Benjamin A. Goodwin


Benjamin A. Goodwin was One of the most prominent pioneer farmers. He arrived in Manteca in 1869 and immediately began harvesting wheat in the South County Fields. A few years later, he purchased his own farm.

He was one of the first to plant almonds, olives, and alfalfa in the dry valley. He soon found pumping water wasn’t practical for a big ranch SO he started working with others toward formation of an irrigation system. He served as the first president of the South San Joaquin Irrigation District. During his tenure as president. a dam named in his honor was built on the Stanislaus River.

He is often referred to as "The Father of the South San Joaquin Irrigation District."

He served for more than two decades as a school trustee - first for the Atlanta School District and later when a new district was formed at Calla.

He was active in the Odd Fellows Lodge, the Elks Lodge, and Republican Party politics.

One of his five children, Alfred A. Goodwin. was named to the Manteca Hall of Fame in 1994.