Sunday, May 8, 2011

Gillmore Goodland: A Final Look

Last time we took a look at the world in which Gillmore Goodland found himself, circa 1913 – 1915. By 1916, even if he could hear the diamond mines or goldfields calling out to him, Kaiser Wilhelm's u-boats were soon preying on ships with little or no restriction. It simply wasn't a time to ply the dangerous waters of the world in search of a job interview, even if the bankrupt engineer had the fare for transoceanic travel.

Goodland was alone in North America, his family back in wartime England. When we last checked documentation, the wife and children were supposedly still ensconced at Hoving Shaw in Woldingham, Surrey, their home. Exactly how long they would have been able to remain there is unknown.

In July 1918, as the war drew to a close, and despite there still being German u-boats presenting danger in the Atlantic, 43-year-old Edmund Stephenson, a "rubber merchant" left his wife, Mrs. Jess Stephenson, in Woldingham, Surrey, bound for New York City aboard the S.S. Saxonia. The ship arrived on 3 July 1918.

Along with Stephenson on the Saxonia [right] was Mrs. Kathleen Goodland, a 42-year-old married woman with no given occupation. Her last residence was "London, England," and her nearest relative was provided as "Bro-in-law. Mr. J. Goodland, 144 Ashley Gardens, London."

Kathleen was accompanied by Joan Lillis Goodland, born in Dublin and aged 16, Kathleen Gilmore Goodland, born in Dublin and aged 18, and young "Gillmore Goodland," born in Surrey and aged 7. Gillmore's family was on its way to him.

The bankrupt mining engineer obviously had many to thank for his potential reunion, not the least of which were a former neighbor, Stephenson, who sailed with his family as far as New York, and brother, Joshua Goodland, who probably was the family's "London" address after they lost possession of Hoving Shaw.

The Saxonia's typewritten manifest lists Stephenson's exact destination as Alden's Successors, Ltd., 290 Broadway, in New York. Alden's is listed in the 1920 edition of the Year Book of the Merchants' Association of New York as being a rubber importer whose president was T.A. Maguire.

Stephenson was traveling with more than $50 in cash, and immigration recorded in script the fact that he had traveled to Germany and Austria "prior to August 1914." Finally, it is documented that he intended to return to England.

Kathleen and her brood steamed into New York with more than $50 in pocket, but with a different destination: "1949 Hillcrest Road, Hollywood, California." The Goodlands were Hollywood-bound, and the manifest affirms their immigrant status and clearly states they did not intend to return to England.


One imagines Gillmore sitting in Hollywood in 1918 [left], bathed in the delightful southern California sunshine, amid the orange groves and movie stars, waiting anxiously for his family. Once they arrived, Gillmore—who hadn't seen his wife or children since departing for the U.S. in July 1915—could make up for lost time and reacquaint himself with his family.

Perhaps he even did, although there is no certainty that he was even living at 1949 Hillcrest Road when the family arrived. In fact, he was probably not there.

According to paperwork filed by the Immigration Service at the Department of Labor's Mexican Border District, we do know that Gillmore attempted to cross into Nogales, Arizona from Mexico "on foot" on 29 August 1918. He is listed as an "assessable non-immigrant," a married "civil engineer," traveling alone at the age of 46.

His last residence is listed "Culiacan, Mexico," and the final destination of his border crossing is distinctly the same: "Culiacan, Mexico." He was carrying $200, and claimed to have been in the U.S. from 1915 through 1917.

Interestingly, his interest in entering the United States was to see his wife, "Cathaline L. Goodland" [sic] at "6258 Yucca Street" in "Los Angeles, California."

So we find the family at yet another address in less than two months. It must have been very hard on Kathleen and the children over the past several years!

Curiously, Gillmore also told Immigration that he intended to "resume residence" in the United States, despite his prior claim of a return to Culiacan, Sinaloa, Mexico as a final destination. Again, we find that the information that Goodland provides to officials does not always add up!

