THOMAS B. GOODMAN, M. D. The gentleman to a brief review of whose life and characteristics the reader's attention is herewith directed is among the foremost citizens of Cobden and has by his enterprise and progressive ideas contributed in a material way to the industrial and commercial advancement of the city and county. He has in the course of an honorable career been most successful in the business enterprises of which he is the head and is well deserving of mention in the biographical memoirs of Union county. Dr. Goodman would be a man of note did he limit his energies to his profession. His practice is large and he specializes in surgery, and hundreds of families have for many years looked up to him as a kindly friend and doctor, his practice covering a radius of seven miles around Cobden. Nevertheless, he devotes much time to agriculture, owning a fine farm of two hundred and twenty acres, about one hundred of which are devoted to farming. This farm contains large deposits of kaolin, or China clay, used in manufacturing porcelain, which he mines extensively and disposes of sixty-eight carloads per year. He has been most successful financially and owns no less than twenty-two properties in Cobden.
Dr. Goodman is a native son of Illinois, his birth having occurred at Anna, Illinois, March 22, 1859. He is the son of Moses Goodman, a native of North Carolina, who migrated to Southern Illinois in 1854, being one of the first settlers of Union county. He was born in 1817 and married Amanda C. Peeler, a native of Union county. Moses Goodman engaged in merchandising in Anna during his lifetime and lived to advanced age, his demise occurring in 1854. He reared a family of seven children, two of whom were the offspring of an early marriage contracted in North Carolina, namely: John and Dr. Mumford M. Goodman. The five children by the second marriage with Miss Peeler were as follows: Daniel Webster; William, deceased; Dr. Thomas B.; Nellie, deceased, was the wife of Dr. W. H. Damond, and Charles H. The doctor's mother, an honored lady, survives and makes her home at Anna.
Dr. Goodman received his early education in the schools of Anna and took advantage of their higher department. He began the study of medicine in 1880, when twenty-one years of age, entering the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Chicago, where he pursued a three years' course. He had spent a previous year taking a preparatory course at Valparaiso, Indiana. In the spring of 1884 he received his well-earned degree and immediately began his practice at Anna, where he remained for a year, in which brief time his unusual talents were apparent. He then located in Cobden, where he has ever since remained and where he enjoys an enviable reputation, the fame of his abilities being known far beyond the boundaries of the county. As before mentioned, he specializes in surgery, and he has made every effort to keep abreast of the latest discoveries in this wonderful science.
Dr. Goodman is a man of genial and interesting personality and his gifts are of remarkably versatile order. A particularly pleasant phase is his interest in antiques and Indian relics and some of his discoveries have been of considerable value to antiquarians. He has a truly wonderful collection, which includes an ancient flax spinning wheel and hackle, guns of a bygone age, Mound Builders' relics and Indian implements of
many kinds. He is never so fluent as when explaining these, his knowledge of old customs being unusual.
It has been said that the Doctor is an extensive miner of kaolin, his farm being situated in the heart of the kaolin district, near Kaolin Station, on the Mobile & Ohio Railroad. He ships his product to the eastern factories, engaging in the manufacture of terra cotta and fine clay work. The clay in his deposits extends to a depth of one hundred feet and is apparently inexhaustible, as it begins but a few feet below the surface. He has mined this for the past thirteen years. Kaolin is mined by means of pits sunk from the surface. A few years ago he sold one single deposit for ten thousand dollars, and this industry is a source of great financial benefit. He takes pleasure in his agricultural operations, which his tenant farmer conducts on one hundred acres. His beautiful residence is situated in Cobden and he has eloquently demonstrated his confidence in the future of the place by making himself the possessor of twenty-two lots within its pleasant boundaries. He also rents five houses.
Dr. Goodman is fond of automobiling and makes use of a motor in making his professional visits in the surrounding country. He has also made many pleasure trips, for he is an out-of-door man and enjoys living “close to nature's heart.” He also delights in hunting and is happiest when in the woods, engaged in hunting and fishing, in which sports he indulges whenever his manifold duties give him leisure.
Dr. Goodman was first married in 1886, Harriet Buck, of Union county, daughter of Adam Buck, becoming his wife. Her untimely demise occurred in 1889. In 1891 he was united to Mrs. Minnie (Ross) Scott, of Cobden, daughter of Dr. B. F. and Elizabeth (Muzzy) Ross. Mrs. Goodman is a lady of culture and charm. She was educated in Valparaiso, Indiana, and is a painter of great merit. She was previously married to a Mr. Scott, and the three children of this marriage are Florence, Bertha and Georgia. She and Dr. Goodman are the parents of three children, namely: Thomas M., Charles H. and Eloise D.
Dr. Goodman is a member of the Union County, Illinois State, American and Illinois Surgeons' Associations. He and his wife attend the Presbyterian church and are active in Cobden 's best social and philanthropical activities. His energy is unflagging and he has proved a success as physician, miner, farmer and antiquarian.