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Jennie (Miner) Goodger

Jennie Goodger

Jennie (Miner) Goodger was born on April 29, 1876 in Washington Township near Tontogany, Wood County, OH, the daughter of Jacob and Louise (Finkenbeiner) Miner. She and her brother Jay were twins.

On Sept. 14, 1898, when Jennie was age 22, she was united in the bonds of matrimony with 20-year-old Harry Allen Goodger Jr. (1878-1953), the eldest of five offspring of Harry and Rebecca (Thorne) Goodger Sr. (The name is pronounced "good-gear.") Harry was an Englishman who had come to the United States from Chatteris, England in 1889, when he was age 12, and was naturalized as an American citizen in 1901.

The Goodgers produced an only daughter, Nellie Marie Parcell. 

The family spent their lives together residing in Tontogany, where Harry was a merchant and also labored as a farmer. He also is known to have worked for the Royce and Coon Grain Company. By 1910, when the census was taken, Harry earned a living as a pumper in a railway pump house in or near Tontogany.

Jennie, said a Bowling Green newspaper, "was a member of the Methodist church, a good kind neighbor, helpful and loving wife, and a sympathetic friend who maintained the friendship of a wide circle."  

According to the 1975 booklet, Tontogany Times, Harry owned a grocery and meat market in town, and among other owners, he "was in this location for the most number of years, trading properties with Allen Ewing about 1918, and selling his stock to Ross English of Bowling Green in 1934." Jennie's cousin Ross Robinson also owned the property at one time.

Rare photograph of Tontogany's Main Street

Tontogany Cemetery
The census of 1920 lists Harry as a grocer of meats and in 1930 as "retail merchant - general store." He is known to have served one or more terms as mayor of Tontogany. 

Sadly, Jennie was afflicted with "myocarditis" (heart disease) and then contracted lobar pneumonia in late May 1926 and suffered for nine days. While appearing at one point to improve, she died on June 30, 1926, at the age of just 50 years. Funeral services were conducted in the Tontogany Methodist Episcopal Church, presided by Rev. Myers of the local Presbyterian church. She was laid to rest in Tontogany Cemetery. The Bowling Green Daily Sentinel-Tribune published an obituary.

Harry outlived Jennie by nearly three decades. 

After spending two years as a widower, he remarried to Alma Eliza Williams (Nov. 6, 1905-1993), who was almost a quarter century younger than he was.  She was the daughter of Frank A. and Rosina (Grimm) Williams.

They bore two daughters of their own, Virginia R. Williams (1929- ? ) and Joanne Spoerl. 

Harry became employed in about 1948 with Toledo Mechine & Tool Company. He worked there for four years until his death. Alma generated income as a cook from 1947 to 1973 at the Washington Township and Otsego School Districts. She belonged to the St. Paul Lutheran Church of Haskins, was the historian of the congregation and active with its Mary Martha Circle. She also gave of her time with the American Red Cross and its bloodmobile drives.

Harry underwent surgery in December 1952 in Wood County Hospital and was a patient for several weeks. He appeared to improve and was sent home on Christmas Eve. They spent New Year's Day entertaining their daughter and son-in-law, Virginia and Howard Williams. But just three months later, he was felled by a heart attack at home and passed away at the age of 73 on March 20, 1953.  The body was discovered by his wife after she returned home from her job at the local school. His funeral rites were conducted at St. Paul's Lutheran Church in Haskins. He also is buried at Tontogany.

Alma outlived her spouse by four decades. The angel of death spirited her away at the age of 87, on April 15, 1993, in Wood County Hospital. 

Harry's daughter Virginia R. Goodger (1929- ? ) was joined in wedlock with Howard Williams. They were in Tontogany in 1978.

Harry''s daughter Joanne Goodger was united in matrimony with Paul Spoerl. They settled in Weston, OH.  

~ Daughter Nellie Marie (Goodger) Parcell ~

Nellie Parcell

Daughter Nellie Marie Goodger (1899-1978) was born in 1899 in Tontogany.

