Sunday, June 23, 2013

A Great American Lady: Frances E. Goff

Frances E. Goff was one of Job's Children. The following is the train of descent:

Job Davis (1773-1852) and Sarah Winfield Davis (1773-1856) both born in Mecklenburg County, Virginia and died in Stanly County, North Carolina.

Henry Davis (1806-1862) and Martha Palmer Davis (1815-1877) Stanly County, North Carolina. 

Martha J. Davis Ingram (Dec 27 1844 Stanly County, North Carolina to March 20, 1885 Rusk County, Texas and Joseph Alexander Ingram (1846 Anson County, North Carolina to January 3, 1933, Kenedy, Karnes County, Texas).

William Henry Ingram (Nov 1869 to 1910 Kenedy, Karnes, Texas) and Annie Elizabeth Parker Ingram (1874 - November 19 1954, Karnes County, Texas)
Annie E. Ingram

Henry Ingram and Annie Parker were married in 1893. They had 2 children before Henry passed away in 1902. They may have had 3. An infant grave for a Wincy Ingram, born in 1901 and died in 1902 is in the Kenedy Cemetery in Kenedy, Karnes, Texas along with Henry, his father Joseph A. Ingram and other members of the Ingram family. She may have been his daughter. 
Joseph A. Ingram

William Henry Ingram, Jr. was born May 18, 1894 in Karnes County and died Oct 12 1942. He married Hazel David Alexander and had one daughter, Madelyn, born in 1926.

Grace Elizabeth Ingram was born February 12, 1898 in Karnes County, Texas. She also had one daughter, Frances Elizabeth Goff. 
Grace Ingram
[Grace Ingham] 
Birth Date:Feb 1896
Home in 1900:Justice Precinct 4, Karnes, Texas
Relation to Head of House:Daughter
Marital Status:Single
Father's Name:William H Ingram
Father's Birthplace:Texas
Mother's Name:Annie E Ingram
Mother's Birthplace:Texas
Occupation:View on Image
Neighbors:View others on page
Household Members:
William H Ingram30
Annie E Ingram26
William H Ingram6
Grace Ingram4
Sarah H Parker18

Gracie Ingram
Age in 1910:14
Birth Year:abt 1896
Home in 1910:Kenedy, Karnes, Texas
Relation to Head of House:Daughter
Marital Status:Single
Parent's Name:Annie Ingram
Father's Birthplace:Texas
Mother's Birthplace:Texas
Neighbors:View others on page
Household Members:
Annie Ingram34
Willie Ingram16
Gracie Ingram14
Gracie is shown with both parents, brother Henry and Aunt Sarah in 1900. In 1910, Annie is a single parent. 

Grace married Alfred T. Goff, sometime before 1917 and was divorced from him by 1920, and living back with her mother and brother, with her young daughter, Francis. 

Grace Ingram
[Grace Sageman] 
Birth Year:abt 1897
Home in 1920:Kenedy, Karnes, Texas
Relation to Head of House:Daughter
Marital Status:Divorced
Parent's Name:Annie E Ingram
Father's Birthplace:North Carolina
Mother's Birthplace:Texas
Able to Read:Yes
Able to Write:Yes
Neighbors:View others on page
Household Members:
Annie E Ingram45
Willie H Ingram25
Grace Ingram23
Francis Goff3
Sometime, shortly afterward, Grace married Graddis Grover Stripling. She passed away on June 28, 1929 at the age of 31.

Alfred T Goff would go on to marry Elizabeth Nave in 1923. He and his second wife would live in San Antonio, Texas. City Directories had him listed as an agent at the Magnolia Pet Company and later as a Traffic Manager. The 1940 census has Alfred and his wife Elizabeth living alone, and his occupation as Retail Sales Manager. 

Alfred lived a long life, and passed away in 1971 at the age of 78 . He was divorced again by then, and the reason became clear in the papers of his daughter. 

