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Tuesday 13 March 2012

William Ferguson Good - Mayor and Alderman of Maidenhead - and Hannah Good his Wife

Taphophilia is a passion for and enjoyment of cemeteries. The singular term is a taphophile.

Angel monument of Hannah Good, died September 29th 1927 and William Ferguson Good, died December 27th 1934. All Saints Maidenhead Cemetery, All Saints Avenue, Maidenhead, Berkshire.

William Ferguson Good was born in Kilmarnock, Ayrshire, Scotland on 11th May 1850 to John Good, a carpet weaver, and Marion Ferguson. It seems that it was this particular family's tradition to give their sons their mother's maiden name as a middle name. 

William first appears on the Scottish 1861 Census aged 9, living with his parents and siblings at 22 West Shaw Street, Kilmarnock, Ayrshire.

In 1871 a 19-year-old William, now a tailor, is living at 28 West Shaw Street with his parents and siblings. By 1880 William had travelled to Leicestershire, where he met and married Hannah Croshaw Harris.

West Shaw Street, Kilmarnock, Scotland.

Hannah Croshaw Harris was born in Bagworth, Leicestershire in 1845 to Joseph Croshaw Harris, a farmer, and his wife Elizabeth Jones Skermer.

Hannah first appears on the 1851 Census living with her parents and siblings at their farm in Bagworth, Leicestershire, where she remained until her marriage to William in 1880

The 1881 Census finds William and Hannah making their move to the St Lukes area of Maidenhead where William is now a tailor and clothier employing one youth, Montague L Fouler. 1883 saw the birth of their only child, Maggie Good.

St Luke's, Maidenhead, Berkshire.

In 1901 William became Mayor of Maidenhead. By that time the family had moved to their home Glen Cairn, in Ray Park Avenue.  In 1910 William became Mayor of Maidenhead for the second time and was elevated to Alderman at the same time. William remained Alderman of Maidenhead until 1920.  Just seven years later, on 29th September 1927 Hannah passed away aged 79 in Marylebone London. She was followed 7 years later by her husband William who died in Maidenhead aged 84 on 27th December 1934.

 The Maidenhead Advertiser reported on William's passing on Friday 28th December 1934, as follows:

"Death of Ex-Alderman W. F. Good. A former Mayor of Maidenhead.

We regret to have to record the death which took place at his residence, "Glen Cairn" Ray Park-avenue, Maidenhead, yesterday (Thursday) morning at 10.40, of Mr. William Ferguson Good, Mayor of Maidenhead in 1901 and again in 1910, and alderman at the time when he left the Council in November, 1920, at the age of 84 years. He was taken ill on January 8th last and had been in failing health for some time, so that the end was not unexpected. Death was due to bronchial pneumonia. He was born on 11th May 1850. His wife predeceased him seven years ago last October. He leaves a daughter, the only child, Mrs. Paul Dworzakowska, who has resided in the Argentine for some time.  

The deceased was born at Kilmarnock, Ayrshire, and priding himself on being a loyal Scotsman. He was educated at Fraser's school, Kilmarnock, and was afterwards apprenticed to Mr. Foster, outfitter, whose premises were opposite the statue of Sir James Shaw, at the cross, Kilmarnock. Sir James Shaw rose to be Mayor of London. Mr Good crossed the border into England in 1872 and came to Maidenhead in 1879, and his business investments were so successful that he was able to retire in 1889.

~ ~ ~

Mr. Good made an excellent Mayor during the Coronation year in 1902, and the experience he than [sic] gained proved very useful to him during his second term as Mayor in 1910-11. During his year in office as Mayor in 1901-02, Mr. Good approached Mr. Andrew Carnegie in reference to a grant for a Public Library for Maidenhead, and the result was a donation of no less a sum of £5,000, while a site for the building was obtained through the munificence of Mr. William Nicholson, so that Maidenhead possesses on of the finest Public Libraries outside of London. Mr. Good laid one of the foundation stones of the building in St Ives-road.

~  ~ ~

In 1882 Mr. Good made his first endeavour to obtain Early Closing for Maidenhead, but at the first meeting, held in the then Literary Institute, Queen-street, he was unsuccessful. Year after year, however, he kept pegging away at the movement, and at long last prevailing upon three or four leading tradesmen to close their shops, independently of others, at 5 p.m. Other tradesmen soon followed suit, and then Mr. Good set his mind upon securing a half-day's holiday once a week for the assistants. His exertions were ultimately successful, and every Thursday business is now suspended at 1 p.m. Mr. Good was elected president of the Early Closing Association, and to show their appreciation of his valuable services the members presented him with a handsome testimonial. 

The deceased was elevated to the aldermanic bench when he was for the second time elected Mayor in 1910.  

The funeral will take place at 2.30 p.m. on Monday neat at Maidenhead Cemetery." - Maidenhead Advertiser, Friday 28th December 1934.

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