Goodwin, George Iverson (1835–1916)

By: Laurie E. Jasinski and Aragorn Storm Miller

Type: Biography

Published: September 2, 2014

Updated: August 27, 2014

George Iverson Goodwin, attorney and state legislator, was born on August 1, 1835, at Americus, Georgia. He was the son of John and Sarah (Cutts) Goodwin. In 1846 the family came to Texas and landed at Galveston. They settled in Grimes County, where Goodwin grew up and attended school. He studied law in Richmond, Texas, and was licensed to practice there in 1859. By 1860 he was practicing law in Chambers County and was listed on the federal census with his wife, three sons, and a daughter. Apparently, only one son lived to adulthood.

During the Civil War Goodwin enlisted in Company F, Spaight’s Battalion and saw action at Sabine Pass. He later served in Gen. Tom Green’s brigade and helped in the capture of Union soldiers at Brashear City, Louisiana. He then served under Samuel G. Ragsdale. Goodwin moved to Bryan, Texas, in Brazos County after the war to resume his law practice.

During the early 1870s he was active in Democratic politics and was also a proponent of the Grange. In December 1873 he won election as representative for District Eighteen—comprised of Leon, Brazos, and Robertson counties—to the House of the Fourteenth Texas Legislature. He served from January 13, 1874, to April 18, 1876, and chaired the Military Affairs Committee. During this session he authored and shepherded legislation leading to the opening of Agricultural and Mechanical College—present-day Texas A&M University—in 1876. Goodwin Hall was dedicated in his honor on campus in 1908.

Goodwin moved to Brownwood, Brown County, in November 1875. Here he served as clerk for New Prospect Baptist Church and was a partner in a local law firm. He continued to practice law for twenty years and retired in 1896. Goodwin was married three times. In June 1853 he married Sallie Trammel (listed as “Sarah” on the 1860 census). Their son John lived to adulthood and eventually became an attorney in Brown County. Sometime after Goodwin’s first wife died of yellow fever, he married Sallie Jones of Brazos County. After her death he married Sallie Smith in Brazos County on October 16, 1872. Census records do not indicate that he had children from either of the marriages. Goodwin died at his home on October 18, 1916, and was buried at Greenleaf Cemetery in Brownwood.

Brazos County, Texas Marriage Records, Books C and D, 22 January 1870 to 28 January, 1878 (Bryan, Texas: Texas Research Ramblers, 1996). Brownwood Bulletin, August 24, 1909. Glenna Fourman Brundidge, Brazos County History: Rich Past–Bright Future (Bryan, Texas: Family History Foundation, 1986). Thomas Robert Havins, Something about Brown: A History of Brown County, Texas (Brownwood, Texas: Banner, 1958). Frank W. Johnson, A History of Texas and Texans (5 vols., ed. E. C. Barker and E. W. Winkler [Chicago and New York: American Historical Society, 1914; rpt. 1916]). Legislative Reference Library of Texas: George Goodwin (, accessed August 27, 2014. Members of the Legislature of the State of Texas from 1846 to 1939 (Austin: Texas Legislature, 1939).


  • Law, Law Enforcement, and Outlaws
  • Lawyers
  • General Law
  • Fourteenth Legislature (1874-1875)
  • House

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Laurie E. Jasinski and Aragorn Storm Miller, “Goodwin, George Iverson,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed January 26, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

September 2, 2014
August 27, 2014