Biography of Richard Gooch

Richard Gooch, an influential figure in Lee Center Township, was born in England in 1848 and came to America as a toddler, his family ultimately settling in Ashton. He married Sarah Hodges and they resided in Lee Center Township, involved in their community and church. Mr. Gooch, a Republican, was civically minded, notably in education, and owned a well-cultivated 430-acre farm. They had two children and lived a contented life, acknowledged for their refinement and societal contributions. This account also provided a brief family background, highlighting the Gooch and Hodges families’ journeys and their reputable life in Illinois.

Richard Gooch. Among the prominent and influential residents of Lee Center Township, may be classed the subject of this sketch who came to this county at an early day and has aided much in its development and progress. He was born in Somersetshire, England, December 7, 1848, and was only fifteen months old when brought by his parents to America, settling in Ogle County, this state, where the father was employed on public works and also on the Illinois Central Railroad as a construction foreman. From Ogle County, they removed to Jo Daviess County where they remained for some two years. Soon after coming to Bradford Township, this county, where our subject grew to manhood.

Edgar Gooch, the father of our subject, was born in England, May 10, 1821. His wife, whose maiden name was Eliza Mann, was also a native of England, being born in Lancashire, March 22, 1826. They came to America in the spring of 1850 and after living in various places as has been stated, they finally settled in the village of Ashton in the spring of 1889. They had a family of nine children of whom our subject was the eldest. They were excellent people who brought up their children in the most careful manner and were highly esteemed by their many friends and acquaintances.

Richard Gooch was reared to manhood on his father’s farm and remained at home until his marriage on January 14, 1872, which took place at Sublette to Miss Sarah Hodges, a native of Lee Center Township, her birth occurring on August 19, 1851. The young couple settled near Ashton, in the township of the same name, where they lived for seven years, at the end of that time removing to Lee Center Township, where they have ever since resided, making their home since 1883 at Shaw Station. The father of Mrs. Gooch, Joseph A. Hodges, was born in Indiana, and her mother, whose maiden name was Olive Tourtillott, was born near Bangor, Me. They were married in Bureau County, Ill., and settled in Lee Center Township, this county, where they lived until the spring of 1889 when they removed to Mendota, this state. There they are spending the evening of their lives in quiet retirement, happy in the consciousness of a well-spent life. This worthy couple were the parents of eleven children, of whom Mrs. Gooch is the eldest.

Our subject and his wife have two children, Eva E. and Roy W. In politics, Mr. Gooch is a thorough Republican, although he has never taken an active part in political affairs. He has held several of the school offices and is interested in educational and religious progress. He and his wife are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church and give their aid to all enterprises which tend toward the welfare of their community. Mr. Gooch is the owner of four hundred and thirty acres of land, his farm being highly cultivated and containing a fine line of improvements. He has a pleasant residence in which are hospitably entertained the many friends of his refined and cultured family.


Biographical Publishing Company, Portrait and biographical record of Lee County, Illinois, containing biographical sketches of prominent and representative citizens, together with biographies of all the governors of the state, and of the presidents of the United States, Chicago: Biographical Publishing Co., 1892.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Pin It on Pinterest

Scroll to Top