Brief History of Albert Gardner Goodrich

Excerpts taken from A.G. Goodrich's auto biography
"The Goodrich-Merrell Story"

Albert Gardner Goodrich was born May 1, 1871, in Mt. Carmel, Kane County, Utah. His father was George Albert Goodrich, his mother Harriet Maria Taggart Goodrich. His first home was a dugout in Long Valley, but when he was six weeks old his parents left there and rode in a covered wagon to Salt Lake City. For months, home was this covered wagon. He spent most of his childhood around Morgan, Utah, and learned the job of a miller in a wheat mill from his father.

Albert's father and the family from his first wife, Eliza, moved to the Uintah Basin in 1885. Albert, his mother and siblings, stayed in Morgan for two more years. He remained working as a miller at Clark's Mill. In 1887 they moved to Ashley Valley in the Uintah Basin. They settled in Merrell Ward. That is where Albert first met his wife to be, Lydia Merrell.

In 1889 Aunt Eliza's eleven year old daughter, Esther, took down with diphtheria. There was but one doctor in Ashley Valley, and he didn't have access to anti-toxin for this dreaded malady. Albert's turn to have the disease came next. He was very sick. As soon as he was strong enough to stand on his feet he went to the mill to take his Father's place as he was needed by his families. It was necessary for Albert to go by night to avoid frightening the neighbors who feared lest he might carry it to them.

Fanny next took the disease and died. She was age twenty one, and was engaged to be married to a fine young man. Will was age fifteen, a good sized boy. He took sick and died. Louisa, age thirteen, and Hyrum, eleven, died the same day and were buried in the same grave. Soon Wallace, age nine, died. Thus five of Albert's siblings were carried off, all within a month. Three of the burials occurred while Albert was at the mill and he didn't know about them. When he finally did hear, it was a blow that nearly broke his heart.

Albert married Lydia Remington Merrell. She was sixteen and he was twenty. They made a temporary home by building a good sized room onto his Mother's house. It was fourteen by sixteen feet. He made shelves on the wall for a cupboard. Table, bedstead, and chest were homemade. Albert was an excellent carpenter, a trade he pursued for most of his life. Lydia stood by him in all of his endeavors. They lived righteous lives and were blessed abundantly. They were given nine children, seven of which, they raised to adulthood.

Albert was called by President Wilford Woodruff to attend the Brigham Young Academy for six months training in educational methods and administrative training procedure in the Sunday School organization. He also served a two year Church mission to Michigan. He and his companion traveled without purse or script, and were dependant entirely upon the hospitality of those families they were teaching. At that time, there were only a handful of LDS church members in the state of Michigan. Afterwards, he made his living as a carpenter and clerk for the Uintah School District. He worked on the Uintah Stake Tabernacle and supervised the construction of many LDS church chapels.

In 1945 Albert and Lydia Goodrich sold their home in Naples and moved to Moses Lake, Washington. With Lydia's help, at age 74 he built a new home in Moses Lake. First he constructed a basement for them to live in, and then added to the upstairs as he could. Their home is a local landmark today. It stands as a tribute to the excellence of workmanship that was the trademark of his life. At age eighty A.G. Goodrich supervised the construction of the Rose Street LDS chapel in Moses Lake. In 1953 he did the finishing work on the house his son Merrill, had built on the lot next door to his home.

During his life, Albert Gardner Goodrich served as a bishop in Naples ward and as a counselor in the Uintah stake presidency. In 1956 he was set apart by Elder Spencer W. Kimball, of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, as the Grand Coulee Stake Patriarch, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. He served in that calling until his death June 17, 1963. We leave with you his written legacy to his posterity taken from his biography in The Goodrich-Merrell Story:

"As a parting word I should like to leave with my children and grandchildren my testimony of Jesus Christ and His gospel as restored by the Prophet Joseph Smith. Your strength is in the Lord Jesus Christ and in His sustaining grace. This testimony is your key to success here and here after. Without it you will be poor no matter how large your bank account."

Albert G. Goodrich 1955

Goodrich Family Organization