GOFF, FREDERICK H. (15 Dec. 1858-14 Mar. 1923), lawyer, banker, and civic leader, was born in Blackbury, Ill., to Frederick C. and Catherine Brown Goff. He moved with his family to Cleveland. Goff earned a Ph.B. from the University of Michigan (1881), then worked in the Cleveland Law Library, studied law, and was admitted to the Ohio bar in 1883 or 1884.
Goff worked primarily in corporate law, specializing in reorganization and financial problems. In 1908 Goff became president of the Cleveland Trust Co., increasing its offices from 15 to 52, its depositors from 70,000 to 397,000, and its resources from $30 million to $176 million by 1923.
As lawyer and banker helping Clevelanders plan their estates, Goff developed the living and community trusts. A living trust conveys property to a trustee prior to death, specifying its management. A community trust places property in a central community fund administered by trustees. Goff helped establish the CLEVELAND FOUNDATION community trust in 1914.
Goff was mayor of GLENVILLE in 1903, ending gambling at the local racetrack and endorsing Glenville's annexation to Cleveland. He represented the CLEVELAND ELECTRIC RAILWAY CO. during 1907 negotiations with Mayor TOM L. JOHNSON over the street railway controversy. During WORLD WAR I, he served on the MAYOR'S ADVISORY WAR COMMITTEE and was appointed by Pres. Woodrow Wilson as vice-chairman of the War Finance Corp.'s capital issues committee. He served as director or officer in railroad, manufacturing, and service companies. He married Frances Southworth on 16 Oct. 1894; they had three children: Frederika, William S., and Frances M. Goff died in Cleveland and was buried in LAKE VIEW CEMETERY.