William Henry Harrison Goff was born July 19, 1844, in Carlisle, Lorain County, Ohio, the son of New York natives Albert C. Goff (b. 1821) and Eunice Pangborn (1828-1860).
Albert and Eunice were married in 1842 in Ferrisburgh, Addison County, Vermont. By 1844 they had settled in Ohio and by 1850 were still living in Elyria, Ohio. By 1855 Albert had settled his family in Michigan and in 1860 William was attending school with two of his younger siblings and living with his family on a farm in Grand Rapids, Kent County, where William also worked as a farm laborer.
He stood 5’8” with blue eyes, brown hair and a light complexion, and was an 18-year-old farmer possibly living in Grand Rapids when he enlisted in Company A on August 8, 1862, at Grand Rapids for 3 years, and was mustered the same day. (Albert, his father, was living in Grand Rapids in 1862.) He joined the Regiment on September 8 at Fairfax Seminary, Virginia, was apparently admitted to McDougal hospital in Washington, DC, on January 9, 1863, and was still in the hospital when he was transferred to Company A, 5th Michigan Infantry upon consolidation of the 3rd and 5th Michigan Regiments on June 10, 1864. He remained hospitalized until he was mustered out on May 31, 1865.
After the war William eventually returned to Michigan.
He married Pennsylvania native Amy L. Wheeler (b. 1846) on September 24, 1871, in Otsego, Allegan County; they were divorced in 1885.
He was possibly residing in Grand Rapids in 1874. By 1880 he had moved to Wexford County and was working as a bookkeeper and living with his wife Amy in Cadillac; also living with them was Mary A. Wheeler, listed as “Mother” and probably Amy’s mother He was still living in Cadillac in 1882, and in 1883, drawing $13.00 per for deafness (pension no. 87,118). William was still living in Cadillac in 1890 reportedly suffering from complete deafness, and was a member of the Old 3rd Michigan Infantry Association. He operated the Vosberg & Goff meat market in Cadillac.
According to his father Albert, William left his home in Cadillac, Michigan and went on a visit to Otsego, Allegan County and was taken seriously ill and lived only a few days.
William died of disease on January 20, 1891, probably in the vicinity of Reynolds Township, Montcalm County, although his father claimed that his remains were removed to Ensley, Newaygo County for burial in fact he was buried in Reynolds Township cemetery where there is a government headstone for William.
Amy was living as his widow in Grand Rapids at 303 Ottawa in 1890. His father was possibly living in Gilman, Iroquois County, Illinois by 1897. His application for a dependent father’s pension was rejected.