Capt Alfred Goodwill

Capt Alfred Goodwill

Death 27 Nov 1905 (aged 75)
Minden, Webster Parish, Louisiana, USA
Burial Minden, Webster Parish, Louisiana, USA
Memorial ID 56088538 · View Source
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By his death in 1905, Alfred Goodwill became one of the largest landowners in north Louisiana. He was extremely active in civic and religious aspects of Minden, Louisiana. Goodwill Road in Webster Parish is named after Capt. Alfred Goodwill. His store, a precursor to a department store or superstore, was the largest in Louisiana. Coincidentally, he was the great-grandfather of a Louisiana governor, Mike Foster. Capt. Goodwill was also a member of the Minden Railroad and Compress Company that was instrumental in convincing Minden citizens and railroad barons of the importance of running a tap track from the main depot of Lane's Station (Sibley) to Minden proper. That decision proved highly profitable for the citizens of Minden.

Born in London, England, son of John & Susannah Goodwill of Hull. Alfred would sail to America in 1849 shortly after the death of his parents.

The 1850 U.S. Federal Census shows Alfred as a 19 year old tailor, born in England, living in Shreveport, Caddo Parish, Louisiana. He was boarding with a family from France by the name of Jus.

He settled in Claiborne parish, Louisiana, where he'd work in Webster parish as a clerk in John Chaffe's store. By 1870, living in Claiborne parish, Ward 4, his occupation listed as a Ret. D.G. Merchant (most likely retail drug merchant).

Alfred's first wife Elizabeth died in August of 1869; leaving him a widower with several children to raise. The children listed are:
*Alfed J.

Alfred married second wife, Ida Victoria Hill in 1873, and moved to the town of Minden, Webster parish, Louisiana. His occupation of dealer in general merchandise was by far not as descriptive as the truth of his retail prowess. He opened an 18,000 square foot superstore in September of 1880 that boasted many innovations that would be adopted in other retail businesses worldwide in the future. Some of those advances were large plate glass windows, allowing true light to shine inside the store for better merchandise viewing, fifty gas lights on the interior for shopping after dusk and a variety of goods and services until then, unknown in one consolidated shopping area. One could purchase a buggy, a casket (and embalming and services to go with it), along with dry goods, pharmaceutical supplies, groceries and candies.

In the 1880 US Federal Census, Captain's children listed above were still living with him and second wife, Ida, along with their children:

1900 US Federal Census:
Alfred Goodwill, Ida, Olive, Harry and son Donald (born in 1881). Alfred is listed as a dry goods merchant, Ida lists 5 children born, with 3 still living.

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  • Created by: Scout Finch
  • Added: 6 Aug 2010
  • Find a Grave Memorial 56088538
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Capt Alfred Goodwill (7 Nov 1830–27 Nov 1905), Find a Grave Memorial no. 56088538, citing Minden City Cemetery, Minden, Webster Parish, Louisiana, USA ; Maintained by Scout Finch (contributor 47112463) .