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GOSHEN, IOWA

1880 - 1890

by Mildred WILEY TURNBULL

NOTE: The following is Mrs. TURNBULL's presentation on Goshen during the "Knowlton Lives Again" event held September 27th, 1970 at Diagonal.

The church bell heard ringing as this even begins this afternoon is the bell purchased for the Goshen Methodist Church built in 1881, and which hung in the tower of that little white-frame building. The bell is bronze, was cast in Ohio, and now serves the Diagonal Methodist Church, having been placed on a bell tower of native stone when 100 years of Methodism was observed in this community, spanning a period from 1856 to 1956.

The bell, bought with donations, proceeds from home-talent program, rang from a church that was built in a town that numbered 150 persons, had no school, had no cemetery. It was named Goshen for the country post office by that name which was operated by one of the community's earliest residents. Michael STAHL. The Goshen post office, in the STAHL home, continued from 1872 to 1883 when a postmaster was appointed, and only then moved from the log cabin.

Mr. STAHL is also credited with having named the town, burning the name into a flat side of a split log.

The land on which Goshen stood has long since returned to agricultural use, to cultivation and grazing, with one farmhouse remaining, built by the late Arthur WOODS years after Goshen disappeared.

Broken bits of old foundations have to be searched out to be found; corn lilies, first planted by a pioneer hand, riot in bloom along the roadside in season, and bittersweet climbs the remnants of an Osage orange hedge.

Goshen was located on a branch of the railroad known as the keokuk and Western, the Humeston and Shenandoah (Humbug and Shennanigan), and at last the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy. The town was surveyed and platted about 1881, and the post office moved into Goshen proper destined to be discontinued 6 years later in 1889. The railroad came to an end in 1946.

Arching over the railroad as one approached Goshen from the south was a high wooden bridge, at which horses sometimes shied, children loved to climb, and live dangerously while doing so, and afforded a steep grade for the earlier automobiles to climb, especially when the narrow road was also muddy.

Records available name residents of the town and some of their occupations as Cal ASKREN, who bought hogs and had a huge orchard; George MORRISON, blacksmith and his wife Nan who ran the MORRISON Hotel; L. L. BONHAM, lumberyard; Joshua and George HARTMAN, hardware, later joined by Asa BAILEY; Jim and C. J. TODD, general and grocery store; Pete NELSON, grocery; Jerry ZARUBA, Sr., cobbler and groceries; Joe STEVENSON, publisher of the GOSHEN GAZETTE, and Steve GARD, a carpenter and later publisher of the GAZETTE. J. W. SLATTERY was foreman of the section crew on the railroad; Benjamin F. TALLEY served as postmaster from 1883 until 1886, and M. P. "Mart" BENSON from 1886 until 1889. Mr. BENSON also operated a wagon shop.

Other citizens of the town are listed as James RUBY, Samuel HILL, a family named DECKER, Johnnie WOODS, Had HERSOM, Dr. RICHARDSON, William A. TODD, and Dr. D. R. BEMENT, who was a beloved family physican there for eleven years.

In the rural area we are able to list the names of the following families: R. E. STEVENS, Francis CABARET, David L. WILEY, A. M. BENTLEY, John BENTLEY, Solomon STAHL, Michael STAHL, William BRADLEY, Isaac WING, E. L. SIMPSON, Benjamin KELLER Sr., Adam TALLEY, and William THRIFT.

Those who attended school went to a one-room rural school south and west of Goshen known as Bethel, and those who passed from this life were laid to rest in a cemetery a half-mile farther south, also named Bethel.

Of the sons and daughters of these families we recall four who distinguished themselves (there must have been many more). Josephine STAHL, daughter of Michael STAHL, spent her life as a missionary to India, and her younger sister, Eva, taught English at Simpson College [Indianola, Warren County, Iowa] for many years. Dr. L. F. TALLEY became a medical doctor, and later a specialist, practicing at Marshalltown. Dr. W. L. SIMPSON, only survivor of these four, has only recently retired from his practice as a specialist in Memphis, Tennessee.

In researching for this history, we found a minimum of material available, for the town itself lived only ten years. The first house was moved from Goshen to Diagonal in 1890, which became a mass movement. The Goshen church was moved to become the Diagonal Methodist Church until the present structure was built in 1911.

Clifford IVES of Oquawka, Illinois, observed his 90th birthday recently, and recalls visiting here when he was ten-years-old, spending the summer riding on each structure as it was moved to the present site of Diagonal.