Alfred Goff
Death Date:21 Apr 1971
Death County:Bexar
Marital Status:Separ/divorced (Divorced)
Frances Goff
[Frances Gaff] 
Birth Year:abt 1917
Home in 1930:Kenedy, Karnes, Texas
View Map
Marital Status:Single
Relation to Head of House:Granddaughter
Father's Birthplace:Texas
Mother's Birthplace:Texas


Military service:

Rent/home value:

Age at first marriage:

Parents' birthplace:
Neighbors:View others on page
Household Members:
Annie Ingram56
Frances Goff13
Charles Crouch45
But what about young Frances. In 1930, she was living with her maternal grandmother, Annie. Her mother had died the previous year. 
Frances Goff
Estimated Birth Year:abt 1917
Marital Status:Single
Relation to Head of House:Granddaughter
Home in 1940:San Antonio, Bexar, Texas
View Map
Street:Rigsby Avenue
House Number:720
Inferred Residence in 1935:Kenedy, Kansas, Texas
Residence in 1935:Kenedy, Kansas, Texas
Resident on farm in 1935:No
Sheet Number:6B
Occupation:Private Secretary
Attended School or College:No
Highest Grade Completed:High School, 4th year
Hours Worked Week Prior to Census:44
Class of Worker:Wage or salary worker in private work
Weeks Worked in 1939:44
Income Other Sources:No
Neighbors:View others on page
Household Members:
P R Goff73
Ida Goff69
Frances Goff23
By 1940, Frances is residing with her paternal grandparents and is working as a private secretary for an attorney. And shortly after, she joined the Armed Services, as a stenographer. WWII had began and this outstanding young lady went to serve. 

Frances E Goff
Birth Year:1916
Race:White, citizen (White)
Nativity State or Country:Texas
State of Residence:Texas
County or City:Tarrant
Enlistment Date:22 Jun 1944
Enlistment State:Texas
Enlistment City:Camp Swift Bastrop
Branch:Womens Army Corps
Branch Code:Womens Army Corps
Grade Code:Private
Term of Enlistment:Enlistment for the duration of the War or other emergency, plus six months, subject to the discretion of the President or otherwise according to law
Component:Womens Army Corps
Education:1 year of college
Civil Occupation:Stenographers and typists
Marital Status:Single, without dependents

On June 22, 1944, Frances Goff enlisted in the Women's Army Corps (WAC) as a private... By early September 1944, she was assigned to the WAC detachment at the Fifth Ferrying Group of the Air Transport Command at Love Field in Dallas... Her duties included a brief stint in Washington, D.C. at the headquarters of the Transport Command in the months before she left the military... Her discharge from the WACs was dated July 2, 1946... For the patriotic Goff, her years in the Army Air Corps were some of the most rewarding of her life. (From Texas, Her Texas: The Life and Times of Frances Goff by Nancy Beck Young adn Lewis L. Gould)

Frances Elizabeth Goff served her country in more ways than one. She took on 3 careers during her lifetime and made great strides in each one. She had a book written about her, 
Texas, Her Texas: The Life and Times of Frances Goff dust jacket
The Life and Times of Frances Goff
By Nancy Beck Young and Lewis L. Gould
Forward by Ann Richards
Barker Texas History Center Series, no. 6
Don E. Carleton, editor
Texas State Historical Association
240 pages, 6 x 9 inches
75 illustrations, index
ISBN 0-87611-159-2, cloth

Texas, Her Texas is the fascinating story of Frances Goff and her three remarkable careers: in Texas government as legislative aide and state budget director; at the University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center; and as director of the Bluebonnet Girls State Program of the American Legion Auxilliary. Based on Goff’s personal papers and interviews with those who knew her, the book provides inside glimpses of such leaders in state politics as Coke Stevenson, Allan Shivers, and Ann Richards. The fast-paced narrative also describes the founding and early years of M. D. Anderson and Goff’s key role as an aide to Dr. R. Lee Clark in building this world-renowned cancer treatment facility.
At the core of the book is the Bluebonnet Girls State Program, an annual citizenship session for young Texas women that Goff directed for four decades. More than twenty-thousand high school girls experienced Goff’s charismatic leadership and took to heart her message of public service and involvement. Texas, Her Texas makes a major contribution to a better understanding of how this voluntary women’s group is shaping present-day Texas.
Frances Goff knew the movers and shakers of Texas and became one herself. Goff’s biography will inspire those who knew her and those who are learning about her for the first time. She was, says Ann Richards, a "grand lioness of a woman."
Nancy Beck Young is a professor of history at the University of Houston.
Lewis L. Gould is the Eugene C. Barker Centennial Professor Emeritus in American History at the University of Texas at Austin.
She is listed in the Texas Hall of Fame:

