m. 9 NOV 1843
Facts and Events
About Ellen Goff
Ellen Goff was the eldest daughter of Benjamin F. Goff. Her recently widowed mother, Amelia Calkins, was sister to Abel H. Calkins. Abel's wife was Sarah Maria Watrous.
In the spring of 1863 Ellen had an opportunity through her Uncle Henry (Abel H. Calkins) to teach school.I4 It was exactly 4 months after she received her teaching certificateI3, and 5 days before her 17th birthday, that she was married to Benjamin Watrous, the brother of her Aunt Sarah Watrous Calkins. They were married in Three Rivers, Massachusetts, September 2, 1863. Benjamin had left for the California gold rush in 1850. He returned in 1863 to meet and marry Ellen.
Mr. and Mrs. Watrous set out for California a few weeks after their marriage, leaving New York in October, and arriving by way of Panama and San Francisco to Chinese Camp, Tuolumne County, November 13, 1863. Here Mr. Watrous resumed his stock-raising pursuits, and in November, 1870, took up their residence in Stockton, San Joaquin County, California.S2 Eventually Ellen's siblings and mother all migrated after them to California.
Ellen became ill in time and was forced to spend time in Oakland for treatment and recovery. From there she would darn the clothing of her children and carry on extensive correspondence with her family. She was in constant pain and treated with such contraptions as electric batteries to try to subdue the pain. She returned home but went back in the early 1890s where she eventually died at the young age of 46.I5 I6
In her many correspondences her humor revealed her New England roots in its dry wit. Her husband was often the endearing target of her humor.
In the early 1890's one of her daughters, Alice, attended the University of California at Berkeley where such controversies as a woman attending gymnasium, or whether having her daughter's class photo with her hair down was appropriate, were actively debated in their letters. In these discussions Ellen rightfully thought that if gymnasium was good for boys, it must be equally good for girls. Both Ellen and her husband felt whether to have the hair up or down in the class photograph was a decision best left to their daughter trusting she would do what was best.