Nathan Goff, Sr.

Nathan Goff Sr. Grave Marker


The Wheeling Daily Intelligencer., May 25, 1868

We have on our table the proceedings of a number of Republican county conventions, for which, in extenso, it seems impossible to find room before the meeting of the Convention Thursday. We therefore have to content ourselves with an abridgment, including full lists of the delegates to the State Convention.


The Harrison County Republican Convention was held at Clarksburg on the 16th inst., Nathan Goff, Sr., President and Dr. A. F. Barns and John A. Hursey Secretaries. The following is the list of delegates to the State Convention:

Clark Township–Nathan Goff, Sr., A. Werninger, Jas. P. Bartlett, B. F. Shuttleworth, Ira Hart, John Irwin, Jas. C. Custer, W. R. Alexander, Jacob F. Cost, W. W. Cork.

1868 Electoral Results Map
The Wheeling Daily Intelligencer., July 03, 1869


Concerning the circumstances attending the introduction of these resolutions to the Convention, the Clarksburg Telegraph says:

When the committee on resolutions entered the building, Nathan Goff, Sr., of this place, had the stand and was endeavoring to get the Convention to adopt the Chicago Platform as the Platform of the Republican Party of this State, and was interrupted by a member of that committee, who stated the committee on resolutions had met and adopted a series of resolutions and were now ready to report to the Convention. The committees never agreed to an “endorsement of the Chicago Platform,” and the resolution in question was not presented by “a part of the committee, without the knowledge of the others,” and was not “brought in as a sort of supplementary report.”

Our information was slightly different from this. Mr. Goff was a member of the committee, of which Mr. A. W. Campbell was chairman. The committee had a meeting, agreed to recommend the simply the adoption of the Chicago Platform and deputed Mr. Goff to make that report. After Mr. Goff had done this, Mr. McWilliams of Wirt, and one or two other gentlemen who were on the committee, brought forward the “elaborate” resolutions prepared by Mr. Church, as a report from the committee.

Republican Party Elephant

The claim of this resolution to be considered “extraordinary” rests chiefly on the closing sentence. It is not an uncommon practice for conventions to express their approval of the administration or acts of a public officer, and so far as this particular resolution went in that direction, we should have offered no criticism.

But here is the point of the whole thing. We quote the concluding sentence: “Our confidence in him is unabated, and we shall continue to honor him with this confidence wherever and whenever he may wish to serve us!” We venture to say that no such thing as that was ever passed before by any State Convention in the United States.

It is plain that the reason why the Chicago Platform was not considered sufficient by two or three of the committee was that it did not include a resolution praising Mr. Boreman; and it was for the purpose of getting in one that the elaborate resolutions were drawn and brought forward; and their whole point was concealed in the last sentence of the last one, which virtually pledged every man in the Convention to support him for the Senate, it being well known that was the place where he wished to serve us.


Convention at Clarksburg.
The Wheeling Daily Register., March 28, 1870
The Democrat., April 04, 1870

B&O Railroad Steam Engine

According to previous announcement a Convention was held in the Court House at Clarksburg, on Thursday, the 24th day of March, 1870.

On motion of Hon. Charles S. Lewis, Judge G. D. Camden was called to the chair, and on motion of N. Goff, Sr., A. C. Moore, Meigs Jackson and A. F. Barnes were appointed secretaries. After which the President, in a few pointed and well timed remarks, stated the object of the Convention, and trusted that the people of the section of country through which the proposed road would pass would make such an effort, pecuniary and otherwise that the object of the meeting would be accomplished.

On motion of N. Goff, Sr. , all persons present were admitted as delegates to the convention.

Nathan Goff, Sr., being called upon, addressed the convention. He claimed that all the counties along the proposed route should do their full duty and subscribe liberally to the railroad. He argued that there had been talk enough, and that the time for action had now arrived.


