Jefferson County Historical Society

Home - Biographies Menu


David D. Goff, city collector of De Soto, is a native of Washington
County, Mo., and was born in 1835.  His parents were William and Polly
Ann (Simms) Goff, the former of whom was born in the State of Virginia,
in 1790, and when an infant was taken by his parents to Nashville, Tenn., 
where they died.  In early life William Goff learned the blacksmith's 
trade, which he followed for years at the lead mines of Washington 
County, Mo., whether he had immigrated in 1811.  He subsequently
purchased a farm, and the latter years of his life were devoted to 
agricultural pursuits; he was one of the earliest settlers of Washington
County, was a soldier in the War of 1812, and died in 1873, at the 
advanced age of eighty-three years.  He was twice married; his first
wife, Polly Ann Simms, was born in Washington County, and died about
1838, the mother of two children, of whom David D. is the only survivor.
Mr. Goff next married Eliza Graham, nee Gilbert, who still survives,
and resides on the old homestead in Washington County.  David D. Goff
remained at home until his sixteenth year, when he engaged in lead mining 
a short time, worked on a farm one year and then resumed mining for
four years.  In 1856 he married Miss Ella Walker, daughter of the Rev.
William G. Walker, a native of Jefferson County, Mo., born in 1836.  
Mr. and Mrs. Goff have seven children, viz.: William G., deputy postmaster 
of De Soto; James L.; Robert Lee, brakeman on the Iron Mountain Railroad; 
Allie, Daivd Pratt; Ella and George.  After marriage Mr. Goff resumed 
farming two years, when he again engaged in mining.  In 1860 he located 
in De Soto, was proprietor of a hotel two years, and subsequently became 
superintendent of the mines and store at Valle Mines, continuing in the 
same capacity until 1882.  He then returned to De Soto, and in partnership 
with his son, William, established a store, which they conducted six years. 
In 1882 Mr. Goff was elected mayor of De Soto being re-elected in 1884; in 
1886 he resigned and went to California, returning in April, 1887, when he 
was appointed city collector of DeSoto, a position he still fills.  He is 
one of the influential and highly esteemed citizens of De Soto.  He is a 
Democrat, politically, and a Master Mason.