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Are We Related?: Goss

April 30, 2024

When I approached our department’s fearless leader, Suzanne, I had no idea that leadership and prominence ran in the family. She was kind enough to share with me a couple of surnames from her family lines which I could connect to our collections. One of those names was Goss. One of the most prominent Goss’ in Indiana was Ephraim Goss, founder of Gosport in Owen County. While we certainly have information on him in our collections, the first image I could find related to his line was that of Joseph E. Goss, one of his youngest children.

Joseph E. Goss, Gosport, IHS, M0822 (cropped/adjusted)

Joseph E. Goss was a businessman in the Gosport area. He was most well-known for his partnership with Dr. Hussey in a pork packing business. The heyday of their work predated railroad access and utilized the White River for shipping purposes. The business was an integral part of the meat-packing industry in Owen and its surrounding counties.

Goss House, Gosport, IN, IHS, M0363

The Joseph Goss family resided in the Goss House locally known in Gosport. The image of Joseph E. Goss and the Goss House are both part of the IHS’ Wilbur Peat collections on pioneer painters and nineteenth century houses in Indiana. Collections that were developed as Peat researched his books Pioneer Painters of Indiana, 1954 and Indiana Houses in the Nineteenth Century, 1962.

Julia (l) and Martha (r) Goss of Martinsville with Mary Marshall of Arlington first prize winners in the 4-H dress-making contest, 1930. IHS, P0490 (cropped)

Julia and Martha Goss were the daughters of Gale G. Goss of Martinsville, Morgan County. Their 3x great-grandfather was Ephraim Goss, father of Joseph E. Goss. Their 2x great-grandmother Sarah (Goss) Goss, Joseph’s sister, married her cousin Ephraim Goss so she retained the Goss surname into her marriage. The Goss family maintained deep roots in Owen, Morgan, and Monroe Counties well into the 20th century and beyond.

Suzanne, IHS VP for Archives & Library, Betty (Goss) Maxwell, Martinsville, Joseph E. Goss, Gosport, and Julia Goss, Martinsville. IHS Staff Portraits; Image Courtesy of Suzanne; IHS, M0882 (cropped); IHS, P0490 (cropped)

Suzanne is the 6x great granddaughter of Ephraim Goss, founder of Gosport. Her closest Goss named relative was Betty (Goss) Maxwell, her grandmother. She is the 5x great grandniece of Joseph E. Goss, and is also the 5th cousin, 2x removed of Martha & Julia Goss. Though it is difficult to pinpoint common familial traits across these images, I see some similarities, particularly with the nose. Julia is pictured here rather than her sister, Martha, as she has a closer family resemblance to Suzanne in my opinion.

For more Are We Related? articles and other great content from the IHS staff, please visit our blog site.

Amy Vedra

Amy Vedra is the director of reference services. She is currently reading her way through the Great American Reads list.

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