Goodall’s Bridge carries the road from Marion to Creal Springs (the old Creal road) over Crab Orchard Creek near the south line of section 20, East Marion Township. Nearby Joab and Nancy (Palmer) Goodall brought their family to new home in 1828. There they lived and prospered, and gave to the county of their adoption some of its leading citizens.
With the business acumen that distinguished the family, Joab Goodall chose a site where travelers passed and built a mill in 1830 to accommodate their needs. This horse mill stood near Crab Orchard Creek, a few miles west of the fork that took the old Lick road to Equality and the post road to Golconda. The Goodall land entry was made in 1836.
Goodall’s road district was bounded by the Franklin County commissioner’s court June 8, 1839; “Beginning at the cross roads in Davis Prairie, thence to the mouth of Pond Slough including James Ward in said district, thence down the Crabeard to the Bridge, thence with the old Golconda road to the forks of the road in the Crab Orchard Bottom, thence to Thomas Pully’s leaving said Pully in Harrison’s (mill) road district, thence to the nearest point on the Saline creek leaving John T. Davises old place and Thomas Pully in Harrison’s mill district. Thence down the Saline creek to the mouth of the pond Slough on the Saline creek, thence North to the beginning in Davis’s Prairie.” Road supervisors were Edward Franklin in 1838 and Aaron Alexander jn 1839.
Joab Goodall was named overseer of the poor in 1839 and elected a member of the Williamson County commissioners’ court in 1841, a time when all county business was transacted by the three members. His service ended with his death in October 1845. Mr. Goodall was the first member of the Christian church to come to the county, and with Mrs. Goodall became a member of the first church of the denomination organized at Marion, by Elders Bristow and Hayes about 1843.
Among the Goodall sons were John, William Parke, James Rankin, Francis Marion, Hardin, and Thomas. John Goodall moved into Marion after his father’s death and was elected sheriff in 1850. He became the county’s largest dealer in livestock and tobacco, and was for some years a partner of Marion C. (“Curt”) Campbell. Mrs. John Goodall was Sarah Ann Gannaway (Scates) Thorne, a daughter of Judge Walter B. Scates. Among their five sons was Samuel Henry Goodall. Mr. and Mrs. John Goodall had one daughter. Adella, whose marriage to Dr. Henry C. Mitchell of Corinth, was the outstanding event of the Marion social season in 1886.
William Parke Goodall (1827-1897) built the first Goodall house at Marion, and his son George H. Goodall built the present one. William P. Goodall was one of the village trustees in 1865, when Marion received its third charter, and his son succeeded him as alderman of the city thirty years after.
Francis M. Goodall followed his father as a miller, but with very different machinery. His flour mills were on West Street in Marion and he built the woolen mills there. Mrs. Goodall was a daughter of Samuel Dunaway, the merchant at Bainbridge and at Marion.
James Rankin Goodall married the daughter of Harrison’s mill owner. He died July 19, 1854 from the effects of fighting a prairie fire on Herrin’s prairie. His widow remarried, and on her farm the first coal prospecting was done in the Herrin field.
Hardin Goodall, whose business was a dry goods store in partnership with James M. Burkhart, was sheriff in 1868 and 1870, the trying period after the Civil war. Many others of the family have assumed positions of trust and responsibility for the county’s and city’s benefit.
The librarian at Marion whose painstaking research has aroused the county to prepare for its centennial celebration (1939) learned her first lessons in Williamson County history from the fertile memory of her mother, Mary (Goodall) Gray. Nannie (Gray) Parks has used those stories to engender a pride in the past that makes many a better citizen of the future.
See also, The Goodall Bridge Fiasco
(Extracted from Pioneer Folks and Places, Barbara Barr Hubbs, 1939, on sale at the Williamson County Museum)