Richard Bethel Goff & wife, Harriet Amanda Milam Goff
Richard Bethel Goff....My Great-Grandfather
Son of Thomas Goff Jr. and Miss Allen was born November 25, 1827
in Pulaski, Giles Co. Tennessee. He lived in Giles and Lawrence
Co., Tennessee until about the mid 1850s and at that time, he had moved
to Lawrence Co., Alabama. On February 1, 1858 he married Precheta
Anna Holmes, d/o William P. Holmes and Katherine (Kate) Corley-Holmes,
in Moulton, Lawrence Co., Alabama. Precheta was born December 12,
1841 in Courtland, Lawrence Co., Alabama and died during child birth
to their only child, Willie T. Goff, on May 26, 1859. Willie T. Goff
died on July 29, 1859 and is buried with his mother in Courtland Cemetery
in Courtland, Lawrence Co., Alabama. In this family plot is also
buried William P. and Katherine Holmes along with another daughter of theirs,
Mary E. Holmes.
Richard Bethel Goff stayed with the Holmes family till he married
Harriet Amanda Milam on August 21, 1861 in Moulton, Lawrence Co., Alabama.
Harriet was born in 1843 in Moulton, Lawrence Co., Alabama and was the
daughter of Almon Gwinn Milam and Martha Vaughn-Milam. Richard and
Harriet's children that were born in Lawrence Co., Alabama were Katherine
(Kate), Alletha, Charlie Crow, Leondias (Lonnie) and George Allman.
In the early part of the 1870s they moved to the area of Bells, Grayson
Co., Texas, where the remaining children, William Ira, Ernest White,
and Robert Bethel (Rob) were born.
Photograph of Alletha Goff Watson, Katherine Goff Cockburn, Ernest White
Goff & George
All of this time Richard Bethel was still considered part of the
Holmes's family, as per in Katherine Holmes Will she referred to Richard
Bethel as her "beloved son-in-law" and willed to Richard Bethel and his
children all of her estate. William P. Holmes had died in 1880 and
Katherine Holmes died in 1886.
Controversy arose over the settlement of Katherine Holmes' estate,
as newspaper reports at that time, say that Richard Bethel presented a
paper to Judge Foster for probate, purporting to be the last Will and Testament
of Katherine Holmes. The will was written by J.T. Young and witnessed
by A.J. Shelton and left all Katherine's property to Richard Bethel Goff and his children.
There was a long and bitter contest over the Will, the newspaper not stating
by whom, but assumed to be from relatives of the Holmes. There were
many rumors about the amount of the estate and the authenticity of the
Will presented by Richard B. Goff. More than one Will was said to be found
in an old barrel of papers later.
The court case over the Will lasted two days before a jury and the
jury ruled in favor of Richard Bethel Goff and his children. The value
of the estate was given as $3,500, in addition to $1,800 cash, along with
a request that "Aunt" Ann, the long and faithful family servant, be cared
for the rest of her life. The court costs were $1,200 and from the
Moulton Advertiser "Dick" (Richard Bethel) says he had enough money left
to pay his way back to Texas.
Other excerpts from the Moulton Advertiser are :
"The wrangle over the property demonstrates one thing, the
great folly of scrapping together a little stuff for relatives to fuss
over after you are dead and gone."
"If Katie (Katherine) could come back to this world and could hear
the wrangling and see them pulling at her little effects, she would no
doubt jump in to the crowd with a red hot poker."
"Two women and a man were seen walking thru the garden and yard
of the late Katherine Holmes one evening last week. The man had
a hoe and the women carried spikes, but the pot of gold eagles, supposed
to be buried on the place, were not found."
Richard Bethel and Harriet Amanda Goff lived in the Grayson Co., Texas
area until the early part of 1900 and then moved to Woodville I/T (Oklahoma)
until his death on December 1, 1907; he was buried in Cherry
Mound Cemetery, Grayson Co., Texas. Harriet Amanda Milam Goff then moved
in with her daughter Katherine (Kate) Goff-Cockburn until her death in 1914
and is also buried at Cherry
An article appeared in the Woodville, Oklahoma area newspaper upon
Richard Bethel's death as a tribute to "Uncle Bethel"as follows.
It is with a feeling of sadness that I write you today, as our friend
R.B., or as he was familiarly known to his many friends as "Uncle Bethel"
Goff, died this morning at 3 o'clock, after a short illness. Uncle
Bethel had lived more than his allotted time of three score years and ten
being 80 years old. And during his long life he had made many warm
friends, for to know "Uncle Bethel" was to love him. This writer
has known him for about four years and numbered him among his dearest friends.
He leaves a wife and six children and a number of relatives, and a host
of friends to mourn his loss. To his bereaved family we would offer
this consolation that they are not like one who mourns without hope, for
we know that he has gone on before, and that we shall meet him in that
better world if we will only do as he did -follow our blessed Redeemer;
for "Uncle Bethel" had been a consistent follower of the meek and lowly
Nazarene for a number of years. May we, his friends and relatives,
resolve to so live that when our life's work is ended, our friends can say
of us that we have gone on before and that they can meet us in a land where
sorrow is not known and death never comes."
George Allman Goff....My Grandfather
George Allman Goff was born in Moulton, Lawrence Co., Alabama on
April 25, 1873 and on September 23, 1902 in Bells, Grayson Co., Texas
he married Nannie Arvin, who was born June 19, 1883 in Bells, Grayson Co.,
Texas. Nannie was the daughter of Joseph C. Arvin and Parmelia (Amelia)
Children born to them in Woodville, I/T (Oklahoma) and Oklahoma were
Dick, an infant daughter, Julia,
Aletha (Jane) and George
They moved to Woodville I/T (Oklahoma), shortly before statehood,
and lived in this area for the remaining years of their lives. George
Allman was a farmer and also worked for the State of Oklahoma, operating
a mule drawn grader between Woodville and Kingston for many years.
With the impoundment of Lake Texoma, they moved to the area of the present
town of McBride, Oklahoma. They owned different land around this
area but established their final home there, in the 1930s, until George
died on June 2, 1949, and was laid to rest in Cherry
Mound Cemetery, Grayson Co., Texas. Nannie lived in McBridek Oklahoma until her health,
at age 97, forced her to move to Las Cruces, New Mexico, to live with her
Photograph of Amanda "Alletha Goff-Watson, Katherine "Kate" Martha Goff-Cockburn,
Ernest White Goff, George Allman Goff
Both were members of the Church of Christ and raised Nannie;s youngest
sister, after her parents' death. They ran a boarding house in "Old
Woodville" for railroad men, lawyers and school teachers for many years.
death, Nannie continued her "caring for all" in taking care of another
brother during his terminal illness. She always had an outstanding
garden and picked "wild" blackberries until my dad forced her to quit at
the age of 95. Never did a visitor leave without having a meal prepared
by Nannie. She was known to make the finest "buns" (rolls), for miles
around and many people would come by to visit with her and get some.
Nannie truly enjoyed having friends and relatives to come by and
take her fishing. If you went fishing with her, you better have minnows
and be prepared to stay all day, even if the fish weren't biting.
I remember being at her home, it was very special to her, at the time she
was leaving for Las Cruces, New Mexico and her words to me were, "You better
come and visit me out there, as I know I will never get to come back home
again." Nannie did go back home at the age of 100 years, 3 months
and some odd days as she was laid to rest at Cherry
Mound Cemetery on September 3, 1983, not far from where she was born.
Photograph of Nannie at age 100