Notable Women of Buffalo, New York, on the Internet..............Charles W. Goodyear House

Ella Portia Conger Goodyear

Ella Goodyear and Her Children, by Martin Wachadlo
Photographs reprinted from
Bogalusa Story
by C. W. Goodyear (Charles' grandson)
E-text of a 1950 book that includes photos and text about the Goodyear brothers and their investment in Louisiana forests and the town of Bogalusa in 1906

Ella Portia Conger Goodyear
By Patrick Kavanaugh
History of Women in Forest Lawn Lawn Cemetery

Section H, Lot 168
Date of Death: 9/29/1940
(Collector; Friend of Grover Cleveland)

Ella married Charles W. Goodyear on 3/23/1876. Mr. Goodyear is a descendent of Stephan Goodyear, Deputy Governor of the New England Colony from 1641-1658. Mr. Goodyear was a prominent Buffalo Attorney who was largely responsible for the nomination of Grover Cleveland for Governor of New York.

Both Ella and Charles were personal friends of Grover and Frances Folsom Cleveland. Mr. & Mrs. Goodyear were the first friends that Grover and his new bride Frances invited to the White House.

Mrs. Goodyear was the author of Journey with Jesus. Mrs. Goodyear was a collector of fine china, glassware and art. In 1936 she donated her collection of pressed glass to the Buffalo & Erie County Historical Society in Charles's name. In addition, she was a supporter of the Albright Art Gallery (now Albright-Knox Art Gallery). After Charles' death, Ella established a fund to buy works for a permanent collection at the Albright in his memory.

Ella Portia Conger Goodyear
By Edward T. Dunn
Buffalo's Delaware Avenue: Mansions and Families, Pub. by
Canisius College Press, 2003, pp. 387-389

In 1876, Charles was married to Ella Portia Conger, who had been born in Collins Center in 1853, by Dr. Albert Tracy Chester, head of the Female Academy. The Congers had moved from Danby, Vermont, early in the century. Ella's father, Anson Griffith Conger, was a banker and a member of the legislature, the first citizen of Collins Center.

Ella attended Miss Nardin's and the Female Academy. Upon graduation she worked as a bookkeeper for her father. She was interested in singing, and traveled to New York, Brooklyn, and Washington for lessons.

In 1879 the Goodyears moved to a new house on #723 Delaware [demolished] across from Westminster, a gift from Anson. Here their children grew up.


Charles died in Buffalo in 1911. Ella survived him by twenty-nine years, dying in Buffalo in 1940 at eighty-six.

She loved to entertain. The garden and lawn of her house were lush and extensive, andhere she was accustomed to give large garden parties. Perhaps the zenith in her entertainments was when King Albert of Belgium, Queen Elizabeth, and crown Prince Leopold were her guests, during their stay in Buffalo in 1919.

Ella had been raised a Methodist Episcopalian, turned Presbyterian upon her marriage, but joined a species of Christian Science after a successful operation for cancer in 1905. She started holding classes at #888 attended sometimes by over a hundred people. These classes continued until 1934. None of the family participated. She read the bible over and over and quoted texts at the family, but they failed to share her piety. In 1913 she published The Journey of Jesus, which went through three editions. None of her family ever seems to have read it.

Charles and Ella had four children, Conger, born in 1877; Esther Permelia, born in 1881; Charles W., Jr., born in 1883; and Bradley in 1885.

UB: Goodyear Hall

In 1960, the Goodyear family contributed $500,000 to the university's building program to honor the memory of Ella Conger Goodyear (1853-1940). Known for her philanthropies and interest in the arts, Goodyear was the mother of Gen. Anson Conger Goodyear and the grandmother of George F. Goodyear.

In 1912, she established the Charles W. Goodyear fund at the Albright Art Gallery in memory of her late husband. A frequent visitor to the White House during the Cleveland administration, Goodyear was a lifelong friend of Carolyn Tripp Clement. See Clement Hall.

Anson Conger Goodyear served on the board of the Albright Art Gallery; he insisted that the gallery begin acquiring modern art, for which the museum later became renowned. He later moved to New York City and helped found the Museum of Modern Art.

Page by Chuck LaChiusa
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