Some people are saints just because their religion says they are, while others become saints because they do good. This story is about one of the latter.
July 31, 1856, The James G. Willie Handcart Company passed through the growing community of Fort Des Moines, Iowa. So many people across Iowa had mocked and derided the Mormons, not only for their audacity in making such a journey with a handcart, but for their faith in answering the call of living prophets, but on July 31, 1856, they would be met by another resident of Des Moines. He did not come to mock nor entice them to stay as they passed by but rather to help. William Woodward records the following.
“We crossed on the Flatboat Bridge and passed about a mile through the Town where we stopped till 2 o’ clock to give the cattle water & grass. We pursued our journey again about 4 miles where we encamped for the night. Wood & water pretty plentiful here. Mr. Charles Good, a respectable gentleman from the City who seemed very favorable to the Gospel from no impure motive brought a present of 15 pairs of children’s boots and being given with a free spirit we received them.”
Evidently this was not an isolated incident in the life of Charles Good. Born in 1808, he came to Des Moines in 1850 and established himself as a merchant. Within a short time, he prospered and then, with those means, went about doing good. “Until his death in 1898, he consistently rendered charitable service to those in need.” A community park is named for him in Des Moines, and a monument has been raised in memory of his kindness.
Who can measure the good done on that day for the children of the Willie Handcart Company by good Charles Good?