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  • Goforth Collection

The Goforth Collection contains images of Helen Boomer Goforth and her family. Helen Cecile Boomer Goforth was born May 31, 1877, one of four children born to George Bollman Boomer, a teacher, and Martha Jane “Mattie” Boomer of Buncombe, in Johnson County in southern Illinois. She had one sister, Nola, and two brothers, Cincinnatus (“Nat”) and Simeon (“Sim”). Helen attended the Southern Illinois Normal University at Carbondale, Illinois (later SIU). Goforth worked as as a teacher in Tonica and Westfield, Illinois, and Denver, Colorado. 

She married James Gill Goforth of Ft. Smith, Arkansas, formerly of Buncombe, in 1909. They moved to Denver, Colorado in 1911 or 1912. They had two children, Millicent Helen (1913-1963) and Nola Elena (1917- ). James Gill Goforth was a teacher in Illinois and Arkansas, a traveling salesman in Texas, and a laborer and stationary engineer at the Ft. Smith & Western Railroad in Ft. Smith, Arkansas.

The finding aid for the Helen Boomer Goforth Papers, 1855-1942 at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum may be found at

Photographs in this collection include images of Helen Boomer Goforth and the Boomer and Goforth families.

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