One would assume that Gillmore had been longing to see his family. There is no evidence one way or the other. We can, however, assume that his trip to Los Angeles was not prompted entirely by familial fervor. Gillmore continued to tend to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

The 1 September 1918 edition of the Reading (Pennsylvania) Eagle carried the following story:



Nogales, Ariz., Aug. 31. — Yaqui Indians have revolted at Ortiz and Culiacan, in the Mexican state of Sinaloa. An American traveling man arrived here today by automobile from Torres and reported that 300 Indians at Ortiz on Monday fought an engagement with the federal garrison at Torres and had taken to the hills. This was officially confirmed today.

Three hundred Yaquis of another command near Culiacan also were reported to have revolted the same day and attempted to loot the city, but were driven off.

With Gillmore working among the people in those "hills," many of whom may have been Yaquis, he clearly would have had wind of the violence long before the first shots were exchanged in Culiacan. His visit to see his family may not have been based entirely on his earnest desire to see loved ones, but to get himself out of harm's way in Mexico—Once again!—as quickly as possible.

Ironically, the above article goes on to describe clashes between U.S. soldiers and Mexican constitutionalist troops under General Alvaro Obregon, in Nogales, Sonora, Mexico, at the same time. The city of Nogales is separated into American and Mexican halves by the Rio Grande.

Gillmore must have made it home because we find him living in Los Angeles on 9 January 1920 during that year's U.S. census [an excerpt is seen, right]. Goodland, 47, was then residing at "6538 Bella Vista Way" in Los Angeles with wife Kathleen, 42, daughters Kathleen, 19, and Joan, 17, and son Desmond, 9. The entire family is listed as 'naturalized aliens.'

Joan and Desmond are recorded as having attended school in the previous year, but Desmond, however, is unable to read or write. The only family member with an occupation is Gillmore, who was a "consulting engineer" in the field of "mining," and was clearly listed as a 'worker.'

Among their neighbours we find a variety of occupations—teacher, veterinarian, doctor, dentist, cafeteria proprietor, tire wholesaler, carpenter, bank manager, and automobile salesman. Most interestingly, however, some are employed in the "moving pictures" industry.

"Hollywood" neighbours included actor Rex Cherryman, actor/director Charles W. Dorian and and actress Hazel P. Dorian, Australian-born actress Dorothy Cumming, assistant director Vaughan A. Paul and his step-son, moving picture laboratory technician Elwood E. Bredell, and moving picture photographer John Lyman.

Cherryman, who would pass away in 1928 at the age of 34, was in five films, including Camille, which starred Rudolf Valentino. Dorian was assistant director on such Greta Garbo films as Flesh and the Devil, Grand Hotel, Romance [Dorian is pictured, left, seated on the set with Garbo, wearing glasses], and Queen Christina. Dorothy Cumming's notable works were silent epics Snow White (1916), Cecil B. DeMille's The King of Kings (1927), and The Wind (1928). "Woody" Bredell would become a cinematographer, working such films as The Adventures of Don Juan, The Ghost of Frankenstein, The Inspector General, and the film version of Ernest Hemingway's The Killers.

We can presume there was still difficulty for Gillmore Goodland abroad, even at this time. While a compendium of the Fellows of the Royal Geographic Society dated 1921 includes Joshua Goodland reachable at his Ashley Gardens address in London, the listing for Gillmore still contains no contact address at all. Gillmore simply did not want to be found.

Amid items pertaining to ARIZONA in Volume 113 of the Engineering and Mining Journal the American Institute of Mining Engineers, we find this one: "A suit has been instituted here by the Amalgamated Copper Mines Co. against Gillmore Goodland, former superintendent of the property for return of tools valued at $5,000 and of $750 company funds. The corporation has settled its claim against the interests that are preparing to build a check dam on its property, for protection of flood of lands near the western edge of Phoenix."

Was bad luck still hawking Gillmore Goodland? Was it just fiscal irresponsibility? Was he actually a fellow who couldn't be trusted? Or was he, after an era of great success circa 1896 – 1912, continually finding himself amid war, politics, and violence, always in the wrong place at the wrong time?

