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Goodrich,Judge James E., 3733 Gillham Road

Kansas City, Missouri Its History and Its People 1800-1908 by Carrie Westlake Whitney, vol. III, 1908

In affairs of state as taken aside from the extraordinary conditions of warfare, there are demanded men whose mental ken is as wide and whose generalship is as effective as that which insures successful maneuvering of armed forces by the skilled commander on the field of battle the nation’s welfare and prosperity may be said to hinge as heavily upon individual discrimination and executive ability in one case as the other. It requires a mastermind to marshal and organize the forces for political purposes and produce the best results by concerted effort. Such a leader is found in Judge James E. Goodrich, who may well be called one of the commanders of the republican army of Missouri. He is also well known as an able lawyer, practicing successfully at the Kansas City bar, with a clientage which also extends to other districts. Recently he has been elevated to the bench, being now a judge of division No. 5 of the sixth judicial district.

Judge Goodrich was born in Cameron, Clinton county, this state, September 20, 1871. His father, Nathan S. Goodrich, now a retired merchant, is a native of Ohio and served in the Fortieth Ohio Infantry in the Civil war. In 1867 he came to Missouri and located at Cameron. His wife, who in her maidenhood was Annie Fleming Frame, was born in Paisley, Scotland, and was brought to America when four years of age. Both parents are still living at Cameron. The father was of English lineage and a direct descendant of Paul Goodrich, who, coming from England prior to the Revolutionary war, settled in Massachusetts. The great-grandfather of James E. Goodrich in the maternal line was Major Isaac Bonser, of revolutionary war fame.

James E. Goodrich, having completed the high-school course at Cameron by graduation with the class of 1888, on which occasion he was on valedictorian honors, afterward entered the University of Missouri at Columbia and was graduated A. B. in 1892, cum laude. He prepared for his professional career as a student in the law department of the university, from which he was graduated with the Bachelor of Law degree.

Returning home, Mr. Goodrich opened an office in Cameron and after two months’ practice there was elected cashier of the First National Bank of that city, a position which he filled for two years. He then again joined professional ranks, practicing with Judge Thomas E. Turney, a prominent pioneer lawyer of Cameron. Mr. Goodrich served for five years as city attorney and became a recognized political leader, active in shaping the policy of the party. In 1898 he was a republican candidate for congress and in 1900 was a delegate to the republican national convention. In 1901 he dissolved partnership with Judge Turney and practiced alone until his elevation to the bench. IN the fall of 1901 he came to Kansas City, where he conducted a large practice, retaining at the same time an extensive clientage in his home county and the three adjoining counties. For four years he has been a member of the republican central state committee. In November, 1907, he was elected judge of division No. 5 of the sixth judicial district and is making a most creditable record on the bench, his career as a judge being in harmony with his course as a lawyer and citizen, distinguished by a masterful grasp of every point presented for solution and by uniform loyalty to the public interests.

On the 13th of June 1894, Judge Goodrich was married to Miss Harper Riggins, a daughter of Dr. George W. Riggins, a confederate colonel and a pioneer physician of Missouri. The daughter was born in Louisiana but in her infancy was taken by her parents to Columbia, this state. The Goodrich residence is at No. 3733 Gillham Road, in one of the finest residence districts of the city and the property is owned by the present occupant. Judge Goodrich is prominent in fraternal and social circles, holding membership with the Masons, Old Fellows, Knights of Pythias, Modern Woodmen, the Ancient Order of United Workmen and the Sigma Nu and Phi Delta Phi, two college fraternities. He is likewise connected with the University Club, the Country Club and the Evanston Goff Club. He is an enthusiast in regard to manly, outdoor sports and athletics and is particularly proficient as a golfer. He belongs to the Central Presbyterian church and is interested in all charitable and benevolent work, his earnest endorsement therein being manifest in many tangible ways.