My Great Great Great Grandmother
Sarah Goodwin, nee Kennedy was born, on the plains in Wilkes-Barre Township,: Luzerne County, Penna. on the 2nd day of May 1800. Her father was a farmer of the name of,John Kennedy; her mother was Nancy Armstrong, an only aunt of David and Lewis Armstrong of Factoryville, Penna. For these and the most of the following facts the writer is indebted to the subject of this humble sketch. Her father was born in New Jersey and her mother in New York State in 1782. They were married in 1799, the year in which George Washington died. Mr. Kennedy died on the plains in 1813; his wife in Pittston in 1847. They were poor but respectable people.
They had four children. Sarah was the eldest. Mrs. Goodwin's eldest sister was born in 1801. Married Rev. Noah Patrick about 1846 and died in Factoryville in 1877. Hannah, the other sister, born 1803, never married. James Kennedy was born in 1805. He never assumed matrimonial relations. In his early life he was a radical Democrat, but during the Civil War no more staunch and uncompromising Union man could be found in Newton Township. And on that line, he remained firm in his political convictions down to the day of his death. He was a frank and fearless man, who had the moral courage to express in a manly his honest convictions, at all times and under all circumstances. He was a man of good social qualities, devoid of deceit, outspoken, and generous to a fault. He departed life in April 1889.
All the good qualities of head and heart which distinguished James A. Kennedy were possessed and cherished by his sister Sarah.
During the Civil War, she was one of the strongest and most fearless female defenders of the government and its flag in all this section of the country. She boldly and bravely stood among her anti-Union neighbors, reproved them for their disloyalty and lack of patriotism, and in a Christian spirit warned them of the pitfalls that the disloyal people of the North were liable to fall into. She married Henry Goodwin January 3, 1822. Mr. Goodwin was born in Exeter Township, Luzerne County in 1796 and died in Clinton Township, Wyoming County, Penna., March 3, 1882. They commenced housekeeping in a decidedly primitive manner in Exeter, Pa. A few years thereafter they bought and moved onto a farm near the Daniel Van Scoy Farm, where they resided 17 year's. They then moved on a place near David Cosner’s farm in Newton Township living there 26 years. Then Mr. Goodwin bought the William Rice farm near Factoryville, Pa., where in 1882, by his demise, pleasant matrimonial relations which had existed for more than 60 years between the devoted husband and faithful wife were severed. Mrs. Goodwin was the dutiful, affectionate mother of 10 children, four of whom died in infancy. Catherine, born September 1, 1824, died February 11, 1846. James born in 1828 married Lucelle S. Shaw in 1855. They had 14 children, seven of whom are now living. James and family reside in Taylor, this county. Mary, born in 1831, married Jesse Twining in 1859, They reside in Newton near the Hillside Home. Of eight children born to them, three only are now living. John was born in 1833. Married Clara Larue in 1856. Of their l0 children only four are now living. John is a resident of Newton Township, this county. David was born in 1836. Married Anna M. Evans in 1862. They are residents of Clinton Township, Wyoming. County, Penna. They had five children, two of whom are now living. Lydia, born in 1841, married George Rouqht in 1885. He died in Factoryville, Penna., in 1893. She is a resident of Factoryville Borough and kindly cares for her aged mother, who lives with her, and takes, reads, and pays for the daily Republican regularly. "Aunt Sally Goodwin", as she is familiarly called by her. many friends, informed the writer that she distinctly remembers the presidential campaign, of 1812. A neighbor of theirs, who was an old blind man, did not desire to attend the election, but his son insisted that he must go and vote against James Madison, for if Madison should be elected they would not be permitted to read their bibles anymore. So the old blind man went to the polls and voted against Madison. "But" observed the old lady, Madison was elected all the same and we read our Bibles right on as
usual." The War of 1812 is also fresh in Mrs. Goodwin's mind. She told the writer that when the news of Perry's naval victory on Lake Erie came she was at work in the field assisting her father in spreading flax.
She was quite well acquainted with the parents of James Bird, who fought so gallantly under Perry, but who, after the battle, deserted, but was captured, tried, convicted and shot for desertion. She remembers distinctly the riding on a rail of Mr. Guildersleeve of Wilkes-Barre by a mob of pro-slavery Democratic neighbors for harboring and feeding runaway slaves. Her parents used to feed the hungry, fleeing fugitives from slavery and send them on their wag to Canada rejoicing.
