Biography of William Lenley Goheen

William Lenley Goheen is publisher of the Holyrood Banner and also the Galatia Register, two papers of extensive circulation and large influence in Ellsworth and Barton counties.

Mr. Goheen is a veteran of the printing trade and it is doubtful if any Kansas printer or newspaper man had had a more varied and eventful experience. Much of his life had been spent in the service of that typical American institution, the traveling circus, and as a press agent he had covered nearly every town and city of the United States.

Mr. Goheen, who was born at Moweaqua, Illinois, July 25, 1866, comes of an old Pennsylvania family. His grandfather, Stephen Goheen, was born in Pennsylvania of Irish and French stock. He spant his life in Bucks County, where as a potter he was engaged in the manufacture of high grade porcelain ware. He died in Bucks County before his grandson, William L., was born. He also held the rank of major in the United States army. His wife’s name was Beemeth, a Frenchwoman.

Charles Besneth Goheen, father of William L., was born in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, in 1822. He learned the trade of cooper, followed it in Bucks County, where he married his first wife, and in young manhood moved to Cincinnati, working at his trade in that city, and finally to Whitehall, Illinois, where he spent the rest of his life and where he died in 1872. His wife was visiting at Moweaqua when their sen William L. was born. Charles B. Goheen enlisted in 1861 in an Illinois regiment, and was on active duty practically from the beginning to the end of that great war. Politically he was a democrat, was a member of the Methodist Church, the Masonic fraternity and the Sous of Temperauce. By his first marriage he had one daughter Lydia. She is now living at Lambertville, New Jersey. Her first husband was Fletcher Allen, who died at Whitehall, Illinois, but had previously been a farmer in Kansas. The second husband of Lydia was George Coryell, who was a contractor and builder and died at Lambertville, New Jersey. Charles B. Gohsen married for his second wife Mary Certin. They were married at Cincinnati. She was born in Warren County, Ohio, October 10, 1839, and is now living at St. Louis, Missouri. Her two oldest children were Sarah Caroline and Joseph Stockton. Sarah C., living at Shelbyville, Illinois, is the widow of George W. Smith, a farmer and merchant who died at Shelbyville in 1917. Joseph Stockton was a printer by trade and died in Chicago in 1909. After Joseph S. six children were born, all of whom died young. The ninth and youngest of the family and the only surviving son of his father is William L.

William L. Goheen had a public school education at Whitehall and Shelbyville, Illinois. He left school in 1884 and completed the junior year in the Shelbyville High School. On leaving school he became identified with the circus business and had followed that intermittently ever since as a press agent. He served as press agent for the John Robinson’s circus, the Wallace shows, the Walter L. Main Shows, Buffalo Bill’s Wild West show and many other orgaizations that had their day of popularlty and favor.

Mr. Goheen acquired his first knowledge of the printing trade at the age of nine years. He had worked as a journeyman printer in Oklahoma, Wyoming and Texas. His first location in Kansas was in Bourbon County at Garland in 1905. He edited the Garland Graphie from December of that year until March 22, 1906, at which time he left to spend the summer on the road for a circus. After that he published for a short time the Redfork Derrick in the great oil district of Oklahoma at Redfork. January 1, 1906, Mr. Goheen bought the Capitol News at Okmulgee, Oklahoma, selling out after eighteen months and again taking up circus work. For six months he was connected with the Ingersoll News at Ingersoll, Oklahoms, and in 1908 established the Delaware Begister at Delaware, Oklahoma, a paper he conducted until 1911. During 1911 he both bought and sold the Tyro Telegram.

For his next newspaper venture he came to Holyrood and bought the Holyrood Banner, which he had edited and published. He also established the Galatia Register in Barton County and is editor of that journal. The Banner is an independent paper in politics, circulating in Ellsworth and surrounding counties, and was established in 1900 by Doctor O’Donnell. The Galatia Register is also independent in politics.

Mr. Goheen is a democrat. While living at Okmulgee and Delaware, Oklahoma, he filled the office of city clerk. He is affiliated with the lodge of the Loyal Order of Moose and is a member of the International Typographical Union.

He also had some military experience in his career. In May, 1908, he enlisted in the Second Nebraska Infantry, and was assigned to Red Cross duty, He was with the regiment in the camps at Chattanooga, Chickamauga and Tampa, and was mustered out of service at Chattanooga in October, 1900.

In 1904, at Clinton, Missouri, Mr. Goheen married Miss Irene Cosine. She was born and reared at Emporia, Kansas, and died at Nowata, Oklahoma, in 1912. She was the mother of one daughter, Josephine, born June 6, 1909. Mr. Goheen’s present wife was Ethel Merle Lewis, daughter of Robert W. and Mary (Williams) Lewis. Her mother lives with Mr. and Mrs. Goheen, and her father, an oil inspector, is deceased. Mr. and Mrs. Goheen have one daughter, Mary Elizabeth, born February 8, 1910.



Connelley, William E. A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans. Chicago : Lewis, 1918. 5v. Biographies can be accessed from this page: Kansas and Kansans Biographies.

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