[ This article was excerpted from the book "Progressive Men of the State of Montana"]
E. H. Goodman:
EH. GOODMAN, of Townsend, Broadwater county, Mont., one of the most prominent attorneys of the state, has illustrated by his life work what pluck, energy and industry can accomplish. In his career many an ambitious young man, and many partially despondent older men. can see a worthy example. That he has made his way in life against great obstacles is but added proof of his indomitable will and perseverance. Some of the hardest problems of life have been set before him and his present success shows how worthily he has triumphed.
The subject of this sketch was born at Meeme,Manitowoc county. Wis., September 14, 1854. He is the son of Thomas Goodman, of Scotch-Irish descent, although born in New York. There he was united in marriage to Miss Mary A. Roberts, a native of Wales, Great Britain. From Wisconsin the family removed to Chicago in 1862. Here E. H. Goodman attended the public schools of that city for eight years. The family then removed to Watseka, Ill., seventy-five miles from Chicago, where they still reside, consisting of motber, two brotliers and one sister. In 1872 Mr. Goodman removed to Cliicago, where he engaged in the brick business with his stepfather, remaining there three years. Then he returned to the farm and worked on the same industriously in conjunction with other members of the family until 1879, when he sold out his interests and went to Valparaiso, Ind. Here for two years he attended the North Indiana Normal School, when, his funds running low, he engaged in the occupation of school teaching for a year. Returning to Valparaiso, he re-entered the Normal School, where he remained the following two years, securing his degree of Bachelor of Laws in May, 1884.
With the termination of his course at the Normal School Mr. Goodman went on to Emporia, Kan., where he formed a partnership with a party named Darling, and they opened a law office. At the outset the young men found that it was not all that fancy had painted. They were poorly supplied with funds, business was not remunerative and the law partners soon reached a point where it was plain that something tangible must be accomplished in the way of obtaining money. A council of war resulted in the decision that Mr. Goodman should go out into the world and endeavor to make sufficient to tide them over the disheartening financial straits into which they had fallen. Meanwhile Mr. Darling was to remain at Emporia and attempt to hold the business together and keep the office open. But all was not easy sailing for our subject. He at first went bravely to work on a farm in order to secure funds with which to start him in the book business. Subsequently he secured an agency, canvassed throughout central Kansas, but soon became again financially embarrassed, and then it was decided to sell out everything connected with the office except the library. They did so. and then both Mr. Goodman and Mr. Darling commenced teaching school, the former in Youngstown, Marion county, and the latter in McPherson countv. Kan.
They taught one term and in June, 1885, they both removed to Townsend, Mont. Here they recommenced school leaching, Mr. Goodman in Townsend and Mr. Darling in Missouri Valley. In 1886 Mr. Darling recommenced the practice of law in Lewistown, Fergus county. He remained there two years, when the partnership which had been continued under so many adverse circumstances was dissolved, Mr. Darling removing to California.
Our subject continued to teach school until the spring of 1888, when he, too, began the practice of law at Townsend. In 1889 Mr. Goodman was elected to the Montana legislature and served in the first and second legislative assemblies. During these terms he was ever active and zealous in the formation of Broadwater county, and by the bill creating the county he was made county attorney, which position he held for two years. In 1898 he ran for county attorney, and was defeated, but was subsequently re-elected in the November election of 1900. Up to the time of the presidential campaign of 1896 he had been a Republican, but at this period he joined the Silver Republican party and on its dissolution he cast his lot with the Democrats, with whom he has since affiliated. When the town of Townsend was first organized, as town attorney he formulated the ordinances of the town.
Mr. Goodman has been admitted to practice before the superior courts of the states of Indiana, Kansas and Montana. He has been a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows since 1886, has passed through all the chairs and is now grand master of the Grand Lodge of the state. He is also a member of the Woodmen of the World, through all the chairs of which he has passed, and has represented them in state camps.
Married June, 1888, to Miss Eva. daughter of E. A. Allen, of Diamond City, Ind. One child, Mary Zeberna.