C. O'Conor Goolrick

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C. O'Conor Goolrick
C OConor Goolrick 1916 square.jpg
Member of the Virginia Senate
from the 13th district
In office
January 13, 1915 – January 9, 1924
Preceded by Richard C. L. Moncure
Succeeded by William A. Garrett
Member of the Virginia House of Delegates for Spotsylvania and Fredericksburg
In office
January 8, 1908 – January 12, 1910
Preceded by Granville R. Swift
Succeeded by C. Richelieu Coleman
Personal details
Born Charles O'Conor Goolrick
(1876-11-25)November 25, 1876
Fredericksburg, Virginia, U.S.
Died June 4, 1960(1960-06-04) (aged 83)
Fredericksburg, Virginia, U.S.
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Anne Osborne Ficklen
Alma mater Virginia Military Institute
University of Virginia
Religion Episcopalian

Charles O'Conor Goolrick (November 25, 1876 – June 4, 1960) was a Virginia lawyer and politician whose legislative accomplishments include the establishment of a school for the training of teachers at Fredericksburg, Virginia that became the University of Mary Washington, and the establishment of modern systems for worker's compensation, public education, and the state highway department.


Goolrick graduated from the Virginia Military Institute and the University of Virginia Law School, where he was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa. He served in the Virginia House of Delegates from 1908 to 1915, and in the Senate of Virginia from 1915 to 1923.

In 1908, he played a key role in the fight to have a normal school for the training of teachers located in Fredericksburg. At that time, Virginia's only institution devoted exclusively to the training of teachers for public schools was the Normal School for Women at Farmville (now Longwood University). During the 1908 legislative session, two new locations were under consideration, with the Senate supporting Harrisonburg and the House of Delegates selecting Fredericksburg. A compromise was reached, and legislation was passed that created what is today James Madison University and the University of Mary Washington.

Goolrick also was the author of the workman's compensation bill of Virginia, copatron of the state's first compulsory education law, and a member of the 1918-19 commission that laid the foundation for the county-unit system of public school administration. After his state service, Goolrick was city attorney for Fredericksburg for 28 years, and served as Fredericksburg mayor. He was a president of the Virginia Bar Association,[1] and for many years was the president of The Free Lance-Star Publishing Company. In 1950, he was the first recipient of the B'nai B'rith Award for distinguished service to the community, and he was a member of the Mary Washington Board of Visitors when it was affiliated with the University of Virginia. In 1967 the new physical education building of the University of Mary Washington was named Goolrick Hall in his honor.

Goolrick was president of the Virginia convention in 1933 to act on the Twenty-First Amendment, repealing Prohibition.[2]

Personal life and family[edit]

Goolrick married Anne "Nannie" Osborne Ficklen on May 25, 1910. Together they had a daughter, Frances Seymour.


  1. ^ "VBA History and Heritage". The Virginia Bar Association. Archived from the original on September 27, 2007. Retrieved March 9, 2008. 
  2. ^ Brown, Everett Somerville, compiler. Ratification of the Twenty-first Amendment to the Constitution of the United States - State Convention Records and Laws (The Lawbook Exchange, Ltd., 2003) ISBN 1-58477-278-6

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