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Henry Goodcell, Jr., attorney at law, and secretary of the San Bernardino Bar Association, was born in Dover, England, and was forty years of age in November 1888.
When a child of four years he emigrated with his parents to the United States, and came to San Bernardino when nine years old; hence he has resided here thirty-two years. He graduated from the California State Normal School in 1873, the first graduate of that institution from San Bernardino County. When entering the school he expected to pursue the profession of teaching, but after completing the course, upon the advice of a very dear friend and fellow-student, and after more mature reflection, he decided to enter the profession of the law. After graduating he was engaged in teaching for two years. In the fall of 1873 he was elected County Superintendent of schools, and he not only continued teaching while discharging the duties of that office, but also carried on his law studies with such facility and thoroughness that at the end of two years, early in 1875, he was admitted to practice.
Soon after his admission to the bar, Mr. Goodcell was joined in marriage with Miss Minnie A. Bennett, of El Dorado County, the student friend before mentioned. He commenced the practice of law in August 1875, as a partner with Colonel A. B. Paris. This relation was dissolved a year later by Mr. Goodcell accepting the position of deputy clerk, his duties being limited to Clerk of the Courts. Retiring from this office at the end of eighteen months, he resumed his profession in the capacity of assistant District Attorney; and upon the resignation a year after of the District Attorney, he filled that office by appointment, until the end of the term for which his predecessor was elected.
Mr. Goodcell enjoys a prosperous legal business, his preference being for the civil practice; and in this branch causes in equity are his choice. He possesses a judicial type of mind, and in examining the legal points of a case inclines more to the comprehensive, impartial analysis of a judge on the bench, than to the warped and one-sided view of the lawyer seeking the strong points in a client’s favor. Upon the resignation of Judge Gibson from the office of Judge of the Superior Court of San Bernardino County, upon the occasion of his appointment as Supreme Court Commissioner, in the early part of 1889, Mr. Goodcell was indorsed by a large majority of the bar of San Bernardino County for the appointment as Gibson’s successor to the Superior Bench, but Governor Waterman did not act upon the recommendation of this majority, but appointed Judge Rowell, an able man, for the place.
While not a radical politician, Mr. Godcell has been for fifteen years actively allied with the Democratic Party, much of the time a member of the county central committee, and was for years its secretary.
In 1886 Mrs. Goodcell died, leaving him with a family of three sons, exceptionally bright, promising lads, ranging then from nine to five years of age. In July 1889, Mr. Goodcell married Miss Mary H. Bennett, a sister of his first wife. Both were formerly teachers and ladies of superior accomplishments. Mr. Good – cell’s home has ever been a favorite resort for members of the pedagogical profession, it being pervaded by an atmosphere of culture congenial to them.