ELIAS GOON, one of the earliest and most prominent settlers of Jackson Township, was born in Wayne County, Ohio, on the 26th of June, 1836. He is a son of Daniel and Leah (Weaver) Goon, the former a native of Pennsylvania, who went to Ohio with his parents when a young man; the latter was born in Ohio. They were engaged in farming and had a family of eight children, five of whom are living, namely: Our subject; Jacob, of Richland County, Ohio; Lovina, wife of Jacob Brubaker, living in Ringgold County, Ohio; Susan, wife of John Crouse, of Putnam County, Ohio, and Mary Ann, wife of John Smith, of Ashland County, Ohio. Daniel Goon was an active member of the Church of the United Brethren in Christ, serving for a time as Class-Leader. In political sentiment he was an old-line Jackson Democrat and has held several local offices. He is a man of excellent principles, highly respected in the community where he resides, and, though retired from the active labors of life these many years, he is still living, having attained the ripe age of seventy-nine years. His wife, with whom he has lived over half a century, celebrating their golden wedding in 1885, is now in her seventieth year.
The subject of this sketch was reared upon a farm, assisting his father in the difficult work of farming in a new country and among the stumps. His education was received in the log-cabin schoolhouse of pioneer times, attending a subscription school. These cabins were of the rudest construction, provided with slab seats, and with wooden pins for legs. For writing-desks, holes were bored in logs, upon which was laid a large chestnut board. In 1854 Mr. Goon turned his face toward the setting sun, at that time there being no railroad in this State. He soon found employment in Cotton's Grove, in this county, cutting wood, for which he received $1 per cord. In the autumn, his desire to see the old home in Ohio, prompted him to attempt the journey, though it could not be made easily, he being compelled to walk as far as Davenport. In the meantime he had saved up from his hard earnings $200. In the fall of 1856 he returned to Iowa, determined to make this his future home. From that year until 1862 he worked out by the month. He was industrious and economical, and, though his wages were small, he managed to accumulate a little means. July 1 of the last-named year, he was married to Miss Jane Robertson, a daughter of John Robertson, who was one of the early pioneers of the county. The county was at this time suffering from the convulsion of civil war, and our subject was one of those brave, devoted men who made such a brilliant military record for the State of Iowa during that trying period. In August, 1863, he enlisted in Co. K, 40th Iowa Vol. Inf. He was sent to Iowa City, where he was on detail duty at the hospital for a time. While at this service he was poisoned in his hand, which disabled him for life, and came very near causing his death, and for which he receives a pension. He was in the service nine months, when he was discharged and returned home, and purchased some land in Jackson Township. Upon this he remained nine years, when he sold out and went to Nebraska, where he spent one winter. Not liking the place he returned to this county, where he has since lived, and now has 305 acres of land under cultivation.Mr. and Mrs. Goon are the parents of six children — Andrew, Leah, John, Mary, Alice and Bell. Mr. Goon is a member of the Benton County Veteran Association. He has been closely identified with the county's history for many years, and thus far in life has been successful. Though possessing considerable property, he acquired it by hard work and economy, possessing but $5 when he came to the county.
Source Citation: "1887 Benton County, Iowa Biographies" [database online] Benton County IAGenWeb Project. <http://iagenweb.org/benton/>
Original data: "Portrait and Biographical Album of Benton County, Iowa." Chicago: Chapman Brothers, 1887, p. 334-335.
Transcribed by: Sue Soden. Submitted to the Benton County IAGenWeb Project on February 18th, 2009. Copyright © 2009 The IAGenWeb Project.