Charles Goodnight - Personal LIfe

On July 26, 1870, Goodnight married Mary Ann "Molly" Dyer, a teacher from Weatherford, west of Fort Worth. Goodnight developed a practical sidesaddle for Molly. Though he was not of his wife's denomination, Goodnight donated money to build a Methodist Church in Goodnight. He and Molly also established the Goodnight Academy to offer post-elementary education to hundreds of children of ranchers. For several years after their marriage the Goodnights resided in Pueblo, Colorado, where Goodnight had considerable financial success, having invested in real estate, buying town lots, and even becoming part owner of the opera house. The barn from the Goodnight home west of Pueblo on the Arkansas River is still standing and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Much of his money was invested in the Stock Growers Bank in Pueblo; locals there began referring to him by the title "Colonel".

After Molly died in April 1926, Goodnight became ill himself. He was nourished back to health by a distant paternal cousin, 26-year-old nurse and telegraph operator from Butte, Montana, named Corinne Goodnight, with whom Charles had been corresponding because of their shared surname.

On March 5, 1927, his ninety-first birthday, Goodnight married Corinne, who was young enough to be his great-granddaughter and who soon miscarried their unborn child. Her name was hence Corinne Goodnight Goodnight. He joined her Two by Twos church and was baptized a few months before his death in Goodnight, Texas. Evetts Haley had described Goodnight as "deeply religious and reverential by nature."

In his younger years, Goodnight smoked some fifty cigars per day but switched to a pipe in his mature years. He never learned to read or write but had his wives write letters for him to various individuals, including Quanah Parker. During his last illness, he gave his gold Hampton pocket watch to his pastor, Ralph Blackburn.

After he mastered ranching, Goodnight was involved in other activities, including the establishment of his Goodnight College in Armstrong County and working as a newspaperman and a banker. He lost his life's savings when the Mexican silver mine he invested in was nationalized by the Mexican government. He was forced to sell his ranch in 1919 to an oilman friend, W. J. McAlister, with the provision that Goodnight and his then first wife could stay in the home until they both died.

He is buried next to his first wife, Mary Ann, in the Goodnight Cemetery near Amarillo.

Courtesy of Wikipedia