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History and GovernmentCongressional BiographiesWest Virginia

Nathan GOFF

(1843-1920)
Senate Years of Service:
1913-1919
Party:
Republican

GOFF, Nathan, (father of Guy Despard Goff and grandfather of Louise Goff Reece), a Representative and a Senator from West Virginia; born in Clarksburg, Harrison County, Va. (now West Virginia), February 9, 1843; attended the Northwestern Academy, Clarksburg, W.Va., and Georgetown University, Washington, D.C.; studied law and graduated from the University of the City of New York; during the Civil War enlisted in the Union Army in 1861 in the Third Regiment of Virginia Volunteer Infantry, later became a major in the Virginia Volunteer Cavalry; admitted to the bar in 1865 and practiced law; member, State house of delegates 1867-1868; United States attorney for West Virginia 1868-1881; appointed Secretary of the Navy by President Rutherford Hayes 1881; reappointed United States attorney for West Virginia 1881-1882; unsuccessful Republican candidate for election to Congress in 1870 and 1874; unsuccessful candidate for Governor of West Virginia in 1876 and 1888; elected as a Republican to the Forty-eighth, Forty-ninth, and Fiftieth Congresses (March 4, 1883-March 3, 1889); was not a candidate for renomination; United States circuit judge for the fourth judicial circuit 1892-1913; elected as a Republican to the United States Senate for the term commencing March 4, 1913, but did not immediately take his seat, preferring to remain on the bench, and served from April 1, 1913, to March 3, 1919; not a candidate for reelection in 1918; chairman, Committee on Conservation of Natural Resources (Sixty-fifth Congress), Committee on Industrial Expositions (Sixty-fifth Congress); died in Clarksburg, W.Va., April 24, 1920; interment in Odd Fellows Cemetery.

Bibliography

Davis, Leonard M., and James H. Henning. “Nathan Goff—West Virginia Orator and Statesman.” West Virginia History 12 (July 1951): 299-337; Smith, G. Wayne. Nathan Goff, Jr.: A Biography. With Some Account of Guy Despard Goff and Brazilla Carroll Reece. Charleston, WV: Education Foundation, 1959.

Source: Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, 1771-Present

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