No matter, the courts were now after Goodland in his new country, the United States, and Amalgamated Copper had some high power attorneys—it was then owned by the Rockefellers after an earlier takeover. In the 1920s, metals mining was taking off and the company was expanding from copper into "manganese, zinc, aluminum, uranium, and silver," according to the website It was a bad time to have a falling-out with the corporation (which is now owned by British Petroleum under the name Anaconda Copper Mining Company).

In 1928, Gillmore's son, Desmond, graduated from high school at Loyola University of Los Angeles, and his El Padre yearbook notes he played the lead in the senior play, ironically entitled "Stop Thief."

By the 5 April 1930, Gillmore and Kathleen Goodland are recorded as "lodgers" in the home of Peter and Katherine Jensen at 6565 Fountain Avenue in Los Angeles. Jensen was a Danish immigrant and his wife, born in Wisconsin, was the daughter of immigrants from the Irish Free State—a natural connection for Kathleen, born in Labasheeda, Ireland, to have made.

An actor, Jonathan Logan, lived down the block, and next door resided "motion picture directors" Jacob Pretz (a German immigrant) and his son-in-law Carl Beringer of Czechoslovakia. Beringer's work as an assistant director later included the films In Cold Blood, The Misfits, Paint Your Wagon, Elmer Gantry, and Electra Glide in Blue.

At that time, Desmond, 20, was boarding across town at the home of the late Rex Cherryman at 326 North Kings Road [left], 'rooming' with Esther L. Cherryman and her 4½ year-old son, Rexford. He is listed as a "Laboratory MAN" at an "oil & gasoline refinery," and also shares the home with another English-born boarder, 26-year-old Joan Bowden, a clothing saleswoman.

Daughters Joan and Kathleen, unfortunately, had disappeared into history by then.

We do know that on 29 April 1938, Ernest and Winifred Margaret Goodland, 58 and 53 years old respectively, steamed out of Sydney, Australia, on the S.S. Mariposa. The ship arrived in Los Angeles, Californis, on 16 May. It is the only recorded visit of family members to the U.S., presumably to visit Ernest's eldest brother, Gillmore, and Co.

There is no record of a return voyage, but Ernest later passed away in South Melbourne, Australia, at the age of 67, in 1945.

Desmond, born 26 April 1910, became a naturalized citizen of the U.S. on 21 April 1941 [right], on the eve of America's entry into WWII. At the time he was 30 and living at 1737 Fort Stockton Street in San Diego, California.

He is recorded as having married both "Anna Biah" and "Anna Glamuniza" in Los Angeles on 28 February 1984 at the age of 73. According to Social Security records, Desmond Gillmore Goodland soon passed away on 7 August 1985 while living in the Palmdale section of Los Angeles at the age of 75.

His mother, Kathleen Lillis Goodland, became a naturalized citizen on 14 January 1946 at the age of 69 [below, left]. Her address at the time was 4312 Witherby Street in San Diego. She was born on 15 January 1876 and passed away on 24 July 1960 (the exact date of my younger brother's birth) while residing in San Diego.

Gillmore Goodland, once a top British mining engineer, had left us on 16 May 1945 at the age of 74 while living in San Diego. He never became a citizen of the U.S. One can only assume that, at the end, he was still dreaming of making one last, big mining score across the border in Mexico. His brother Ernest, as we saw, died in Australia that same year.

He'd outlived his younger brother, Joshua, who passed away in 1939 back in England, and brother Theodore, who had passed in 1932.

Gillmore's early life, travels, and adventures clearly had a huge impact on Joshua, who spent a good deal of time traveling the world as well.

While Gillmore clearly had trouble remaining with an employer throughout his life, Joshua would have similar difficulty sticking with a career.

We've seen how Joshua began his early adulthood as an assistant teacher in his father's elementary school in Exmouth, moved to Wales and became an architect, and soon after relocated to Cambridge to study law for some 8 years. Following his studies, he became a successful barrister and legal adviser in London through the First World War, during which he had bestowed upon him an M.B.E.

The same restlessness that seemed to drive his older brother, Gillmore, was found in Joshua. He wouldn't remain a barrister much past his listing in the 1921 Royal Geographic Society document mentioned above.

And it is in the next segment of Joshua Goodland's circuitous career path that he will meet—and inspire—George Mills!

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