KIDDER FAMILY OF Chautauqua Co and Cattaraugus Co


Paul R. Kidder typed this just as it is in the letter, errors and all in 2000.

Letter to Bessie Smith from Harriet (Hattie) Goodwin Flyte, Bessie was the

secretary of the Goodwin Wyman Family Reunions 1910-1942. 1942 is the last entry in the Reunion book, which the Paul R. Kidder family now has.

This family was in both Chautauqua Co and Cattaraugus Co and some in Western PA Bessie is buried in Lakeview Cemetery, as is her mother Ida Emogene Wyman Smith.

Harriett (Hattie) Goodwin died in the home of her son, Nason.
She was fatally burned. She was 86 years old when she died.

Reference. Her obit which The Paul Kidder family has

Hattie was living in Okmulgee, OK when she wrote this letter.

Aug 10th 1924

Dear Bessie

I received your kind

invitation to the Reunion and am

sorry I canít accept it for us.

Older ones are passing fast.

My brother two years ago &

July 20th his wife died very

suddenly from a stroke of

paralysis. She was at camp of

her son Edward, at Dinner she

dropped her knife, bent to pick it

up, dropped her fork, tried to

swallow and could not. Said take

me home quick, think I had a


stroke. The three of them besides her

got in the auto & before they reached

Alpena where there was a Dr she

was gone. My daughter Ethna

was at the home as Bird had

insisted on her staying with her

this vacation. Edward phoned Ethna

from Alpena so she had things

ready when they got home. Ethna is

to remain at the home until her

school begins first of Sept. The

boys boath have homes of their own

& Ethna has been with them so

much they look on her as one of

the family. lShe has not decided

yet what she will do. Perry asked

me to write you what I knew of

the Goodwin Family. My father


was the oldest child of Grandfather

Goodwin & he was the father of 4

children. I being the oldest & Nason

Mark 3 yrs younger & two years later

the twin boys were born one dying

at birth. The other lived to be one

year and eight months old & died of Scarlet

fever. Father & babies are buried at

Troy Centre & mother & brother at

San Diego Calif. & do you know

that Grandfather Goodwin in the early

settlement days killed a Bear with a

plow point. He had gone to Clear

Creek on foot & on his way home

was attacked by the Bear, but what

I think took more courage was to

have the left breast removed with

the knife & bone scraped with-

out taking a thing to deaden pain.


The Doctors wanted to strap him down.

He said no when I tell you to quit,

youíll quit & they did. It was to remove

a cancer and it never broke

out again but he had spells when it

seemed like something crawling, now

that must have been torture, but he bore it

heroically. I have have had so much to

endure. I donít remember some of the

things I did know when Cousin Mary

lived - we corresponded & every thing could

(be) learned (from what) I wrote her.

Its too bad her records were lost. I send love &

best wished to all at the Reunion

& hope you all have the best time ever.

Your Cousin

Hattie Goodwin Flyte

As handwritten by Flora Wyman Kidder about 1930. Pages 1-2a closely follow the history provided in HISTORY OF CATTARAUGUS CO. NEW YORK WITH ILLUSTRATIONS AND BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OF SOME OF ITS PROMINENT MEN AND PIONEERS, by L. H. Everts, J. B. Lippincott and Co, Philadelphia, 1879.

Pg 1

In the year 1824, Richard Goodwin and his wife, Ruth Sandborn Goodwin, with their three children Mark, Eliza, and Sara left their New Hampshire home , relatives and friends and turned their faces toward the west, hoping to establish a new home in Western New York.

Chautauqua and Cattaraugus Counties were bordering on the wildness and were in fact a frontier country er at that time, but stories of their fertile valleys and wooded hillsides had been brought back to New England by hardy pioneers and many New Englanders were leaving their rocky hillside farms for the milder climate and pleasant

Pg 1a

environment of Western New York.

One can but admire the courage and fortitude of these early ancestors of ours in cutting loose from home ties and life-long friendships and facing the unbroken wilderness to hew out a new home for themselves and their descendents.

And our brave forebear, Ruth Goodwin must have been made of sterner stuff than some of her present day descent ants, to undertake the slow, tedious and often times dangerous journey with a family of little children.

As it was, they were obliged to stop on their journey on account of the delicate health of little Eliza. They remained at Saratoga Springs for a whole year before she had sufficiently regained her health so they could go on.

