Columbus, Ohio USA
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The Short North That Was
Dr. Lincoln Goodale and His Living Legacy
January 2007 Issue
by Beverly Mullet Randall
The Goodale Family in Central Ohio
Dr. Lincoln Goodale, Courtesy of the Columbus Metropolitan Library, Division of Biography, History & Travel
When Dr. Lincoln Goodale and his mother arrived in Franklinton in 18051, it was still a wild and fairly unsettled place. The settlers continued to live in fear of Indian attacks, and as late as 1811 there was not one church, schoolhouse, pleasure carriage or bridge over any stream within 100 miles. Physicians of the time had to reach patients by crossing streams on horseback (or even swimming across) and traipsing through dark forests in the middle of the night using only the stars to guide them to a patient’s cabin in the woods. The Franklinton homesteaders frequently suffered from fevers and other sicknesses but were blessed in the early days with not one but four physicians: Dr. Lincoln Goodale, Dr. John Bull, Dr. Samuel Parsons and Dr. John Edmiston. Dr. Goodale is considered to have been the first of these four physicians to practice in Columbus and Franklin County.
Since Franklinton was a small village, Dr. Goodale opened a pharmacy along with his medical practice to supplement his income. The operation was a success, and Dr. Goodale invested his first profits in real estate. When the War of 1812 broke out, Dr. Goodale followed his father’s patriotic suit and was one of the first to enlist, serving as the regiment surgeon. He was taken prisoner in Detroit and sent with the wounded men to Malden, Ontario, Canada, and later to Cleveland when the wounded men were moved there in a prisoner exchange.
After the War, he returned to Franklinton and in a few years moved to Columbus where he occupied himself with a mercantile business and real estate acquisitions. His post-war mercantile business began with L. Goodale & Co., a dry goods store in 1813. After the defeat of Tecumseh in October, 1813, large parties from Ohio Indian tribes encamped along the Scioto River and became frequent traders with Lincoln Goodale and other local merchants. The Indians traded furs, baskets, maple sugar, venison, and other articles for silver, powder, lead, tobacco, knives, cloth, blankets, and whiskey. These early trading exchanges usually culminated in the Indians participating in three to four days of drunken singing, dancing, and howling interrupted by frequent brawls.2
Four years later he formed Goodale & Buttles through a partnership with Joel Buttles, a Worthington school teacher. In 1818 the partnership was dissolved when Buttles left for Philadelphia. While running his mercantile business, Dr. Goodale also held two political offices: from 1821 to 1823 he was a city councilman and from 1828 to 1830, city recorder.
Lincoln Goodale never married, but his elder sister, Cynthia Goodale Barnes, also one of the first women and children to arrive in Marietta, combined the fates and fortunes of the Goodale and Kilbourne pioneer families when, in 1808, she married Col. James Kilbourne, the founder of the Scioto Emigration Company that settled Worthington, Ohio. Cynthia, the widow of Dr. Samuel Barnes, and her three young children had joined Lincoln and their mother in Franklinton shortly after their arrival in 1805. James Kilbourne had come to Ohio in 1803 with his first wife, Lucy, and their six children as part of the Scioto Company, a band of pioneers from Connecticut. Lucy died in 1807 giving birth to their eighth child.
The marriage of James Kilbourne, a well-loved and trusted community leader, a kind-hearted and jolly man who loved to sing, and the young and attractive Cynthia, appears to have been a pioneer love story of devotion and companionship, much like James’ first marriage with Lucy, characterized by frontier joys and heartbreak. James and Cynthia would have five children: twins, Elizabeth and Cynthia in 1809 (Elizabeth died in 1810); Lincoln in 1810; Charlotte in 1812 (died in 1813); and James, M.D. in 1815.
L. Goodale’s Franklinton Dry Goods
Store c.1813. Courtesy of the
Columbus Metropolitan Library
Their son, Lincoln Kilbourne began his mercantile career working as a clerk in his Uncle Lincoln’s store in 1825 and then became a partner 10 years later in 1835 after which the Kilbourne firm was known as Fay & Kilbourne, then Kilbourne & Kuhns in 1852, and finally the Kilbourne-Jacobs Company, operating from 1881 to 1923. James Kilbourne lived to be 80 and Cynthia lived into her 80s, becoming one of the oldest residents of Ohio along with one of the first residents and her brother.
By 1837, Lincoln Goodale had erected Goodale’s Row, a log and clapboard building long enough to house several businesses, including his own store, which was again called L. Goodale & Co. Goodale’s Row was located on the west side of High Street where the Lazarus store used to operate. Over the next 50 years, through his mercantile and real estate ventures, he would become one of the city’s largest landowners and, according to some sources, Columbus’ first millionaire.
In April 1909, a local newspaper ran a news story about the income taxes paid by local residents in 1864, when an income tax was put into effect that year. This story provides an index for Lincoln Goodale’s wealth at the time. Of the 2150 Columbus people paying income taxes in 1864, many incomes were under $100 per year with a few of the lowest ranging from $4 to $7 and most ranging from $100 to $500 per year. Only 30 of the Columbus taxpayers had annual incomes over $10,000 per year and only four of those were over $30,000: George Parsons at $32,180, W.B. Hubbard at $46,325, W. Monypeny at $47,048, and L. Goodale at $67,213! At the time of his death, Lincoln Goodale’s estate was reportedly valued at $1,500,000, a vast fortune at the time.
Having amassed a huge fortune, Dr. Goodale became one of Columbus’ greatest benefactors and influential community participants. Some of his more notable civic participation included being one of the first incorporators of the First Presbyterian Society of Columbus in 1821, and serving on the board of trustees of the Ohio School for the Deaf from 1830 to 1835 and Starling Medical College for 1849. He was on Capital University’s first board of trustees when it incorporated in 1850, and in the early 1850s donated a four-acre tract of land located on the northwest corner of Goodale and High streets to Capital University.
(To be continued)
1. All sources referenced have cited 1805 as the date Lincoln Goodale and his mother came to Franklinton, Ohio. The one exception is a short autobiographical letter written by Lincoln Goodale on April 3, 1866, for the 78th Anniversary of the First Settlement of Ohio at Marietta on April 7, 1866, in which he states that he came to Franklinton, Ohio in 1806. “OHIO HISTORY- The Scholarly Journal of the Ohio Historical Society,” Early Ohio Medicine-A Museum Display, Vol. 54, p. 383 claims Dr. Goodale arrived in Franklinton, Ohio in 1805, making him the first physician in Columbus and Franklin County.
2. “OHIO HISTORY-The Scholarly Journal of the Ohio Historical Society,” Lucas Sullivant – His Personality and Adventures, Vol. 37, p. 189.
Special thanks to the Columbus Metropolitan Library, Division of Biography, History and Travel for their help.
©2007 Short North Gazette, Columbus, Ohio. All rights reserved.