HENRY THOMAS GODDARD. In visiting a town for the first time one often has a man pointed out as "one of our big men," and upon asking what he has done, receives the reply, "He is president of such and such a bank." Although such a position means that the man must have ability, especially in a financial way, yet in the minds of thinking men, the presidency of a bank does not entitle him to the title of "big
man." Today is the day of responsibility, when the world is gradually being brought to the realization that men are members of society and not individual and independent units and that each man bears upon his shoulders some part of the civic, political, and social problems of the whole country. For this reason, Henry Thomas Goddard, of Mt. Carmel, Illinois, is entitled to the title referred to above. For in spite of the duties which entail upon him through his presidency of the First National Bank, he has found the time to take a deep and active interest in local affairs, in educational matters, and in all questions pertaining to the public welfare. He is a man who thinks upon the problems which the country is facing, and does not rely on the newspapers or the words of political agitators; therefore he is in a position to keep a cool head in a time of need.
Henry Thomas Goddard was born on the 20th of June, 1852, at Marion, in Williamson county, Illinois, the son of James and Winnifred (Spiller) Goddard. His father was born in Franklin county, Virginia, in 1818, and his mother was a native of Williamson county, Illinois. Mrs. Goddard was a daughter of William and Winnifred (Benson) Spiller, both of whom were natives of Tennessee, having been born in Robinson county in that state. They came to Illinois and were among the first settlers of Williamson county. James T. Goddard and his wife lived for a time in Bainbridge, Williamson county, Illinois, where he was engaged in the mercantile business, thence coming to Marion, Illinois, and continued in the same business. The more remote ancestors of Henry T. Goddard were Scotch-Irish his forebears having immigrated from Scotland, first to Cork in Ireland, and thence to the United States. We do not wish to take away from the glory of Mr. Goddard's achievements, but still one always expects more of a man with Scotch-Irish blood in his veins than of other men, and Mr. Goddard's characteristics mark him strongly as being of this combination. His grandfather, James Goddard, was a native of Virginia, and served in a Virginian regiment during the War of 1812. He later moved to Williamson county, Illinois, where he died. His wife, Mrs. Maria (Davis-McHaney) Goddard, was a second cousin of Jefferson Davis, the president of the Confederacy, and was an aunt of General John T. Davis.
The preparatory educational training of Mr. Goddard was obtained in the Marion schools, and then he was sent to the Normal University at Normal, Illinois, and later to Notre Dame University, the well known institution at Notre Dame, Indiana. Upon leaving school he went to work in his brother-in-law's dry goods store at Marion, and as soon as opportunity offered he entered the banking business, for he always felt an inclination in this direction. He was connected with the Exchange Bank in Marion for ten years, learning the business from the ground up. Therefore when he left Marion in 1890 to accept the position of cashier of the First National Bank of Mt. Carmel, he was thoroughly capable of filling this very responsible position. The work was even harder than is that of the average cashier's, for the bank had just been organized, and the responsibility for much of its initial success rested upon Mr. Goddard. How well he filled his position is shown by the fact that in February, 1904, he was elected president, and has held this post since that time. His judgment on financial matters is highly respected, and he has proved that he has powers of organization and executive ability above the average. He is president of the Bank of Wayne City, at Wayne City, Illinois, and is chairman of Group 9, of the Illinois Bankers' Association.
As to his public offices Mr. Goddard has served as city treasurer, as
alderman, and as a member of the board of education, and in each of these positions proved to be a sincere and efficient friend of the people. He is also a member of the board of trustees of the Southern Normal University, at Carbondale, Illinois. Fraternally Mr. Goddard is a member of the Masonic order, of the Elks and of the Knights of Pythias. For several years he served as district deputy grand master of the Masons and is now a member of the committee on mileage and per diem of the Grand Lodge.
The marriage of Mr. Goddard to Mary E. Houts, daughter of C. J. and Mary J. Houts, took place at Marion, Illinois, on the 4th of September, 1873. The father of Mrs. Goddard was a pioneer Methodist minister of Illinois and Missouri, and was a co-laborer with Peter Cartwright, his ministry extending over a period of forty-seven years. His wife was Jane (Randle) Houts, and was a descendant of the famous Randolph family of Virginia. Mr. and Mrs. Goddard have four children, as follows: Lora Houts Goddard; Lucile Houts, who is now Mrs. Roberts; Roy Houts Goddard; and Henry Houts Goddard. Mrs. Goddard, like her husband, takes a keen interest in public affairs, and is a prominent figure in charity, club, social and fraternal affairs. She is past grand matron of the Order of the Eastern Star of Illinois, is a member of the State Board of Charities, was actively connected with the Reviewers Matinee, a local literary and civic improvement club, and is now president of the Woman's Club of Mt. Carmel.