William Goff - President of Clark Manufacturing Company

10024 Lake Shore Boulevard

William Southworth Goff was born in 1907, the son of Frederick Harris and Francis Southworth Goff, and grew up at 9929 Lake Shore Boulevard. He was educated at University School and attended Williams College, followed by Rutgers University.

Following graduation, Goff worked for a year at Cleveland Trencher Company before joining Cleveland Trust Bank in 1921. He resigned as vice president from Cleveland Trust in 1942 to serve in the U.S. Army during World War II. Returning from the war, he became owner and president of Clark Manufacturing Company.

Goff married Caroline Brewer on May 24, 1924. Caroline was born in Cleveland, the daughter of William and Lulu Brewer. She was educated at Hathaway Brown School and graduated from Vassar College in 1918. She wanted to pursue a career in social work, but her family did not approve. William and Caroline had two children: Caroline (Prentiss), born on February 14, 1925, and Frederick Harris Jr., born on September 24, 1926.

Caroline used one of the smaller outbuildings to start a nursery school for her children and some of the other local pre-school children. Their teacher was Margaret Hamilton, who performed at the Cleveland Play House and became famous for her portrayal of the witch in the film, The Wizard of Oz. The nursery school lasted until the Goff children attended Bratenahl School.

William was appointed to replace Charles Britton on Village Council in 1930 and served for seven years until he resigned in 1938. Social memberships included Cleveland Skating, Union, and University clubs. He was also a trustee of Hathaway Brown School.

William died on August 20, 1980, following treatment of heart illness and pneumonia. When he died, he was the oldest living resident in Bratenahl.  Caroline died on December 23, 1983, and buried alongside William in Lake View Cemetery. In her will, Caroline gave her son, Frederick Jr., the first right to purchase the property. If Frederick Jr. failed to exercise his right, he was given ownership of the property for the duration of his life. That ownership would continue until he was unable to move in and use the property within one year of his mother’s death. Frederick chose not to exercise his right to purchase and instead agreed to live on the property. The will gave a second right to acquire the property to her daughter, Caroline Prentiss.