Molly Ann Dyer Goodnight

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Mary Ann “Molly” Goodnight was the wife of Charles Goodnight and was highly involved in the Goodnight ranching operation.  She was born September 12, 1839 in Tennessee to John Henry and Susan Lynch Miller Dyer and her grandfather was the first governor of Tennessee.  The Dyers were well established in Tennessee but her father, noted for his service in the Battle of New Orleans and a former Attorney General of the state, moved the family to a settlement near Fort Belknap in North Texas in 1854.  Ten years later, her mother died shortly to be followed by the death of her father in another two years, after which Molly became the head of her family for her younger brothers.  The oldest, Leigh, went to work for Charles Goodnight in 1867 while Molly continued to raise the younger brothers, several of whom also went on to work on the Goodnight ranches.  Molly served as a teacher in Young County though she had no formal education. Continue reading Molly Ann Dyer Goodnight