Pg 2

The third child, Daniel died in early childhood but whether in N.H., or their jouney, or after reaching Catt. Co. is in doubt. Two children, Augustus and Richard, were born in an old log cabin after they finally reached Farmersville, Catt. Co. All of Augustusís children were also born in the same house. Here the mother and smaller children stayed, while the father and oldest boy; Mark, 16 years old came on and selected a place and built a log cabin in the Town of Conewango, near Waterboro and Clear Creek. This farm is still in the Goodwin Family after nearly 100 years.

The life of the pioneer was full of dangers as well as hardships. Richard Goodwin had his leg badly broken in the woods while clearing land for the crops he hoped to get in the next spring. He was getting so he could get along on crutches as it came spring.

He went to Clear Creek for a plough point and saw so many friends and neighbors to visit with that it was

Pg 2a

late when he started home. He had to go through a piece of woods and wanted to get though that before dark as he knew dangers lurked all about him. However, his progress was slow on crutches and before long he heard the howling of the wolves and knew that they were on his track. as they came nearer he saw that he soon would be over taken, so he backed against a large tree where he could protect himself somewhat.

As the pack came on, the leader attacked him, and as it would jump for him, he would strike at it with his plow point. He kept the wolves off for some time in this way but finding his strength nearly gone he saw that something else must be done. Watching his chance, when he had the opportunity he threw the plow point at the leader, wounding him and

Pg 3

stunning him for a moment. Then it jumped up and ran into the depths of the woods, and Richard Goodwin soon reached home, none the worse for his thrilling experience.

As Richard and Ruth G. were the founders of the Goodwin family in this part of the country a few facts in regard to their parentage may be of interest. Ruth Sandborn Goodwin was the daughter of _____ Sandborn, and Esther Cleveland. And it was this same Cleveland family from whom descended Grover Cleveland former president of the U.S

Richard Goodwinís fatherís name was also Richard Goodwin, a sea faring man. There is in the possession of Cousin Ruth Hammond a corset board

Pg 3a

carved by him, for his wife, while on a sea voyage.

Ruth Sandbornís motherís name was Elizabeth flanders. Two brothers of Elizabeth Flanders fought in the Revolutionary War, one them being killed in the battle of Bunker Hill. Of the other brother, John Flanders, many stories are related of his daring exploits which amounted to even recklessness after his brotherís death.

At one place considerable amounts of British stores were kept in a barn on a small island. These consisted of ammunition, tar and ropes for repairing ships. John on a scouting expedition discovered these supplies, struck fire from his flint lock musket and set fire to the stores. He was pursued by the British and made for the shore where he

Pg 4

And his companions had left their boat with which they had reached the island. But the rest of the party reached the boat first and escaped in it leaving John and one other soldier at the mercy of the British.

They plunged into the water and a comrade on the mainland saw their predicament and put out in another boat and just succeeded in getting them out of reach of the British soldiers. As they landed, the British ships had trained their cannon on J. and his comrade. John saw what was coming and called out "drop" and they all dropped flat on their backs. The cannon ball struck just behind them and bounded over their heads throwing sand all over them.

This burning of the British stores so crippled the British forces, that it was months before they were able

Pg 4a

To go into action again, as they had to send to England and back. John was rewarded by a pension for his bravery.

At another time he and others one dark night, got past the British picket to a house where British soldiers were sleeping on the floor as thick as they could. John saw through a window a shelf with rolls of broadcloth and watches hanging on the wall. Stealing in between rows of sleeping soldiers he captured two watches and a roll of broadcloth, and escaped to a window. Sleepers began to stir and before he could escape had grabbed one end of his roll of broadcloth. He jumped out the window where his companions helped pull, and they tore off cloth enough for three suits of clothes and then got away in the darkness.

Pg 5

At another time (while on a scouting ex) he observed by daylight the position of the enemyís guns, and then by night with several other soldiers, stole through the British pickets and fastened a long rope which they had brought with them, to a brass piece. Stealing back past the pickets again, they pulled on the rope and brought the piece through the lines.

They drew the cannon up beside his generalís quarters and at daybreak fired a salute.

A great commotion ensued and the general who was very severe ordered the offenders to be brought to him. A few questions were asked and they told him the story, when the stern old general said in a mild tone "In (the) future, be more careful".

Back To Chautauqua County

If you have anything of genealogical or historical interest to add to this site, or if you are interested in becoming a member of the Painted Hills Genealogy Society, please contact us at:
Painted Hills

This page is maintained by the PHGS
Last Update January 31, 2020