Date Original



This collection consists of material from the Goodrich, Hankins, Churchill, and Calef families. Included are correspondence, legal and financial papers, United Daughters of the Confederacy documents, diaries, published and unpublished material, and miscellaneous items.

Biographical/Historical Note

Ralph Leland Goodrich was born in 1836 in Owego, New York, to Silas and Mary Ann Goodrich, the fifth of seven children. His siblings included J. Augusta, Sarah Ann, James, Rachel, Mary, and Stephen. He attended Hobart Free College, Geneva, New York, where he was a member of Theta Delta Chi fraternity. After graduation in 1858, he studied law under Nathaniel Davis and Willoughby Babcock, but failed the bar exam in November 1859. Embarrassed, he left New York and taught school in South Carolina and Florida before settling in Little Rock, Arkansas. When the Civil War began he served in Company A, 6th Arkansas Infantry, known as the "Capital Guards." He saw little action, serving from September 1861 to March 1862, and spent most of his time in a Memphis, Tennessee, hospital. After he was medically discharged, he went back to his home in Little Rock, where he pursued several different forms of employment, including school teacher, private tutor, saloon operator, and theater doorman. In later years, he served as a clerk of the United States Circuit Court and the United States District Court. He was a 32nd Degree Knight Commander of the Court of Honour Mason. Goodrich married three times. His first marriage was to Serena Jennie Connet (1850-1870) on August 24, 1869. He and Jennie had one daughter, Edith. Jennie died on September 14, 1870, shortly after Edith was born. Edith was raised by her paternal grandmother and aunt in New York. Goodrich's second wife, Isadora "Dora" Beebe (1843-1891) was the daughter of Hiram A. and Mary C. Ellis Beebe of Owego, New York, where Hiram was the senior editor of the Owego Gazette. Ralph and Dora married in a lavish wedding on August 17, 1875. They had no children, and she died April 21, 1891. His third wife, Juliette Churchill (1861-1941), was the daughter of former Arkansas Governor Thomas J. Churchill, and granddaughter of Senator A.H. Sevier. They married on September 7, 1897, but he died less than a month later on October 6, 1897. Goodrich is buried at Mount Holly Cemetery, Little Rock, Arkansas. Masters M. Hankins (1857-1930) was a prominent Little Rock businessman. He served as secretary and treasurer of Southern Safe and Lock Company, and Grand Secretary of the Grand Lodge of Arkansas of the Knights and Ladies of Honor. He was also the president of Lillard-Hankins Company that dealt with Pike Adding Machines, National Safes, and Edison Business Phonograph Company. Hankins married Juliette Churchill, widow of Ralph L. Goodrich, on July 5, 1904. Juliette was very active in church and social affairs in Little Rock, including the United Daughters of the Confederacy. They had no children. After Masters retired from business, he studied to become an Episcopal priest and was ordained in 1924. He was the assistant rector at Christ Episcopal Church in Little Rock, and the part-time rector at Episcopal Church of the Redeemer at Longport, New Jersey, during the summer. He died January 15, 1930, and is buried at Mount Holly Cemetery, Little Rock, Arkansas. John F. Calef was born August 23, 1863. His father, Josiah Bartlett Calef, was a prominent merchant in Mobile, Alabama. John also became a merchant and businessman. He moved to Little Rock in 1881. He was the proprietor of the Capital Hotel, buying it in 1884 with John W. Deshon. In 1888, he bought Deshon's half and became the sole owner. He was also the proprietor of the Hotel Trulock in Pine Bluff with a man named Mivelaz. John Calef married Emily Churchill, the sister of Juliette Goodrich Hankins, on June 24, 1885. He died July 26, 1923 and Emily died February 2, 1943. They are both buried at Mount Holly Cemetery, Little Rock, Arkansas.

Physical Description

Document, 8.5" x 11"

Geographical Area

Little Rock, Pulaski County (Ark.); Arkansas; Connecticut; Florida; New York





Resource Type



Goodrich family papers, MS.000069


Arkansas State Archives

Contributing Entity

Arkansas State Archives

Recommended Citation

Goodrich family papers, Arkansas State Archives, Little Rock, Arkansas.


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United States History