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Jonas J. Good, M. D.

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Jonas J. Good, M. D.

Huntington County Volunteer (View posts)
Posted: 5 Jan 2001 5:00AM GMT
Classification: Biography
Edited: 23 Jun 2001 9:50AM GMT
Surnames: Good, Griffith, Kerriger, Slife, Walters, Plummer
From Biographical Memoirs of Huntington County, 1901, pages 306-310

Jonas J. Good was born in Perry county, Ohio, December 22, 1832, being the son of Benjamin and Nancy (Griffith) Good, he a representative of the early German emigrants of Somerset county, Pennsylvania, and she a daughter of one of the prominent Irish-American families of Rockingham county, Virginia, though they were married in Perry county, Ohio, where he had come when a young man. After his marriage he began the development of a new farm from the heavy woods of Perry county, but the progress being slow, decided he could better the situation in this western country; accordingly, in the year 1847 he brought his family to Huntington county, Indiana. One son, John A. Good, was already here, being one of the men who were even then getting quite a farm hewed from the forest. There were five sons and six daughters in the family, all but one of whom arrived at years of maturity, while at the present writing, three only survive. The sons were John, who came to this state in 1843, operated a mill here for years, and finally passed from among the living, in Wells county, having reached the age of seventy-two. George W. was one of Warren's older merchants, going into the Forty-seventh Indiana Regiment during the Civil war as lieutenant, removing later to Illinois and finally taking up his abode in Kansas, where he died at the age of sxty-eight. Joseph was the other member of the old and widely known firm of Good Brothers, merchants at Warren for many years, removing to the west with his brother, with whom he was associated for years, and going into the territory of Oklahoma at the time of the grand rush at its opening, residing there until some three years since, when he followed some of his family to Asheville, North Carolina, where he died about two years since, aged seventy-five. The next was the late banker and all round well-known and highly respected business man of Warren, Samuel L. Good, the youngest, whose late death is remembered by all the residents of the town. The daughters were Rebecca, who died a young married woman in Ohio; Susan was the wife of John Kerriger, of Jefferson township, who died in May, 1901; and Mary is Mrs. Daniel K. Slife, of Milford, Illinois. They came to Indiana in 1845, removing to Illinois after residing here some fifteen years; Jemima was here married to Ephraim Walters, removed with him to Ohio, and some twenty years later going to Illinois, dying in the city of Chicago; and Sarah J. is the wife of the old hardware merchant of Warren,--Edward Smethurst.

Benjamin Good's idea in coming to this section was that he could render more substntial assistance to his children, and ever took the deepest interest in the progress and success that each one attained, rendering valuable aid at critical times. Settling on a farm near Warren, which is now owned by Hon. George H. Thompson, he resided there till the death of his companion at the age of sixty-five, when he removed to the village, his latter years being passed with his daughter,--Mrs. Smethers,--and passing beyond the river at the age of eighty-two. He was one of the strong men of the years that are past, his influence being ever exerted for the good of the community, being especially active in furthering the cause of morality. A radical believer in the ultimate salvation of all men, and that human beings were not intended to be destroyed, he assisted materially in founding and building the Universalist church, retaining an active relation to it so long as he lived; and, when the end came, he passed from among men in the full assurance that the gates of the "beautiful city" would open for him, with the same angels on guard as if his views had been more in accord with the orthodox faith. His knowledge of the Bible was marvelous, there being few who had it more readily at hand, the readiness he ever evinced in supporting his faith making him no easy antagonist. Being but fifteen upon arrival at Warren, Jonas remained with his father till arriving at the age of twenty-one, going that day to Huntington, where he secured a position with Benjamin Orton, who carried on an extensive mercantile and grain business. He was placed in charge of the warehouse on the banks of the canal, attending to the loading and unloading of canal boats as they came and went. He was later with Samuel Moore, the other large merchant, remaining one year with the two, when he returned to Warren and began to read medicine with Doctor Daniel Palmer, who had been in practice here for but a short time. But one other physician was here at the time--Dr. Michael Chadwick, though Dr. I. E. Lyon came soon after this period. In due time he entered the Rush Medical College in Chicago in 1857--here he was fitted to engage in the practice of medicine, which he did at Warren, remaining here till 1860, when he married and removed to Hartford City, where he had an extended practice all through the war period. Four years later he returned to Warren, and as long as he was in practice remained the counselor of many of the leading families, his careful attention to the demands and necessities of patients making him popular as a practitioner. The course of years had made many changes in the practice of medicine as well as in the profession generally, and, never having completed a thorough course, he decided to attend the Chicato Medical College till receiving his diploma, which he did in 1868, though the extensive and successful actual practice was worth many times, viewed financialy (sic), what he learned in the schools. We are informed that Dr. Good was specially well blessed with the proper temperament to make a successful physician, not only having the confidence in himself that made his prescriptions of value, but having the faculty of implanting the confidence in others without which no doctor's presence is of much weight. His entrance to the sick chamber was inspiring to the patient as well as to the attendants, there being ever present that cheerful spirit that did more for the sick than all the category of drugs carried by a dozen physicians. Being naturally a student, he gave careful attention to his diagnoss (sic), and then relied more upon his own observation of the conditions in similar cases than to the direction of the books, the complications arising being so delicate and the temperament of the patients having so much to do with recovery, that each case was studied independently of any previous one. He was one of the recognized meritorious members of the Grant and Huntington County Medical Societies, in which his advice and counsel carried much weight. Such of the older practitioners of this section of the state as Doctor Lomax, of Marion, and Dr. Grayston, of Huntington, who were specialists to a certain extent, were among his closest personal and professional friends, and often he would seek these gentlemen for consultation in serious cases. His relations to others in the profession was ever to encoruage (sic), never to antagonize, and his office has turned out some of the ablest young physicians of this quarter of the state, among them being Dr. Charles Mason, of Hartford City, and Dr. John Sproul, of Warren, the latter being associated with him in the practice for several years.

