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BIOGRAPHY: Robert A. Goodloe, born March 8, 1882


By R. L. James


To the Readers of the Alabama Historical Quarterly: (The Alabama Historical Quarterly, Vol. 07, No. 03, Fall Issue 1945)

I am releasing another section. No. 3, of my article “Colbertians.” I hope it will be possible for me to add one more section but I am sure there will still be many interesting people whom I cannot include. In addition to those to .whom I expressed thanks in the preface (See No. 2 Vol. 7) I wish to acknowledge my appreciation to Mr. James Carloss of Elkmont; Mrs. J. F. Craig, Jasper; Mrs. William Malone and Mrs. W. D. Brotherton, Cherokee; Mrs. Emma Scruggs and Miss Mattie Guy, Tuscumbia; and there are probably others who deserve to be mentioned in this connection whom I cannot at this moment recall. Mr. Woodruff Delony gave me quite a bit of information. I was at his house on August 6, 1946, which incidentally, was his eighty-sixth birthday, and had a long conversation with him. Since then this venerable citizen of Leighton, has passed away. He was a son of Dr. Edward B, Delony. I hope to write more about the Delony family in some future issue of the Quarterly. Sept 4, 1946 R. L. JAMES



(d. March 8, 1882)

Colbert County, Alabama

Robert A. Goodloe, Sr. “DIED At the residence of Wells Rutland Esq. in this county on 8th inst. Hon. Robert A. Goodloe aged 68 years.

“We never knew any one more opposed to eulogy or flattery than was the subject of this notice, and for this reason if there were no other, we shall endeavor to pay a faithful tribute to the best friend we ever had, by writing of him in that spirit of candor and frankness that was so characteristic of him.

“From those now living who were schoolmates of his, we learn that from the earliest boyhood, he was kind and considerate, and earnest and devoted, in his friendship. For the last twenty years we bear testimony to these and other noble traits that rendered his the arts of duplicity or hypocrisy, a candid and blunt manner of speech sometimes offending those who did not thoroughly understand him.

“Mr. Goodloe joined the Methodist church at this place when but fourteen years of age, and for more than half a century remained true to his profession, and died, as he lived, an humble unpretentious trusting Christian.

“‘During the war when possessed with large means he devoted most of his time to the relief of the hundreds of poor people around him supplying them with food and medicine, and for several years afterwards when his property was swept away and until he was stricken with paralysis in 1875, he continued to do all in his power to relieve the suffering and destitute, and until his last illness was looked up to and consulted by all who knew him as an honest and conscientious counselor, and faithful friend in all kinds of trouble.

“He was many years a member of the commissioner’s Court of Franklin and subsequently of Colbert county, bringing to the discharge of the duties of that office, clear and unbiased judgment, incorruptible integrity and a force and vigor of expression that made its impression, and at times conveyed the idea that he was arbitrary and exacting, but the results generally vindicated the tenacity, and stubborness (sic) of his opinions. Although endowed with a strong and imperious will and violent prejudices, no one was readier to confess an error and atone for it. Only an intimate acquaintenance (sic) such as it was our privilege to enjoy, could impress anyone with the true worth and value of such a man as a citizen or a friend. Whilst we will sadly miss his prudent counsel and his warm and generous sympathy, we yet rejoice that he is freed from every pain and care and has entered upon the full fruition of all the hopes that sustained him through an honorable and well spent life. Our country and the state of Alabama have lost one of their best men—than whom no one in our acquaintance has done more in a private sphere for the good of his fellow men. Peace to the ashes, and a thousand blessings upon the memory of Robert Atlas Goodloe.”

The obituary of Mr. Goodloe has no name signed to it. It is taken from the North Alabamian for March 17, 1882.

He was a son of David Short Goodloe, an early settler of Tuscumbia, and who was born in Granville County, North Carolina, July 26, 1776, and died Oct. 15, 1845, David Short Goodloe’s father was Capt. Robert Goodloe, a Revolutionary soldier, and a native of Carolina County, Virginia, and his mother was Sarah Short.

David Short Goodloe had a family of several sons and a daughter, Sarah Louise Goodloe, who married a man named Kennedy and who died in her nineteenth year. Among his other sons were Albert G. J. Calvin, and Paul. Of these Albert G. Goodloe, born April 13, 1812, died January 1, 1887 was -said to have been a very devout man. J. Calvin Goodloe, born May 21, 1817, died Feb. 25, 1895 was State Senator from Colbert County (or the district of which Colbert was a part) in 1872-73. He was a strong Republican, but Robert Atlas Goodloe, Sr. was a Democrat.

Paul Goodloe was a citizen of Memphis.

The wife of Robert Atlas Goodloe, Sr. was Mary, a daughter of Col. Isaac Lane who was one of the richest men who settled in the Cherokee district. Col. Lane was from Wake County, North Carolina. There is a long obituary of Mrs. Goodloe in the North Alabamian & Times for Oct. 29, 1874. From it we are advised that she was “the last surviving child of Col. Isaac Lane. Reared in luxury and ease, she was plain, elegant and self-possessed in her manners, prompt, energetic and methodical in her domestic arrangements. Her charity was only limited by her ability. She was unremitting in her ministrations to the sick, and unremitting in her benefactions to the poor and needy of the surrounding country.”

Miss Julia Goodloe of Tuscumbia who is a granddaughter of Robert Atlas and Mary (Lane) Goodloe, has a very large and beautiful painting of two young daughters of her grandparents viz. Sarah Goodloe who married Watt Rutland and Mary Goodloe who married James Mhoon. Each girl was beautiful and the artist, a Mr. Frye, did a most excellent piece of work. Miss Goodloe advised me that the date on the back of the painting is 1858.

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