This member of a later generation of Goshenites recalls hearing the tales of Halloween pranks such as placing buggies on barn roofs nearly under the watchful eye of the owner who sat with a shotgun across his lap. In a gentler mood, the pranksters strung a rope across the bridge from wooden banisters to banisters a few inches above the flooring and tripped the courting couples who strolled there.

The young woman who came from Illinois as a bride in 1875 found that table salt had to be transported from Keokuk, and found the nearby groceries at Goshen as handy as a supermarket. her first taste of unsalted bread in the home of a hospitable neighbor gave her a shock she never forgot.

Cal ASKREN, who rode the K and W trains to and from Goshen and Diagonal in his work as a hog buyer just hopped a convenient freight, and in so doing had the front part of one foot severed.

Dr. G. A. GRANT of Indianola, in a recent letter, tells of boys of a much later era catching a ride from Diagonal as far as the bridge, where the train was slowed nerly to a stop from the upgrade climb. The boys were able to step off, and willing to walk back, downhill all the way.

D. I. WILEY bought surplus army equipment from the War Between The States in the form of fifes and drums, and in his own family of one daughter, two sons and himself, formed a "martial band" now known as a fife and drums corps. The organization reached out into the neighborhood, and Bill STAHL beat the bass drum for many a 4th of July observance.

Before Blanche WAX became Mrs. T. A. SIMPSON, she was employed at the Morrison Hotel and to her children and grandchil passed on the recipe used in the Hotel. Known to Mr. and Mrs. SIMPSON, to their daughter Gladys SIMPSON CLAYTON, and granddaughter Lorrayne CLAYTON SWANK as "Granny's Cake", we pass the recipe on to you:

2 cups sugar
4 cups flour
2 cups sour milk
1 cup lard OR 1 cup & 1 1/2 T. of shortening
2 teaspoons soda
1 teaspons cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
Pinch of cloves
2 cups of raisins
Vanilla
Use a pan as large as 13 X 9 1/2 x 2 inches.
Eat immediately, for as long as it lasts.

Mrs. Edith HUGHES, 92, of Mount Ayr, was born in Goshen, lived there less than two years (although she returned to teach [at] Bethel school for a spring term), and from her home in Mount Ayr graciously shared with us the recollections and memories she gleaned from her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Wm. A. TODD.

Dr. BEMENT was present at the time of her birth, June 20, 1878, the same day herfather discovered taht the potato crop in his garden had done very well, very early in the year. He dug a small pail full, and made a quick trip to Main street in Goshen to show his friends. The minutes were too many, and his daughter was born during his absence.

Samuel HILL, the father of several children, made it a practice not to be pesent when Dr. BEMENT delivered a HILL offspring, and the good doctor likened then "new" father to Sam HILL, and continued to remind him of it through the years of their close friendship.

Could it be that Goshen was thus the birthplace of the interrogation we have heard all our lives? "WHERE THE SAM HILL HAVE YOU BEEN?"

- Mildred Wiley Turnbull (Mrs. H. W.)

NOTE: Of the names in Mrs. Turnbull's article:

Calvin Garrett "Cal" ASKREN, b. 1846, Lafayette IN; d. 06 May 1921; interment Bethel Cemetery

George W. MORRISON, b. 18 Feb 1845 PA; d. 27 Nov 1898; interment Diagonal Cemetery
Nancy M. (WILLIAMS) MORRISON, b. 06 Mar 1847; d. 25 Oct 1922; interment Diagonal Cemetery

Leander Lawrence BONHAM, b. 29 Apr 1842, Mahaska Co IA; d. 1929; interment Graceland Cemetery, Creston IA

Joshua Kelley HARTMAN, b. 19 Jul 1843; d. 20 Oct 1917; interment Clearfield Cemetery

Asa BAILEY, b. 1858; d. 1936; interment Diagonal Cemetery
Anna BAILEY, b. 1863; d. 1953; interment Diagonal Cemetery

J. T. "Jim" TODD, b. 26 Feb 1845 PA; spouse of Anna (McNEER) TODD

Stephen J. GARD, b. 30 Jun 1836; d. 10 Dec 1910; interment Diagonal Cemetery
Sarah A. GARD, b. 14 Mar 1848; d. 16 Oct 1920; interment Diagonal Cemetery

