This information is part of the Champaign County ILGenWeb Project. If you have reached this site by means other than The USGenWeb Project, The ILGenWeb Project, or directly, please visit the main Champaign Co, ILGenWeb site for more information regarding Champaign County, IL ancestors. Information contained here was transcribed by Celia Snyder. Please do not repost this information without the express written permission of Celia Snyder.

Champaign County, Illinois

Biography of Armstrong A. Goings

SOURCE: "Portrait and Biographical Album of Champaign County, Illinois," Chapman Brothers, Chicago, 1887


ARMSTRONG A. GOINGS, one of the early pioneers of the Prairie state, is widely and favorably known throughout this county as a man eminently worthy the respect of its best citizens. His has been a life filled with industry and usefulness, and after building up a record as an honest man and good citizen he is now practically retired from its sterner duties and in a comfortable home in Rantoul Township is spending his later days pleasantly. In locating a home in the west, he traveled over a long stretch of country, his native place being Fredericksburg, Md., where he was born Dec. 6, 1810; this he left with his parents in 1839, for the new and undeveloped West.

The father of our subject, Roswell GOINGS, was a native of Maryland, of German ancestry, his grandfather having emigrated to America during the early settlement of Maryland, where he located and spent the remainder of his life. Among the sons was Roswell, who was born in Maryland and who lived there until 1811, when he removed to Pennsylvania and purchased a farm in Greene County, which he occupied until 1839. That year he came overland with his family to Illinois and settled in that part of Tazewell County now included in Woodford County, taking up a tract of Government land, improving a farm and establishing a comfortable homestead, which he occupied until his death, which occurred in about 1860. In early manhood he was married to Miss LETT, also a native of Maryland, and who departed this life at the home of her son in California in about 1867. Her father was a native of Germany, who emigrated to this country when a young man, and during the Revolutionary War assisted in establishing the Independence of the Colonies. He was wounded at the battle of Brandywine, but lived to return to civil life, found a home, and rear a family.

The subject of this sketch was the fourth child and second son of his parents, and but an infant when they removed from Maryland to Pennsylvania. He grew to manhood in Greene county, that State, and when twenty years of age accompanied his parents, first to Mason County, Va., and then to the further West. This latter journey was made via the Ohio, Mississippi and Illinois Rivers to Peoria, which was then a village of a few straggling log cabins. Mr. Goings purchased a claim in Tazewell County, ten miles east of the hamlet, and as soon as the land came into market proceeded to Springfield on horseback and entered it. Among the persons interested at this sale was Stephen A. Douglas, who officiated as crier. The claim of Mr. Goings had been improved by the building of a log cabin, into which the family removed and lived for a time, and then he sold out and purchased land adjacent. He remained a resident of Tazewell County thirteen years, then removed to La Salle County and purchased land near the present site of Tonica. This he improved and transformed into a good farm, which he occupied until 1879. In the spring of that year he sold out and came to this county, and now lives with his son.

Mr. Goings was married in November, 1835, to Miss Mary GREEN, a native of Virginia, who was born in June, 1811. She remained the faithful and affectionate companion of her husband for over thirty years, and then departed this life at their home in La Salle County, Oct. 18, 1868. The nine children born of this congenial union are recorded as follows: Edward is a resident of St. Louis, Mo.; Susannah is the wife of William BUREN, and they live on a farm in Livingston County, Ill.; Frank is in Beadle County, Dak.; Sarah E. is the wife of Raymond P. FRANCIS, a farmer of Ludlow Township; Eliza married James GREGORY, and they are residents of Livingston County; mary, Mrs. Dudley WITTY, lives in La Salle county, and Elisha is farming in Rantoul Township, this county. Two are deceased. Mr. and Mrs. GOINGS became members of the Methodist Episcopal Church in early life, with which the mother remained connected during her lifetime, and in which Mr. G. still retains his membership. He was the pioneer Methodist of this county, and while residing in Tazewell and La Salle Counties his house was the home of the preachers, and the place at which the neighborhood meetings were frequently held.

Elisha GOINGS, the son above mentioned, was born in La Salle County, Ill., Nov. 29, 1853. He remained with his parents until after reaching his majority, and was married Nov. 8, 1876, to Miss Julia FOSTER. This lady is a native of Copenhagen, Denmark, where she was born Sept. 5, 1855; she is the daughter of A. T. and Catura FOSTER, natives respectively of Denmark and England. The family emigrated to America in 1866, and the parents are now residents of Ft. Scott, Kan. Mr. And Mrs. Elisha Goings have five children, viz., Lilly, Fannie, Arthur, George and Chester. They are members and regular attendants of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and valued factors of an intelligent community.

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