Tennessee Records Repository

Decatur Co. TN


Chapter XIV

From Lillye Younger, The History of Decatur County Past and Present (Southhaven, MS: Carter Printing Company, 1978).
Special thanks to Constance Collett for permission to make these web pages.

In Memory of Lillye Washburn Younger 1912-1998.

Thanks to www.tnyesterday.com for contributing this transcription.

Lillye Younger

G. Hobart Goff, born April 26, 1897 in Lexington, Henderson County Tennessee was the sixth son of G. H. and Susan Hefley Goff.

The family moved about quite alot and in 1905 they lived about a mile from Timberlake Switch, five miles from Lexington. They had to walk a distance of three miles to school. In 1908 they moved to Lexington and in 1911 moved to Broadway, five miles west of Lexington, now on Highway 20.

In 1916 our subject sold books for Southwestern Book Co. of Nashville in Georgia with a group of other salesmen.

He received his education in the public schools and in 1917 attended Business college in Memphis.

The first World War in 1918 caused Hobart to join the Army, thinking he would be drafted. He was discharged in December of 1918, having served less than a year.

In 1919 the W. H. Goff General Merchandise Business was formed in Darden, Tennessee and he ran the store which was across the railroad track from the Darden Depot.

In 1920 Hobart bought the old Rains Flour Mill in Parsons from Jim Lamping with nothing down and a little along. Mr. Lamping sold the note to Farmers Bank. It seemed that the business had spent all ready cash with the new boiler, belts and general repair, which amounted to about as much as the gin sold for. Come September they were ready to gin cotton from converted flour mill.

Misfortune hit them when the note came due at the Farmer's Bank of which Mr. Joe Jennings, operated and he said he had to have all the money. Having been doing business with the Bank of Commerce, Goff went there to borrow the money but to no avail, then he went to Frank Houston who was a Stock Holder at the Farmers Bank and he was able to let Goff pay interest to Jan. 1,1921 and that saved the day.

The reason it was almost impossible to borrow money was that the Gin company was caught with about 44 bales of 1919 cotton valued at about $200 per bale. Cotton in 1921 was selling for six to ten cents per pound. They had to pay the storage, interest and insurance on that cotton for three years and sold it for six cents or $30 per bale.

 Goff lived at the Tulane Hotel and off season he sold cars for the Decaturville Auto Co. as well as insurance for Business Men's Co.

Romance entered the picture when he met Miss Gladys Wesson around June 1st. She was visiting Mrs. Lillian Walker who ran the hotel at this time. They were married September 4, 1921 and lived at the Tulane Hotel for a short time. "In my opinion she was and turned out to be the 'Cream of the Wesson Clan'", he said.

Being deeply in debt didn't help our subject very much however he went in the timber business, putting in a sawmill besides his off season jobs and operating the gin.

Three bouncing boys completed the family circle when James Goff, Jack Goff and Billy Goff were born. James was born November 19, 1922 at Parsons, Jack was born April 14,1924 at Parsons and Billy was born at Sugar Tree July 10, 1927.

James married Linda Bateman and they have three children, Randy Gaff, Ann Houston and Kay Goff. They live in Parsons and operate a boat dock at Sugar Tree Marine, living down there part time.

Jack married Ruth Farlow and lives in Parsons after having lived in Memphis for a number of years. They have three children, Bonnye Gail, Jon and Tammy.

Billy lives in Parsons and married Lola Yarbro. They are the parents of four, Tommy Goff, Penny Bell, Ricky Goff and Patricks Goff. He is employed with Kole-Pack Mfg. Co. in Parsons and Lola is employed at Decatur County Bank.

In 1926 the couple moved to Sugar Tree to Gladys farm and stayed until 1928 when they returned to Parsons. Goff bought the Elite Theatre from the bank of Commerce, which was located on the south side of Main Street. He moved the theatre to a building which had been used for a church, located at the present site of the Lexington Electric System. Here he ran silent movies until talking pictures came to Lexington. He had to close, in 1929.

In 1930 the couple leased a gin in Jackson and in 1931 moved the gin to Threadgill Store on Highway 20.

Hobart ran for Trustee of Decatur County in 1932 and was elected, however it was the first time a Republican had been elected with the exception of sheriff since 1916. At this time bonds were selling for about 50% on the dollar and teacher's warrants were being discounted for 40 to 50%. Under his term of office the warrants were paid off from the taxes at face value. He didn't know whether the buyers voted for him or against his opponent.

In 1933 the energetic gent bought the hardware store operated by Carl and Walter Partin located on the south of Main Street in Parsons. He restocked it with hardware and furniture and obtained the Frigidaire Agency.

In 1934 he was re-elected Trustee and served one more term. He started the Rustic Theatre in Parsons May 15,1937 and in 1939 built the Ritz Theatre in Bruceton as well as the Colliersville Theatre in 1941.

He was elected Mayor of Parsons in 1942 and re-elected in 1944. He also obtained the Ford Agency in Parsons in 1944. He closed the Rustic Theatre in 1958 and put in a supermarket in the building. In 1962 he sold the supermarket and retired to the farm where he had a number of cattle. In 1968 he sold his cattle and completely retired.

Misfortune hit our subject when his wife died May 31,1974 and he lives alone at the home place, located on Decaturville Highway.

"Well, I didn't get rich but I made a good living. We raised a good family and I think it has been a privilege to have lived this last one half of a century among my many friends and customers in Decatur County." This statement by Mr. Goff concluded his history.

Compiled by Hobart Goff and written by the Author