by Kathy B. Lauder.
Frank Goodman, an expert accountant and one of Nashville’s hardest-working educators, was born in Cleveland, Ohio, on Christmas day 18541 to blacksmith Vincent L. Goodman and his wife, née Jane Lewis, whose Welsh Quaker ancestors had followed William Penn to Philadelphia.2 Jane died shortly after Vincent’s return from the Civil War, and young Frank worked his way through Bryant & Stratton’s Business College, where he and Platt Rogers Spencer Jr., son of the developer of Spencerian script, became lifelong friends.3
Around 1874 Goodman arrived in Nashville to teach penmanship4 and was soon employed by Ward’s Seminary5 and by Toney’s Nashville Business College, which then served as the business department of Cumberland University.6 In 1878 the college’s board of directors removed the Rev. Thomas Toney as principal, appointing 24-year-old Frank Goodman to reorganize the failing establishment.7 Incorporated in 1881 as Goodman’s Business College (sometimes called “Goodman & Eastman”), it was a respected Southern institution for over twenty years, with a branch college in Knoxville.8 Goodman’s Book-keeping Simplified became a widely used textbook,9 and author Frank Goodman was credited with introducing bookkeeping as a course of study in the Nashville public schools.10 In the margin of his personal copy of Goodman’s Book-keeping Simplified, William Alexander Provine, renowned Cumberland Presbyterian minister and official of the Tennessee Historical Society, noted that many of the names used in the book’s exercises were those of fellow Nashvillians, including the ten-year-old boys Frank had taught in Sunday school . . . one of whom was the young Provine himself!
A member of the State Board of Education from 1880-1903, Frank Goodman replaced John Berrien Lindsley as secretary after 188711 and served on the committee which named Peabody Normal College.12 He represented an Edgefield district on the Nashville City Council from 1894-190013 and served as auditor of the 1897 Tennessee Centennial Exposition.14 Secretary-treasurer of the State Teachers Association for seventeen years,15 he also chaired the finance committee for Nashville’s first Labor Day observance in 1894.16
In July 1880 Frank Goodman married Pattie Sims,17 daughter of Edgefield insurance agent Leonard Swepson Sims. All four of their sons would eventually become successful businessmen. Active in the Masons and the Knights Templar,18 Frank was treasurer of the United Order of the Golden Cross,19 a temperance-based insurance fraternity, and taught Sunday school in the Cumberland Presbyterian Church.20
By the end of the 1890s, his hearing failing, Goodman closed the college and worked as an expert accountant, appearing as a witness in court cases across the country. His testimony resulted in, among others, the conviction of the Mississippi State Treasurer for embezzling $315,000 from the state coffers.21 He audited the Tennessee State Comptroller’s and Treasurer’s records at least seven times,22 helped the city of Chattanooga reorganize its financial records,23 and reportedly audited the books of the U. S. Treasury in Washington, D.C.24
When the Reverend John B. Morris of St. Mary’s Church in Nashville was selected Bishop of Little Rock in 1906, he took Frank Goodman with him as diocesan auditor.25 Pattie, quite ill by then, received medical treatment in Hot Springs but died in 1909.26 Her body was brought back to Nashville for burial. Eight months later Frank himself died mysteriously on July 28, 1910, following an excessively hot mineral bath at Hot Springs.27 On July 30 the body of the man St. Louis Magazine had described as “the rising young businessman of the South”28 was brought home to Nashville by his young sons and laid to rest beside Pattie in Mt. Olivet Cemetery.29
Frank Goodman’s pallbearers included Tennessee Secretary of State Hallum W. Goodloe; George W. Stainback, Chairman of the Nashville Board of Public Works; Nashville City Assessor Roger Eastman, a longtime business partner; John W. Paulett, newsman and Assistant Superintendent of Public Instruction; Dr. William H. Bumpus, President of the American Local Freight Agents Association, renowned orator, and past Grand Master of the Tennessee Masons; Dr. William E. McCampbell, the Edgefield physician who had delivered the Goodman children; Marcus B. Toney, Civil War veteran and author; and Sumner Cunningham, fractious editor of the Confederate Veteran, who wrote his friend a tender eulogy in “The Last Roll,” despite the fact that, at the outbreak of the Civil War, his subject had been a seven-year-old Yankee boy! (2014)
NOTES AND SOURCES:
1 Richard, James Daniel. Tennessee Templars: A Register of Names with Biographical Sketches of the Knights Templar of Tennessee. Nashville: Robert H. Howell & Co., 1883, 78.