Benjamin F. TALLEY, b. 1841; d. 23 Sep 1907; interment Rose Hill Cemetery, Mount Ayr
Sarah Catherine (KELLER) TALLEY, b. 02 Mar 1841; d. 13 Jan 1929; interment Rose Hill Cemetery, Mount Ayr

J. W. SLATTERY, b. 1851; d. Mar 1928; interment Diagonal Cemetery

Martin P. BENSON, b. 03 Aug 1852, Washington Co. IA; d. 1923; interment Bethel Cemetery

Samuel HILL, b. 1832, Cincinnati OH; d. 1914, Ringgold Co. IA
Winnifred (LEIGH) BRANT HILL, b. 1833, Goshen IN; d. 1884, Ringgold Co. IA

Benjamin F. TALLEY, b. 25 Jan 1841 DE; d. 23 Sep 1907; interment Rose Hill Cemetery, Mount Ayr
Sarah Catherine (KELLER) TALLEY, b. 02 Mar 1841, Guernsey Co. OH; d. 13 Jan 1929; interment Rose Hill Cemetery, Mount Ayr

John WOODS, b. circa 1826; d. 25 Oct 1913; interment Diagonal Cemetery

Harrison HERSOM, b. 1836; d. 1914; interment Diagonal Cemetery

Dr. D. R. [Dwight Reuben] BEMENT, b. 24 Sep 1848, Fostoria OH; d. 10 Jan 1910; interment Rose Hill Cemetery, Mount Ayr
Anna R. (ORR) BEMENT, b. 14 Jun 1868; d. 18 Feb 1886; interment Rose Hill Cemetery, Mount Ayr
Clara M. (HOLTZMAN) BEMENT, b. 08 Feb 1847; d. 13 Nov 1895; interment Rose Hill Cemetery, Mount Ayr

Solomon "Sol" STAHL, b. 25 Mar 1829, Perry Co. OH; d. 18 Feb 1915; interment Bethel Cemetery
Elizabeth (GUYTON) STAHL, b. 09 Sep 1836; d. 09 May 1874; interment Bethel Cemetery
Harriet (CHIVINGTON) STAHL, b. 12 Sep 1854; d. 09 Dec 1934; interment Bethel Cemetery

Michael STAHL, b. 17 Sep 1831 OH; d. 16 Mar 1921; interment Bethel Cemetery
Martha "Mary" (TALLEY) STAHL, b. 03 Oct 1834 DE; d. 05 May 1905; interment Bethel Cemetery

R. E. [Ralph Edward] STEVENS, b. 12 Mar 1848, Ashtablula Co. OH; d. 27 Apr 1911, Diagonal IA; interment Bethel Cemetery,br. Nancy Jane (SIMPSON) STEVENS, b. 28 Mar 1851, PA; d. 11 Apr 1927; interment Bethel Cemetery

Francis CABARET, b. circa 1811; d. 06 Apr 1871; interment Cabaret Cemetery

David I. WILEY, b. 1847; d. 1913; interment Bethel Cemetery
Sarah E. WILEY, b. 1848; d. 1934; interment Bethel Cemetery

A. M. BENTLEY, b. circa 1844; d. 05 Nov 1904; interment Bethel Cemetery

William H. BRADLEY, b. 14 Oct 1829; d. 25 May 1901; interment Rose Hill Cemetery, Mount Ayr

Isaac WING, b. 20 Aug 1823; d. 12 Nov 1894; interment Bethel Cemetery
Julia A. WING, b. 27 Jan 1824; d. 20 Aug 1904; interment Bethel Cemetery

Eleazor L. SIMPSON, b. 20 Jun 1846; d. 22 Dec 1926; interment Diagonal Cemetery

Benjamin KELLER, b. 12 May 1833, Guernsey Co. OH; d. 06 May 1905; interment Bethel Cemetery
Sarah Ellen (TALLEY) KELLER, b. circa 1843; d. 26 Oct 1921; interment Bethel Cemetery

Adam TALLEY, d. 14 May 1868; interment Bethel Cemetery

William D. THRIFT, b. 29 Oct 1825, NC; d. 02 Oct 1919; interment Bethel Cemetery
Sarah (DODD) THRIFT, d. aged 70 years; interment Bethel Cemetery

Additional Sources: WPA Graves Survey & cemetery transcriptions, Ringgold Co.
Transcription and note by Sharon R. Becker, May of 2010


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