Jasper Goodwill

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Jasper Goodwill
Mayor of Minden, Louisiana, USA
In office
Preceded by John T. David
Succeeded by Frank T. Norman
Personal details
Born (1889-11-18)November 18, 1889
Minden, Webster Parish, Louisiana, USA
Died November 10, 1974(1974-11-10) (aged 84)
Minden, Louisiana
Resting place Minden Cemetery
Nationality American
Political party Democratic Party
Spouse(s) Annie Eldredge Goodwill
Children Marion Jasper Goodwill

Gloria Goodwill
Robert Eldredge Goodwill

Parents Alfred Jasper Goodwill and Sallie Fort Goodwill
Occupation Businessman
Religion Methodist
(1) Businessman Goodwill was a transitional mayor between the longer terms of John T. David and Frank T. Norman; having won a special election, Goodwill did not seek a full four-year term in 1958.

(2) Despite his brief service, Goodwill led the implementation of health insurance and pension coverage for municipal employees.

The Goodwill family grave marker in historic Minden Cemetery in Minden, Louisiana
Grave of former Mayor Jasper Goodwill in Minden Cemetery

Jasper Goodwill (November 18, 1889 – November 10, 1974)[1] served from 1955 to 1958 as the Democratic mayor of the small city of Minden, the seat of Webster Parish in northwestern Louisiana. During his tenure, the municipality implemented health insurance and a pension plan for its employees.


Goodwill prevailed in a special election on May 10, 1955, to fill the remaining three years in the term of John T. David, who resigned amid scandal after nine years in the position. Goodwill defeated Paul Wallace (1896–1969),[1] a furniture store operator and a former member of the Minden City Council, 944 (52.4 percent) to 858 (47.6 percent).[2]

David had also narrowly defeated Wallace in the regular Democratic primary election in 1954. Goodwill did not seek a full term in the 1958 primary, which brought Democrat Frank T. Norman, a sitting council member, to the mayor's chair for the first of two four-year terms.


Goodwill was one of five children born to Alfred Jasper Goodwill (1855–1937)[3] and the former Sallie Fort (1859–1934). Goodwill's paternal grandfather, Confederate Captain Alfred Goodwill, who maintained a large general store in downtown Minden, was first married to Elizabeth Farley until her death, he then married Ida Victoria Hill, their daughter Olive married the son of Louisiana governor Murphy J. Foster (1892-1900) and her son was former Louisiana Governor Murphy J. "Mike" Foster, Jr. Goodwill Road in Minden is named for Captain Goodwill, Mayor Goodwill's grandfather.[4]

Jasper Goodwill graduated from Minden High School, probably in 1906. When he entered the United States Army during World War I, he had no middle name. The Army required at least a middle initial if no middle name, and he was hence assigned a "K", which stood otherwise for nothing. He remained in the United States throughout the war.[5] An older brother, Christopher Goodwill (1867–1901), was shot to death while making an arrest. Ralph Goodwill, another brother, was the co-owner of a clothing store in Minden known as Brown-Goodwill,[4] which closed early in 1987.[6]

Goodwill was assistant postmaster in Minden from after his military service until 1923, when he joined the staff of Empire Southern Gas Company, having retired as the manager in 1954. He and his younger son, Robert Eldredge Goodwill (born June 21, 1928),[7] started a hardware and sporting goods store on Broadway Street in 1952, which closed in 1978.[2]

Goodwill was a president of the Minden Chamber of Commerce (1943–1944), a director of the Minden Building and Loan Association, a past director of the former Minden Bank and Trust Company (since part of Regions Bank, and a member of both the civil defense and Selective Service boards. He was a member of the Lions Club, the National Wildlife Association, American Legion, Knights of Pythias, and the board of the First United Methodist Church of Minden.[8]

Goodwill was married to the former Annie Eldredge (July 2, 1889 – June 18, 1959),[9] a medical secretary originally from Abbeville in Vermilion Parish in south Louisiana. The couple resided at 201 North College Street in Minden. The Goodwills also had an older son, Marion Jasper Goodwill (born January 2, 1925)[7] of Shreveport. Daughter Gloria died a few months into infancy. The couple had four grandchildren.[5] Goodwill was also survived by a sister, Alice Turnley (1901–1991) of Plain Dealing in Bossier Parish.[10] Services were held in the Rose-Neath Funeral Home chapel in Minden. Interment was at Minden Cemetery.[8]


  1. ^ a b "Social Security Death Index". Rootsweb.ancestry.com. Retrieved August 13, 2009. 
  2. ^ a b Minden Herald, May 12, 1955, p. 1
  3. ^ John Agan, "The Legacy of Captain Alfred Goodwill," North Louisiana History, Vol. 27, Nos. 2-3 (Spring-Summer 1996), pp. 103-109
  4. ^ a b John Agan, "Captain Alfred Goodwill's Descendant (Murphy J. Foster, Jr.) Makes News", Minden Press-Herald, November 3, 1995
  5. ^ a b Statement of Robert Eldredge Goodwill of Minden, Louisiana, October 6, 2008
  6. ^ Minden Press-Herald March 3, 1987, p. 10
  7. ^ a b Net Detective, People Search
  8. ^ a b "Ex-Minden Mayor Dies at Age 84", Shreveport Times, November 11, 1974, p. 10-A
  9. ^ Minden Herald, June 18, 1959
  10. ^ Social Security Death Index:http://ssdi.rootsweb.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/ssdi.cgi
Preceded by
John T. David
Mayor of Minden, Louisiana

Jasper Goodwill

Succeeded by
Frank T. Norman