2 Glenn, Thomas Allen. Merion in the Welsh Tract: With Sketches of the Townships of Haverford and Radnor. Herald Press, 1896, 236 ff.
3 Goodman’s son Leonard owned a photograph of the Goodman and Spencer families taken during a Nashville visit in the 1890s, according to an interview with Leonard’s daughter, Kathleen Goodman Bowman about 1995.
4 Catalog of Cumberland University, Lebanon, Tennessee, 1874-75. Lebanon, TN: R. L. C. White, University Printers, 1875.
5 Nashville City Directory, 1877 and 1878.
6 Annual Report of the Department of the Interior, 1875, 605, footnote.
7 Clayton, W. W. History of Davidson County, Tennessee. Philadelphia: J. W. Lewis & Co., 1880, 270-271.
8 Nashville City Directory, 1883, advertisement opposite p. 568.
9 Cunningham, Sumner. “Frank Goodman,” Confederate Veteran, Vol. 18: 1910, 382.
10 “Frank Goodman, Sr., Dead.” Nashville American, July 29, 1910.
11 State Board of Education Minute Book #56, page 27, May 24, 1887. Tennessee State Library and Archives, Record Group #91, Vol. 56.
12 State Board of Education Minute Book #56, page 53, February 15, 1888, and page 57, May 31, 1888.
13 Nashville City Directories.
14 Justi, Herman, ed. Official History of the Tennessee Centennial Exposition. Press of the Brandon Printing Co., 1898, 31.
15 “Tennessee Teachers: How the Association Feels About Prof. Goodman’s Resignation as Secretary.” Nashville American, August 1, 1897, 6.
16 “Prof. Frank Goodman: Labor Day Committee Thanks Him for His Efforts.” Daily American, September 7, 1894, 3.17 “The Nuptial Knot,” Daily American, July 21, 1880.
17A There were no wedding attendants (bridesmaids or best man), but the ushers were an interesting cross-section of friends:
Charles B. Glenn was listed in the 1880 Nashville City Directory as a bookkeeper for the Nashville, Chattanooga & St. Louis Railway. He lived at 357 Broadway. By 1906 he was paymaster for the NC&StL. One wonders whether he might have been a Goodman graduate.
Robert T. Creighton was a surveyor at this time, but he later became city engineer and was a partner with Wilbur F. Foster in Foster & Creighton, civil engineers and contractors, #3 Berry Block.
Robert A. Fraley Jr. was a clerk at Collier, Fraley & Co., cotton factors and commission merchants, a business owned by his father. He was later bookkeeper for the National Manufacturing Company and may also have been a Goodman student.
Henry C. Jameson, originally from Hickman, Kentucky, was listed in the 1880 Census, along with Herbert W. Grannis, as one of Frank’s housemates at #7 Summer St. (5th Ave.). [Other residents in what was apparently a men’s hotel or boarding house included the brothers George and Robert Cowan (who owned Cowan & Co., wholesale notions & white goods at 36-37 Public Square), Van Buren Dixon (a dentist, with an office at 93½ Church), Porter Rankin (William Porter Rankin, with his brother David P., owned Rankin & Co., wholesale clothing at 57 Public Square.), W. S. Duckworth (who owned WS Duckworth & Co., books, stationery, cigars, tobacco, and railroad tickets, at 4 S. Cherry and also the corner of N. Cherry and Union), Samuel N. Warren (a bookkeeper who worked at 43 N. College), and Robert Fletcher (a salesman).] Goodman, Jameson, and Grannis all listed their occupation as “teacher,” and we know from Clayton’s History of Davidson County that all three were faculty members in Goodman’s Business College. Jameson was listed in the 1876 Cumberland University catalog as a student at the Business College there. The 1878, 1879, and 1880 Nashville City Directories say he was a professor at the business college in Nashville. The 1878 book terms it “F. Goodman & Co’s College”; 1879 lists it as “Goodman’s Nashville Business College”; and in 1880 it is simply “Nashville Business College.” In 1878 he boarded at 95 Church St., and in 1879-1880, at 24 S. Summer. In 1887 the City Directory describes him as a teacher at Goodman & Eastman’s Business College, living two miles from Nashville on Chicken Pike (today’s Elm Hill Pike).