Mrs. Goodwin sags she predicted 50 gears ago that we would never have permanent peace with the South until slavery was abolished. When a girl in her early teens she has stood outside of their humble home and listened tremblingly to the dismal howling of hungry wolves in the adjacent forest. She has seen deer follow their cows’ home at night from the forest. Her father was something of a hunter and a successful fisherman. At one time he caught two yellow bass from the Susquehanna River, one weighing 11 1/2 pounds and the other 12 pounds. When in her teens Mrs. Goodwin learned to card and spin tow, spin flax and wool and weave linen and woolen cloth. When farm work was pressing and help scarce, she' was wont to assist her father in digging potatoes, husking corn, raking hay and grain and other agricultural work. Her father was a small boyg when the Indian massacre occurred in the Wyoming Valley and at that time young Kennedy, together with other fugitives, fled over the mountains to the Delaware River for safety. Mrs. Goodwin's grandmother, in her flight, left two feather beds on the mountain, which she found undisturbed on her return two years after, and in apparently good condition, but when she took hold of them they fell to pieces and proved to be worthless. Upon their return to Wilkes-Barre they built themselves a comfortable house which was burned by the Pennamites the following year. At that time, Mrs. 6oodwin's aunt wheeled a wheelbarrow full of provisions two miles to the fort for the relief of hungry inmates. This venerable old lady saw this nation pass through, in her day, four wars, to wit, the War of 1812, the Mexican war, the Civil War, and the Spanish -American War. She has been a local consistent member of the M.E. Church for more than 58 gears. So strong has been her mind and clear her reason that up to a recent date she was abundantly able to give young people of both sexes logical points and object lessons on politics, religion, and domestic economy.
She has witnessed in her day and generation wonderful changes in locomotion, from horseback to electric cars. She has seen the subtle lightning tamed by the genius of man, and made submissive to his will.
She has seen the barren valley of her nativity, teeming with industries, brought into existence by the development of the black treasures buried beneath its surface, and which had for centuries remained hidden from mortal vision. She has, in her day, been permitted to witness wonderful specimens of man's inventive genius, telegraphic, telephonic, electrical and mechanical specimens, sufficient to astonish the world and immortalize the inventors of the nineteenth century.
Mrs. Goodwin is probably the oldest person in Wyoming County. She was a schoolmate of the venerable Issac Thompson, now living in Illinois, at the remarkable age of 102 gears. She remembers that once upon a time, in the early history of her life, Isaac Thompson, when a young man, had a fine saddle horse, whose back was sufficiently strong to carry Mr. Thompson and she five miles to a public ball and home again after the ball, she riding behind her courteous gallant, in accordance with the prevailing custom of that age. "..
It is not a little remarkable that Mrs. Goodwin was enabled to give the writer from memory the year., month and day of the month of the birth of all the members of her large family. She told me that when she was 18 years of age her parents lived in Pittston Township; and one day a dog chased a deer into a field near the house and caught the panting fugitive and threw it to the ground. Her mother ran out and assisted the dog in holding the deer down, calling on her, meanwhile, to bring her a knife. The daughter ran out with a case knife, with which her mother cut the struggling victim's throat, while she assisted She dog in keeping the deer from regaining its feet. Then they had venison for themselves and neighbors for a week or more.
Until recently, with her clear mind and retentive memory, this remarkable matronly lady was capable off interesting anyone disposed to interview her in relation to the early settlement of the Wyoming Valley.
Mrs. Goodwin's eventful long life well nigh spans an entire century, and she constitutes a distinctive and unerring guide board, pointing those of the present generation backward into the realms of the dim past, bringing forth therefrom and spreading out before their inquiring minds
many pleasing and interesting historical reminiscences which but for her would have remained forever buried beneath the musty mantle of oblivion.
Above copy as appeared in the Scranton Republication Feb 18, 1899 BY L. B. GREEN.
This was Donated by Edward G. Harazak
Mary Ann Lubinsky for the PAGenWeb Project, and by Individual Contributors