Biography of John B. Goode

The readjustment of the national affairs after the civil war led to conditions under which the people of the north and the people of the south began to mingle, and became acquainted and ratified the feeling of mutual admiration which their prowess during the four years’ struggle had compelled for foemen who wore the gray and foemen who wore the blue. Men of the north took part in the southern business and politics; men of the south began to have a hand in the national and local affairs at the north. A paternal sentiment has resulted which has buried old animosities and raised numerous mutual interests, and today east, west, south, southwest and northwest, southern men and northern men are working hand in hand for the greater prosperity and the gradual but certain attainment of the splendid destiny of the American people. Idaho is not without its prominent men of southern birth and education, and one of the most highly regarded of these is John B. Goode, of Coeur d’Alene.

John B. Goode was born in Bedford county, Virginia, August 18, 1864, a son of John Goode, long one of the most prominent men in the Old Dominion, and conspicuous in national politics since the days before the war. This distinguished son of Virginia was born in May 1829, and became an able and successful lawyer and a factor in the state affairs. A Democrat of Democrats and a patriotic lover of the south and all its institutions, he early identified himself with the public questions which were engaging the best talent of the country previous to the war of 1861-5, and as a member of the Virginia legislature and as an advocate of the southern cause, he became prominent and influential among his fellow citizens. He was a member of the secession convention at Richmond, and later a member of the Confederate congress. During the war he served with the rank of colonel, on the staff of General Early and that of General Breckenridge. After the war, with influence unabated, he was sent to the national congress four times as the representative of the second congressional district of Virginia. President Cleveland, in his first term, appointed him solicitor general for the United States and later a member of the Chilian claims commission. He now lives in Bedford County, Virginia, and enjoys the distinction, besides his political honors, of being one of the ablest and most successful lawyers in the state. His wife was Miss Sallie Urquhart, a native of Southampton County, Virginia, who died in Norfolk, Virginia, in 1890.

John B. Goode received his education in the schools of Norfolk, Virginia, and by private tutors until the fall of 1880, when, at the age of sixteen years, he entered Washington and Lee University at Lexington, Virginia, where he remained as a student for two years.

After leaving college he was engaged for a time in business in Norfolk, Virginia, and upon work connected with the United States coast and geodetic survey. In 1885 he entered the law department of the Columbian University, from which he was graduated in 1887. During the ensuing two years he was an assistant in the department of justice of the United States and was engaged in the defense of the United States in the settlement of the French spoliation claims. In the fall of 1890 he was admitted to practice in the supreme court of the United States. Having some time before resigned his connection with the department of justice, in the fall of 1890 he returned to Virginia and entered actively into the practice of his profession. During Mr. Goode’s residence in Virginia he became a member of the Virginia State Bar Association and served upon several of the important committees of the association. In May 1895, he was appointed by President Cleveland chairman of the United States Mineral Land Commission for the Coeur d’Alene land district, Idaho, and took up his residence at Coeur d’Alene City. After retiring from the Mineral Land Commission he began the practice of his profession in Idaho, and has also become largely interested in developing the mining resources of the state, and has become widely known in connection with the mining interests of the northwest.

His opinion of mining investments is regarded as valuable and is received with entire confidence, and he has been instrumental in bringing much eastern capital to Idaho for the development of local mining enterprises. He has evinced a helpful interest in educational matters in Idaho, and is known as an influential advocate of popular education. In June 1897, he delivered the university oration at the Idaho State University, at Moscow, speaking on the subject: “Citizenship, Its Privileges and Responsibilities in the Republic.” In February 1899 he was appointed by the governor a member of the board of regents of the University of the State of Idaho. In 1898 he was, as a Democrat, elected county attorney for Kootenai County, an office which he is filling with an ability and success that have won him the admiration of his fellow citizens of all shades of political belief.

In October 1888, Mr. Goode married Leila S. Symington, of Baltimore, Maryland. They have four children: Leila S.; John, Jr.; Clare Randolph and Stuart Symington.


Illustrated History of the State of Idaho. Chicago: The Lewis Publishing Company. 1899.

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