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Benjamin Goodrich

Cochise County Treasurer 1883 – 1884

Benjamin Goodrich was born on a farm near Anderson, Grimes County, Texas, November 23, 1839, one of nine children of Serena Caruthers and Dr. Benjamin Briggs Goodrich, a member of the congress of the Republic of Texas. Ben Goodrich and younger brother Briggs studied law at Austin College, Huntsville, Texas.  John Calvin Goodrich, uncle to Ben, was killed at the Alamo.

In 1861, Mr. Goodrich enlisted in the Confederate Army as a private in Company G, Fourth Texas Regiment. Later advancing to Lieutenant, Ben was taken prisoner for 11 days then released and continued to fight until the end of the Civil War. After returning home in June 1865, he was admitted to the Texas Bar.

Brothers Ben and Briggs arrived in Tombstone in 1880 and rose to be authorities on mining law. In 1887, Briggs was appointed Attorney General of the Territory. Ben Goodrich prosecuted Wyatt Earp, defended the Clantons, handled most of Colonel William C. Greene’s legal work and served on the Code Commission in 1887-1888 for revision of Arizona Law. 

On May 17, 1865, Ben married Mary F. Terrell in Texas. Three daughters were born to them - Mary Goodrich Read (Mrs. W.C. Read), Sarah Goodrich Street (Mrs. John Anderson Street) and Cora Goodrich Clarke (Mrs. Robert D. Clarke). In 1904, Mr. Goodrich and his family traveled to St. Louis to attend the famous World’s Fair.

Ben was elected Cochise County Treasurer and served 1883 and 1884. In addition he served as Cochise County District Attorney for part of 1887 and was a member of the Twenty-Fifth Territorial Legislature Council 1909-1910. He introduced the first bill to the Legislature regarding women's suffrage although it did not pass. “Uncle Ben”, as he was affectionately known by all who knew him, was highly esteemed, leading many to believe he would have been elected the first Governor of Arizona had he not moved to California in 1911. Evidence of his popularity is the fact that the Territorial Legislature passed a memorial approved by Governor Conrad Meyer Zulick asking President Cleveland to appoint Ben Goodrich as Chief Justice of Arizona in February 1887. He was not appointed.

Treasurer Goodrich died February 22, 1923, in Los Angeles.

Arizona State Archives # 97-8580

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