January, 1844. The left Alabama in 1859 and started to Texas, but before reaching this state spent one year in Arkansas. Their first home in the Lone Star State was in Hood county, then a part of Johnson county, they effecting a settlement a mile east of Acton, in 1860. There Mr. Goodwin improved a farm and planted an orchard. He was also engaged in merchandising for two years in Acton, and of this county continued a resident until 1874, when on account of impaired health he returned to Alabama, his death occurring there January 2, 1875. His widow is still living and makes her home with a daughter in Arkansas.
Mr. Goodwin, of this review, was reared under the parental roof, acquired his education in the common schools near his home, and at the age of fifteen, became a resident of Hood County. Among the soldier boys of the civil war he is numbered. They were boys in years, but men in fearless devotion to duty, and he made for himself an honorable military record. In 1861 he joined the Confederate service and became a member of Company I, Tenth Texas Infantry. After the capture of that command at Arkansas Post he was assigned to the Thirty-first Cavalry and took part in all the engagements of the regiment. He was loyal to the cause which he espoused and no time-honored veteran could have been more faithful than the boys who with resolute courage followed wherever duty led.
When hostilities were over Mr. Goodwin returned to his home and in 1866 and 1867, he was a student in Oakland College, in Johnson County, under the direction of J.C. Collin. When his education was completed he entered upon the more serious duties that come to each one as he lays aside his textbooks. He was married and began farming, which occupation he has since continued in connection with stock-raising. He has labored energetically and his work has brought to him a good income, making him one of the substantial agriculturists of the community.
In his political views Mr. Goodwin is a Democrat, but has never sought office, preferring to devote his attention to his business interests and the enjoyments of home life. He was married December 19, 1867, to Sarah Margaret Cornelius, a native of Arkansas and a daughter of Dr. J.C. Cornelius. They had four children, namely: Jackson C., Josiah Newton, Charles Augustus and Hartwell Albert. Mrs. Goodwin died April 3, 1879, and many friends mourned her loss. Mr. Goodwin is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, south, and his excellencies of character gain him high regard.
The Goodwin family is of Scotch origin and was founded in America during colonial times. Two great grandfathers of our subject were heroes of the Revolution, and William Goodwin, an uncle of our subject, was a defender of the country in the war of 1812, serving under Jackson. His death occurred at New Orleans, during the battle there in our war with Great Britain.
History of Texas, 1896, Chicago: The Lewis Publishing Co.