Fred W. Gooding, ex-assessor and tax collector of Lincoln County and one of the most prominent and extensive sheep-raisers of this section of the state, was born in England, May 8, 1856, his parents, John and Elizabeth (Wyatte) Gooding being likewise natives of that country. Emigrating to the United States, they took up their residence in Paw Paw, Van Buren County, Michigan, where they still make their home, the father being a retired farmer of that locality. Both he and his wife are members of the Episcopal church. They had six sons and a daughter, and three of the sons are now successful sheep-raisers of Lincoln County, Idaho.
Fred W. Gooding was eleven years of age when he arrived in Michigan with his parents. He acquired the greater part of his education in that state, and in 1878 went to California, where he engaged in farming in Tehama and Colusa counties. Subsequently he returned to Michigan and a little later pursued a business course in the Northern Indiana Normal College, at Valparaiso. In the spring of 1882 he came to Idaho and engaged in the wholesale and retail butchering business in Ketchum until the spring of 1888, when he turned his attention to the sheep-raising industry. He then purchased sixteen hundred head of sheep. In the fall of that year he purchased two thousand more. The winter of 1889-90 was an unusually severe one, many of the sheep died and many sheep-raisers lost everything they had. Mr. Gooding not only suffered heavy losses, but was in debt. However, he sustained a most creditable reputation for honesty in business affairs, and was thus enabled to secure credit and make a new start. He had purchased one hundred and sixty acres of land at a place now called Gooding, named in honor of the Gooding brothers, and in the fall of 1890 he again purchased more sheep. Since that time he has prospered, and has had as many as thirty thousand sheep on his ranch at one time. His farm is excellently equipped for the purpose used, and he and his brothers are regarded as among the most intelligent, progressive and prominent sheep-raisers of the County. Mr. Gooding now has eleven hundred and sixty’ acres of land, on which he raises large quantities of alfalfa hay for his sheep. He man-ages his business interests carefully and systematically, and his diligence, enterprise and honor-able dealing have brought him a most desirable prosperity.
Mr. Gooding also owns a pleasant residence in Shoshone, where he and his family reside. He was married in 1884 to Miss Mary L. Griffin, a native of Oregon and a daughter of Joseph Griffin, one of the pioneers of that state. They have two children, Edward and Alta. Mrs. Gooding and her daughter are valued members of the Episcopal church, and the family is highly esteemed in the community. In the fall of 1894 Mr. Gooding was elected County commissioner of Logan County, and that winter Blaine County was created out of portions of Logan and Alturas counties, and Mr. Gooding was appointed com-missioner of the new County of Blaine; but before the expiration of his term Lincoln County was created and he was appointed assessor and tax collector, to which position he was elected by popular vote in the fall of 1896. He was the nominee of the Republican party and received an overwhelming majority, which indicated the faithfulness and ability with which he has discharged his duties during the first term, and also stood in evidence of his popularity as a citizen. He has been an active member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and the Knights of Pythias fraternity, has filled all the highest offices therein, is a member of the grand lodge of the latter organization and is favorably known in its circles throughout the state.