Biography of WILLIAM H. GOIT 
Town of Mexico, Oswego, NY

Many thanks and appreciation to Esther Rancier for contributing this information. 

Oswego rose from an Indian fort to a leading seaport along Lake Ontario due to the efforts of many hard working, far sighted humble men who seized upon the opportunities that the westward frontier opened.  The names of those men who created the wealth of Oswego were many. William H. Goit was just one among many.  His father, William, came from Nova Scotia and married a New York woman. Arriving in Oswego County by 1816, little is known about William before that time. 

William brought his skill as a miller to Mexico.  Soon after 1829 he took over the famous Morton Mill from Dennis Peck.  By 1836 his son, David owned and operated the mill. Later David operated an early oil well. 

On 5 May 1829 it was decided to form the Town of Mexico.  William Goit was elected a trustee.  On 28 January 1830 church members at a meeting in Camden asked to have a separate Presbyterian church formed in Mexico. The first members of the church included Laura and William Goit.  William was also elected a trustee. When the new  church was finally erected, the Goits had a pew on the same side as the Wheelers,  Deacon Wood, Griffths and Shermans.

The exact size of William’s family is unknown, although the 1830 census showed 5 males and 3 females.  The daughters have not been traced, but there are records for David, Edson, William H. and Joseph H.  The date of William’s death is unknown.  He did not appear in the 1850 census, but all of the other names did. 

In 1850, Edson Goit, age 22, working as a miller lived in the home of Robert and Sarah Chamberlain in Oswego’s 3rd Ward.  He enlisted 9 May 1861 in Co. H, 24th NY Infantry as an Ensign.  He was promoted to lieutenant being discharged 29 May 1863 in Elmira, NY after which he returned to Mexico, where his home was burned out, in the huge Mexico fire of 1864. 

William H. Goit, born in Mexico 6 November 1816, removed to Oswego in 1844. By trade he was a miller. But in 1852 he opened a lumber planing mill with his brother, J. H. Goit, which was destroyed by fire in 1853. 

The mill was rebuilt under the name Goit & McCollum.  By 1870 the mill was owned jointly by W.H. Goit and John K. Post.  Eventually, William H. became the sole owner.  This business was located at 129 E. 2nd St. under the name, W. H. Goit & Co., employing 20 people and producing 25,000 board feet annually. 

It is only speculation, but it seems possible that William H. entered the lumber business due to Joseph H. Goit’s employment there.   Joseph, before the age of 27 in 1850 had married Mary Bates, age 18, daughter of Simeon and Polly (Mary Stone) Bates of Oswego’s 4th Ward.  Simeon was a lumber merchant and Joseph was his clerk. 

During 1859-1861 William H. served in the 4th Ward as an Oswego Alderman.  He was a trustee of the Oswego City Bank and a member of the Board of Education.  In 1872 his wife was named to serve on the Board of Directors for the Home for the Homeless. By 1883, William was a member of the Board of Charities. 

William had married Ann E. _____, born 1819, whose parents were both from Rhode Island.  They had two sons, who remained in Oswego in 1880.  Joseph H., born 1859, was not yet married and still lived at home.  He worked as a lumber merchant’s clerk. 

The couple’s other son, Adelbert, born 1847, had married Minnie _____, born 1847, whose father was from Virginia.  Adelbert was employed in a lumber planing mill.  There was another son, Henry, born 1845, who enlisted 28 December 1864 in Co. K, 22 NY Cavalry as a private.  After the war it is believed he went to Iowa where he received a Civil War Pension. The couple’s daughters were Abigail, born 1847, and Mary, born 1852.   William H. died 6 December 1888,in Oswego.

American Civil War Soldiers. Available [online]   [5 October 2002]; 
Churchill, John C. Landmarks of Oswego County, New York. Syracuse: 1895;  “Grip’s”; Historical Souvenir of Mexico, N.Y. 1903;  Johnson, Crisfield. 
History of Oswego County, New York, 1789-1877; 
Simpson, Elizabeth M. Mexico; Mother of  Towns. 1949; 
U.S. Oswego Co. Census for 1830, 1850, 1860 and 1880. 

Back To Biographies Page

Back to Town of Mexico

Return to the Oswego County homepage

Copyright © 2002 - 2016 Esther Rancier 
All Rights Reserved

Webmaster - Dianne Thomas   2002 - 2016