Old Newspaper Clippings

Inventor Goodrich Was In Our Town

Contributed by Susan Kunst.  Thanks, Susan!

The Times-Leader, McLeansboro, Illinois
Thursday, March 21, 1968; p. 9
By Veronica Voss

They say that all men who are inventors are dreamers too…This may be, but Hanson Goodrich of McLeansboro had his feet on solid ground, and was truly one of this country's pioneers.

He was not only one of the finest photographers of his day, but the pictures had a staying quality, which matches work of today's photographers.  His tinted portraits are just as clear and unfaded as if they were made yesterday.

On heavy parchment, dated August 16, 1889, is a patent, the name, and town of McLeansborough, Illinois, beautifully written in old script, signed by the Commissioner of Patents for a Coffee-Pot.  But this is not any old coffee-pot…it has a drawing in the patent papers, of each part side and front views, which cannot be told from the percolator of today.  And that is what it is…a percolator.

He states, does this Hanson Goodrich, that the attachment he has invented can be arranged in any coffee-pot…"it is a slightly covex circular or supporting, or base plate, with a tube rising therefrom, and a cup, secured to the upper end of the tube.  It is so constructed, so that placed within the coffee-pot, the water, when it becomes heated, rises in the tube, escapes into the cup, in which the coffee has been placed, and "percolates" through the same, as to extract the strength therefrom, finally escaping through the perforated bottom of the cup, to the water below, producing a liquid which will be free of all grounds and impurities so that it is not necessary to use any clearing materials".

There is a much more detailed explanation of this invention but enough has been told here to leave no doubt that Hanson Goodrich, was truly the inventor of the percolator, as we know it today.

He was the grandfather of several Goodriches, still living and working in McLeansboro.  C. C. Goodrich, Jr., florist, Lucille, and Mrs Coralie Goodrich Frazier, still in business on the square, in the same building their Grandfather Hanson Goodrich started in business, here in McLeansboro, in 1888.

Of course, Hanson Goodrich came to Southern Illinois long before this time, Shawneetown being his first stop, marrying a girl from there, Sallie Ann Edwards, in 1866.  He ran a men's clothing store there, then bought what was called a "trading boat", hauling all kinds of supplies on the river, from his home port to New Orleans.  It sank at Memphis, and he procured a second boat, carrying cargo from Cincinnati, Ohio to Osceola, Arkansas.  He brought the first supply of gasoline ever ferried down the river.  This boat was cut in half at Osceola, Arkansas by a huge ice floe and sank there.

Then he started his moving gallery on wheels, taking pictures as he traveled, finally building his studio on the East side of the square.

In 1876, he sent in to Washington, D.C. applying for papers to get a patent on an "improved door lock".  This is signed by Goodrich and Chapman.

From the first generation, William¾Goodrich, who came from England in 1648...with the heritage of Goodrich Castle, fine litographs of his fabulous castle in the present generations possession, and the direct line to the 8th grandfather, a story to top fiction could be written…a true pioneer family.

Note: Hanson Goodrich was born September 22, 1836 in Burnt Prairie, White Co., IL and died January 16, 1908 in McLeansboro, IL.  He is buried at the IOOF Cemetery there. 

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