What in the life of this great-granddaughter of Stanly County Justice and rogue Methodist, Henry Davis, brought about this quest for public service and led from a child of divorce, during the early part of the twentieth century, when divorce was rare and shameful, this girl who was raised by her various grandparents and became a member of  The Greatest Generation, to join the military at a time when women were kept out of most areas, and to become the honored friend of polictical movers and shakers, to have a book written about her, and foundations established in her name?

Frances graduated from the San Antonio business college in 1937. This was just before she was shown in the 1940 census living with her paternal grandparents, Percy Robert Goff, who was born in England, and his wife Ida Riedel, a Texas native. She was shown as being a secretery for an attorney. Records show that before joining the Service, where she obtained the rank of Sergeant Major, she had worked in the Texas House of Representatives, the State Senate, the Office of the Governor and also on the Texas Railroad Commission. 

Then came the World War II. As a young woman with a rising career, she left all of that behind and served for two years, between 1944 and 1946. She used her office skills for the Commander of Love Field in Dallas, Texas and also worked in Washington, DC in the Air Transport Command HeadQuarters. 

After the war, she went back to work for the Governors Office. At the suggestion of then Governor Allan Shivers, she changed careers and became an Assistant to Dr. R. Lee Clark at the Univeristy of Texas. Dr. Clark was the President and Director of Special Projects for Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, one the foremost centers for cancer research at the time. 

Frances was over planning, development and fundraising. In such a capacity, she encountered many families for whom hope was slim and faith was strong. A year after beginning this career, she took on a lifelong volunteer activity. 

The American Legion Auxiliary was established in 1919 to administer many volunteer programs and aid the American Legion. It's the world's largest women's volunteer organization. 

The Bluebonnet Girls is a program of the American Legion Auxiliary. From 1952 to 1994, Frances was the director of this program. She planned and promoted the "Model Citizenship Program" for the Bluebonnet Girls State. 

Among the honors bestowed upon Frances were the Ameican Legion National Commendation Award, she was inducted into the Texas Hall of Fame for outstanding volunteerism, the Valley Forge Freedom Foundation Award, a scholarship was established in her name at the University of Texas in Austin. Also, 
Governor Ann Richards named her as State Chair of the Women in Military Service for America Memorial Foundation Inc. 

A Collection of her papers are stored at the Brisco Center for American History at the University of Texas at Austin. 

A Guide to the Frances Goff Papers, 1914-1994

These papers are extensive. While they are informative and have mention of many of the political players of her day, they also give a glimpse into the personal life of this incredible lady, that the book does not. 

The following is the Biographical prequel to the collection. 

Frances Goff of Kenedy, Texas, began her career in 1937 as secretary to a Texas state legislator, became secretary to Governor W. Lee O'Daniel after his re-election in 1940, worked for the House Appropriations Committee in 1941, and was appointed the first personnel director of the Texas Railroad Commission. In 1944 she enlisted in the United States Army Air Corps, rising to the rank of sergeant major before her release and return to Austin in 1946, when she was named State Budget Director and assisted in writing the bill creating the Legislative Budget Board. In 1951 she was hired by Dr. R. Lee Clark, director of the newly-created M. D. Anderson Hospital and Tumor Institute in Houston as his assistant and soon became director of special projects, overseeing the hospital's construction and supervising every expansion from 1951-1978. During the same period Goff became involved with the American Legion Auxiliary's education program, Texas Bluebonnet Girls' State and became the program's director in 1952. She retired from M. D. Anderson in 1982 and died in 1994.

