A gentleman to whom public attention has been directed by reason of his prominence in connection with the sheep-raising industry of the state and his leadership in political affairs is Frank R. Gooding, now an influential member of the state senate of Idaho. His service is characterized by a deep patriotism and fidelity to the general good and his devotion is all the more to be commended from the fact that he is of foreign birth, though of that nativity which ever begets the stanchest patriotism and the utmost integrity of character. He has passed the greater portion of his life in the United States and is as thoroughly American in spirit and devotion as any child ever born beneath the protecting flag of the stars and stripes. He has ever been an active and zealous worker in the cause of the Republican party and has taken a prominent place in the deliberations and councils of the Idaho contingent of the great political organization, which has ever stood for liberty, protection to American industries, reform and progress, and is now endeavoring to extend the spirit of righteous freedom to the land hitherto in the darkness of monarchial bondage.
Frank R. Gooding is a native of England, born October 16, 1859, and is a son of John and Elizabeth (Galbraith) Gooding. In 1868, when eight years of age, he accompanied his parents to America, a location being made in Can Buren County, Michigan, where he attended the public schools, gaining a good practical knowledge of the English branches of learning, whereby he was fitted for life’s practical duties. In 1877 he left the Mississippi valley for the far west and for four years was engaged in farming in California. On the expiration of that period he came to Idaho, in 1881, and located at Ketchum, then one of the thriving mining towns of the commonwealth. There for seven years he was connected with the Philadelphia Mining & Smelting Company, furnishing, under contract, to that corporation much of the wood and charcoal consumed in the operations of the smelting works, also had charge of much of the outside work of the company for four years. In 1888 he began devoting his attention to sheep-raising one of the leading and important industries of Idaho and has since carried on business in that line on an extensive scale. He has given careful study and consideration to the subject of caring for sheep in the best manner, and is now regarded as the most successful sheep-raiser in the state. In 1893 the Idaho Wool Growers’ Association was organized, and since that time Mr. Gooding has been three times elected its president. His opinions on anything connected with the subject are received as authority, and he has undoubtedly done much to advance the interests of those engaged in the industry in Idaho.
As before stated, Mr. Gooding is a stanch Republican, having supported the men and measures of the party since casting his first presidential vote for General James A. Garfield in 1880, while residing in California. He has since labored to secure the adoption of Republican principles and to promote the interests of the party. He has been chairman of the Lincoln County Republican central committee and is one of the well known Republican leaders in the state. In 1898 he was elected to represent Lincoln County in the fifth session of the state senate and took an important part in the legislative work. He was elected president pro tem of the senate, and later was paid a high compliment by Lieutenant Governor Hutchinson, president of the senate, who expressed himself as particularly pleased with the kindness that had been shown him by Mr. Gooding.
In 1880 was celebrated the marriage of Mr. Gooding and Miss Amanda J. Thomas, of California. Prominent in social circles, they enjoy the hospitality of many of the best homes of the state, and their many admirable qualities have gained them a large number of warm friends. Mr. Gooding is enrolled among the members of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, the Knights of Pythias fraternity and the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks. He maintains his home at Gooding Station near his extensive sheep ranch, but, occasioned by his official duties, now spends much of his time in the capital. As a businessman and citizen he ranks deservedly high. Such men are the glory and the strength of the nation.