Local news indicates that at the turn of the century there was a community in Rains County known as "Goff", which seems to have been the community later known as Willow Springs. The community may have taken its name from the Goff family that lived in the area.
1900 Rains County census, Prct #1
GOFF, William head w m May 1844 56 m5 AL SC GA
"married 34" marked through
farmer (owns farm)
Elizabeth wife w f Jly 1850 49 m5 AL SC AL
0 children, 0 living
Willie L. son w m Jan 1880 20 m0 TX AL AL
Mollie V. son w f Jly 1882 17 s TX AL AL
Annie B. dau w f Jan 1885 15 s TX AL AL
Exer dil w f Aug 1881 18 s TX AL TX
0 children, 0 living
"Rev. W.A. Goff is being solicited to run for County Treasurer, and is considering the matter. Brother Goff is one of the leading Baptist ministers of our county." (The Rains County Leader, January 29, 1904)
Several business in the Goff community were sold
and moved to different sections of the county in 1904. "The Rains
County Trading Co. has bought the Brown stock of drugs at Goff and will
move it to their new store at the coal mine." (The Rains County Leader,
January 15, 1904) The following week "the Harbison & Engleman
stock of goods at Goff was sold last Monday to the Rains County Trading
Company at 51 cents on the dollar." (The Rains County Leader, January
29, 1904) "Notice: All parties holding claims against the estate
of Harbison & Engleman will present the same to the undersigned at
Goff, Texas, within 30 days from date of this notice. All parties
owing Harbison & Engleman will settle with the undersigned at once.
Dec. 28, 1903
I.L. Brown, Trustee
(The Rains County Leader, January 15, 1904)
Other news relating to the Goff community
Persons not paying the telephone rent to company, who boards with a subscriber, may have the use of the telephone free in the exchange where he resides, but no free service to adjoining exchanges or toll calls, as from Emory to Point or Goff. This ruling becomes effective at once.
T.P. Stillwell, Mg’r
Lone Oak, Texas
(The Rains County Leader, June 24, 1904)
Goff, Texas, July 4th, 1904:
We, the undersigned citizens of Willow Springs community having seen a report in a Socialist paper published at Alba, Texas, and purporting to be a report of a committee appointed by the Willow Springs Baptist church to investigate rumors concerning false statements which was alleged that Bro. Goff had made, do hereby certify the report in the main meaning is incorrect, and the main part of the report left out and no such proof was ever made to the committee as stated therein. Also, the statements of one R.M. Dement are untrue. No acknowledgements were required of Bro. Goff, and he made none only what he made on his own voluntary motion for mixing up with the Socialist organizer Clark. Almost, the entire article in said socialist paper is in fact false and without one particle of foundation.
I.L. Brown, R.J. Cooke, W.B. Irons, J.W. Ham, J.W. Woodson, J.F. Hays, W.A. Hutchen, M.A. Beene, G.W. Alexander, R.D. Pollard,
The above is published and paid for by W.A. Goff, as is all matter relative to a candidate after his regular announcement is made, and we want to make a statement about the report that is going the rounds and that is that the LEADER refused to publish this report of the Willow Springs church as set forth by their committee. In the first place the church has never asked that any statement be published, and in the second place there was as many members of that committee asked us not to publish it as there was who asked us to publish it. There are five heard from. If the Willow Springs church wants anything published to vindicate herself, or any vindication of any of her members, why the columns of the LEADER stand wide open, and it will not cost her one cent. The LEADER does not stand for any one man in these little community affairs, but for the best interest of all the people.
(The Rains County Leader, July 1904)
"Messrs. R.J. Cooke and J.W. Harbison of the Goff country were in Emory Tuesday." (The Rains County Leader, August 11, 1905)
There has been no mention of the Goff community
found after the summer 1905 entry in the local newspaper.