She is mentioned in Tontogany Times, saying that she was a member of the first graduating class of "all girls" in 1917 from the Washington Township Rural School District. Nellie in 1918 enrolled in a nurse's training course at St. Vincent Hospital in Toledo. After one day of classes, she returned home.

On April 10, 1919, when she was about 20 years of age, Nellie entered into marriage with Elmer Rhodes Parcell ( ? -1976). Their union held over the ups and downs of a remarkable 56 years' duration.

The only daughter borne of this union was Rosellen "Jo" Siegal. When their daughter was a baby, they arranged for a four-generation photograph to be taken with Nellie's mother and grandmother Louise Miner.

The Parcells moved to Toledo, Lucas County, OH in 1926, and Nellie is mentioned in the 1932 Washington Township School Toganette yearbook as residing there. In 1937, they were Christmas Day dinner guests of her aunt and uncle, Edna and Fred Asmus near Perrysburg. They belonged to the Toledo's Monroe Street Methodist Church.

In 1939, the family relocated to Hastings, MI, and stayed for good over the span of decades. Elmer was employed there as a service engineer for the Hastings Division of E.W. Bliss Company, a manufacturer of machine tools. He was honored by the company at a dinner in December 1959, held at Hastings Country Club, for achieving 37 years' of employment. For that he received a gold pin with diamond and watch. He retired in 1968.

Postcard showing some of Hastings' prominent landmarks 

Nellie and Rosellen, 4-generations, 1920 
Nellie held memberships in the First United Methodist Church of Hastings, Toledo Choral Society  and the Fort Industries Chapter of the Order of Eastern Star in Toledo, while Elmer was active with the Hastings lodge of the Masons. Their final address together was at 126 West Walnut Street.

Sadly, Elmer passed away on Sept. 15, 1976, at age 78, in Pennock Hospital. The Battle Creek Enquirer printed an obituary.

Nellie survived her spouse by just under two years. Following what the Bowling Green Daily Sentinel-Tribune called "a long illness," she surrendered to the angel of death at the age of 79 in Pennock Hospital in Hastings. Rev. Albert C. Mathias led the funeral rites, with burial following in Tontogany Cemetery. Her obituary also appeared in the Battle Creek Enquirer.

Daughter Rosellen "Jo" Parcell (1920-1994) was born circa 1920. She dwelled at 126 West Walnut Street in Hastings in 1950 as a single woman. At the age of 30, in or about June 1950, she wed 38-year-old Paul E. Siegal (Jan. 21, 1912-1996), a native of Scotville and the son of Arthur and Bertha (Voeler) Siegel. The pair did not reproduce, and their home for many years was in Hastings, MI. Paul was a 1929 graduate of Hastings High School who went on to earn a bachelor's degree in 1938 and his law degree in 1940, both from the University of Michigan. Paul served in the U.S. Navy during World War II and entered officer's training school. After the war's end, he returned to Hastings and opened his own private law practice. At one time he was engaged as city attorney for Hastings. Included in his community activity was helping to found the Thornapple Foundation, later renamed the Barry County Community Foundation. He belonged to the Rotary Club of Hastings for more than half a century and was a Paul Harris Fellow of the organization. He served on the boards of directors of the Hastings City Bank, Hastings Savings and Loan Association, Hastings Youth Council and Barry County YMCA. He also held memberships in the alma mater alumni association and the University of Michigan Presidential Society. The family belonged to the First United Methodist Church. It was only poor health that forced him to retire from his law practice. Sadly, at the age of 74, Rosellen passed away in Grand Rapids Hospice Center on Aug. 4, 1994.. A notice of her death appeared in the Battle Creek Enquirer. Paul survived for another two-plus years as a widower. The end came as a patient in Blodgett Medical Center in Grand Rapids at the age of 84 on Oct. 7, 1996. An obituary in the Enquirer called him "a longtime attorney and community activist." His pastor Rev. Buford W. Coe presided over the funeral rites, held in the family church. Interment was in Riverside Cemetery.

Copyright 2002, 2007, 2009, 2022-2023 Mark A. Miner