In 2011, Janna Hoehn and her husband, residents of island of Maui, Hawaii, visited the Vietnam Memorial Wall in Washington D.C. for the first time. Janna grew up in the state of California but had lived in Hawaii for more than 20 years at that time. Remembering being a teenager in school when the Vietnam War was taking place, she wanted to visit “The Wall” that contained the names of the thousands of young men, and a few women, that died there. She didn’t know of any of the servicemen and women who had their names on the wall, but she picked one and made a rubbing on paper of a name. Once home she thought she would try to find the family of the person whose name she had taken the rubbing. She wanted to share it with them, in case they couldn’t make it to the wall themselves. It was a six-month-long, fruitless search. She sought help from a cousin, the “family historian,” who, after six weeks, found a college picture of that veteran.
Two years later she saw a program about an effort to put a face to every one on the wall called “Faces Never Forgotten” for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund. She submitted his picture and received a reply thanking her, as they did not have a photo for him. It came with a request, could she help locate photos for the 42 servicemen that came from Maui County, where she lived? After working on that, she began looking for the five from her hometown in California, which eventually took her on to the Pacific northwest and proceeded east. Her personal path has taken her through veterans from Hawaii, California, Washington, Idaho, Oregon, Nevada, Colorado, North Carolina, Alaska, Utah, Montana and some time back to Texas. She says that there are about 300 names left without photos who entered the service from Texas. She is currently looking for photographs for people in South Carolina and New York, and that is where we come in.
She is looking for a photo for a young man who entered the Army from the state of New York, whose father was career military and divorced from the young man’s mother. The father, and possibly his mother, are buried in California. It is known that the young man was in foster homes for a while, most likely in New York, but his tie to Texas, and more particularly Live Oak County, is that Daniel Eugene Goodin is buried in the Three Rivers Cemetery.
Last week, Janna called and talked to Pat Garcia at “The Progress” looking for a possible obit in an old newspaper. She was unable to provide archives dating back to 1971, the time of Daniel’s death, but she did provide Janna with a couple of names and phone numbers, Sallie’s and mine. Since Sallie had done so much work over that last couple of years trying to get the names, and photos of veterans with Live Oak County connections, she was a natural referral.
Sallie has checked the museum photos, Three Rivers yearbooks, and the obituary albums for Daniel or his family members and has come up empty. Now we turn to one of best resources, you. We would like to know if anyone has a photo of Daniel Eugene Goodin, and if anyone knows what his Live Oak County connection may be? When the name was read off to me, I was very mindful of the many Goodwins here and wondered if there was a possible misspelling. His veterans marker on his grave does read “Goodin” and his parent linked to his “Find-A-Grave” memorial is “Fred Louis Goodin” and “Lillian May Gage Goodin.” On his “Wall of Faces” page, his brother Lou Goodin, and half-siblings, George Earl Faulk, Janice Faulk, Linda Lamkins have commented.
For those that grew up in Three Rivers in the ’60s that may have known Daniel, we would like to hear from you. If any have information on Daniel, any information, but especially a photo of him, we would like to hear from you. There are a lot of Goodwins in Live Oak County, so it makes me wonder if there was somehow a connection, and like we have seen in other cases, a name spelling was changed somewhere in the past. Please help us help Janna with her quest; help us to provide information for his family members, and let us find how this veteran’s remains came to be in the care of the Three Rivers Cemetery.
Last week I shared about the Lewis family photo album. I have now added the photos of those identified to their Find-A-Grave memorials. For me the “gem” of the photos is of a sign for Carl Witt’s Drugstore shared in last week’s “Progress.” It has the photo of a woman in pants, boots and a large hat, standing by the sign. Part of the words were readable, but the bottom was so faint I had to do some photo editing to the scan to make it readable. It read, “Three Rivers, Texas.” To me, it is very rewarding to find an otherwise forgotten piece of Live Oak County history and bring it to others who would appreciate it as well.
Before coming to Live Oak County, Carl Witt was in Eastland County, where he served as the Mayor of Carbon, married Ona Ottolee Cornelius, and was the pharmacist in Eastland. He was in business in Eastland with his brother Eugene in the Witt Bros. Store until he turned over the business to his brother, as reported in the November 1913 issue of “The Southern Pharmaceutical Journal.” That is apparently when he moved to Live Oak County and became the pharmacist in the brand new town of Three Rivers. He would operate the Witt Drug Store in Three Rivers until retiring and moving to the Masonic Home in Arlington in 1959. In 1937, Carl along with nine other men were looking to start a Rotary Club in Three Rivers according to an article in the “Bee Picayune,” and the Witts were active members of the Baptist Church. Their house was near the First Baptist Church in Three Rivers, and Alton Zamzow remodeled and moved into it in 1966. The Witts never had any children and are buried in the Three Rivers Cemetery.
Looking for history? Do you have some history to share? Come see us at the Grace Armantrout Museum.