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Obituary: W. S. Goshorn

- from The Wheeling Intelligencer, Saturday, October 24, 1891.


Mr. W. S. Goshorn, a Prominent Resident of Wheeling,


His Long and Honorable Career In the City and his Public Service. Excitement Caused by the Escape of one of His Slaves—The Funeral Sunday Afternoon.

Mr. William Scott Goshorn, one of Wheeling's oldest citizens, died about half past nine o'clock yesterday morning at his home on North Main street, in the seventy-eighth year of his age. For some years Mr. Goshorn had engaged in no business but the management of his large property interests and investments, but years ago he was engaged in a large way with his father in the dry goods and notion business, their house being well known all over this section and doing a large jobbing business. After selling his interest in that business Mr. Goshorn was for some time actively engaged in banking and other financial business.

Mr. Goshorn had been ill for a long time with a serious affection of the stomach, and his death has been hourly expected for several days. The funeral will take place Sunday at 3:30 p. m., from his late residence at 805 Main street. Mr. Goshorn's wife, a half-sister of the late Peter Zinn, died several years ago, leaving six children, all of whom were at his bedside when he died. They are Mrs. J. Chambers Hervey, Mrs. Isabel Irwin, Mr. John Goshorn, Mrs. Amanda Hamilton, Mrs. R. P. H. Staub, wife of a prominent Baltimore attorney-at-law, formerly of Martinsburg, and Mrs. Laura E. Caldwell, wife Attorney General Alfred Caldwell.

Mr. Goshorn was born in January, 1814, on a farm on McMahon's creek, in Belmont county, Ohio, which his father, John Goshorn, had bought from the grandfather of Attorney General Caldwell. While he was an infant his father removed to Wheeling and here Mr. Goshorn has resided ever since. He was educated in the Wheeling public schools and Washington College. He was at one time chief deputy to Sheriff Wickham, and he served one term as city assessor. He was also a member of council in the time when the best business men were chosen as members of that body.

Hon. B. F. Jones, former chairman of the Republican National Committee, is a cousin of Mr. Goshorn, and he had many other relatives who are influential people. The first wife of the late General B. F. Kelly was his sister.

Mr. Goshorn was up to the war an Old Line Whig, but since that has been a Democrat, and through the war his sympathies were with the South. He was a slave owner, and an incident is recalled by his death which made a stir all over the country at the time. A slave woman named Lucinda Johnson (*note: her name was Sarah Lucy Bagby) ran away from him and escaped to Cleveland, Ohio. Mr. Goshorn went after her, reclaimed her and brought her back. Anti-slavery agitators and others in Northern Ohio Bought to prevent her return to Virginia and there were exciting scenes in which Mr. Goshorn had a close rub, the populace having been much stirred up by the discussion of the matter and being in a mood to do any slaveholder bodily injury.

After this woman became free she was cared for by Mr. Goshorn's family, and has frequently visited them. She was one of the first persons notified by telegraph yesterday of her old master's death.

Mr. Goshorn leaves an estate worth perhaps several hundred thousand dollars.

  ▶ Read an account of W. S. Goshorn's will from The Wheeling Intelligencer, Tuesday, October 27, 1891.


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