Arthur Lawson Goodwillie helped create Bend.
His signature is on the original plat map of Bend, filed in June 1904.
He was the chief petitioner in the effort to make Bend an official city and, starting in 1905, served as the new town's first mayor.
He invested in and helped start the city's first telephone, light, water and power companies, as well as Bend's first bank. And, he was one of three school board members who hired Bend's most well-known early teacher, Ruth Reid.
But until recently, Goodwillie remained a mystery to local historians. A few references to him in The Bulletin a century ago hinted at his import to early Bend, but no one knew the extent to which Goodwillie was responsible for Bend's development.
Now, new research about one of Bend's best-known early homes has turned up Goodwillie's extraordinary role in early Bend and his surprising link to a favorite historic residence.
The Goodwillie-Allen-Rademacher home
Pat Kliewer, historic preservation planner for the city of Bend, thought it would be a slam dunk to write a nomination to place Bend's Allen-Rademacher house on the National Register of Historic Places. After all, the house - now owned by the city and the home of the nonprofit Mirror Pond Gallery - had been extensively researched just 15 years earlier when a group of concerned citizens saved it from demolition.
Kliewer hired historic preservation specialist Michael Hall to write the nomination. Hall completed the application and sent it to the Oregon Advisory Committee on Historic Preservation for review.
Then, an innocuous question from a State Historic Preservation Office staff member sent Kliewer and Hall scrambling for information. In the process, the pair uncovered the remarkable role of Goodwillie in the origins of the house.
For decades, it's been common knowledge in Bend that the Allen-Rademacher house was built by Brooks-Scanlon Lumber Co. executive Herbert Allen in 1908. Later, Clyde Rademacher, a founder of Bend Memorial Clinic, lived in the home. Allen was just 23 when he moved to Bend and immediately became a civic, commercial and industrial leader. How, the state advisory committee wanted to know, did a 23-year-old come to live in a rough-and-tumble Western frontier town, no less in one of the nicest homes in the city? How did he have the savvy to choose the newly popular craftsman bungalow architectural style?
Kliewer and Hall started hitting the books. And the county clerk's office. And genealogy Web sites, old maps of the city and old newspapers. What they discovered among the news clippings and land records was that the Allen-Rademacher house was actually the home of Arthur Goodwillie, Bend's first mayor, who built the cottage in 1904 - four years earlier than they had thought.
”How many decades had gone by and people always associated the house with Allen and Rademacher?” Kliewer asked. They knew Goodwillie had once owned the land under the house, but no one knew the house was built by Goodwillie, she said.
It was a combination of land deeds and newspaper articles that solved the puzzle, Hall said. One story he found referenced the Bend Coronet Band serenading Goodwillie's bungalow in 1904 after ballots were counted in the election that declared him mayor.
The earlier date of the Goodwillie home's construction makes it the second oldest craftsman bungalow-style home in the state and the oldest structure of any sort in Bend, Kliewer said. For the purposes of a historic designation, that makes the home significant architecturally and contextually.
The earlier construction date isn't all they found. Kliewer found Goodwillie descendents in Arizona, Florida and Virginia who were able to fill in many details about Goodwillie's life.
Kliewer and Hall were just weeks away from a hearing with the state advisory committee when new information about the house and its builder started pouring in. Working overtime, the pair managed the research and Hall rewrote parts of his nomination to include the information about Goodwillie. The advisory committee deemed the home worthy of nominating for historic designation.
Kliewer expects to hear by March whether the U.S. Department of the Interior has approved the nomination for the National Register of Historic Places.
Kris Rees, of Bend, who headed the effort in the early 1990s to save the home, said the new information only serves to highlight the historic value of the house. Rees and others raised money and lobbied the Bend City Council to preserve the home when it was slated to be destroyed to make room for a parking lot and redevelopment project. In the end, the home was moved about 50 feet from its original location and restored for use as a regional arts center.
”This is very exciting,” Rees said of the new developments. ”It only makes it more valuable.”
In the process of learning about Goodwillie's connection to the Goodwillie-Allen-Rademacher house, Kliewer and Hall uncovered details about Goodwillie's life that were previously unknown in Central Oregon.
Other than a brief, 1946 obituary, The Bulletin was mute about Goodwillie's life and achievements after his departure from Bend in 1907. No local history books recount his life.
Even the level of Goodwillie's involvement in early Bend was almost unknown, Kliewer said.
”It opened up such an exciting chapter in Bend's history,” she said of the new discoveries.
For one thing, Goodwillie apparently had his fingers in all sorts of development going on in Bend. He was secretary of Alexander Drake's Pilot Butte Development Co., which established Bend proper. He was involved in public education, water, power, telephone and even a taxi service that he started with early physician Urling C. Coe.
And, Kliewer said, Goodwillie was one of a handful of college-educated young professional men from back east who came West to set up a town, a notion that flies in the face of Bend's circa-1900 image of a frontier town full of rough-riding cowboys, Kliewer said.
”The first movers and shakers in Bend were right out of college,” Kliewer said. ”But they're thinking big, they're thinking really big with what they're doing. I've become kind of enamored of all these young stars.”
Goodwillie's young cohorts included James M. Lawrence, a U.S. land commissioner, city recorder, banker and newspaper publisher. Coe came shortly thereafter, a 23-year-old frontier doctor who rented a room in Goodwillie's bank, telephone and office building on Wall Street. W.E. Guerin, another young professional, built a home next to Goodwillie's house, and Charles Benson, Bend's first city attorney, joined the ranks of young men building a city.
Goodwillie married one of Bend's early school teachers, Grace Jones, who had come to Bend in 1903 with her mother, Cora, and brother, George.
While Goodwillie's impact on Bend was enormous, it was shortlived. In November 1907, he resigned as mayor of Bend and took his pregnant wife back to Chicago, his hometown. Their daughter, Patricia, was born there. A son, James, came in 1909.
Arthur Goodwillie became a successful investment banker, according to Kliewer's research, building a company that became the nation's largest purchaser of government bonds.
Grace and Arthur Goodwillie divorced in France in 1924, the same year her brother was killed in an auto accident on his way home from Tumalo.
Arthur Goodwillie remarried in 1925. His new wife, Margaret Lucado, was a golf champion from Virginia who inherited a fortune from her father. They had a daughter, Marguerite, and Goodwillie built a new, modern home on their 180-acre farm outside Charlottesville, Va.
Goodwillie lost most of his assets in the stock market crash of 1929, according to the Goodwillie family. He joined the Franklin Roosevelt administration, supervising assets for the reconditioning program of the Homeowners Loan Corp.'s Midwest office in Chicago. He later wrote ”Waverly: A Study in Neighborhood Conservation,” a manual on urban renewal based on a Baltimore, Md., housing project.
Arthur Goodwillie died on Jan. 15, 1946, in Virginia. He was 67.
Margaret Gordy of St. Augustine, Fla., is Arthur Goodwillie's granddaughter from his second marriage. She said in an e-mail that her family knew her grandfather had helped establish Bend, but they didn't know the extent of his involvement in the young town, and she had never seen a photo of Goodwillie's home in Bend until recently.
”It was grand getting more details about Grandfather's time in Oregon,” Gordy wrote.
In her research, Kliewer was able to contact descendents of each of Goodwillie's three children. She is thankful to them for providing details about Goodwillie's life and photos of the man.
”We never understood the infancy of Bend the way we understand it now, and it all came through researching this home,” Kliewer said. ”Now, not only do we have photos, we now know who he was. He was worthy of Bend.”