JOSEPH K. GOUDY is numbered among the leading attorneys of Pawnee City. He was born near the city of Springfield, Clarke County, April 28, 1851, and was the youngest in a family of twelve children, eight sons and four daughters, seven of whom survive. Thomas B. Goudy, the father of our subject, was also a native of the Buckeye State, and married Miss Nancy P. Kirkpatrick, of the same. William Goudy, the paternal grandfather, was one of the pioneers of Clarke County, and traced his ancestry to Scotland. The Kirkpatricks were of equally good stock, being Scotch-Irish. Grandfather Goudy made good headway as a tiller of a portion of the soil of Ohio in its primitive days, and there his bones were laid to rest.
Thomas B. Goudy, the father of our subject, also followed agriculture during his early years in his native county of Adams, removing thence to Clarke County in 1811. There he was married to Miss Kirkpatrick, and they lived in Clarke County until 1854. We next find them in Warren County, Ill., where they sojourned until 1883, when they crossed the Father of Waters and took up their abode in Pawnee City, this county, where his death took place in February, 1885. The mother died at the home of Dr. Sterrett, in the city of Philadelphia, Pa.
The subject of this sketch pursued his early studies in the district schools of Warren County, Ill., and after entered Monmouth College, of which he was a student three years. Thereafter he was occupied as a teacher several years. Later he took charge of Freedman's College in Vicksburg, Miss., sojourning there until 1873. We next find him in Shelbyville, Tenn., as Professor of Mathematics in Bedford Seminary. A year later he entered the law office of Stewart & Ralston, in St. Louis, Mo., and after a year's residence there returned to Monmouth, Ill. In the latter place he was tendered the postition of Principal of the High School, which position he held three years, and was Professor of Mathematics in the academy one year. Afterward he read law two years with John T. Morgan, the Register in Bankruptcy. The latter was afterward appointed Chief Justice of Idaho Territory. He was removed from this office by the Cleveland administration.
Upon leaving Monmouth the second time Mr. Goudy repaired to Beardstown, Ill., where he became Principal of the public schools, conducting these as such four years, and still pursuing his law studies as time and opportunity permitted. He was admitted to practice in the Supreme Court in November 1880, and, soon afterward emigrating to the farther West, established himself in Pawnee City, where he has since devoted his exclusive attention to his law practice.
In Monmouth, Ill., Mr. Goudy was wedded, in August, 1872, to Miss Ella R., daughter of Col. W. D. Henderson, an old and prominent citizen of Warren County. Mrs. Goudy was born Nov. 16, 1850, in Mercer County, Ill., and of her union with our subject there are six children, one son and five daughters. They were named respectively: Frank R., Maude, Hallie, Lucy D., Helen G., and Joe.
Mr. Goudy is recognized as a man of more than ordinary ability, and in 1880 was appointed Supervisor of the Census. In 1886 he was elected County Attorney, and the year following was made City Attorney, being reappointed to this latter office in 1888. He occupies a good position socially and financially, is a decided Republican in politics, and, in religious matters, a member of the United Presbyterian Church.