Among the more interesting parts of the papers are letters written to and from Robert Barnnett, wherein she takes exception to his inquiring of her whereabouts and also some revealing information and interesting closings to the letters. 

Her personal documents include a copy of her parents October, 1915 marriage license, with her July 1916 birth certificate, personal letters from a "Bill", a copy of an inspiring speech that her mother Grace gave at Frances's High School graduation, a 1924 letter from Frances to her mother Grace, and stepfather, G. G. Stripling, where she would have been only 8 years old, childhood letters from Frances to mother Grace, and grandmother Annie, whom she called "Big Momma" and from Grace to Annie. 

Box 2 contains, among other things, letters written between Frances and her grandmother Annie after the death of Grace in 1929, and a telegram of condolence from her father. There is also the funeral program of her uncle William Henry Ingram, Jr. in  1943. One letter is described as "a wonderfully vivid account of why Frances preferred to live in Center over Kenedy", 

There are scrapbook of her war days and of friends in the American Legion. 

Box 3 is of particular interest. While there are records of the estate of her father, who passed away in 1971, and other business items of her father, one description was of particular interest. 

Material, chronologically ordered, that pertains to property held by A.T. Goff and his Mr. G. Garcia; Mr. Goff's share of this property passed to Frances upon his death in 1971; this folder also contains Mr. Goff's health insurance records; land deeds for property Mr. Goff owned in Kenedy, as well as correspondence between lawyers and interested persons, 1928-1940.

Alfred Thomas Goff had married Gracie Elizabeth Ingram in October of 1915. They had divorced shortly aferward, by 1920, both are listed as divorced. 
Alfred T Goff
Birth Year:abt 1894
Home in 1920:Alice, Jim Wells, Texas
Relation to Head of House:Boarder
Marital Status:Divorced
Father's Birthplace:England
Mother's Birthplace:Texas
Able to Read:Yes
Able to Write:Yes
Neighbors:View others on page
Household Members:
Parks Childress52
Lottie Childress38
Schuman Childress4
[4 11/12] 
John East35
Alfred T Goff26
J P Murphy28
Alfred is listed as age 26 and working as a clerk at a Railroad Office. 

He married Elizabeth Nave in 1923 at the age of 30. There would be no children. Apparently, Alfreds "Mr. Garcia" held a close personal spot in Alfred's life and may be the reason for his brief marriages and lack of other children. The era in which Alfred Goff lived in was far less than accepting. 

Frances, despite never marrying, had many relationships over the years and her correspondence collection verifies that. She was beloved. Most of her records have to do the the American Legion and the girls in her program. 

One such folder is described as "

12. Loose leaf ring binder entitled, "A Tribute to Miss Goff." Material includes: newspaper tributes; short biographies, listing Frances's many accomplishments; 1986 material pertaining to Frances's nomination to the Texas Women's Hall of Fame, with many letters of recommend- ations, including one from Ann Richards; 1985 letters of recommendation for Frances to be chosen for a Freedoms Foundation Award; pictures of Frances in action; a copy of Goff's Prayer; a copy of Frances's honorable discharge from the U.S. Army, 1946; 1985 letter from Governor Mark White, recommending Frances for Freedoms Foundation Award; similar letters (often very revealing) from graduates of Girls State; 1985 letter of recommendation from Charles A. LeMaistre, President of The University of Texas System Cancer Center; copy of Toby Lynn Crockett's tribute to Frances, a ninth grade essay entitled "A Living Texas Woman I Admire;" undated tribute to Frances Goff, written by Girls State Graduate Linda Roper Sease, who named her daughter after Frances; photos of Frances in action at Girls State; copies of the Girls State Daily Program; brown envelope containing many of the letters and materials just described.

When Frances died in 1994, her funeral was attended by many of the persons whose lives she touched. What a great lady and proud descendant of Job Davis. 

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