Proceedings of the Grafton Convention.
From the Grafton Sentinel.]
The Wheeling Daily Register., January 29, 1872

Linsly Institute Building


A general convention was held at Grafton, January 25, 1872, for the purpose of bringing before the Constitutional Convention, now in session at the city of Charleston, the subject of removing the present seat of government.

On motion of Nathan Goff, Sr., ex-Gov. Joseph Johnson was elected chairman, and was conducted to his seat by Col. Charles Hooton and John W. Mason, Esq.

The following gentlemen were elected Vice Presidents : Hon. Chas. W. Newlon, of Taylor, Hon. Nathan Goff, Sr., of Harrison; Dr. L. R. Charter, of Dodrige, A. W. Martin, of Barbour.

The committee on Resolutions retired to prepare resolutions, and during their absence the Convention was addressed by Governor Johnson and Nathan Goff, Sr.

Virginia Bonds held in West Virginia.

The Wheeling Daily Intelligencer., February 21, 1872

Virginia Bond

A report to the Convention furnishes the following list of West Virginia holders of Virginia bonds. These are who reported themselves under a request made by the Legislature a year or two ago, but may not be all the actual holders in the State.

Excerpt– Nathan Goff, Sr………………..  200

Write Your Name Plainly.

The Wheeling Daily Register., October 20, 1873

We heard a good joke on Nathan Goff, Sr., of Clarksburg, the other day, that has never been published, and which will repay perusal.

“Uncle Nathan” writes a fearful hand, but his signature is worse than Horace Greeley’s possibly could be, and thereby hangs a tale : At the time one of the Ohio asylums was destroyed by fire, Mr. Goff was President of the Board of Directors of the West Virginia Asylum and feeling grateful to the people of Ohio for their kindness in taking care of our insane during the war the directors passed a resolution offering to take charge of a certain number of patients, until their Asylum could be rebuilt.

West Virginia Asylum

The resolution was signed by the President and Secretary of the Board, and sent on to the authorities in Ohio. Our neighbors over in Ohio were highly pleased at the proffered kindness, and while they did not need our assistance, they tendered their warmest thanks.

The resolution of our Board was printed in the Ohio papers pretty generally ; but lo! The signature attached was– “VENETIAN Goss, President.”

“Uncle Nathan has been mad at the people of Ohio ever since; and we reckon he never will forgive the printers who played such havoc with his cognomen. He certainly will give them “Goss,” if he ever has an opportunity.

Another incident of somewhat similar nature occurred a few years ago to Judge Brannon, of this place. Mr. B. had occasion to write to a gentleman–a stranger to him–residing in Maryland. The person to whom the letter was addressed, managed by a tremendous effort, to read the letter, but the signature “threw him.”

Turn it in all directions, look at it with magnifying glass or the naked eye, and still it was an impenetrable mystery. The letter was one of importance, and must be answered immediately.

What was to be done? Happy thought: The gentleman cut out the signature, “John Brannon,” pasted it upon the enveloped, and wrote under it “Weston, Lewis County, West Virginia.” In due time the letter reached Mr. Brannon, but he never could believe that his correspondent was not near-sighted. “Why,” said he “the ‘John Brannon’ was just as plain as print.’”-Ex.

Hon. Nathan Goff, Sr., of Harrison County, for Congress.

The Wheeling Daily Intelligencer., August 27, 1874

Editors of the Intelligencer:

I have heard it frequently remarked recently that in the numerous suggestions that have been made through the papers in relation to candidates for Congress, some of our best men have been passed unnoticed.

It is true the names of many worthy gentlemen have been mentioned, but men of the greatest experience and the most comprehensive ability, united with incorruptible integrity, have been passed by unnoticed.

Among these I would respectfully mention the name of that veteran public servant, Hon. Nathan Goff, Sr. He was one of the gallant crew that manned our ship of State when she was first launched on the turbulent billows of rebellion.

