Biographies and Obituaries
We are compiling as many biographies and/or obituaries of the early ministers of Van Zandt County during the years 1848 to 1920 as we can find. Some lived in the county a short time but some lived out their lives here. We welcome submissions if you have an ancestor who was a pastor or minister at any time in this county. Email us, or write to the Van Zandt County Genealogical Society, P.O. Box 1388, Canton, TX 75103.
Bryd Reed Goodwin
"Terminating an illness of several weeks, the spirit of Rev. B. R. Goodwin left its tenement of clay at his late residence near Lindale last Saturday evening at 8:30 o'clock and wended its way to its Heavenly home to receive its eternal reward. The remains were brought to Wills Point Sunday afternoon, accompanied by the sorrowing family and several sympathizing friends, and carried to the residence of Mrs. G. H. Goodwin. Funeral services were conducted at the Methodist church Monday morning at 9:30 o'clock by Rev. E. L. Ingram, pastor of the Wills Point Methodist church, assisted by Rev. H. P. Davis of the Baptist church.
The latter joined in the service by special request of the deceased and he paid a glowing tribute to the life and character of Bro. Goodwin, making special reference to his high ideals, firm convictions and energetic work for the good of humanity. The honorary pall bearers were Capt. T. G. Thompson, Capt. A. N. Alford, T. J. McKain, B. W. Bruce, J. A. Curtis and W. J. Wilson. The active pall bearers were J. H. Human, H. Gilchrist, R. M. Samford, J. E. Blakeley, W. L. Baker and T. C. Sadler. A large concourse of friends attended the service at the church and many followed the remains to beautiful White Rose cemetery, where they were tenderly laid to rest.
Rev. B. R. Goodwin was born in Tennessee March 10, 1847, and moved to Mississippi with his parents when quite small. He grew to manhood there and was united in marriage to Mrs. E. P. Barton at Water Valley, Miss., on Dec. 3, 1867, who was his companion for 45 years and survives him. They came to Texas in 1872 and moved to Wills Point soon after coming to the state. The deceased served as justice of the peace in the Wills Point precinct for many years in the early days and when the town was incorporated he became the first mayor. He was an undertaker here for many years. He took a very active interest in church work and for the moral development of the community, serving as a local Methodist preacher for many years and as a supply preacher in the Texas conference for two years each at Geneva, Shelbyville, Carlisle and Mt. Sylvan.
About five years ago he was compelled to give up regular preaching on account of bad health, and secured a truck farm about a mile from Lindale, where he has resided. The deceased enlisted in the Confederate army early in 1861 at Springdale, Miss., but owing to the inability of the Confederacy to equip his company for service it was not ordered to the front till the following August. He belonged to company G in the first Mississippi regiment of infantry, which was organized at Iuka Springs with Jno. M. Simonton as Colonel. The first battle engaged in was that of Fort Donaldson, where his whole regiment was captured after a fearful battle with the Union army and fleet under General U. S. Grant. He escaped and served in other commands until his regiment was exchanged at Vicksburg. He was in the battle of Shiloh, then with General Bragg in his campaign through Tennessee and Kentucky; was wounded by a shot in the left arm in a battle at Munsfordsville, Ky., but did not leave his command and took part in the awful battle at Perryville, Tenn., and then returned by way of Cumberland Gap and Chattanooga, Tenn.
A few days before the battle of Murfreesboro, while General Bragg was maneuvering for position and awaiting reinforcements, was ordered to join his original regiment at Vicksburg and was sent to Port Hudson, La., where they had a long and bloody siege by General N. P. Banks with large land force and Commodore Farragut's fleet. For 48 days and nights his command was almost constantly under fire--by land force by day and the fleet by night. Four days after Vicksburg capitulated his command, being out of provisions and having such heavy loss, had to become prisoners of war a second time. Later he was in the Jonesboro fight when General J. B. Hood made his last stand after falling back from Atlanta, and followed Hood at Franklin and Nashville. After that Joe E. Johnston took command and he served on a long march through Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina in making a demonstration in the rear of Grant's army in hopes of giving aid to Lee at Petersburg.
After Lee's surrender his command turned West, was at Raleigh, N. C., when President Davis passed on a train as a refugee and his command surrendered the third time at a place called Company Shops as the cause of the Confederacy had gone down in defeat.".....obituary from the Wills Point Chronicle, 19 Jun 1913
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