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ludington

 

 

DEATH OF B. J.GOODSELL

THE SECOND PROMINENT PIONEER CITIZEN WITHIN A WEEK

LAST OF GENERATION

Long Life of Public Usefulness and Private Industry

The death Saturday morning of Bennett J. Goodsell at his home in this city is the second within the current week of old and prominent businessmen in the city. Monday morning, William Heysett. Saturday morning, B. J.Goodsell.

He was at the store last night at 6 o'clock; there seemed no cause to apprehend that the end was so near, any more than for the past year, though being a sufferer from asthma and having a weakened heart death was not unexpected. Mr.Goodsell himself waited patiently and unafraid, the coming of the call. In fact in the months past he has on several occasions believed the 'time of his departure was at hand. His parents came to Michigan from Germany when the' deceased was 8 years old and settled on a farm 9 miles from Hillsdale.

The great war '61 to '65 found him a trusted employee of the government In the locomotive works in Nashville, Tenn. He came home again in the last year of the war when all operations had drifted from that war base and on the day that Lee surrendered was in Pentwater preparing to open the first general iron and hardware store north of Muskegon. In this venture 'his brother Major George Goodsell who took part at Appomattox joined him as a partner.

In May of the year 1902 Mr. Goodsell was elected mayor the last time, the Record appeal printed this short account of his career as regards his life and public service in this county which seems appropriate now that the sturdy body and active mind have passed beyond human ken.

"Bennett J. Goodsell, Ludingtonís new mayor, is pre-eminently the pioneer businessman of this city, having been continuously engaged in the hardware and machine business for "the last 32' years. Mr. Goodsell is 61 years of age and is still an active force in both business and politics. His record in public office is a long and creditable one, showing a personal popularity such as but a few men have achieved.

This present term as Mayor is the fourth time Mr Goodsell served in that capacity. He was first elected mayor in the third year after Ludington was incorporated as a city and during-that year he also served as supervisor and chief engineer of the fire department. In the fall of 1886 he was elected probate judge of Mason County, defeating the late Judge James B. McMahon (republican) by a majority of 98 votes in a county which in those days was republican by a normal majority of .700. He has been supervisor in the Second Ward 17 years. He also served several terms on the school board, acting as director during the important years of school-house erection.

A faithful and unwavering friend the deceased seemed void of that other quality said to abide in such minds, a good hater. Hate had no place in his mind, he was forgiving and generous. Perhaps to this most fortunate and happy quality may be traced his great personal popularity. Though he outlived most of his contemporaries, held his multitude of friends till death separated them.

He is survived only by his daughter Mrs. George Ackersville, having outlived his brothers and sisters, his wife every other but distant relations. Funeral services were held at St. Simonís Catholic church Tuesday morning at 9 o'clock and the remains were escorted to the cemetery by the C.M. B. A. of which Mr. Goodsell was an honored member. Since the death of his wife Mr.Goodsell has continued to occupy the rooms fitted up in the Goodsell block for a home many years ago. Mrs.Goodsell died February 15th, 1911.

Martin Rans the foreman in the mechanical department of the hardware business has occupied a room in Mr. Goodsell's home acting as companion and watcher. During these months both men have on several occasions believed death had come to Mr. Goodsell. It was in view of the event now culminated that last December the management of the Hardware Co. was given over. Last night Mr. Rans was awakened by a call and hastened to Mr. Goodsell who said, "I am dying this time" and lapsed into unconsciousness.

Physicians and relatives were summoned, he gradually grew weaker and the end came shortly after midnight. Few men who have been of the present generation in this city or county have possessed the quiet energy and persistent vigor that have been wrapped up in the life that has passed from our sight. He was born in Germany at St. Leon in 1837 near Heidleberg he was 75 years old at his death.

 

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Note to researchers, I do not maintain information on families outside of my own at this time, Your best chance to contact other family researchers and find information is going to be in posting some of your family information on the Mason County Boards. Volunteers and lookup materials can be found in the "lookups" category. -I routinely check the postings if I have information or can steer you in another direction I will contact you. I do not provide research services. Historic White Pine Village can help you in that area.

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