He served for several years in our State Legislature when her laws were being modeled so as to adapt them to the circumstances of her infantile existence. He originated many wise and wholesome measures, the utility of which is generally acknowledged, Especially was his mature wisdom displayed in molding the financial policy of our State.

WV Legislature Finance Committee
Nathan Goff Sr. (Center)

He was chairman of the Finance Committee I believe during his entire career in the Legislature. The finances of our nation are in a condition to need the direction of such experienced heads as his.

They are complicated, and it will require such ingenuity as he and men of like experience possesses to unravel them. His election to Congress would not only be a blessing to the State but to the Nation.

It is true he is old, but he is well preserved. By a life of temperance and moderation he has kept his mental vigor unimpaired.

A virtuous, christian life is evinced in the countenance of the hale old gentleman which is always beaming with that benevolence which has characterized his truly christian life.

Of all the gentlemen spoken of it can be truly said of him, “he is the noblest Roman of them all,” and although he has been in retirement for years, like the great Cicero at Tusculum in his serene old age, let the people, of the State and the Nation once more have the benefit of his wise counsels.

I see that Mr. Willey is spoken of as a candidate in the Second District, and Hon. John Hall as a candidate in the Third; Send these three sages to Congress from West Virginia, and it will cast a bright halo of glory around our State, and will do much to elevate the standard of Congressional dignity, and will give our State a controlling influence in that body.

Goff, Willey and Hall would reflect dignity upon any legislative body in Christendom. They would have done honor to the Roman Senate in the palmiest days of that Republic. Let us have Goff, the elder, for the people’s candidate in the First District, and you may depend the Wilsonites will bite the dust.


The Wheeling Daily Intelligencer., March 16, 1876

CITY PERSONALS–Nathan Goff, Sr., is stopping at the McLure.

The Weston Democrat., November 24, 1877

Clarksburg was thrown into quite a fever of excitement on last Thursday morning, by the marriage of Nathan Goff, Sr. and Miss Mary Hornor, at the residence of the bride’s mother on Pike Street. They took the early morning train for Washington City, and the East.–Clarksburg News.

The Wheeling Daily Intelligencer., January 23, 1880

Excerpt– Mr. Nathan Goff, Sr., was attacked about a week ago with something like paralysis, and has been quite feeble ever since, but is better now.


A Prominent Citizen of Clarksburg Laid to Rest.
The Wheeling Daily Intelligencer., November 30, 1885

Merchant's National Bank

Nathan Goff, Sr., of Clarksburg, known all over the State as “Uncle Nate” Goff, died at his home last Friday, and was buried yesterday, the funeral being the most largely attended seen at Clarksburg for a long time.

Mr. Goff was an uncle of Congressman Goff, and has been a prominent figure in West Virginia history. He was born in 1793 and with his father’s family came to Harrison county very early in life, and to Clarksburg in 1831, where, as in Morgantown, he was engaged successfully in the mercantile business.

He was President of the Merchant’s National Bank from its organization. He was for years Mayor of Clarksburg, and was elected to the Legislature as a Republican and Union man several successive terms, commencing in 1863.

He was an active and consistent Methodist. Goff Chapel bears his name. He was for years treasurer of the Harrison County Bible Society and did much to distribute the Bible among the destitute.

He was an active business man and possessed a large fortune, perhaps more than half a million dollars. He was twice married.

His first wife was Miss Catharine Briton, whom he married in Monongalia county while he was yet quite a young man. His second wife was Miss Mary Hornor, who survives him.

Spirit of Jefferson., December 01, 1885
Shepherdstown  Register., December 04, 1885

Mr. Nathan Goff, Sr., uncle of Hon. Nathan Goff, Jr., member of Congress, died in Clarksburg, W. Va., Friday, aged 87 years. He leaves a fortune estimated at half a million dollars.

Spirit of Jefferson., December 22, 1885

By the will of the late Nathan Goff, Sr., of Clarksburg, W. Va., Congressman Nathan Goff, Jr., will receive about $250,000.

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