John Jay Good, judge, soldier, and mayor of Dallas, the son of George Good, was born in Monroe County, Mississippi, on July 12, 1827, and reared in Lowndes County, where his father worked as a shoemaker and farmer. He attended Cumberland University in Lebanon, Tennessee, and read law in Columbus, Mississippi, before his admittance to the bar in 1849. He practiced law in Marion County, Alabama, and worked on his father's farm before 1851, when he headed to Texas with his patrimony of $2,000 and settled in Dallas. In 1852 he was elected to command the Dallas citizens' militia group in the Hedgcoxe War. Good married Susan Anna Floyd on July 25, 1854; they had six children. In 1859 he was appointed an official visitor to the United States Military Academy at West Point, but with the outbreak of the Civil War he organized a Confederate artillery battery. He fought as a captain with Benjamin McCulloch's brigade at Elkhorn, was wounded, and was then appointed presiding judge of the Confederate military courts of Mississippi, Alabama, and Georgia, with rank of colonel. Upon his return to Texas after the war, he was elected judge of the Sixteenth Judicial District, Dallas, but was removed by Gen. Philip Sheridan as an "impediment to Reconstruction." Good practiced law in Dallas as a member of the firm of Good, Bower, and Coombes. In 1880 he was elected mayor of Dallas. He was a Mason and Odd Fellow. He died on September 17, 1882, and was buried in the Odd Fellows Cemetery in Dallas.
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Biographical Encyclopedia of Texas (New York: Southern, 1880). William S. Speer and John H. Brown, eds., Encyclopedia of the New West (Marshall, Texas: United States Biographical Publishing, 1881; rpt., Easley, South Carolina: Southern Historical Press, 1978). Vertical Files, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin.
Law, Law Enforcement, and Outlaws
Politics and Government
Dallas/Fort Worth Region
The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.
“Good, John Jay,”
Handbook of Texas Online,
accessed August 14, 2022,
Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
Original Publication Date:
Most Recent Revision Date:
January 1, 1995
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