Goodrich is at the junction of U.S. Highway 59, State Highway 393, and Farm roads 1988 and 2665, seventy miles north of Houston in southern Polk County. The Houston, East and West Texas Railway pushed into what had been sparsely settled southern Polk County in the later 1870s. One of the line's earliest stations in the county was named for William M. Goodrich, a large landowner in the region. Although it had a post office by 1882, Goodrich developed slowly until the arrival of Wilson W. Armitage, a native of England who moved from nearby Marianna, built a store at Goodrich, and became postmaster. The new community had a gristmill, cotton gin, sawmill, and school by 1900. To the west lay the Black school called New Hope, established in 1892. A stove mill and blacksmith shop encouraged further growth at Goodrich after 1900, although the area's dwindling timberlands hurt the local lumber industry. Many residents returned to agriculture for their livelihood, growing cotton, corn, and a variety of truck crops in this gently rolling area. The first of a series of oil wells in the Goodrich field was discovered in 1941. More substantial finds in subsequent years proved an important boon to the local economy. Goodrich, which had about 200 residents in 1925, had grown to some 350 by the mid-1980s. In 1990 it had a population of 239. The population reached 243 in 2000.
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