Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Homer Goodwin, Attorney and Conductor on the Underground Railroad

In 1896, Homer Goodwin was the oldest practicing attorney of the Erie County Bar. He was born on October 15, 1819 in Burton, Ohio in Geauga County, the son of Doctor Erastus Goodwin. Before entering the practice of law, Homer Goodwin was a teacher in the public schools of Sandusky, and was an 1844 graduate of the Western Reserve College. He married Marietta Cowles on October 3, 1849, in Cuyahoga County, Ohio.

Rush Sloane wrote in the July 1888 issue of the Firelands Pioneer that Homer Goodwin was a conductor on the Underground Railroad in Sandusky. He was among a group of individuals who gave money and personal aid to help fugitive slaves escape to freedom. A brochure which gives details about the Underground Railroad in Sandusky, available from the Lake Erie Shores & Islands Visitors Center, lists the former home of Homer Goodwin, at 327 Hancock Street, as a “safe house” for those individuals seeking freedom via the Underground Railway.

On July 6, 1896, Homer Goodwin died suddenly at his home on Columbus Avenue in Sandusky. A physician was called to his assistance, but nothing could be done, and he died at 6:15 a.m. The funeral for Home Goodwin was held at his residence on July 8, 1896. Burial was in Oakland Cemetery. Mr. Goodwin was survived by his brother Lewis H. Goodwin, a judge of Erie County Probate Court; a sister, Mrs. Ross of Wabash, Indiana, and a daughter, Mrs. Denver J. Mackey.

The Follett House Museum owns a suit that once belonged to Homer Goodwin.


Anonymous said...

Love this blogspot - please keep up the good work!

Unknown said...

I own the Erastus Goodwin House (father to Homer) in Burton Ohio. Found your site doing some historical research on the Underground Railroad in this area. See www.GoodwinHouseBB.com

Robyn Morris

Anonymous said...

His daughter Maryette Godwin Mackey was a suffragette. She graduated from Wellesley, married Denver Mackey, and moved to Los Angeles where she served as dean of the University of Southern California.

Ramona French said...

I just bought a book that evidently was once owned by Homer Goodwin - it is "Thaddeus of Warsaw," and on the front end page there is the inscription (in beautiful penmanship) "Homer Goodwin, Sandusky, Ohio, Nov. 1881." I looked up his name on Google, which is what brought me to this page.