17B The Goodman-Sims wedding in the First Cumberland Presbyterian Church was somewhat unusual, in that it took place at 7:00 a.m. According to the news item in the American, many of the couple’s friends – including the youngsters in Frank’s Sunday school class, accompanied them to the train station to give them a rousing send-off as they left on their honeymoon trip to Louisville, Cincinnati, Cleveland, and Chicago.
18 Richard, James Daniel. Tennessee Templars: A Register of Names with Biographical Sketches of the Knights Templar of Tennessee. Nashville: Robert H. Howell & Co., 1883, 78.19 Nashville City Directories.
20 “Obituary: Funeral of Prof. Frank Goodman,” Nashville American, July 31, 1910; also mentioned in July 29, 1910, story; see footnote 21.
21 “Frank Goodman, Sr., Dead.” Nashville American, July 29, 1910.
22 “Prof. Goodman’s Reappointment,” Nashville American, January 23, 1903, 1. At least two of his audit reports are reproduced in their entirety in Senate Records: Tennessee Senate Journal 1895, pages 89-100, and Tennessee Senate Journal 1903, pages 755-805.
23 “Chattanooga City Books to be Overhauled by an Expert.” Daily Journal and Journal and Tribune (Knoxville), January 7, 1890.
24 “Frank Goodman, Sr., Dead.” Nashville American, July 29, 1910. This is also mentioned in Cunningham, Sumner. “Frank Goodman,” Confederate Veteran, Vol. 18: 1910, 382.25 “Former Citizen of Nashville: Prof. Frank Goodman Passes Away in Little Rock – Interment Here Saturday,” Nashville Banner, July 29, 1910.26 “Mrs. Frank Goodman Dies in Arkansas,” Nashville Banner, November 1, 1909.
27 Special dispatch to the American, July 29, 1910. This follows the article, “Frank Goodman, Sr., Dead.” Nashville American, on the same date. Similar information appears in the article “Goodman Funeral Saturday Morning,” Nashville Banner, July 29, 1910.
28 Nashville City Directory, 1883, advertisement opposite p. 568.
29 Participants in Frank’s funeral, most (if not all) of whom were fellow Masons/Knights Templar:
- Rev. George W. Shelton was the pastor of the Russell Street Presbyterian Church at the time of the laying of its cornerstone in 1904. The Cumberland Presbyterian described him as “a young man of energy and enthusiasm.”
- Rev. William A. Provine (1867-1935) (who as a boy had been a member of the Sunday school class taught by Frank Goodman) assisted in the funeral. He had attended Vanderbilt and earned a Bachelor of Divinity from Cumberland University, which later awarded him an honorary degree of Doctor of Divinity. A widely respected minister of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, he served as Superintendent of the Presbyterian Board of Publication and Sabbath School Work and Treasurer of Mission Work for the Synod of Tennessee. He was for many years corresponding secretary of the Tennessee Historical Society and editor of its journal.
- Sumner Cunningham (1843-1913) was a sergeant in Company B, 41st Tennessee Infantry. He was the editor and publisher of The Confederate Veteran and lived at the Maxwell House. He was instrumental in fundraising for the monument to Confederate hero Sam Davis that was unveiled near the Tennessee Capitol in June 1909.
- Attorney Hallum W. Goodloe (1869-1956) was Tennessee’s Secretary of State at the time of Frank Goodman’s funeral. He was Clerk and Master of Crockett County Chancery Court (1891-1901); Chief Clerk to the TN Secretary of State (1901-1907); Secretary of State (1909-1913); Private Secretary to Gov. Tom C. Rye (1915-1918); Assistant to the Superintendent of Banks (1918-1929); Chief Clerk to State Treasurer (1929-1931); and Deputy Superintendent of State Banks (1931-1949).