His respect for the profession ever growing the more he advanced into the sublime secrets of the science, he encouraged his own son to follow in his foosteps (sic), and when he had graduated and was ready to take up the active work, the father yielded his clientele to him, the passing years assuring him that the patients have not suffered by the change.

The Doctor began to invest in land some years since, ever having an old interest in matters pertaining to the farm, more particularly to stock growing and feeding and now owns a three-hundred-and-ten-acre farm lying a short distance north of the town, which is largely devoted to the raising of stock and which produces each season two or three car loads of fat cattle and a proporionate number of hogs and lambs. Beside these operations on his own farm, he has been largely identified with others in buying and shipping fat stock, his associates in this line being principally Willim Perdue and Lloyd Jones. The Doctor is the pioneer investigator of both oil and gas in this vicinity, having some twelve or fifteen years since organizedd a company with six thousand five hundred dollars capital to prospect for gas, sinking a well in the town limits, striking at the depth of one thousand feet such a pressure of oil that it was abandoned, oil at that time not being considered a valuable find. They continued to sink other wells until the capital was exhausted, when the company ceased to exist, though the effort was sufficient to demonstrate the presence of oil in abundance, which was at that time but fifteen cents per barrel. The Doctor is vice-president of the local gas company supplying the town of Warren, the company's lines connecting with the Huntington pipe line some three miles from town, the gas coming from the Grant county field, the principal owner of that enterprise being Mr. Geo. Bippus, of Huntington. The Doctor was married August 1, 1860, to Miss Margaret Ann Plummer, who was born and reared in Franklin county, Indiana, who at the death of her parents, while she was yet young, came to live with an uncle, B. F. Webb, a former well-known dentist at Warren. Four children have resulted from this union, the eldest being Charles Hamilton Good, successor to his father in the practice of medicine; Mary L. is the wife of Dr. John S. Sproul, of Warren; Roby Sherman died in childhood; and James Franklin is on the farm.

Politically the Doctor is a Republican, and when quite a young man became identified with the party organization, being selected frequently as delegate to various conventions. He had the honor to be such a delegate to the convention at Kokomo, going from Blackford county, that placed Gen. John P. C. Shanks in nomination for congress, as creditable piece of work as the district has ever known. In matters of public good, the Doctor has been active in furthering substantial enterprises, the railroad especially receiving the benefit of his energies, having secured the greater part of the fourteen thousand dollars subscribed in this vicinity, as well as collecting the amounts, and assisting in the location of the road, the procuring of the right of way, etc. When the road had passed into the hands of a receiver and the stock had fallen to almost nothing, the Doctor gathered up the greater part of that owned here and turned it over to the reorganization committee, receiving for his services a handsome recompense. He was also one of the directors of the Warren Fair Association for twelve years which conducted a fair for fifteen years until the lease expired, paying all premiums in full and contributing materially to the development of a better grade of stock in this section of the state.

The Doctor, through his wife, holds relation to the Methodist church, though her's is more than a nominal one, being, president of the aid society, which has rendered substantial assistance to the erection of the new church, having donated $1,500 to the building as well as $500 for the furnishings, in addition to which it contributed $800 to the new parsonage. Her devotion to the church is thus illustrated, as the success of the aid society necessarily falls upon the effectiveness of the work done by its president.

Doctor Good was made a Master Mason in Mystic Lodge at Huntington, and for some years was a worker in that lodge and that at Hartford City; then became a charter member of King Lodge, No. 246, serving it later as worshipful master and sitting in the Grand lodge.

Being a good shot on the wing, the Doctor enjoys getting out where birds are found and, keeping a cottage on the shores of Webster lake, spends a part of each season there. It is to men like him, whose career we have thus imperfectly attempted to review, that the growth and prosperity of Warren is due, no movement for the advancement of the material, commercial, religious, educational or moral welfare of the community but has found one of its stanchest and most ardent supporters in Doctor Good.

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