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Thanks to the Diagonal Printing Museum for this week’s picture. I’ve been into the Ringgold Record newspapers and picked up some information on Goshen. This is the town that moved to the crossing of the Humeston & Shenandoah and the Chicago, Kansas City, & St. Paul Railroad to form the new town of Diagonal in 1889.
Goshen, named after Goshen, Indiana, appears on an 1875 Ringgold County plat map as a post office in section 1 of Grant Township. The Bethel Church, organized by the Stahl, Keller, and Talley families was in the section to the south of the post office, along with the Bethel Cemetery. Michael Stahl was the first postmaster of the Goshen Post Office.
In 1882, The Keokuk & Western Railroad built a branch line through Ringgold County and this line, known as the Humeston & Shenandoah passed just north of the Bethel Community in an east/west direction. It has been recorded that the town of Goshen started in 1880 but my guess is 1882. The railroad was built through the northern part of Section 1, Grant Township.
An 1887 history book says Goshen had a population of 150 and was named by Henry Stahl who had lived in Goshen, Indiana. The Methodist Episcopal Church was built in 1882 and J. T. Todd built the first store. Todd was also the next postmaster (1881-1883), followed by B. F. Talley. The first trustees at Goshen were Issac Talley, Dr. Dwight Bement, A. M. Bentley, and John Bentley. The little town even had a newspaper for a year published by A. C. Talley and E. C. Gard.
As the C.,K.C.,&St.P. built “the diagonal” (the railroad’s nickname for this line) south toward Ringgold County, there was much disagreement about how “the diagonal” would cross the H.&S. It even ended up in court and in August 1887, Judge Harvey declared the C.,K.C.,&St.P. must go under the H.&S. The viaduct was built about one and a quarter mile east of Goshen in late 1887.
In the year 1888, the Goshen community discussed whether to move the town en masse to the crossing. “The diagonal” opened for regular train traffic in the summer of 1888 and Goshen moved to the new town of Diagonal in the spring of 1889. An independent school district was organized in 1895 and the town incorporated in 1896.
A little bit of Goshen remained for a few years. An 1894 plat map shows the railroad side tracks still in place at Goshen and this was probably in connection with the stockyards for livestock shipping. The old H.&S., which became the CB&Q in 1896, was abandoned in 1945, but the railbed is still visible in many places around the Diagonal vicinity.