- George W. Stainback (1842-1918) was the chairman of the Nashville Board of Public Works and Affairs, a very powerful three-man group. Members were required to abstain from other active employment – they received a salary for their work – and were ex officio members of the City Council. They hired city laborers and department heads; oversaw streets, sewers, and public property; supervised the laying and removal of railroad tracks on city streets; and prepared an annual operating budget. Stainback was a lodge brother of Frank Goodman in the UOGC. He was honored by having a portrait of his face displayed in fireworks at the 1897 Tennessee Centennial.
- Roger Eastman (1858-1938), youngest son of Elbridge Gerry Eastman and Lucy Ann Carr, was a banker, rising to the position of assistant cashier [in those days a cashier was a bank manager] with the First National Bank. He was Frank Goodman’s business partner in both the college and the accounting business. He was probably Frank’s closest friend – Frank named two children after him (Frank Eastman Goodman, 17 July 1881 – 29 December 1882, and Roger Eastman Goodman, 14 April 1895 – 29 April 1953). He served several terms as Nashville Tax Assessor, beginning in 1898. He was an active Mason (elected worshipful master of Phoenix lodge at the age of 23), a member and auditor of the Baptist Sunday-school board, treasurer of the First Baptist church, and vice-president of the Nashville Athletic Club. His biography was included in John Allison’s Notable Men of Tennessee (1905).
- Dr. William E. McCampbell (1854-1924) had a medical office at 523 Woodland Street in East Nashville. He was the physician who had reported Roger Goodman’s birth in 1895 so had probably delivered him. He served on the Nashville City Board of Health for many years and was elected its chairman in 1911.
- Captain Marcus Breckenridge Toney (1840-1929) was a convinced Methodist, Confederate, and slavery partisan who became an early volunteer for Confederate service. He served with the 1st Tennessee Volunteer regiment in campaigns in West Virginia and at Shiloh, Chickamauga, and the Wilderness, where he was captured. He was the author of The Privations of a Private (1905), which described his experiences as a Federal P.O.W. in the Union prison camp at Elmira, New York, as well as the war’s immediate aftermath and the growth and appeal of the Ku Klux Klan, which he had joined after the war. He was an active member of the Masonic fraternity and worked with W. H. Bumpus to found the Masonic Widows’ and Orphans’ Home, which was incorporated in 1886.
- John W. Paulett, who was a Knoxville textbook salesman when he first met Frank Goodman in the early years of Goodman’s Business College, was Assistant Superintendent of Public Instruction around the turn of the century, and later worked as a newspaper correspondent. He was appointed by the governor to serve on the Board of Visitors of the University of Tennessee.
- Dr. William Hill Bumpus (1843-1926) one of Frank Goodman’s closest friends, is actually buried in the Sims-Goodman plot at Mt. Olivet. Trained as a physician and a lawyer, he was the local agent for the Louisville & Nashville Railroad for 52 years, serving for a time as the president of the National Association of Local Freight Agents’ Associations. An active Mason, he was the editor and publisher of the Tennessee Mason and a sometime-writer for the Nashville American. He and Marcus Toney were the driving force behind the Masonic Widows’ and Orphans’ Home. He was elected Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Tennessee, Free & Accepted Masons, on January 26, 1898.
- [Note: Bumpus, Eastman, McCampbell, Paulett, and Stainback had also served as pall bearers for Pattie Goodman in November 1909.]
Clayton, W. W. History of Davidson County, Tennessee. Philadelphia: J. W. Lewis, 1880.
Cunningham, Sumner. “Frank Goodman,” Confederate Veteran, Vol. 18: 1910, 382.
Goodman, Frank. Goodman’s Book-keeping Simplified. A Work Thoroughly Explaining the Theory of Single and Double Entry. Nashville: Wheeler & Osborn, 1882. (A copy is available in the Tennessee State Library and Archives.)