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McLean County, Illinois
History and Genealogy



REV. GALEN M. GOODE, pastor of the Christian Church of Normal, has charge of one of the most prosperous congregations in the county, and is performing the duties of his high calling conscientiously and satisfactorily to all concerned. Mr. Goode is a native of Macoupin County, Ill., and was born July 4, 1842. His father, Dr. John W. Goode, was a native of Maryland and came to Illinois at an early period in the history of this State, in about 1830. He located in Macoupin County and there practiced medicine the remainder of his life. The mother of our subject, Mrs. Maria (Bush) Goode, was a native of Tennessee and came to this State in about the same year as her husband. She is still living and resides at St. Joseph, Mo., aged about seventy years. The parental family included four children, all now living: Marshall is pastor of the Christian Church at St. Joseph, Mo.; Darwin L. is the Postmaster of Stirrup Grove, Macoupin County, and also superintends the operations of his farm there; Martha is the wife of John B. Corwin and resides in New London, Mo.; Galen M., our subject, was the youngest of the family.

Mr. Goode was reared on his father's farm and educated in the schools of his native county. In the fall of 1859, at the age of seventeen years, he became a member of the Christian Church, in which he at once took an active part, and as his services were always in demand he found himself engaged in preaching before he fairly realized the fact. He was employed first to fill various appointments until twenty-five years of age, and was then chosen pastor of the church at Palmyra, Ill., near his birthplace, where he remained until 1873. He was then removed to Illiopolis, Sangamon Co., Ill., where he remained for five years, was afterward located at Harristown, Macon County, and thence, in September, 1883, came to Normal. His life for many years has been wholly devoted to the Master's service, and aside from his pastoral duties he has frequently held protracted meetings in different States and taken part in many public discussions. In Palmyra he conducted a debate with a Methodist circuit rider by the name of Harlan on the subject of baptism, and two with the Presiding Elder of the Methodist Episcopal Church South on the same subject. These discussions took place before our subject was thirty years of age, and he was then known as the "Macoupin Boy."

Mr. Goode is a strong Temperance man and an earnest advocate of Prohibition, having devoted considerable time to lectures upon this subject throughout Central Illinois. In 1886 he was the candidate for Congress on the Prohibition ticket in the 14th District. His early education was quite limited and his present attainments are the result of his own industry and love of learning. He is now not only finely educated in the English branches, but has made considerable proficiency in Greek and Latin.

The marriage of Rev. Galen M. Goode and Miss Mary Nevins was celebrated Dec. 27, 1863, at the home of the bride's parents in Macoupin County. Mrs. G. is also a native of Macoupin County and the daughter of Sinns and Margaret (Steele) Nevins, and by her marriage with our subject became the mother of seven children, one of whom died in infancy. Those living are: Carrie B., Jennie A., Walter Scott, Harry Virgil, Russell E. and Lucille.

Portrait and biographical album of McLean County, Ill. : containing full page portraits and biographical sketches of prominent and representative citizens of the county, together with portraits and biographies of all the governors of Illinois, and of the presidents of the United States. (Chicago: Chapman Brothers, 1887), 578. Transcribed by Judy Rosella Edwards.


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