William H. Goodwin
William H. Goodwin was one of the Cleveland life-saving crew during the stormy years of 1883-84, every member of which received United States gold life-saving medals of the first class for gallantry in the rescue of many lives from stranded vessels during the prevalence of violent storms. The station at that time had for its keeper Capt. C.C. Goodwin, father of the subject of this sketch, a man whose judgment and qualifications for that responsible position have never been questioned.
William H. Goodwin was born May 22, 1866, in Portland, Maine, removed with his parents to Cleveland in 1868, and after attending the public schools went to work in the spice mills of Messrs. Stevens & Son, on St. Clair street. In the spring of 1881 he and his father opened a boathouse and did a successful business for two years, after which he was enrolled as a member of the Cleveland life-saving crew, and took an active part in all the notable rescues they performed during the two years he remained; among these it is not out of place to mention the saving of the crews of the schooners Sophia Minch, H.P. Merrell and J.T. Johnson, a total of thirty-six lives, inside of forty-eight hours, and in the teeth of a living northwest gale. The Johnson was scuttled and sunk while the life-savers were on board in order to prevent her from going on the rocks. The same fall they assisted the Burnside, which was ashore and flying distress signals. Early in 1884 Mr. Goodwin was with the crew in the difficult task of getting off the schooner Moonlight, which was ashore off Avon Point, and he also aided in many small boat rescues. He went with his boat to Cincinnati during the flood at that city and Covington, KY., where the crew saved many lives. Mr. Goodwin jumping overboard once and saving a little girl whom the boat could not reach in time. The medal presented to him on this occasion was a ten dollar gold piece, one side of which has the inscription: "Presented to William H. Goodwin, by the Masonic Relief Association, Covington, 1884," on the reverse side is neatly engraved a pair of crossed oars. During this season the crew of the tug S. S. Stone was released by the life-savers from the beach at Nottingham, a feat attended with considerable danger, as the lifeboat capsized; she was righted, however, without loss of life.
In 1885 Mr. Goodwin served as fireman on the tug N. B. Gates until July, when he again became a member of the life-saving crew, this time remaining three years. During that period some notable work was done, especially as regards the tug Dreadnaught and the schooner R.K. Winslow, and individually Mr. Goodwin has to his credit the rescue of a small boy, who had fallen overboard and was helpless in the water. In 1889 he again opened a boathouse on the pier, and after conducting same two years he started a bath and boat house off Lake View Park. At the close of the season he shipped as fireman on the tug T.M. Moore, which boat was destroyed by fire on January 6, 1891, and he then entered the employ of the Vessel Owners Dry Dock Company, running the boiler and pumping engine. At the opening of the boating season he went to Dover, Ohio, where he conducted a boathouse for a time, later engaging as fireman on the tugs Allie May, James Amadeus and Dreadnaught, as fisherman on the E. R. Edson, and on the piledriver Dora as engineer. On February 14, 1893, his father died, and he again took charge of the boathouse on the piers, carrying on the business until August, and finishing the year on Cleveland harbor tugs. In the spring of 1894 he went to Erie and engineered the tug F. M. Matson, and during the winter took charge of the electric light plant of the Willliams Publishing Company, in Cleveland. The next spring he entered the employ of E. R. Edson, as engineer of the fishing tug Louisa, which berth he holds up to the time of this writing.
Mr. Goodwin was united in marriage to Miss Mary Watson, and two children were born to the union: Jessie Irene and Clifford John, both of whom died in infancy. Mr. Goodwin is a member of the Lincoln Council No. 20, Royal Templars. They reside at No. 32 Green street, Cleveland, Ohio.
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This version of Volume II is based, with permission, on the work of the great volunteers at the Marine Captains Biographies site. To them goes the credit for reorganizing the content into some coherent order. The biographies in the original volume are in essentially random order.
Some of the transcription work was also done by Brendon Baillod, who maintains an excellent guide to Great Lakes Shipwreck Research.