James M. Goodspeed, a resident of Tuscola, Illinois, and who has for many years been a preacher in the Methodist Episcopal church, was born in the city of Wooster, Wayne county, Ohio, June 22, 1845. His parents were S. S. and Anna (Fish) Goodspeed. The former was born in Essex county, New York, and his mother in Vermont. His grandfather Goodspeed was a soldier in the war of 1812 and for his services drew a pension from the government up to the time of his death.

During the Civil war the subject of this sketch enlisted in the services of his country four times. On June 4, 1862, he enlisted in the Sixty-ninth Regiment Illinois Volunteers and served four months. After being honorably discharged he enlisted in the Twenty-sixth Illinois Volunteers, but was rejected. On March 4, 1864, he enlisted in the One Hundred and Thirty-fifth Illinois Regiment and became sergeant in Company A. After serving four months and twenty-four days he was honorably discharged. When the government called for men to serve for one year, he enlisted again, but was rejected on account of a disabled arm. He is now a member of the Grand Army of the Republic.

Rev. Goodspeed was reared and educated at Urbana. Illinois, and after leaving the schools of that city he entered the University of Illinois, where he attended as a student for two years. He taught school near Urbana in 1869 and 1870, and then entered Garrett Biblical Institute, at Evanston, Illinois, where he prepared himself for the duties of the ministry. He joined the Illinois conference of the Methodist Episcopal church September 30, 1873, and served the following charges: Tuscola circuit, two years; Ludlow, two years; Catlin, two years; Camargo, three years; Fairmount, two years; Georgetown, three years; Homer, three years, and was sent from Homer to Arcola. After serving the church here for one year, he, in 1892, located at Tuscola. From that date until the present he has continued in the active ministry, serving such charges as he could and live at Tuscola.

April 14, 1875, he was united in marriage to Miss Rebecca, a daughter of D. H. Jessee, who is an enterprising stock raiser and shipper residing near Villa Grove. They have two children: Wilbur F., who is a graduate of the Tuscola High School, and Edith, ten years of age. Rev. Goodspeed owns a valuable farm of two hundred acres in Douglas county and other property. He has preached twenty-six years in this state, is an earnest and able speaker and is highly respected by his neighbors and friends.

Extracted 08 Sep 2018 by Norma Hass from the Historical and Biographical Record of Douglas County, Illinois, published in 1900, pages 170-171.

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